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Many factors go into how much one can earn practicing law, including location and industry focus. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for lawyers is $112,760, with a median hourly wage of $54.21. Attorneys working in state government earn, on average, $82,190 annually, whereas those working in petroleum and coal manufacturing earn an estimated $208,410 annually.
However, if law is of no interest to you, here are seven other professions in which you could earn more than the average lawyer:
1. Computer and information-technology systems manager: Plan, direct or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis and computer programming.
Median salary: $115,780
Median hourly wage: $55.67
2. Petroleum engineer: Devise methods to improve oil and gas extraction and production and determine the need for new or modified tool designs. Oversee drilling and offer technical advice.
Median salary: $114,080
Median hourly wage: $54.85
3. Dentist: Examine, diagnose and treat diseases, injuries and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp and other dental tissues affecting oral health and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.
Median salary: $141,040
Median hourly wage: $67.81
4. Anesthesiologist: Physicians who administer anesthetics before, during or after surgery or other medical procedures.
Median salary: greater than $166,400
Median hourly wage: greater than $80.00
5. Chief executive: Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private- and public-sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct or coordinate operations at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.
Median salary: $165,080
Median hourly wage: $79.37
6. Natural sciences manager: Plan, direct or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics and statistics, or research and development in these fields.
Median salary: $116,020
Median hourly wage: $55.78
7. Architectural and engineering manager: Plan, direct or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering, or research and development in these fields.
Median salary: $119,260
Median hourly wage: $57.34
Data and descriptions provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Justin Thompson is a writer and blogger for CareerBuilder.com and its job blog, The Work Buzz. He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
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