50 best jobs in America

Work Wisdom

50 best jobs in America

$85.5 million.

That’s what basketball star LeBron James pulls down a year, according to Parade magazine’s annual “What People Earn” feature that ran in Sunday newspapers nationwide last weekend.

On the other end of the spectrum, Richard Meyer, president of the Ocean Energy Council in West Palm Beach, Florida, earns nothing. Now that’s truly playing for the love of the game.

The rest of us fall some somewhere in the middle — and most of us need a little more than love to pay the bills. If you’re looking to up your game salary-wise, you might want to get some career ideas from the latest list of top-paying jobs in America from U.S. News & World Report. They all pay at least $100,000 — more than double the U.S. median personal income.

Of course, few of us are exactly qualified to be an anesthesiologist, surgeon or orthodontist, all with a median salary of $208,000. If medical school isn’t on your horizon, maybe a marketing manager (#15 at $132,230), sales manager (#18 at $121,060) or political scientist (#24 at $115,110) sound doable.

If your job satisfaction depends on more than pay, you might want to check out employment site Glassdoor’s list of the 50 best jobs in America this year. It considers high pay alongside career satisfaction and number of job openings. Data scientist, anyone? You could make $108,000 and have a satisfaction level of 4.3 out of 5 (about as good as it gets on this list). If you can get by on $70,000, there are nearly 35,000 open positions for physical therapists. Dental hygienists and product designers appear to be happiest, reporting satisfaction at 4.5.

But you don’t necessarily have to look in other pastures to find greener grass, according to Kim Gibson, program director in human resources at Colonial Life.

“The best job in America isn’t about title or position — it’s where you find passion and feel you’re valued, or contributing something of value,” Gibson said. “The key is to understand your strengths and identify what activities give you energy.

“Look for opportunities to plug in and capitalize on your strengths, whether in your own role or somewhere else in the organization. The more you engage in things you feel are valuable, the likelier you are to enjoy your job.”


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