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Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the World for 2024

June 24, 2024

Are you wondering - "Which job has the highest salary in world?". With the ever-growing prices of consumer goods, lifestyle management, education and healthcare, students often need to plan their career choices even before starting their higher education; which is why knowledge of the best-paid jobs in the world proves to be beneficial for them. Stats have it that with the ongoing global recession, students nowadays are interested in learning about the highest paying jobs in the world that also have a good scope in future. This also makes them look for high-paying careers and job fields that have a good scope of sustaining the thriving economy in the future. So, if you are targeting the highest paying jobs in the world while also looking for which career has more scope in future then, this article is for you. 

List of Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Irrespective of the various factors like the company's location and size, and the employee's experience and level of contribution, some professions consistently rank high across various best paid jobs lists. These professions continue to get paid higher irrespective of the country, city, company size and number of employees which means that these designated positions get the highest salary in the world, wherever offered. This section is dedicated to the list of best-paid jobs in the world. Check the top 10 highest paying jobs in the world below. 

  1. Chief Executive officer
  2. Anesthesiologist
  3. General and Orthopedic Surgeons
  4. Psychiatrists
  5. Data Scientists
  6. Software Engineers
  7. Investment Banker
  8. Petroleum Engineers
  9. Corporate Lawyers
  10. Professional Athletes 

These jobs above are the top salaried jobs that also have the scope to survive in the future. 

Details on the Top 5 Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Here are the complete details on the highest paying jobs in the world. Read below for the required experience, top employers of the listed highest paying jobs in the world followed by the section containing the average salaries of these jobs across different nations. 

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Topping the list, being a CEO gets you the highest paying job in the world, no matter where you work. A CEO is the highest-ranked position in any organisation’s structure. Irrespective of the company’s size, a CEO handles all its day-to-day corporate affairs, manages resources and handles all managerial processes. A CEO is also responsible for motivating his team of managers and employees to boost their performance without overburdening them. 

What does a CEO do?: The CEO fulfils multiple roles in a company. They are the strategic leader, making long-term plans and goals. They also make important decisions on matters like new initiatives or mergers. While they delegate tasks to other leaders, they oversee the entire business and are accountable for all departments. Lastly, they represent the company and communicate its vision to employees and the community. Regardless of company size, all CEOs have the fundamental duty of guiding the organization to success.

How to become a CEO?: Becoming a CEO requires a long-term commitment, starting with a solid educational background in business or a related field, typically including a bachelor's degree and possibly an MBA. Substantial experience is essential, with many CEOs advancing through various departments to develop their leadership and decision-making abilities. However, establishing a network and a positive reputation in the industry are also key factors.

Experience Required: Minimum 5 years of managerial experience and above.

Skills Required: Excellent Team Leadership and Interpersonal Skills, Decision-making Skills with Good Attention-to-Detail, Negotiation Abilities, Time Management and Organisation Skills.

Top Companies: Amazon, Apple, Wipro, Samsung, IBM, Aditya Birla Group, etc.

Average Annual Salary of CEOs in Different Countries*
USA $ 8,50,000
UK £ 3,20,000
Canada $240,000
Australia $3,50,000
France €2,20,000
India ₹3.2 Crores

2. Anesthesiologist

Being the highest paying job in the USA, an Anesthesiologist is among the best-paid jobs in the world. Anesthesiologists work closely with surgeons and the success of almost all operations begins with the success of the anaesthetic operations. Anesthesiologists also help with pain management and function like other primary care physicians and surgeons. 

What does an Anesthesiologist do?: Anesthesiologists play a vital role in ensuring patient safety during surgeries and medical procedures. They are skilled in administering anaesthesia, monitoring vital signs, and managing pain both during and after surgery.

How to become an Anesthesiologist?: Getting one of the highest paying jobs does not come easy and that is the case with becoming an Anesthesiologist. Becoming an Anesthesiologist is a demanding and lengthy process that requires commitment and a solid scientific background. The journey typically includes the following steps:

  • Attaining a bachelor's degree: While this degree can be in any field, it is highly recommended to take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.
  • Passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT): This standardised exam evaluates your knowledge and skills necessary for success in medical school.
  • Completing medical school: During this phase, you will earn either a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, gaining a comprehensive understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and diseases.
  • Securing a spot in an accredited anesthesiology residency program: This competitive residency program involves four years of intensive supervised training in administering anaesthesia to patients undergoing surgical procedures and other medical interventions.
  • Obtaining licensure and board certification: Following the residency, you will need to pass specific examinations to become licensed in your state. Additionally, you may choose to pursue board certification from the American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA).
  • Considering fellowship training (optional): If desired, you can pursue a one- or two-year fellowship program to specialise in a particular subfield such as pediatric anaesthesia or pain medicine.

