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The 10 best and worst paying jobs in America 2017

Forbes logo Forbes 6/22/2017 Jeff Kauflin, Forbes Staff

The 10 Best-Paying Jobs In America 2017: <p>Year after year, doctors take home the biggest paychecks in America. This year is no different, according to <a href="https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nat.htm#00-0000">data</a> from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forbes looked at the National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from the BLS to find the best and worst-paying jobs in the country as of May 2017. The data covers all industries in urban, suburban and rural areas, but excludes jobs that people don’t typically work at full-time or year-round, such as actors, dancers and musicians.</p> The 10 best-paying jobs in America 2017 Click through the gallery above to see the 10 best paying jobs in America.

Year after year, doctors take home the biggest paychecks in America. This year is no different, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forbes looked at the National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates from the BLS to find the best and worst-paying jobs as of May 2017. The data covers all industries in urban, suburban and rural areas, but excludes jobs that people don’t typically work in full-time or year-round, such as actors, dancers and musicians.

To see the top 10 earners, open the gallery above. For the worst-paying jobs, see the end of this post.

Doctors dominate the top 10, with a near sweep but for one exception. In particular, anesthesiologists earn the most, with an average salary of $269,600. The job involves taking care of patients’ safety during surgery and trying to prevent any pain or distress, according to the Hospital of Special Surgery . And how many anesthesiologists are there in the country? Slightly more than 30,000. Surgeons rank second in earning power, taking home slightly less at $252,910, followed by obstetricians and gynecologists.

If you’ve ever had braces, you might be intrigued to hear that orthodontists rank fifth on the list, earning $228,780 on average. Yet there’s only one-sixth as many orthodontists as anesthesiologists in the country. Chief executive ranks tenth on the list, making it the only non-medical gig to crack the top 10.

Given the lofty salaries of the best-paying jobs, you might guess that middle-of-the-pack pay in the U.S. is near $50,000 or $75,000. But it’s actually lower. Median compensation is $37,040, and the top-earning 10% of all Americans make $94,540 or more.

Median wages for all workers© Median wages for all workers Median wages for all workers

Among the 10 lowest-earning jobs, half are in food services. Food preparation and serving workers make the least, at $20,460 on average. (The reason this number doesn’t mathematically align with the graphic above is because it’s an average, and the numbers above are medians .) There are more than 3.4 million food preparation and serving workers in America, or about four times as many as all of the 10 best-paying jobs combined.

Fast food cooks make the second-least, followed by shampooers and dishwashers. Other occupations falling in the bottom ranks include cashiers, gaming dealers, and amusement park attendants.

The 10 Worst-Paying Jobs in America

  1. Combined Food Preparation and Serving Workers, Including Fast Food
    - Number of jobs: 3,426,090
    - Average salary: $20,460
  2. Cooks, Fast Food
    - Number of jobs: 513,200
    - Average salary: $20,570
  3. Shampooers
    - Number of jobs: 15,240
    - Average salary: $20,960
  4. Dishwashers
    - Number of jobs: 506,450
    - Average salary: $21,260
  5. Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop
    - Number of jobs: 499,550
    - Average salary: $21,380
  6. Hosts and Hostesses, Restaurant, Lounge, and Coffee Shop
    - Number of jobs: 404,360
    - Average salary: $21,410
  7. Cashiers
    - Number of jobs: 3,541,010
    - Average salary: $21,680
  8. Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers
    - Number of jobs: 117,920
    - Average salary: $21,740
  9. Gaming Dealers
    - Number of jobs: 94,570
    - Average salary: $21,990
  10. Amusement and Recreation Attendants
    - Number of jobs: 286,740
    - Average salary: $22,000 

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