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Lawyers Ranked No. 5 for Best Pay; Doctors Top List

Posted Jul 3, 2012 11:28 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Being a lawyer is good-paying work, if you can get it.

Lawyers make an average of about $130,000 a year, making their profession one of the most highly paid in the country, according to recent 2011 data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. CNBC.com used the statistics to create a list of the nation’s top 15 paying occupations.

Lawyers were No. 5 on the list. The article notes the job requires advanced education and says the profession “isn’t the easiest industry to break into.” Here are the top five:

1) Doctors and surgeons, with an average salary ranging from $168,650 to $234,950.

2) Orthodontists and dentists, with an average salary ranging from $161,750 to $204,670.

3) Chief executive officers, with an average salary of $176,550.

4) Petroleum engineers, with an average salary of $138,980.

5) Lawyers, with an average salary of $130,490.

Listed at No. 15 is pharmacist, with an average salary of $112,160.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Law Profs, Judges Make List of Best Paying Lifestyle Jobs”

ABA Journal: “What America’s Lawyers Earn”

ABAJournal.com: “Law Firm Associate Salaries ‘in Stasis’; First-Year Median Is Still $115K, NALP Says”

ABAJournal.com: "Lawyers Make Up 6.2 Percent of the Nation’s Highest Earners"

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