The best-paid jobs include positions in healthcare, information technology, data analytics, consulting, finance, engineering, and law. Why do workers in these occupations earn the most?
Employers in countries around the world compensate workers based on the supply of and demand for the labor that they provide, the training and expertise required to do the job, and the value that employees create within enterprises. The jobs on the highest-paying list are in-demand positions and many of them required advanced education (which significantly increases your earning potential), and/or specialized training.
Glassdoor.com’s highest-paying jobs survey reports on the jobs that pay the most, the median base salary, and the current number of job openings. Review a recap of the top jobs on the list, along with salary information for the United States (Glassdoor Highest Paying Jobs in America survey) and the United Kingdom (Payscale Salary Data and Career Research Center), unless otherwise noted. For other countries, your earning power varies by location. These ten countries have the highest average salary in U.S. dollars.
Top 20 Best-Paid Jobs
1. Physicians diagnose and treat illnesses in hospitals, urgent care facilities, group, and individual medical practices. Doctors prescribe medications, perform surgical procedures, make referrals to specialists, perform medical assessments, and educate patients and their families.
- U.S. salary $195,842
- U.K. salary £50,845
2. Pharmacy managers oversee pharmacy operations for hospitals, drugstores, healthcare insurers, and other medical associations. They hire, supervise and train staff, establish and monitor protocols to ensure safe and accurate dispensation of medicines, negotiate pricing and delivery with manufacturers, and educate patients regarding medications.
- U.S. salary $146,412
- U.K. salary £41,418
3. Pharmacists interpret physicians’ orders for medications, analyze potential drug interactions, resolve issues regarding insurance coverage, dispense medications according to standards, train and supervise technicians, and educate patients about use and side effects of medications.
- U.S. salary $127,120
- U.K. salary £34,840
4. Enterprise architects assess the business strategy of organizations and design or modify information technology and other processes to help achieve goals. They communicate with business managers as well as technical developers to help align technologies and business processes.
- U.S. salary $115,944
- U.K. salary £74,394
5. Corporate counsels are attorneys who work directly as staff attorneys for businesses. They coordinate relationships with contracted law firms, advise business leaders on the legal implications of business practices, review commercial agreements and contracts, and monitor compliance with industry regulations.
- U.S. salary $115,580
- U.K. salary £70,986
6. Software development managers develop software products which fulfill specifications generated by either an internal group or by customers. They define and document all steps in the company’s product development process, including specification, prototyping, software development, testing requirements, new control algorithm development, and drafting technical documentation.
- U.S. salary $108,879
- U.K. salary £54,625
7. Physician assistants interview patients to take medical histories and determine symptoms, diagnose illnesses and injuries, devise treatment plans, prescribe medications, consult with physicians regarding complex cases, and refer patients to specialists.
- U.S. salary $108,761
- U.K. salary £35,000 (Prospects)
8. Software engineering managers run and improve software product engineering processes including sprint planning, training and timely delivery of product in collaboration with engineering leaders. They work with product, design, data, and customer teams to develop new initiatives and to improve existing product engineering processes. They manage engineering teams through development and feedback sessions.
- U.S. salary $107,479
- U.K. salary £61,460
9. Nurse practitioners assess patient symptoms, diagnose illnesses, prescribe and administer medications, treat minor injuries, consult with physicians regarding complicated cases, and refer patients to other medical professionals.
- U.S. salary $106,962
- U.K. salary £36,282 (Prospects)
10. Software architects perform architectural analysis and design for systems and partner with various business stakeholders and technology leaders to translate program requirements into technical solutions and system designs. They document and communicate designs, estimates and implementation plans to program stakeholders. Software architects research, design, test, and evaluate new technologies and vendor solutions.
- U.S. salary $105,329
- U.K. salary £56,683
11. Engineering managers hire, train and supervise teams of engineers, coordinate the efforts of project teams to develop and execute plans for product development, and re-engineer processes and methods of production. Engineering managers create and control budgets and conduct ongoing value analysis to identify new opportunities for efficiencies and cost savings.
- U.S. salary $105,260
- U.K. salary £46,469
12. Application development managers communicate with all levels of management and development teams to assess and prioritize staff needs for IT applications. They devise project plans, identify critical paths, report project statuses, and identify project risks and gaps early in the project lifecycle. Applications development managers hire, train, and supervise developers, and assign them to projects appropriate to their skills.
- U.S. salary $104,048
- U.K. salary £54,854
13. Plant managers are responsible for the safe manufacturing of products in the required quantity/quality at minimal cost. They approve production schedules in the various departments to ensure that customer orders are fulfilled, and finished goods inventories and shipments are maintained at the proper level. They control flows of materials and utilization of labor to ensure production meets plant requirements.
- U.S. salary $103,892
- U.K. salary £57,753
14. Information technology (IT) program managers evaluate business requirements, working with all levels of customers, internal management and staff, and translate those requirements into alternative solutions for application enhancements, automation, and/or processing efficiencies. They plan, lead, organize, and control multiple projects and technology programs. IT program managers devise and control project budgets and supervise project managers.
- U.S. salary $102,969
- U.K. salary £64,849
15. Solutions architects determine end-to-end design requirements for large projects involving business lines, software/hardware developers and vendors. They work closely with business partners to define strategies for technical solutions, determine requirements, and develop functional designs based on change objectives, and the realities of existing systems infrastructure.
- U.S. salary $102,160
- U.K. salary £57,031
16. Financial planning and analysis managers compare actual financial results to planned or forecasted results, recommend future actions, and analyze the ongoing profitability of all new businesses and/or programs implemented by the organization. They manage the review, reporting, and submission of monthly profit and loss forecasts. They also manage the financial planning and reporting of assigned business units. The financial planning and analysis manager prepares and reviews budget materials for leadership and ensures budget compliance and consistency.
- U.S. salary $102,155
- U.K. salary £60,993
17. Data architects lead design, build, analysis, coding, testing, and integration of structured and unstructured data to establish data and analytics platforms for forecasting teams, business management, and key partners in cloud-based environments. They spearhead development efforts of new end-user business intelligence tools and assure designs and project activities comply with data policies, architecture, security, and quality guidelines and standards.
- U.S. salary $101,900
- U.K. salary £57,317
18. Strategy managers drive strategic projects across multiple functions of organizations and identify critical issues and business improvement opportunities. They develop strategic recommendations and present business cases to executive management. Strategy managers compile key business intelligence that informs strategic plans, monitor market trends to help a company to adjust to changing conditions, and understand competitor practices and market behavior.
- U.S. salary $101,754
- U.K. salary £50,891
19. Systems architects design, build, and deploy networks and infrastructure components such as databases, servers, network storage devices, other network components, and desktops/workstations. They install hardware such as switches, servers and routers, databases, servers, storage devices, desktops/workstations, and install/uninstall infrastructure components.
- U.S. salary $100,984
- U.K. salary £50,562
20. Scrum masters lead action teams through the complex development and enhancement process for new or existing products. They research and identify viable markets, technologies, and product capabilities. Scrum masters manage activities, resource capability, schedules, budgets, and ensure cross-company communications to facilitate product completion on schedule and within budget.
- U.S. salary $98,239
- U.K. salary £42,907
Note: The salary data provided by Glassdoor includes jobs for which at least 100 salary reports from employers were received during a year-long period.