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Highest paying jobs in the world

Different jobs motivate people for different reasons. Some look for rewarding careers for altruistic motives – regardless of the pay (teachers and nurses, anyone?). Others follow their dreams in business and medicine that see them well rewarded for their work. A lucrative salary means you have the skills that take years to acquire. Well, not always. Not every job on this list needs you to have a university degree.

While medicine and management hit the top of the list a directional driller does pretty well! They are in high demand in the energy sector, drilling for gas and oil across the world. Air traffic controllers and construction managers did well too. Neither of these jobs need a university degree but you will need training.

In the digital age, working with software development pays well. Wages are growing in the IT industry as the demand for new services and applications grows. And, a technical writer finds endless streams of work to document new systems and products.
All these jobs are growing in demand and wages in Australia.

Let’s take a look at the highest paying jobs in the world.


It is not surprising surgeon’s hit the top of the list across the world. Apart from the training as a doctor, there are the years of training a specialist. Like a cardiothoracic surgeon who takes care of your heart. They have advanced knowledge of automated techniques using robots and update their skills as technology changes. The average salary is $350,000 up to $560,000 a year. There are shortfalls in surgeons trained in cardiothoracic surgery. Western Australia and New South Wales are two states facing skill shortages with the current workforce aging.

Chief executive officer

Chief executive officers across the world earn more than $350,000 a year. They are leaders and make strategic decisions and plans to grow organisations. This is a high-stress job the weight of accountability resting on their shoulders. While the pay scale is high so are the responsibilities and long hours. It is their job to lead the rest of the team to ensure staff follows the strategic plans to reach company goals. You need a degree in business management. You also need a solid management background to work as a chief executive officer.



Working as a psychiatrist is another high paying job. They get highly paid for listening to others’ problems. But, it is not that simple. It takes up to 7 years to specialise in this area of medicine. You help people with mental disorders like depression and anything else in this area. This is one of the highest paying jobs in the world at up to $85 an hour or $300,000 a year.

Air Traffic Controller

Turn your love of flying into a career as an air traffic controller. You direct air traffic and issue weather alerts. Directing air traffic safely through the air and down to earth again can earn you up to $191,000 a year. This is a high-pressure situation with the life of others in your hands. You need to make accurate split-second decisions.
Depending on the position, you may need to hold a university degree or training from air traffic control school. You need to know the regulations and safety procedures for controlling Australia’s air traffic.


Dentists are in high demand across the world. They perform an important job looking after the world’s dental hygiene. Dentists treat problems with people’s mouths, gums, and teeth. They can specialise in different areas such as working with children. A dentist fills cavities and repairs broken teeth as well as organising dentures. In Australia, dentists earn up to $190,000 a year.

Construction Manager

Construction managers are in high demand across the world. Bridges, buildings and roads are built all over the world. You need to be ethical and make decisions on the run. Many people start out as construction workers. You need to be a good communicator to manage budgets, staff, and subcontractors. Purchasing good quality items at a good price is no mean feat within tight budgets. And, meeting deadlines and keeping a project on track are important skills. This is a high-pressure job that can earn you $189,000 a year.

Software Development Manager

When software is your thing there are a lot of high paying jobs across the world. A software development manager develops and designs new software systems for business, medical, military and scientific facilities. You need a high degree of technical expertise and a degree in computer science or similar. A software development manager earns around $171,000 a year.

Directional driller

Directional drillers earn up to $170,000 a year drilling for oil and gas. This is a physically demanding job where you handle the drilling machinery. You may get a position without any drilling experience. But you will need experience with power tools and be fit for heavy lifting on a daily basis. Being a team player is a must and you may have to travel for work.

Software architect

A software architect develops software solutions for organisations.  for organisations. They create new software solutions like databases and web services for end users. They follow up with users to fix any bugs to make sure the software and program work as intended. Software architects have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar area. You may even need a master’s degree to work for some employers. Software architects have intimate knowledge of different operating systems as well as programming languages. In these days of technology, software architects are growing in demand. They currently earn $162,000 a year, but this could go up with a shortage of skills in Australia.

Technical Writer

Technical writers are in high demand across the world to document new innovations. Someone needs to write how they work and how to maintain them. New software, systems, and products needs accurate, usable information to support them. Many technical writers have work experience that makes them a subject matter expert.  Research is another important skill for a technical writer. They earn $130,000 or more a year.

With dedication, hard work and motivation you can make one of the highest paying jobs in the world your career. Good luck!