Why do pilots get paid so much?
Well a brain surgeon can only kill one person, we can kill thousands if we get something wrong. And if they die, it's our fault!
Just to emphasise, however, most pilots self-fund their training in some form or another, often to very high sums, and then spend a number of years working for smaller regional carriers earning smaller amounts before progressing onto the salaries we are discussing here.
I was lucky to only spend a year in a "regional" before going onto the 757, and even then the starting pay was not what it is today. These days here in the UK it is not unusual to go straight onto a jet (757/A320 or similar) after training.