- 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 most states.
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 2017, 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.
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As with our recently published list of the highest-paying occupations in the US, medical jobs are extremely common, with miscellaneous doctors and surgeons being the highest-paid occupation in 23 states. Several other medical specialisations are the highest-paying occupations in many states.
Because so many of these jobs were the highest-paying in multiple states, we’ve arranged the list in order of the 12 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
New York: $US271,510
District of Columbia: $US236,010
Family and general practitioners
South Carolina: $US234,420
North Dakota: $US119,240
General and operations managers
South Dakota: $US123,310
Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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: $US275,050
New Mexico: $US245,740
Rhode Island: $US222,980
West Virginia: $US239,630
New Jersey: $US252,470
North Carolina: $US279,530
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