(WGHP) — Have you ever been lying in the dentist’s chair while someone in scrubs pokes at your teeth with a sharp metal instrument and thought, “How much do they get paid to do this?”
Well, over at FOX8, we’ve been wondering the same thing, so we decided to head over to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics for answers. Here’s what we found after going over the 40 highest-paying jobs in NC.
Anesthesiologists top the list
First off, medical jobs unsurprisingly make up the majority of the highest-paying jobs in NC with anesthesiologists making the most at $279,300 a year.
Anesthesiologists are so highly compensated because they do more than just put patients under anesthesia. They are doctors who look after patients before, during and after surgery and may also lead a hospital’s entire anesthesia care team.
A nurse anesthetist (9 on the list) makes $192,830 a year and is typically the person directly responsible for administering anesthesia ahead of surgery.
The only job in the top ten not related to the medical field is chief executive at number 6. They make $220,940 a year.
Why do physicists make $140,000 a year?
One surprise we found was that physicists (21 on the list) make more than both lawyers (24 on the list) and pharmacists (30 on the list). Physicists make $140,280 a year while lawyers and pharmacists make $132,190 and $123,770, respectively.
If you’re like us, you’re wondering what exactly physicists do and why they get paid $140,280 to do it.
Physicists work to develop theories about the building blocks of the universe such as space, time and matter.
But on a more down-to-Earth level, the reason they get paid so much is they apply the results from their experiments testing theories and laws to problems in fields like optics, aerospace technology and nuclear energy.
Speaking of nuclear energy
Another surprise we came across was that nuclear engineers (35 on the list) make $121,510 in North Carolina.
Four nuclear power plants serve North Carolina. They’re located in Southport, New Hill, Huntersville and York, South Carolina.
Nuclear power plants work by using heat created from nuclear fission to change water into steam. This process powers the generators which then create electricity.
Nuclear engineers and others who work with nuclear power are paid highly because many North Carolinians live or work close to a nuclear plant.
The day-to-day operation of the plants is regulated closely by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), but an accident could affect the health of people living near a nuclear plant due to dangerous levels of radiation.
North Carolina’s 40 highest-paying jobs
Here’s the full list of the 40 highest paying jobs available to North Carolinians:
- anesthesiologists — $279,300
- general internal medicine physicians (doctor) — $273,320
- orthodontists — $271,270
- obstetricians/gynecologists — $247,180
- family medicine physicians — $223,190
- chief executives — $220,940
- ophthalmologists, except pediatric — $198,750
- psychiatrists — $193,650
- nurse anesthetists — $192,830
- podiatrists — $186,100
- dentists — $178,980
- natural sciences managers — $164,760
- pediatricians — $159,530
- financial managers — $155,580
- sales managers — $147,630
- marketing managers — $146,690
- computer and information systems managers — $146,690
- optometrists — $143,320
- postsecondary law teachers — $141,580
- architectural and engineering managers — $140,940
- physicists — $140,280
- health specialties/postsecondary teachers — $139,290
- actuaries — $137,190
- lawyers — $132,190
- personal financial advisors — $131,780
- human resources managers — $129,870
- general and operations managers — $129,400
- training and development managers — $125,900
- management jobs — $124,620
- pharmacists — $123,770
- personal service managers/entertainment and recreation managers, except gambling — $123,150
- advertising and promotions managers — $122,670
- public relations and fundraising managers — $122,630
- purchasing managers — $122,540
- nuclear engineers — $121,510
- medical and health services managers — $120,060
- airline pilots/copilots/flight engineers — $119,900
- agents and business managers of artists, performers and athletes — $117,880
- veterinarians — $117,690
- data scientists and mathematical science occupations — $117,370