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Top 10 Highest Paid Careers in America Include Law

Top 10 Highest Paid Careers in America Include Law

A career in law is a lot of work, but it is also a career that has a high reward for those who achieve their goals. According to a joint report by CNN and Money Magazine, lawyers rank as the number four career on the list of the Top 10 Highest-Paying Careers, and as number 37 out of the top 50 jobs in America. The only careers consistently more highly paid than lawyers are Chief Executives at number one (and many CEOs are attorneys themselves), surgeons, and oral surgeons.

You may be asking, how come lawyers are the fourth highest paid career but only ranked at 37 on the top 50 list? There are a number of reasons, but the most major of these is the level of stress and the skewed work-life balance associated with a career in the legal field. The truth of the matter is that a career as an attorney is not for everyone, but for those hard-working, dedicated, analytical individuals who possess the traits to succeed as a lawyer, the world of law will have plenty to give back in return.

Salary Expectations

According to the CNN and Money Magazine study, the average pay for a lawyer is $153,923. 75% of people working as attorneys make more than $110,000 in salary and $118,000 in total compensation (including bonuses). 50% of people working as attorneys make more than $130,000 in salary and $144,000 in total compensation. 25% make more than $148,000 in salary and $178,000 in total compensation. The top 5% of lawyers make more than $581,000 in salary and bonuses.

Annual job growth for lawyers is around 20,000 jobs, with more than 800,000 people projected to work as attorneys in 2014.

Job Satisfaction

Despite the high pay, job satisfaction is not at its highest for the law profession; in fact, it is about average. The aforementioned work-life balance issues are the most common negative; many lawyers work more than 50 hours a week, with attorneys in some positions working as many as 70 hours or more.

For those who can find the right mix of work and life outside of work while maintaining success in a legal career, though, it can be one of the best options among all of the career areas available in the United States.


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