Not everyone can earn the big salaries, since not all jobs pay equally. Often the positions with the highest pay require a lot of school or training, as well.

So what are the top-paying jobs this year? Glassdoor recently published its list of the 25 highest-paying jobs in 2016; it's definitely a good place to start. As you can imagine, a lot of doctors and managers are included, but there are a number of occupations that come with a bigger paycheck than you would think. Here are 15 high-paying jobs in 2016 that might surprise you:

1. UPS Pilot

These pilots earn nearly $238,000 as a base salary, and UPS offers numerous perks, including retirement plans and health insurance. Considering that the average commercial airline pilot makes around $98,000, flying planes for UPS suddenly looks even more attractive.

2. Marketing Manager

Marketing isn't usually associated with the big bucks, but marketing managers make an average salary of $137,400. They oversee all marketing efforts for a business or product and shape the company's public face for the consumer market.

3. Submarine Cook

Granted, cooking meals in a giant steel pressure tube a mile underwater doesn't exactly sound glorifying, but at least it pays well. Salaries for submarine cooks reach up to $200,000, which definitely helps to make up for the absence of sunlight.

4. React Developer

React is a new JavaScript technology, a cutting-edge library that helps render data that is written in HTML. React jobs pay around $117,000, so it's well worth it for developers to learn how to use this latest JavaScript library.

5. Geoscientist

Working in both the great outdoors and the laboratory, geoscientists help society track down natural resources while also protecting the world against natural disasters. There is more office work than you might expect within the geosciences, but these scientists make an average of nearly $90,000, and that figure can triple over the years if a PhD is pursued.

6. Ice Cream Taster

OK, so it's not the highest-paying job on this list by a long stretch, but ice cream tasters can make upwards of $100,000 a year, according to Extraordinary Jobs in the Food Industry. Plus, if we're talking benefits, ice cream tasters get one of the greatest job perks of all time: unlimited free ice cream.

7. Plastic Surgeon

People will pay a lot to be beautiful. At the height of their careers, plastic surgeons can make between $360,000 and $450,000 a year. It's not all vanity though: Plastic surgeons can also help victims recover a sense of self after disfiguring accidents.

8. Mathematician

Your crazy roommate in college that scribbled numbers into a spiral notebook may no longer seem so crazy. Though the classic image of a mathematician is a genius with wild hair and no cares for the material world, it turns out that mathematicians make $103,000 a year on average, working in academia or in research facilities.

9. Hot Dog Stand

There's always money in the hot dog stand. It's all about location. But if a hot dog vendor hits the right spot--one with big crowds willing to spend money--selling hot dogs can make you $50,000 to $100,000 a year.

10. Astronomer

Who would have guessed that gazing at the stars could pay so well? It turns out that being an astronomer is healthy for the wallet, with seniors in the field eventually earning between $100,000 and $150,000.

11. Golf Ball Diver

That pesky pond on the 11th hole is the key to someone's paycheck. Golf ball divers earn from $50,000 to $100,000, depending on whether they have deals with specific golf courses and what percentage they earn per golf ball. The only barrier to entry is a scuba license and the gear to go with it.

12. White-Hat Hacker

Hackers can make a lot of money, but the average figure is hard to track given hacking's nature. Legal hackers can make a lot too, though. White-hat hackers are hired by companies to hack into their own systems and expose weak points and loopholes so the companies can fix them. These hackers make an average of $71,000, but really talented hackers can nearly double that figure.

13. Air Traffic Controller

Sitting in their high towers, air traffic controllers are like orchestra conductors, making sure every plane is on time and moving when it's supposed to. This type of orchestration can be high stress, but it pays well to compensate. Air traffic controllers make $64,000 when they first start out, and with experience, they can earn up to $145,000.

14. Petroleum Engineer

They don't call petroleum black gold for nothing. Despite declining oil prices, the oil industry is massive and produces huge amounts of revenue. Petroleum engineers help oil companies extract oil from underground by evaluating well performance and developing equipment to bring or force oil to the surface. Earning a median salary of $130,050, these engineers earn a slick paycheck for their work.

15. Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists handle the tricky task of drugging patients, giving them anesthetics when necessary, and keeping an eye on blood pressure, level of consciousness, heart rhythm, and more during surgery. For their efforts, anesthesiologists make $358,000 on average.

Is there another high-paying job that belongs on this list? Leave a comment below!

Published on: May 11, 2016
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