20 highest-paying jobs

Anesthesiologists take home a median $290,000 salary annually. What other great careers from Money and PayScale.com's list of Best Jobs in America offer big paychecks?

17 of 20
17. Research & Development Manager
Research & Development Manager
Keith Swenson, 51, is the VP of R&D at Fujitsu America and chief software architect for the Interstage family of BPM products.
Best Jobs rank: 39
Median pay: $116,000
Top pay: $156,000
Companies spend millions creating new products, from software to potato chips. Research and development managers are in charge of taking new ideas and making them a reality.

"I always describe programming as: solving puzzles as a job. Programming is like having a job where you solve Soduku or crossword puzzles full time," says Keith Swenson, VP of R&D at Fujitsu America, where his work involves overseeing programming. "It is not easy to find the right solution that has the proper balance between power and usability."

"Software development is more like the fine arts than it is manufacturing," he adds. "A great programmer is better compared to Michelangelo than to Henry Ford."

NEXT: Computer and Information Scientist

Last updated October 11 2010: 8:13 AM ET
Source: All pay data from PayScale.com
Note: We looked at jobs from the top 100 with the highest top pay. Median salary is for an experienced worker (at least two to seven years in field). Top pay represents the 90th percentile.
Full list: Top 100 America's best jobs offer great pay, work that's satisfying, and big growth opportunities. More
10 Booming-est jobsDemand for biomedical engineers should grow a whopping 72% between 2008 and 2018. How can you get hired for one of these fast-growing jobs? More
'I have the best job in America!' Meet 10 people lucky enough to have the top careers on our list, and see why they love their jobs. More
Special Offer

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.