The 15 highest-paying jobs for doctors

Surgeons are among the highest paid doctors.

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Surgeons are among the highest paid doctors.
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Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

We tend to assume everyone sporting a lab coat and stethoscope is bringing home the big bucks – and that’s certainly more true for doctors in some medical specialties than it is for doctors in others.

For instance, the average optometrist makes $119,980 a year, while the average surgeon earns double that.

Here are the top 15 highest-paying jobs for medical doctors, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:


15. Optometrists

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Optometrists treat eyes.
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David Bruce Jr./flickr

Average annual income: $119,980

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +27%

What they do: Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system; diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes; and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to patients.


14. Podiatrists

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Podiatrists treat feet.
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Consumerist Dot Com/flickr

Average annual income: $148,220

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: Podiatrists provide medical care for people with foot, ankle, and lower-leg problems; they diagnose illnesses; treat injuries; and perform surgery involving the lower extremities.


13. General dentists

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Dentists treat teeth.
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Scott Olson/Getty

Average annual income: $175,840

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +18%

What they do: Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth. They also provide advice for taking care of the teeth and gums.


12. Dentists (all other specialists)

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Dentist care for teeth.
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Flickr / Herry Lawford

Average annual income: $178,800

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +18%

What they do: “All other specialists” are dentists who are not listed separately.


11. General pediatricians

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Pediatricians treat children.
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Army Medicine/flickr

Average annual income: $183,240

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: Pediatricians diagnose, treat, and help prevent children’s diseases and injuries.


10. Prosthodontists

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Prosthodontists replace missing teeth.
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Partha S. Sahana/flickr

Average annual income: $191,400

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +18%

What they do: Prosthodontists construct oral prostheses to replace missing teeth and other oral structures to correct deformations of the mouth and jaws.


9. General internists

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Internists care for internal organs.
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Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Average annual income: $196,490

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: General internists diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems.


8. Physicians or surgeons (all other)

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Surgeons perform a total knee arthroplasty operation in an operating room at the Ambroise Pare hospital in Marseille
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Thomson Reuters

Average annual income: $203,880

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: “All other” physicians and surgeons are those not listed separately. They typically provide medical care and/or perform surgical procedures on patients.


7. Family and general practitioners

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General practitioners diagnose and treat patients.
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COM SALUD/flickr

Average annual income: $211,780

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: Family and general practitioners diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population.


6. Psychiatrists

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Psychiatrists treat mental disorders.
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DoD News Features/flickr

Average annual income: $220,380

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, and help prevent disorders of the mind.


5. Orthodontists

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Orthodontists fix teeth anomalies.
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Wonderlane/flickr

Average annual income: $225,760

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +18%

What they do: Orthodontists examine, diagnose, and treat dental misalignments and oral-cavity anomalies; and design and fabricate appliances to realign teeth and jaws.


4. Obstetricians and gynecologists

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Obstetricians care for pregnant women.
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Daniel Lobo/flickr

Average annual income: $238,320

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: Obstetricians and gynecologists provide medical care related to pregnancy or childbirth, and diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases that affect women, particularly those affecting the reproductive system.


3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

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Maxillofacial surgeons treat mouths.
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DoD News Features/flickr

Average annual income: $242,370

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +18%

What they do: Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform surgery and related procedures on the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions to treat diseases, injuries, or defects.


2. Surgeons

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Surgeons perform surgery.
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Phalinn Ooi/flickr

Average annual income: $255,110

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: Surgeons treat diseases, injuries, and deformities by invasive, minimally invasive, or noninvasive surgical methods, such as using instruments, appliances, or by manual manipulation.


1. Anesthesiologists

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Anesthesiologists put patients to sleep.
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ChaNaWiT/Shutterstock

Average annual income: $267,020

Growth outlook (2014-2024): +14%

What they do: Anesthesiologists administer anesthetics prior to, during, or after surgery, or other medical procedures.