How to Win the Battle for the Best Paying Jobs

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Ken Chase, Freelance Writer

6 min read

How to Win the Battle for the Best Paying Jobs

There are very few people in the world who ever start their career with the idea of making as little money as possible - and for good reason! Modern life can be extremely costly. With that in mind, most people seek out the best paying jobs available to them, in hopes of securing the compensation they need to meet their life goals. Of course, that also means that there’s always a lot of competition for those great paying jobs. So, how can you win that battle?

In this post, we’ll look at some of the highest paying jobs in various industries throughout the United States, to give you an idea of the types of high-paying careers that are available. We’ll also provide some reliable steps you can take to ensure that you have what it takes to win the battle for the best paying jobs.

Best paying jobs in health care

As we noted in a recent article, Charting Your Career Path: 20 of the Highest Paid Jobs in the U.S., most of the best paying jobs in the United States are found in the healthcare industry. That includes Cardiologists, Anesthesiologists, Orthopedic Surgeons, Emergency Room Physicians, and Radiologists - all of whom lay claim to median salaries that exceed $300,000. Other healthcare professionals can easily earn more than $200,000 a year, including Psychiatrists, Family Doctors, and Neurologists.

Best paying jobs in finance

The financial industry is another sector that contains many of the best paying jobs in the U.S. For example:

  • Compliance Officers can earn more than $70,000 a year

  • Accountants earn a median salary of roughly $77,000 each year

  • Actuaries are responsible for calculating risk and potential expenses, and command a median annual salary of about $105,000

  • Financial Analysts enjoy a median salary of $81,000 per year

  • Financial Advisors can earn a median salary of more than $94,000 a year, while Financial Managers command salaries of more than $130,000

Best paying jobs in basic industries

Of course, there are many other high-paying jobs in various industries throughout the U.S. Some of the best paying jobs in basic industries include chief executive (CEO) positions, which have a median salary of more than $180,000 a year. Airline Pilots enjoy a median annual salary of more than $147,000, which is only slightly more than the compensation received by Computer and Information Systems Managers, and managers in the architecture and engineering fields. Meanwhile, the median annual salary for a Sales Manager is more than $126,000.

Steps you can take to win the battle for the best paying jobs

Of course, the real question remains: how can you win the battle to secure one of those high paying positions? To be honest, it’s rarely easy - but that should be expected. After all, almost everything worth having in life requires at least some effort. With that in mind, here are some of the best steps you can take to put yourself on the path to landing one of the best paying jobs.

1.      Become an expert in your current position

Whether you want a raise in pay or a better job, there’s no substitute for establishing yourself as an expert in your field. Learn your current job backwards and forwards, study your industry, and work daily to provide value to your customers and employer. Remember, compensation is always related to the perceived value you can bring to any company. Developing real expertise can be the surest path to higher pay and career success.

2.      Stay focused on improving and expanding your skill set

If your quest to get one of the best paying jobs requires any sort of change in career or job role, chances are you will need new or improved skills to achieve your goals. You can prepare for that need by focusing on improving your existing skill set now. What job do you want? What education or training is needed to qualify for that position? Do your homework, figure out which skills you need, and create a workable plan to develop those abilities.

3.      Relentlessly network

While estimates vary, most experts believe that somewhere between 70-85% of all jobs are found through networking. Even if the number is actually half that estimate, one thing is clear: you need to be actively building and cultivating your own network if you’re serious about landing a high-paying job. Learn how to network and how to leverage those connections to identify the best paying jobs as they become available.

4.      Seek new responsibilities

It is also vital to step outside of your comfort zone. Look for additional responsibility that you can take on in your current job, so that you can continue to push yourself to learn new skills and develop as an employee and a person. Remember that each of those new responsibilities could represent another experience or achievement that can enhance your resume.

5.      Be alert to internal promotion opportunities

You should also be aware of all of the possible promotion opportunities within your own organization. Many companies would prefer to promote from within, so let your supervisors know that you’re interested in moving up in the company. They may even be able to provide you with guidance and advice to help you ensure that you learn the skills you need for a promotion.

6.      Keep your resume updated

Finally, never stop updating your resume. When the best paying jobs come available, the competition to fill them is almost always intense. You should always have an updated document on hand, so that you can quickly tailor your resume for the job and get your name into contention as soon as possible.


The battle for the best paying jobs can sometimes seem overwhelming. Fortunately, there are things you can do to better position yourself for the high-compensation job you want. By identifying the right job for your skill set and goals and learning how to properly prepare for that next step in your career path, you can increase the odds of landing a job that meets your salary goals.

Need help making sure that your resume is compelling enough to help you land one of the best paying jobs? Get your free resume review from our team of experts today!

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Written by

Ken Chase, Freelance Writer

During Ken's two decades as a freelance writer, he has covered everything from banking and fintech to business management and the entertainment industry. His true passion, however, has always been focused on helping others achieve their career goals with timely job search and interview advice or the occasional resume consultation. When he's not working, Ken can usually be found adventuring with family and friends or playing fetch with his demanding German Shepherd. Read more resume advice from Ken on ZipJob’s blog.

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