The top 20 highest-paying jobs
|By Dana Dratch
CEOs, chief operating officers,
top executives and surgeons top the list of highest-paying jobs, according to
recent figures from Salary.com.
CEOs' paychecks dwarf all others,
according to the Salary.com numbers. The average CEO takes home $688,572 per year
in salary alone. The figure jumps to $1.18 million with bonuses, according to
"The thing that's interesting about CEOs is
that there is the biggest variance in pay," says Lena Bottos, director of
compensation for Salary.com. "There are so many factors that affect it. You
can go from very small numbers to very large numbers."
the numbers on the check don't always tell the whole story. "It's less about
salary and more about the mix" of things such as bonuses and stock options,
she says. With CEO pay, "different things become hot over time."
operating officers come in second on the salary list. The average COO earns $436,968
per year in straight salary and a total of $690,219 with bonuses.
next four rungs of the highest-paying jobs ladder are also occupied by corporate
executives. Top-subsidiary execs average $381,139 in base pay and $624,831 with
bonuses. Top-sector executives make $310,230 in base pay and $525,657 with bonuses.
Top-division execs average $274,783 in base pay and $510,292 with bonuses. Intermediate-level
corporate financial associates earn $185,158 in base pay and a total of $459,784
Prescription for wealth
your parents urged you to attend medical school, they should have been more specific.
Of the four medical professions that make the top 20 list, all are in the surgical
field. Topping the list: heart transplant and cardiothoracic surgeons. Cardiothoracic
surgeons have a slightly higher base pay ($435,456 versus $402,317). Heart surgeons
do a little better in the bonus department, so what they take home is fractionally
higher ($446,666 versus $446,255).
There are no real shockers
as to which professions make the most money, says Bottos, whose organization compiles
data from surveys that include an estimated 29 million U.S. workers. CEOs, COOs,
CFOs and CTOs, "all the c-level jobs," finish strong, as do doctors,
lawyers and financial specialists.
With increasing emphasis
on regulations such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, accountants and ethics executives
are also pulling in big bucks. Engineers with specialized certification in things
such as quality control or streamlining of manufacturing processes are also commanding
So is there anything that separates the big
earners from the crowd? "From meeting some of these people, the thing that
sometimes stands out more than anything else is personality," says Bottos.
"Because you have to be able to bring the whole package."
makes the big money?
Here are the 20 highest-paying jobs, along with
the average annual income for each (including salary plus bonuses), according
to recent figures from Salary.com.
|The top 20 highest-paying jobs: |
Source: Salary.com, November 2006