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Your high school guidance counselor or college academic advisor may tell you to follow your passion, but for a lot of Gen Z students pursuing college degrees during an economic recovery, there’s one overriding question – where’s the money?

[Related: Check out our list of the best online degrees for getting a job]

As always, the highest of the highest-paying careers are in medicine, for obvious reasons; the healthcare system is in a long period of phenomenal growth, and the barriers to entry are so high that the field is self-selecting – quite simply, between the education, the stress, and the responsibility there just aren’t many people who are cut out to be surgeons, physicians, or nurse midwives. If you can make it, you can make top salaries and gain a high paying job.

That’s the trend in most of the highest-paying careers: in a professional field, a lot of education, a lot of responsibility, or a lot of risk generally equates to a high salary. Petroleum engineers, actuaries, and technical writers all have something in common; if you do something that only a few, highly skilled people can do, you should be paid what you’re worth.

1. Surgery

There’s a good reason that the professionals involved in surgery have some of the highest pay rates of any career – they do surgery. It’s well deserved, too, seeing as surgeons, anesthesiologists, and OBGYNs literally hold lives in their hands – and need a good 10-12 years of higher education to get qualified to do this high paying job, from college to medical school to a residency (sometimes up to 4 years). Each of these jobs is expected to see thousands of job openings in the next decade, and their unemployment rate is, simply, nil.

Median Salary:

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon – $355,864
Anesthesiologist – $278,016
Surgeon – $254,329
Obstetrician and Gynecologist – $207,177

2. Psychiatrist

The doctors who care for our mental health, like the ones who put us to sleep and cut out our tumors, also make quite a healthy salary. Psychiatrists (as opposed to psychologists) go to medical school, spend years in residency, and have the responsibility of prescribing medicine, which requires more years of schooling, and often requires a more demanding workload than a psychologist. The psychiatrist approaches mental health as a component of physical health, and therefore gets paid a medical doctor’s salary. With more than 3000 projected jobs in the next decade, though, there’s room for more.

Median Salary: $194,507
Education Level: Doctorate

3. Physician/Specialist

When you say you’re “going to the doctor,” 9 times out of 10 you mean a physician – a medical doctor who has been trained in general care for people. As with the other highest-paying jobs, physicians spend a lot of time in school, working in residencies, and just working in general – hours for a physician are long and demanding. In exchange for the sacrifice of time, physicians make a lot of money, with general practitioners making income approaching $200,000, and even more for specialists.

Median Salary:

Physician – $173,953
Pediatrician – $145,141
Podiatrist – $124,868

4. Oral Medicine

It’s impossible to overestimate how important oral health really is. Diseases of the mouth can often be crucial, overlooked signs of larger issues, while poor oral hygiene can cause many other diseases, including cardiovascular diseases and dementia. While many Americans neglect their oral health, the people who are responsible for it make a well-deserved high salary. Dentists make around $125,000, while orthodontists can make as much as $170,000. They’re jobs that require many years of schooling, and face it – few people are cut out for looking in mouths all day.

Median Salary:

Orthodontist – $168,921
Prosthodontist – $151,723
Dentist – $125,464