Experience Required: 12-15 years.

Skills Required: Good Accuracy and Precision while Administering the Dose of Anesthesia, Strong Core Knowledge of Pharmacology and Medical Instruments, Ability to Handle Stressful Situations, Good Communication Skills, Critical Thinking and Problem-solving Skills.

Top Companies: Hospitals and Health Consultancies such as Henry Ford Health Systems, Trinity Health, ICON, Kaiser Permanente, etc. 

Average Annual Salary of Anesthesiologists in Different Countries*
USA $ 4,25,000
UK £ 1,12,000
Canada $3,40,000
Australia $3,90,000
France €2,00,000
India ₹25,00,000

3. General Surgeons

Surgeons get paid according to the level of their skills and experience. Surgeons are also paid based on their success rates in performing surgeries and treating patients to improve their medical condition. Among surgeons, neurosurgeons, general surgeons and orthopaedic surgeons are paid the highest salary in the medical world.  

What do General Surgeons do?: General surgeons are versatile professionals who diagnose and perform surgeries for a wide range of medical conditions. They handle common ailments like appendicitis and hernias, as well as complex procedures involving the digestive system, skin, breast, and soft tissues. They also provide pre- and post-operative care to ensure a smooth recovery process. In summary, general surgeons are the go-to specialists for various surgical needs, offering comprehensive support throughout the entire surgical experience.

How to become a General Surgeon?: Becoming a general surgeon is a challenging yet fulfilling journey that requires dedication and perseverance. It starts with a bachelor's degree in a science-related field, followed by medical school to gain a deep understanding of human anatomy and physiology. After graduating, aspiring surgeons undergo a 5-7 year residency program to refine their skills under experienced mentors. They must then obtain a medical license and may choose to specialise further through fellowship programs.

Experience Required: 10-13 years.

Skills Required: In-depth Knowledge of Related Medical Conditions, Excellent Eye-to-Hand Coordination, Accuracy and Precision, Patience, and Good Ability to Recognise Symptoms. 

Top Companies: General and orthopaedic hospitals, speciality hospitals, Fortis Healthcare, Apollo Hospitals, etc.

Average Annual Salary of General Surgeons in Different Countries*
USA $ 4,25,000
UK £ 2,25,000
Canada $3,65,000
Australia $2,15,000
France €2,15,000
India ₹35,00,000 

4. Psychiatrist

Often the most paid profession in various countries, a Psychiatrist helps in dealing with mental health. Psychiatrists charge fees per session of consultation, and depending on the mental condition of the patient, they may prescribe some medicine or work on bringing out the desired result solely by consultation and lifestyle changes. Due to the growing awareness of the impact of mental health disturbance and its consequences, more and more people prefer to take a Psychiatrist’s help to deal with their emotional imbalance. With this, it becomes one of the highest paying jobs in India and the USA.

What does a Psychiatrist do?: A psychiatrist is a doctor who specialises in mental health, evaluating, diagnosing, and treating mental, emotional, and behavioural disorders. They use assessments to diagnose conditions and create treatment plans, which may include therapy and medication to improve mental health and well-being.

How to become a Psychiatrist?: Becoming a psychiatrist requires commitment and a strong science and medicine background. It starts with a bachelor's degree in a science-related field, followed by four years of medical school. After earning your medical degree, you will complete a four-year residency program in psychiatry to gain practical experience. Obtaining a state license are also necessary. Effective communication and interpersonal skills are crucial for building rapport with patients and delivering impactful treatment.

Experience Required: 10-12 years.

Skills Required: Strong Listening Skills, Good Attention to Detail, Good Communication Skills, Empathy towards the Patient, Strong Knowledge of Core Therapeutic Practices and Treatments and Commitment to Maintaining Patient Records in a Confidential manner. 

