- Using data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics, we found the highest-paying occupation in every state (plus Washington, DC).
- Doctors and surgeons top the ranking in almost every state.
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Doctors make a lot of money across the United States.
Using data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics program, we found the job in each state with the highest average annual salary as of May 2018, the latest available data. For our calculations, we considered jobs employing at least 1,000 people in the state for which the BLS reported annual mean salaries.
Medical jobs are extremely common among well-compensated occupations. Various types of doctors were the highest-paying occupation in 42 states.
Because so many of these jobs were the highest paying in multiple states, we’ve arranged the list in order of the 11 jobs that appear on the above map. We’ve also included a list of the states for which that job is the highest paying, along with the job’s average annual salary in those states:
Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers
What they do, according to O*NET: Physicians who administer anesthetics prior to, during, or after surgery or other medical procedures.
New York: $US255,500
District of Columbia: $US247,500
Family and general practitioners
What they do, according to O*NET: Physicians who diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population.
North Carolina: $US221,220
South Carolina: $US235,790
What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate financial activities.
North Dakota: $US123,890
General and operations managers
What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of public or private organisations.
South Dakota: $US125,490
What they do, according to O*NET: Physicians who diagnose and provide non-surgical treatment of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems.
Physicians and surgeons, all other
This occupational category is a catchall for various medical specialisations that are not classified under any other group. According to the Labour Department’s O*NET occupational database, some of the specialisations in this category include allergists and immunologists, radiologists, hospitalists, and sports medicine physicians, among others.
New Hampshire: $US275,840
New Mexico: $US229,100
Rhode Island: $US209,580
West Virginia: $US222,270
New Jersey: $US285,850
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