Having a motivating salary isn’t the be-all and end-all of any successful career, but it is often a deciding factor for many people when it comes to choosing their jobs. Many of the top-paying jobs require advanced studies as well as an inordinate level of dedication in order to reach the top of their respective professions, but they are also compensated accordingly. If you’re ready for a serious commitment, you can expect to earn a seriously lucrative living in the following positions:

  1. Surgeon

This medical profession earns the number one spot on our list, as top earners can expect to make over $350,000 per year. This level consists of surgeons of varying specialties, most of which earn their salaries after four years of med school and up to eight years of internships and residencies.

  1. Psychiatrist

If surgeons handle the physical side of things, then psychiatrists are in charge of keeping us sane and emotionally balanced, a tall task considering today’s hectic lifestyle. Of course, the path towards having your own practice is long and difficult, with numerous additional courses and expenses on top of medical school. But after all that work, you’ll be rewarded to the tune of approximately $180,000 or more.

  1. Dentist

Coming in right after doctors, dentists are never really short for business. From routine procedures like tooth decay and gingivitis to detecting the early signs of undiagnosed diabetes and oral cancer, professionals in this area provide a valuable service to society at large, one that will never really go out of fashion. In the dental industry salaries evolve according to specialisation and level of experience, but you can generally expect a median pay of almost $165,000.

  1. Marketing Manager

With the advent of the Internet, marketing has taken a big leap into the virtual world. Whereas traditional marketers would’ve relied solely on real world strategies to sell and promote products, the contemporary marketer needs to have a firm grasp on the latest technological advancements, especially as they pertain to social media. For this industry a six-figure salary is common at the highest levels, with the average marketing manager making around $133,000.

  1. IT Project Manager

As information technology continues to grow ever more important, it makes sense that professionals in this industry should be well compensated. Overseeing all the computer-related activities of an organization can be quite challenging, even if you don’t work in the hectic world of start-ups. Aside from all the technical know-how, a top IT Manager is also expected to have taken some specific project management courses as preparation for the responsibilities of the job. For all your trouble you should be able to earn upwards of $130,000 per year in this position.

  1. Lawyer

As members of one of the world’s oldest professions, lawyers act as mediators between people and organizations involved in any kind of legal dispute. Since their expertise is needed in crucial moments, it also comes at a fairly high price. Depending on their specialty and the role they play within their respective companies, lawyers earn an average of $128,000 per year.

  1. Financial Manager

The chief number-cruncher in any self-respecting organization, a financial manager handles the company budget, sets realistic goals and devises strategies for increasing profit. Long hours and stressful deadlines are some of the drawbacks of this otherwise undeniably lucrative position, which can net you a median salary of $125,000.

  1. Sales Manager

Selling is an integral part of doing business, which is why experts in this field are so highly coveted. Sales managers are in charge of analyzing trends and implementing strategies with the ultimate goal of increasing a company’s income. By no means easy, such a job can get you an average of $123,000 plus numerous performance bonuses.

  1. Pharmacist

Since pharmacists are directly tied to treating medical conditions and symptoms, often without the aid of a consulting doctor, their jobs are essential for preserving our physical integrity and emotional well-being. In 2013, an average pharmacist could be expected to earn an average salary of almost $120,000.

  1. Business Operations Manager

Unlike some other jobs on this list, becoming a business operations manager isn’t simply a matter of attending the right school. Instead, it usually comes as a reward after years of writing numerous business plans and papers, successfully coordinating tasks and people towards meeting or even exceeding their goals.

That just about wraps up our quick guide on what the top paying professions in the world currently are. Keep in mind that these might differ considerably according to region, but altogether they paint a general picture of the direction things are heading in. So learn to embrace the future as much as possible, and your career (and your pocket) will thank you for it.