Research Outline

Jobs Earning $100k+ Per Year


To find and evaluate the top jobs earning more than $100,000 per year in order to compare the education and startup costs, as well as the hours worked weekly, for each. "Top" is defined as highest earning. Examples of the types of jobs that could be included are doctors, lawyers, engineers, therapists, and dentists. Provide the following information for each job: 1) annual salary, 2) education requirements (total number of years), 3) average cost of education, 4) average startup costs (includes licensure, fees, equipment, and how much it costs to start a practice), and 5) an approximation of how long it would take to pay off any loans and start earning a profit.

Early Findings

Initial research indicates that the highest-earning jobs are in the following fields: healthcare, business, engineering, and human resources. Specialty physicians dominate this list with physicians in general earning roughly $203,880 per year.


  • Anesthesiologists earn an average of $267,020 per year.
  • General surgeons earn an average annual salary of $267,020.
  • Oral and maxillofacial surgeons earn $242,370 each year.
  • Obstetricians and gynecologists earn an average of $238,320 per year.
  • Orthodontists earn an average annual salary of $225,760.
  • Psychiatrists earn $220,380 each year.
  • Family and general practice physicians earn an average of $211,780 each year.
  • Chief executives (CEOs) earn $200,140 every year.
  • Internal medicine physicians earn an average annual salary of $196,490.
  • Prosthodontists earn an average of $191,400 each year.


  • Pediatricians
  • Dentists
  • Nurse anesthetists
  • Pilots and flight engineers
  • Petroleum engineers
  • Information systems managers
  • Podiatrists
  • Architecture and engineer managers
  • Marketing managers
  • Financial managers
  • Attorneys
  • Sales managers
  • Natural sciences managers
  • Compensation and benefits managers


  • Anesthesiologists are the top-earning professionals as of 2019. They administer anesthetic drugs to patients either before or after surgery and other medical procedures.
  • Education requirements include four years of undergraduate studies, four years of medical school, and four years of a medical residency for a total of 12 years.
  • It costs approximately $320,000 to become an anesthesiologist, although costs will vary based on which institutions are attended.
  • Most medical school debt repayment plans last for a period of ten years post-residency.
  • The average number of hours anesthesiologists work per week will vary based on whether they work for a medical group or run a private practice. Those employed by medical groups average 45 hours per week, while those running a private practice can work upwards of 80 hours per week.
  • Further research is required to determine startup costs for starting a private practice.