Top Companies: Kaiser Permanente, US Department of Veterans Affairs, General medical and surgical hospitals, Outpatient care centres, Psychiatric and addiction hospitals, etc.

Average Annual Salary of Psychiatrist in Different Countries*
USA $ 2,45,000
UK £ 2,25,000
Canada $3,15,000
Australia $2,75,000
France €1,60,000
India ₹27,00,000 

5. Data Scientists

With the ongoing global recession, the demand for Data Scientists has increased drastically, making it fall into the list of the top 10 highest paying jobs in the world. Data Scientists help the company make critical financial decisions based on the company’s reports collected over the years and market trends. According to some stats, the data scientist jobs are increasing day by day at a rate of 14%. Also, it is believed that there will be 11 million data science jobs (approx.) by the end of 2026. According to a report by Nasscom, the data science jobs recorded in 2018 in India were 2,720 and this number is expected to grow to about 16,500 data science jobs by 2025. 

What does a Data Scientist do?: Data scientists are essential in today's world as they uncover hidden stories in large datasets. They bridge the gap between data and decision-making by utilising their technical skills to gather, clean, and analyse data. By utilising tools such as statistics, machine learning, and programming languages, they identify meaningful patterns and trends. These insights are then translated into actionable recommendations, enabling businesses to make informed decisions that streamline processes, predict future outcomes, and ultimately achieve their objectives.

How to become a Data Scientist?: Due to its high demand, the data scientist is becoming the highest paying job worldwide; which is also the reason that becoming a data scientist requires a mix of education, skill enhancement, and practical experience. While a bachelor's degree in data science, statistics, or computer science is common, it's not always necessary. You can gain expertise through online courses, bootcamps, or self-directed learning. Programming skills in Python, R, SQL, data manipulation, data visualisation, and statistical analysis are crucial. Hands-on experience can be gained through internships, personal projects, or engaging with online data science communities. Remember, becoming a data scientist is a continuous journey of learning and growth.

Experience Required: 1-5 years.

Skills Required: Strong Knowledge of data decluttering, re-structuring and organising tools, Interpretation of Data, Knowledge of Different programming languages such as Python, MySQL, Pandas, Numpy, etc., knowledge of Machine Learning, Big data, and Deep Learning, Decision Making Skills, Data Interpretation, and Good Communication Skills.

Top Companies: IBM, Cloudera, Accenture, Deloitte, Google, Walmart, etc.

Average Annual Salary of Data Scientists in Different Countries*
USA $ 2,05,000
UK £ 75,000
Canada $1,05,000
Australia $1,75,000
France € 75,000
India ₹ 13-18 L 

Salary Comparison Among the Other Highest Paying Jobs in the World

Below we have shown the average salaries of each of the other highest paying jobs in the world that have been listed above.  

6. Software Engineer/Architect

Being a software engineer has been one of the top highest paying jobs in the world for several decades. Software engineers and architects are highly respected in the field of technology. They are essential in developing the software that drives our daily activities. Software engineers build and code, while architects design the framework and operation of software. Their blend of technical skills and strategic vision allows them to earn competitive salaries. Their contributions greatly impact the effectiveness of applications, websites, and systems, highlighting the value of their expertise in today's technology-focused society.

What do the Software Engineer/Architect do: Software engineers and architects play a pivotal role in shaping our world through their expertise in developing software. Software engineers bring designs to fruition by writing the necessary code that enables applications, websites, and systems to operate seamlessly. On the other hand, software architects serve as visionary leaders, meticulously crafting the blueprint of the software and ensuring its overall structure and functionality. By combining their skills, these professionals create powerful tools that drive the digital age forward.

How to become a Software Engineer/Architect: To establish a successful career as a software engineer or architect, a combination of academic excellence and practical experience is essential. A bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field provides a solid foundation in programming languages such as Java or Python, data structures, algorithms, and key software development methodologies such as Agile or Waterfall. Additionally, enhancing your expertise by actively participating in online courses or bootcamps that focus on specific technologies like web development frameworks (e.g., Spring, Django) or cloud platforms (e.g., AWS, Azure) and contributing to open-source projects can help to build a strong portfolio. Seek internship opportunities to apply your knowledge in a professional setting and consider specializing in areas like system design or cybersecurity.

Experience Required: 1-5 years.

