But the career you choose to pursue also plays a major role. And so does where you choose to pursue it.
Howmuch.net created a graphic showing the highest-paying jobs in every U.S. state, using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The health care sector dominated the entire map, with positions in anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, orthodontics, surgery, and oral and maxillofacial surgery earning almost every state's top spot.
"In every state, the highest annual wage belongs to professions in the health care sector, even states that are more remote," Howmuch.net reports. "This is likely due to both the demand for and price of health care services in the United States, as well as the years of education required to hold these professions."