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When you interview for a job, conventional wisdom says you shouldn’t bring up salary. Let the employer broach the topic first. After all, the last thing you want is to give the impression that you’re only taking the job for the money.

If you think about it, the whole formality of salary discussion is strange. Understandably, an employer wants someone who is passionate about the job. But we all know that money is important, otherwise you’d be volunteering full time.

While salary is probably not the only motivation you have for choosing a job, it is an important one. Websites like CBSalary.com and the Bureau of Labor Statistics contain salary information for thousands of jobs so that you can find out what your position typically pays and how it compares with other parts of the country. For example, the average hourly pay increased 1.7 percent over the last year. Did you fare as well?

Here, at the comfort of your computer monitor, you don’t have to pretend that money means nothing to you. If you’re frustrated with the compensation trends for your job, you can vent and no one will know. Or you can see what other industries pay, just out of curiosity.

To appease your curiosity or give you some direction for your next job hunt, we put together a list of some of America’s fastest growing salaries. Their year-over-year pay increases outpaced the national average by several percentage points.

Here are 20 of the jobs with the fastest growing salaries*:

Endodontist
2009 salary: $141,373
2010 salary: $166,874
Increase: 18.03 percent

Oral pathologist
2009 salary: $159,759
2010 salary: $188,577
Increase: 18.03 percent

Periodontist
2009 salary: $150,023
2010 salary: $177,084
Increase: 18.03 percent

Pharmacologist
2009 salary: $90,012
2010 salary: $99,370
Increase: 10.39 percent

Toxicologist
2009 salary: $63,655
2010 salary: $70,273
Increase: 10.39 percent

Academic dean
2009 salary: $93,126
2010 salary: $100,771
Increase: 8.2 percent

Dean of student affairs
2009 salary: $86,201
2010 salary: $93,278
Increase: 8.2 percent

Director of nursing school
2009 salary: $72,315
2010 salary: $78,252
Increase: 8.2 percent

Experimental psychologist
2009 salary: $86,010
2010 salary: $93,057
Increase: 8.19 percent

Social psychologist
2009 salary: $79,272
2010 salary: $85,766
Increase: 8.19 percent

Numerical control programmer
2009 salary: $57,945
2010 salary: $62,620
Increase: 8.06 percent

General surgeon
2009 salary: $317,494
2010 salary: $342,971
Increase: 8.02 percent

Medical officer
2009 salary: $476,753
2010 salary: $515,010
Increase: 8.02 percent

Neurosurgeon
2009 salary: $465,937
2010 salary: $503,326
Increase: 8.02 percent

Orthopedic surgeon
2009 salary: $346,076
2010 salary: $373,847
Increase: 8.02 percent

Plastic surgeon
2009 salary: $264,349
2010 salary: $285,561
Increase: 8.02 percent

Orthopedic podiatrist
2009 salary: $179,889
2010 salary: $193,920
Increase: 7.79 percent

Early childhood development teacher
2009 salary: $34,418
2010 salary: $37,072
Increase: 7.71 percent

Insurance salesperson
2009 salary: $49,121
2010 salary: $52,743
Increase: 7.37 percent

Credit reference clerk
2009 salary: $28,549
2010 salary: $30,393
Increase: 6.45 percent

*Based on data from the ERI Economic Research Institute, Inc.

————————————————
By Anthony Balderrama, CareerBuilder Writer

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