Skills Required: Technical expertise in programming languages (e.g., Java, Python), data structures, algorithms, and software development methodologies along with effective communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and critical thinking.

Top Companies: Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, IBM, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Oracle, Amazon, Bosch Group, Capgemini, Meta and many more.

Average Annual Salary of Software Engineer/Architect in Different Countries*
USA $ 1,75,000
UK £ 85,000
Canada $1,50,000
Australia $1,55,000
France € 65,000
India ₹ 25-30 L 

7. Investment Banker

Investment banking is one of the best paid jobs in the world for the responsibility and amount of critical thinking that comes with it, for companies largely depend on investment bankers with their money. Investment bankers are financial advisors who act as middlemen between companies and investors. They help companies raise capital, typically by issuing stock or bonds, and can also advise on mergers, acquisitions, and other financial transactions. In short, they deal with the financial wheeling and dealing of businesses.

What do Investment Bankers do: Investment bankers act as financial advisors for corporations and governments, playing a key role in helping them raise capital and navigate complex financial transactions. They also help companies raise money by issuing new stock (equity) in a process called an Initial Public Offering (IPO) or selling bonds (debt) to investors. They handle the entire process, from valuing the company to marketing the securities to potential buyers. 

How to Become an Investment Banker: To be the highest earning investment banker one must get a bachelor's degree in finance, economics, business or a related field from prestigious universities. With this, one must develop strong analytical and financial modelling skills and do an internship at an investment bank. Additionally, doing an MBA will make you eligible for higher roles in the field. 

Experience Required: 0-3 years

Skills Required: Financial Modeling, Financial Analysis, Accounting Principles, Negotiation, Interpersonal Skills and a deep understanding of financial statements, valuation techniques, and economic trends.

Top Companies: Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Evercore, PJT Partners and Moelis & Company. 

Average Annual Salary of Investment Banker in Different Countries*
USA $ 1,50,000 - 2,56,000
UK £ 75,000
Canada $1,10,000
Australia $1,45,000
France € 1,15,000
India ₹ 15-20 L 

8. Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineering is one of the best paid jobs in the world due to the unique mix of tasks that petroleum engineers do. Their expertise in extracting oil and gas from difficult environments is globally in demand, the work can be dangerous and requires long hours, and they possess a rare skillset for solving complex technical challenges in this crucial energy sector.

What do Petroleum Engineers do: Usually the highest paid, Petroleum engineers are the masterminds behind finding and extracting oil and gas resources. They combine their knowledge of geology with engineering principles to design and oversee drilling operations. Petroleum engineers analyse data to pinpoint promising underground reservoirs, then plan and implement efficient extraction methods. These engineers also maximise production from existing wells and ensure safe and environmentally responsible practices throughout the process.

How to become a Petroleum Engineer: To become a petroleum engineer, one needs to have a strong background knowledge in science and Maths. You will need a bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering or a closely related field like chemical or mechanical engineering to be eligible for the petroleum engineering role. Practical experience is a major plus, so look for internship opportunities with oil and gas companies. However, after graduation, some employers may require passing a professional engineering licensure exam. 

Experience Required: 2-4 years

Top Skills: Data Analysis and Problem-Solving, geosciences, reservoir engineering, and drilling technology, for reservoir simulation, wellbore planning, production optimisation, etc.

Top Companies: Exxon Mobil, Shell, Chevron, Saudi Aramco, Halliburton, Baker Hughes, etc.

Average Annual Salary of Petroleum Engineers in Different Countries*
USA $ 1,35,000 
UK £ 65,000
Canada $1,20,000
Australia $1,35,000
France € 85,000
India ₹ 10-15 L 

9. Corporate Lawyer

Corporate lawyers are the guardians of business legality, ensuring companies operate within the law. They advise on everything from mergers and acquisitions to navigating complex regulations. They draft contracts, handle intellectual property matters, and represent clients in legal disputes. Essentially, corporate lawyers help businesses run smoothly by mitigating legal risks and ensuring compliance, indeed one of the highest paid professions for a reason!

What do the Corporate Lawyers do: Corporate lawyers act as the legal backbone of businesses, advising them on a wide range of matters to ensure smooth operations and legal compliance. They draft and review contracts, navigate complex regulations, and represent companies in mergers and acquisitions. The expertise of corporate lawyers also extends to intellectual property protection, ensuring a company's ideas and innovations are safeguarded. When legal disputes arise, corporate lawyers act as advocates, representing their clients in court or negotiating settlements.

