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America’s Best-And Worst-Paying Jobs

When we first looked at America’s best- and worst-paying jobs a year back, we asked the question, “Why do financially pushy parents want their children to marry doctors?” Our answer then: Because, as Willie Sutton said of banks, that is where the money is. Still is.

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The_medical profession continues to dominate the top end of our list of the 25 best- and worst-paying jobs in America. Anesthesiologists have flipped places with surgeons to take the top spot, but the next eight places are firmly in the healing hands of various sorts of specialist practitioners.

Chief executives, at No. 10, and airline pilots, at No. 14, are the only two non-medical occupations in the top 15. Even lawyers don’t make it. They’re No. 16.

At the other end of the scale are jobs in restaurants, hotels and leisure businesses. The lowest paid of all? People who cook, prepare and serve in fast-food joints, followed by dishwashers, busboys and the folk who show you to your seat in coffee-shops and the like.

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According to government data, the mean annual salary for America’s 29,890 anesthesiologists is $184,340; for its 2.5 million fast-food preparers and servers, $15,230. The mean annual pay for all jobs is $39,190. In all, the lowest-paying 25 occupations employ 15.6 million people in America; the best-paying jobs employ 3 million.

There was little change in the occupations that make up the 25 best- and worst-paid lists. Astronomers fell off the bottom of the best-paying jobs list, to be replaced by financial managers. Service station attendants replaced some sorts of food preparers on the list of worst-paying jobs.
On average, earnings went up–in the best-paid group by 4.2% and in the worst-paid by 3.2%. Yes, the doctors get richer.(source)

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