Average Wage: $92,080
This job is not just well-paying, but fast-growing: The BLS predicts employment for software developers should grow by 30 percent by 2020, to meet burgeoning demand for more computer systems and applications (to be created and maintained) across various industries. The field is competitive, requires specialized training, and usually mandates working more than 40 hours a week. But the skills and sacrifices are rewarded with an average salary of $92,080.
13. Web Developer
Average Wage: $81,670
A good developer understands a Web user's browsing habits and uses that to design functional, informative, and aesthetically pleasing websites. The position requires creative chops, but ample analytical skills as well, not to mention a command for various computer languages. The multifaceted job description ensures a lucrative salary, with the BLS reporting that Web developers earned about $81,670 in 2011.
Average Wage: $93,900
So-called "blue-collar professions" don't equate to bill-paying blues. For example, the managers who coordinate, budget, and supervise the daily activities of a construction project earn somewhere between $50,000 and $150,000. The average salary for a construction manager in 2011 was $93,900, according to the BLS.
Average Wage: $142,740
Dentist is our No. 1 job of 2013. Partly due to a low unemployment rate. Partly due to projected growth this decade. And definitely due to astronomical salary. As in other medical jobs, a dentist's pay can fluctuate based on experience, location, specialty, and hours worked. Still, the BLS reports that those who diagnose and treat oral problems earned an average $142,740 in 2011. Towns in North Carolina and Texas particularly compensate dentists well.
Average Wage: $183,170
It's a gross overestimation that all physicians are rolling in dough, since the pay scale in this field is affected by experience, reputation, geography, specialty, and even personality. Still, most medical doctors earn good salaries. The BLS reports that internists made an average salary of $183,170 in 2011. Anesthesiologists, general surgeons, and obstetricians often earn salaries greater than $250,000 a year.
17. IT Manager
Average Wage: $125,660
We're a society dependent on technology. It influences how we work and what we work on, and if it fails, so does our productivity. It's understandable that the person who triages our technical problems and maintains our computer systems, an IT manager, would be well-paid. In 2011, IT managers earned an average salary that was not only above $80,000, but above $120,000.
Average Wage: $83,550
This type of engineering elevates a mechanical device from conceptual to functional, and has duties that sometimes overlap with other engineering fields like aerospace, civil, electrical, and chemical. In 2011, the average mechanical engineer made $83,550, but those in this field have the potential to earn considerably more. Top-paying metro areas like Idaho Falls, Idaho, and Bloomington, Ill., pay their mechanical engineers $128,890 and $117,420, respectively.