How to become Corporate Lawyers: To be a corporate lawyer, one of the highest paying jobs in the world, one must get a bachelor's degree in any major, but business or economics can provide a strong foundation. Next, you will need to excel on a law exam and secure admission to a reputable law school. After law school, passing the bar exam in your desired jurisdiction is mandatory to practice law. Finally, gaining experience through internships or entry-level positions at law firms or corporate legal departments will solidify your qualifications and prepare you for a thriving career in corporate law.

Experience Required: 5-6 years

Top Skills: Corporate Law, Contract Law, Relevant Regulations, Analytical Skills, Business Operations, Corporate Communications, etc.  

Top Companies: Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, Investment banks, Government Agencies, Corporations, etc.

Average Annual Salary of Petroleum Engineer in Different Countries*
USA $ 1,75,000 
UK £ 95,000
Canada $1,25,000
Australia $1,15,000
France € 85,000
India ₹ 10-15 L 

10. Professional Athlete (Top Earners)

Professional athletes are the elite performers of the sports world. Through years of intense training and dedication, they hone their skills and compete at the highest level. They may play for teams in leagues like the NBA, NFL, or FIFA. Their careers involve gruelling competition schedules, maintaining peak physical conditions, and adhering to strict training regimens. Beyond the game, professional athletes often act as role models, inspiring fans and endorsing products. 

What do Professional Athletes do: To be a professional athlete, one must dedicate oneself to excelling in their chosen sport. Their days must revolve around rigorous training regimens to maintain peak physical condition, honing their skills through drills and practice sessions, and strategising with coaches and teammates. During competitive seasons, they travel extensively to participate in games, constantly striving for victory while performing under immense pressure. Beyond the physical demands, professional athletes must also manage their mental well-being and stay focused throughout their careers.

How to be a Professional Athlete: The journey to becoming a professional athlete may start from dedication from a young age. Many start by developing a passion for a particular sport in childhood, followed by years of honing their skills through regular practice, drills, and potentially joining competitive teams. Talent is crucial, but discipline, perseverance, and a strong work ethic are essential for reaching elite levels. 

Experience Required: 8-10 years

Skills Required: Technical skills for a particular sport, Speed and Agility, Endurance, Strength and Power, Hand-Eye Coordination, Balance and Flexibility, etc. 

Top Companies: Sports Teams, Brand Endorsements and Sponsorships, Media and Entertainment, etc.

Average Annual Salary of Petroleum Engineer in Different Countries*
USA $ 75,000 
UK £ 23,000
Canada $55,000
Australia $85,000
France € 32,000
India ₹ 8-15 L

*Note:- The above-average salaries for each profession have been sourced from trustworthy international job sites such as Payscale, Glassdoor, Indeed, Salary.com, Seek, NHS, Medscape, Reed, Adzuna, Robert Half, Michael Page, The Finance Bar, Law Society, Forbes and Sporting News.

Also Read: Top 10 Part-time Jobs for Students Abroad


How to Earn the Highest Paying Jobs in the World?

There is no guaranteed path to earning the "highest paying jobs in the world" as it depends on several factors and personal preferences. However, below are some strategies to increase your chances of landing a well-paying and fulfilling career:

  1. Focus on in-demand skills: Without some relevant skills, you cannot get one of the highest paying jobs in the world. Even after you learn those skills, you will have to practice regularly to be proficient in those skills. Research fields like technology, healthcare, renewable energy, and AI are experiencing high demand and projecting job growth. Learn skills relevant to these sectors, focusing on areas like data analysis, cybersecurity, coding, renewable energy engineering, or healthcare specialisations.
  2. Stay updated: Continuously learn and upskill yourself to stay relevant in the dynamic job market. Take online courses, attend workshops, and stay informed about industry trends.
  3. Connect with professionals: Build relationships with people in your desired field through professional networking events, online communities, or your current network.
  4. Seek mentors: Find mentors who can guide you, share their experience, and offer career advice.
  5. Utilise online platforms: Use professional networking platforms like LinkedIn to connect with recruiters and showcase your skills.

Source: Shiksha Study Abroad