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Average Salary: $535,400

Expected Lifetime Earnings: $16,349,000

Brain surgeons, who have their own practice or work in hospitals, get paid by insurance companies, which are the bane of existence for most medical physicians. In fact, many surgeons complain that insurance companies delay payment for legitimate claims and deny payment for legitimate claims. Also, they pay different amounts depending on the area. An insurance company in Pennsylvania may pay less for the same procedure as another would in a different city.

The amount brain surgeons get paid depends on the insurance company. For instance, medical assistance pays the least. Medicare pays more. Insurance companies like Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna, and Health America pay a little more than Medicare for surgeries. The benefit of working in a hospital is that you don't have to negotiate with an insurance carrier. The downside is that you may only make $600k a year. Sure, sounds nice, but in the world of brain surgeons, $600k is a pittance.

Yep, these guys make the big bucks. Some can make up to a million dollars a year depending on how many surgeries and the types of surgeries they perform. Before you dream of buying that awesome house to match the incredible sports car you plan to buy, keep in mind that it takes around 18 years before you can even begin pulling in the dough. Think of how old you'll be in 18 years. Totally ancient.