America's 11 highest-paying careers

  • iStockphoto

    Many Americans may feel as if they can't get ahead after years of stagnating income for the middle class. The good news is that high-paying jobs are available, but the bad news is that many of them require specialized skills and in some cases years of training.

    Money is often the top factor when job hunters are on the prowl for a new position or career. But even so, salaries shouldn't be the only consideration, given that the biggest factors in whether workers are happy in their jobs turn out to be career opportunities, company culture and trust in senior leadership, said Scott Dobroski, career trends analyst at employment site Glassdoor.

    The top-paying jobs in America tend to cluster in three categories, Glassdoor found: technology, finance and health care. While some require extensive training and graduate school, others can be found after taking classes or learning skills in technology, such as data science or computer programming.

    "Seven in 10 of us look at salaries as the main factor before we determine where to work," Dobroski said. "If you're in college and determining where to work and want to make a lot of money, these are the jobs carrying the heftiest pay checks."

    Still, he noted that money isn't everything. Job satisfaction is also important, and many people are driven by the desire to make a difference in the world through jobs such as social work or teaching, occupations that don't traditionally include big paychecks.

    Since the median household income in the U.S. stands at about $54,000, all of the most lucrative careers offer considerably more than many Americans currently earn.

    Read on to learn more about the 11 top-paying careers in America.