Updating the Bureau of Labor Statistics' 2008 High-Paying Occupations
In coming up with a list of the top 10 paying jobs, we deemed it best to update the median salary ranges indicated in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) list of “Occupations with the Highest Median Annual Wages-2008".
In so doing, we have come up with a list of the BLS's top earning jobs based on the national pay data reported by PayScale.Com as of February to March 2011. Not surprisingly, our modified version of the 2008 report reveals a different order of rankings. The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies national wage or salary data as the basis for pay-setting purposes, since it includes information on the level of difficulty and complexity of work.
One good example is that of the engineering profession with annual median salary of $115,720; it was ranked eighth in BLS’s 2008 report. Based on PayScale’s latest national salary data for construction engineers, these professionals currently earn as much as $71,309 - $128,819. Despite the increase, this wasn't high enough if compared to the salaries of other professionals included in the top earning league.
Physicists, who previously ranked 20th for earning median salaries of $102,890 in 2008, now earn as much as $142,811 to $211,316. Thus, the latter occupies the 4th place in our list of the top ten high-paying jobs, while engineering manager occupations dropped to the 12th position.
Such changes are supported by the results of trending job loss statistics as described in a separate article bearing the same title. The construction industry has the highest rate of unemployment for 2010 at 20.6% and has escalated to 22.5% as of January 2011.
This stands opposed to the current state of skills shortage in the healthcare and hospice care industries, which render currently employed medical professionals as still being the highest paid among the top ten paying jobs.