Money isn’t everything. But if it were, you’d want to be a doctor.

Surgeons and physicians hold the highest-paying jobs in 11 of Maine’s 16 counties, according to the Maine Department of Labor.

In four other counties, it pays to be a chief executive — $66 an hour or better, to be exact.

In Franklin County, pharmacists are on top.

Data collected by the state in 2013 show regional differences in wages and top-paying jobs around Maine — some even with projected openings around the corner.

Should any new year’s resolution involve a career change or new path, the figures can be informative, with one career-counseling caveat: Make sure you’d want to do the job first.

“Life is way too short to be doing work we don’t like,” said Mary LaFontaine, manager of the Lewiston CareerCenter. “All the money in the world doesn’t buy happiness, right?”

All 10 of the top 10 highest-paying jobs in Maine, and 14 of the top 20, are in the medical field, rounded out by sales engineers, architectural and natural sciences managers, physicists, judges and chief executives, a category that includes hospital heads.

With an average annual wage of $241,400, anesthesiologists have the highest-paying positions in the state, $6,000 ahead of surgeons and physicians and 14 times more than the lowest-paying job here, locker-room attendant.

At the county level, those high-paying jobs show a little more variance: In Androscoggin, personal finance advisers, sales reps and lawyers crack the top 20. In Oxford, there are also business operations specialists and first-line supervisors. In Franklin, sales managers, accountants and postmasters.

Top pay also varies by county. The figures show that surgeons in Aroostook earn an average of $263,806 a year, almost $10,000 more than surgeons in York, at $254,257.

The difference may be a sort of location premium.

For the full story, visit the Sun Journal at