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The Highest-Paying Job in Every State

It doesn't matter if you're a recent college graduate or a workforce seasoned pro looking to make a major career change, everyone wants to make a good living.

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What is the highest paying job?

The highest paying jobs in America are in the health and medical field. Although it takes quite a bit of schooling to get the degree and then the job, it could be worth it since these jobs are high paying careers. Click on to see the highest paying job in each state. Some of these positions are also careers that could make you a millionaire before you retire.

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highest paying jobs
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Having good teeth is important; some would even go as far as to argue that a smile is the most important feature on someone’s face. If you want to make people smile by giving them pearly whites, consider becoming an orthodontist. An orthodontist is the highest-paying job in Iowa and Massachusetts, with average annual salaries ranging around $260,000 to $290,000, according to GoBankingRates.com. In fact, the highest paying job overall is orthodontists who make $290,000.  You better like school though, because this highest paying job takes ten-plus years: Four years of undergrad followed by four years of dental school along with two to three years of orthodontic residency. And then after residency, you have to pass the written portion of the American Board of Orthodontics exam before you can even practice. You should note that an orthodontist and a dentist are different. An orthodontist is a specialty within the field of dentistry that corrects bites and straightens teeth, i.e. braces, while dentists focus on overall oral hygiene. All orthodontists are dentists, but not all dentists are orthodontists. Jobs in the healthcare industry can be stressful.

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Simply put, a surgeon performs surgical operations, however, not all surgeons and surgeries are the same; according to the American College of Surgeons (ACOS) there are 14 surgical specialties, including cardiothoracic surgery, neurological surgery, and plastic and maxillofacial surgery. “A general surgeon is a specialist who is trained to manage a broad spectrum of surgical conditions affecting almost any area of the body,” ACOS says. Of course, the salary of a surgeon depends on specialty and location, but you can definitely expect at least $250,000 each year. The states where surgeons are the highest paying job are Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, and Virginia. If you’d rather take a less traditional route, check out the most unusual high paying jobs.

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If you’re heading to Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, or Wyoming and looking the highest paying job, consider being an internist—you’ll make about a cool $250,000 to $275,000 each year. But what is an internist you ask? The American College of Physicians defines an internist or internal medicine physicians as “specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment, and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness.” Internists can basically do it all. Like most other doctors, internists have to go through years of schooling, then even after the completion of medical school internists have to complete three to seven years of internship and residency programs. These high paying careers might have great salaries, but not many of them are considered recession-proof careers.

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Many people may think that an anesthesiologist is responsible for just putting people to sleep before a surgery. They come in right before the surgery starts, put you under, and then wake you up and are done, right? Actually, no, there’s actually a lot more to it than that. The American Society of Anesthesiologists says, “anesthesiologists serve a central role in the operating room, making decisions to protect and regulate your critical life functions. They typically are the first to diagnose and treat any medical problems that may arise during surgery or the recovery period.” Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and West Vermont all list anesthesiologists as racking in the biggest yearly salary—making it the highest paying job in 17 different states. In the future, maybe one of these cool jobs you could have will pay even more.

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Obstetrician and gynecologist

If you love all things women’s health related, and the idea of bringing new babies into this world makes you giddy, you may want to look into being a gynecologist and obstetrician. The highest paying job in Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Wisconsin pays a yearly salary ranging from $256,00 to $287,000. While obstetricians and gynecologists both focus on the female reproductive system, obstetricians provide treatment for pregnant women before and after birth. Helping bring life into the world is such a life-changing job, which is a bit unlike these weird jobs you didn’t know you could apply for.

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If your sights are set on becoming a psychiatrist, you might want to pack your flip flops and go to Hawaii. This is the only state where psychiatrists rake in the most money. In Hawaii, these doctors make around $269,800 per year, making it the highest paying job in the Aloha State, per GoBakingRates.com. While living in a tropical paradise may sound enticing, you should know that the cost of living in Hawaii is very high. Hawaii is one of the top 10 most expensive states to live in 2019, CNBC reports. If salary isn’t the most important factor in choosing your career, you might want to think about demand, instead. Job security is very strong for these most in-demand jobs for 2020.