30 Highest Paid Jobs and Occupations in the US (2024)

In this article, we will look at the 30 highest paid jobs and occupations in the US. We have talked about the highest paying industries in the US. If you want to skip our detailed analysis, head straight to the 10 Highest Paid Jobs and Occupations in the US.

The landscape of high-paying jobs in the US is largely dominated by tech and healthcare industries. In 2021, the average salary for technology professionals in the US increase to a record high of $104,566. Despite this increase, nearly half of tech workers expressed feeling underpaid. It is interesting to note that web developers experienced the most substantial pay raise, with salaries up by over 21.3%, while IT management positions commanded the highest average pay at $151,983.

The tech industry's highest-growth positions included database administrators, technical support engineers, and data analysts. As companies transition to the cloud, roles such as software developers are expected to continue seeing salary increases which also indicates ongoing demand for specific skill sets.

As long as the healthcare industry is concerned, healthcare jobs in the US have been a major contributor to job gains, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In January, the healthcare sector added 70,000 jobs, making up nearly 20% of the total additions to the American workforce. This increase in hiring has been attributed to a shift towards a more permanent workforce in healthcare facilities, as hospitals move away from relying heavily on temporary staff, such as contract nurses, which were in high demand during the peak of the pandemic.

It is also worth mentioning that healthcare remains one of the highest paying industries in the US. According to Salary.com, the average salary for a General Surgeon is $432,400, making it one of the highest-paying roles within the healthcare sector in the US. An Anesthesiologist follows closely with an average salary of $426,800, while a Medical Director commands an average salary of $322,484.

Speaking of high salaries, US companies are observing a 33% increase in salaries for fully in-office roles that reached an average of $82,037 by March 2024, compared to $59,085 in 2023. This increase is essentially a push from employers to have their workforce back in physical offices. While hybrid and remote options persist, major corporations like Boeing and JPMorgan Chase are mandating full-time office attendance. The decision towards in-office work in the US, where 29% of paid workdays were still remote by January 2024, is driven by employers competing on pay rather than flexibility, according to ZipRecruiter.

Conversely, in the UK and Europe, where remote work is less prevalent, the in-person premium trend is expected to be weaker. A survey in the UK in October 2023 showed that only 43% of workers had returned to fully in-office settings. Despite the cost-cutting climate, some employers are willing to increase wage bills for full offices as they believe it will lead to improved business outcomes.

Nevertheless, compensation in the tech sector has been largely disappointing in recent times. For example, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) employees have received news of smaller-than-anticipated pay increases, with some even experiencing a decrease in their total compensation packages. This news came during the annual performance review period, typically when employees at Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) learn about adjustments to their salaries, bonuses, and equity grants. Historically, Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has been known for generous compensation packages, but this year, many employees found their raises smaller than in previous years.

Reports indicated that some employees received base pay increases lower than 3% which is way less than the 8% to 10% increases seen in the past. Even those with outstanding performance ratings saw their total compensation decrease, primarily due to minimal raises in base salary, stagnant bonuses, and reduced equity rewards.

On the other hand, on February 14, 2024, Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) agreed to a $25 million settlement to resolve a class action lawsuit alleging gender-based pay discrimination which affected approximately 4,000 female employees in California. The case was filed in 2017 and claimed that Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) paid male employees in similar roles up to $13,000 more annually than their female counterparts. Despite the settlement, Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL) did not admit any wrongdoing.

The settlement not only involved a major monetary compensation but also included provisions for an independent expert to review Oracle Corp (NYSE:ORCL)’s employment practices to ensure compliance with anti-discrimination laws.

30 Highest Paid Jobs and Occupations in the US (1)

Our Methodology

We found the 30 highest paid jobs and occupations in the US after researching the highest-paying professions in the US, from Indeed and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Then we listed the frequently highest-paying jobs in ascending order based on their average salaries. The average salary data was sourced from our salary database.

By the way, Insider Monkey is an investing website that uses a consensus approach to identify the best stock picks of more than 900 hedge funds investing in US stocks. The website tracks the movement of corporate insiders and hedge funds. Our top 10 consensus stock picks of hedge funds outperformed the S&P 500 stock index by more than 140 percentage points over the last 10 years (see the details here). So, if you are looking for the best stock picks to buy, you can benefit from the wisdom of hedge funds and corporate insiders.

30. Air Traffic Controllers

Average Salary: $130,840

The median salary for air traffic controllers in the US is $137,380 per year as of 2023. Since, most of the air traffic controller jobs only require an associate's degree and undergo extensive long-term on-the-job training, it is one of the highest paying jobs without a degree.

29. Senior Real Estate Managers

Average Salary: $140,477

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 429,600 jobs for real estate managers in the US in 2022. With a salary as high as $140,477, senior real estate managers have one of the highest paid occupations in the US.

28. Quantitative Analyst

Average Salary: $153,539

Quantitative analysts need strong mathematical, statistical, and programming skills. They should also excel in data analysis, financial modeling, and risk management to thrive in their careers.

