Did your mother bug you about becoming a doctor or a lawyer when you grew up? That might have really annoyed you if you had your heart set on a career in something you felt passionate about but she may have been on to something.
You may say that tech executives earn the most and, perhaps they do but we're talking about the highest paid salaried professionals. Here is a list of 7 of the best paid jobs in the world that you can do and, surprise surprise, most are medical jobs.
7. Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers are the people who make sure that the airplane you are travelling on makes it to its destination safely and on time (well, as close to "on time" as they can).
Being an air traffic controller is actually a pretty challenging job. Air traffic controllers require very specialized skills and abilities. They have to be able to make really quick decisions based on a lot of information to make sure that all the aircraft in their areas of responsibility are where they need to be.
To be an air traffic controller you have to be very well organized, be able to make a series of calculations very quickly (develop those mathematics skills in school!), be decisive and remain calm under periods of tremendous stress.
For all the stress air traffic controllers are under, they are pretty well paid and average annual salaries are around $123,000.
Really good communication skills and excellent health are other very important qualities air traffic controllers must have. They can't make mistakes or misunderstand what pilots are saying to them.
6. Petroleum Engineers
The stuff petroleum engineers work with almost literally makes our economic world work and this makes them some of the highest paid professionals in the world.
Petroleum engineers focus on a number of activities that relate to the production of hydrocarbons which can include crude oil or natural gas. Along with earth scientists who explore possible gas and oil fields, petroleum engineers are essential to keeping Big Oil so profitable.
They focus on helping Big Oil companies make the most money possible from oil and gas reserves by estimating how much oil and gas their employers can recover using very detailed understandings of how oil, water and gas behave in different kinds of rock and under great pressure.
This is a highly skilled profession for which petroleum engineers are very well paid: $130,000 annually, on average.
As important as they are, petroleum engineers can find themselves without work as oil prices fluctuate but the going is pretty good while the prices are too.
You may not be a fan of your dental visits but your dentist is a highly trained professional whose job isn't to cause you pain but rather to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases in your mouth.
Dentists have to complete a series of challenging courses in biology, chemistry, physics and even statistics and calculus to earn the right to treat your mouth.
Once qualified, they can carry out a number of dental treatments including crowns and bridges; orthodontics; endodontic treatments like root canal treatments and even forms of oral surgery.
Dentists earn annual salaries that average $146,000 for the valuable work they do. Some say every penny is well earned if you emerge from a checkup with no pain.
Dentists that want to do even more advanced procedures involving general anesthesia, implants and bigger surgeries have to earn more qualifications. You can bet they are paid even more for that.
Orthodontists are to dentists what specialist physicians and surgeons are to your family doctor. They are specialist mouth doctors that focus on abnormalities in your mouth.
Your experience with an orthodontist probably included braces or other orthodontics to correct your bite. You may have had braces or even a retainer.
Orthodontists were the first dentistry specialists and trained anywhere between two to four years after their dental studies to become Specialist Orthodontists. When they finish their studies, they emerge as even more capable and skilled medical professionals.
For their hard work and skill, orthodontists earn an average annual salary of $149,310.
Not all of your pain is physical and can be healed with a bandage. Psychiatrists specializes in diagnosing and treating mental disorders.
Psychiatrists are medical doctors who evaluate patients and determine if they have a purely physical condition, a purely psychiatric disorder or a combination of both. They then treat psychiatric disorders using various treatments including medication and psychotherapy.
Psychiatrists have a number of subspecialities which include clinical neurophysiology; child and adolescent psychiatry; addiction psychiatry and even forensic psychiatry. Their annual salaries average $179,000.
Famous psychiatrists include Carl Jung; Sigmund Freud; Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and Ivan Pavlov.
Your family doctor is the second highest paid person in the world. Physicians, or doctors, promote, maintain or restore human health by studying, diagnosing and treating diseases, injuries and other ailments.
Physicians can remain general practitioners or they can specialize in specific types of diseases and conditions or people. Your family doctor is probably an example of a general practitioner.
As you probably saw on the popular TV show "Grey's Anatomy", doctors undergo years of rigorous education and stressful training to earn the right to treat you for a variety of ailments. For thie, they earn an average annual salary of $187,200.
Doctors have a duty to serve as role models for their patients and they tend to take better care of their health than most other people.
A long time ago the professions of barber and surgeon were merged and these barber-surgeons once conducted battlefield surgeries using their hair cutting tools.
Fortunately these two professions split and surgeons became specialists in invasive medical treatments that include cutting into bodies to remove or repair damage to our bodies. Surgeons usually train even longer than other medical specialities and surgical specialities are numerous.
Surgeons conduct different types of surgeries ranging from elective surgeries which correct non-life-threatening conditions; to exploratory surgeries which are used to confirm a diagnosis to more invasive surgeries. New technologies offer less invasive means to treat problems which would have required drastic surgeries in the past but only place more demands on surgeons to learn new skills and be even more effective.
For all their skill and expertise, surgeons top our list with annual salaries of around $233,150. Well worth it, don't you think?