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Surprising Six-Figure Jobs

When you think of jobs that pay six figures, you think doctor, lawyer -- and anything with the word “chief,” “director,” “engineer” or “petroleum” in it.

But there are some jobs that pay six figures that you might not expect. People you may encounter on a daily basis, or some who you may not, but never suspect they make that much.

Take, for example the recent story about the lifeguards in Newport Beach, Calif., who make more than $120,000, and some of them, over $200,000!

“Generally, high-paid jobs require one or more of the following: extensive formal education, high level of responsibility or performance, unique skill or talent, and extensive on the job experience,” said Al Lee, director of quantitative analysis at PayScale.com. And most involve the employee earning “substantial income and profits for the employer,” Lee added.

The average salary in America is about $40,000, according to the Social Security Administration, and just about five percent of the American population makes $100,000 or more.

Here are more than a dozen six-figure jobs that you probably didn’t expect would pay that much.

By Cindy Perman19 May 2011

Photo: Comstock Images | Getty Images