27. Machine Learning Engineer

Average Salary: $161,382

The demand for machine learning (ML) in the US is soaring like never before as projections indicate a need for one million ML specialists by 2027. The field is set to expand by 40% over the next five years which also represents the largest growth of any occupation.

With an average salary of $161,382 along with an exceptional demand, machine learning engineers will have the highest paying jobs in the world in the future.

26. Lawyer

Average Salary: $163,770

In 2023, the median pay for lawyers was $145,760 annually or $70.08 per hour. One of the most basic requirements to become a lawyer in the US is a doctoral or professional degree. Moreover, on-the-job training is not typically required. As of 2022, there were 826,300 lawyer positions. With a median salary of $145,760, lawyers have one of the highest paying jobs in the world.

25. Enterprise Architecture Manager

Average Salary: $168,762

Specific hard skills needed to pursue a career in enterprise architecture management are proficiency in enterprise architecture frameworks (e.g., TOGAF), data modeling, system integration, cloud computing, software development methodologies (e.g., Agile), as well as proficiency in relevant tools (e.g., Enterprise Architect, Visio).

24. Dentist

Average Salary: $172,290

With an average monthly salary of $14,357 in the US, dentists have one of the highest paying jobs in the world per month. To read more about dentists, see the highest paying countries for dentists.

23. Computer and Information Systems Manager

Average Salary: $173,670

With no on-the-job training required, this field offers an exceptional growth potential as the a projected job outlook is 15% from 2022 to 2032. Employment is expected to increase by 86,000 jobs during this period, with a total of 557,400 jobs in 2022.

22. Pediatrician, General

Average Salary: $203,240

It is one of the highest paying jobs in America. Moreover, Mississippi and Iowa are the highest paying states for pediatricians with average salaries of $328,650 and $264,400.

21. Nurse Anesthetists

Average Salary: $205,770

As of 2022, there were 323,900 jobs in these fields, with a projected job outlook of 38% growth from 2022 to 2032. Nurse Anesthetists have an average salary of $205,770 per year in the US.

20. Orthodontist

Average Salary: $216,320

Orthodontists specialize in diagnosing and treating dental malocclusions and oral cavity anomalies and work on realigning of teeth and jaws for normal function and improved appearance. California, New Jersey, and New York lead in employment levels, with hourly mean wages ranging from $71.95 to $109.62.

19. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

Average Salary: $225,740

With an average salary of $225,740, these roles have the 19th best paying job in the US. Couriers and Express Delivery Services and Scheduled Air Transportation are the top paying industries for these jobs.

To read about pilots, see the highest paying countries for pilots.

18. Gastroenterologist

Average Salary: $228,619

The average salary of a gastroenterologist in the US is $228,619, making it the 18th high paid occupation and job in America.

17. Family Medicine, Physician

Average Salary: $235,930

With an average salary of $235,930, it is one of the 20 highest paid jobs and occupations in the US. Interestingly, it is also considered one of the least competitive medical residencies in the US.

16. Chief Executives

Average Salary: $246,440

The earning potential of CEOs can be overwhelmingly high, with the top earners surpassing $200 million annually. In 2022, Blackstone Inc (NYSE:BX)'s Stephen Schwarzman made a colossal amount of $253 million, followed closely by Sundar Pichai of Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) at $226 million. These numbers explain how chief executives have jobs that pay the most in the world.

15. Physician

Average Salary: $247,360

Physicians and surgeons earn a median pay of $239,200 annually. In 2022, there were approximately 816,900 jobs in this field, with a projected job outlook of 3% from 2022 to 2032, It is estimated that there will be an employment change of 24,600 within the same period.

14. Pathologists

Average Salary: $252,850

To become a pathologist in America, one has to pursue a bachelor's degree, preferably in biology, chemistry, or anatomy, and decide on a pathology specialty. Next, they must take the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) and earn a medical degree (MD or DO). Then they need to obtain their medical license, complete a pathology residency program, and consider a fellowship for specialized training. Finally, they earn certification through the American Board of Pathology and maintain it through continuing education. This journey typically takes between seven to twelve years.

13. Neurologists

Average Salary: $255,110

While the average salaries for neurologists stands at $255,110, they earned a median annual salary of $224,260 in May 2022, according to the BLS. Moreover, Kentucky and North Carolina are the highest paying states for neurologists.

12. Psychiatrist

Average Salary: $256,930

Psychiatrists had a median annual salary of $249,760 in the US as of 2021. The field is projected to grow by 12% from 2020 to 2030. As a job with a high demand and salary along with prestige associated to the role, it is one of the best jobs in America.

11. Ophthalmologists

Average Salary: $267,450

An aging population in the United States has led to an increased prevalence of eye conditions like cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration which have pushed the demand for Ophthalmologists so high in the country. This also explains why the profession has an average salary as high as $267,450.

Click here to see the 10 Highest Paid Jobs and Occupations in the US.

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Disclosure: None. 30 Highest Paid Jobs and Occupations in the US is originally published on Insider Monkey.

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