This map shows the highest-paying job in every state

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Summary List Placement

Doctors make a lot of money across the United States.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program (previously called the Occupational Employment Statistics program), we found the job in each state with the highest average annual salary as of May 2020, 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. That is, there could be higher-paying jobs in the state but with fewer people employed.

Medical jobs are extremely common among well-compensated occupations. For instance, the job category “physicians, all other; and ophthalmologists, except pediatric” was the highest-paying job in 25 states. This includes Georgia, with an average annual salary of $251,300, and West Virginia, with an average annual salary of $222,760.

Doctors and other medical professionals are currently on the frontlines of the novel coronavirus pandemic where they have been treating infected patients and providing other medical assistance for over a year.

Because so many of these jobs were the highest paying in multiple states, we’ve arranged the list in alphabetical 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:

SEE ALSO: The US states where the most jobs have been destroyed by the coronavirus crisis, in one map

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Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

What they do, according to O*NET: Pilot and navigate aircrafts.

Alaska: $180,100


What they do, according to O*NET: Physicians who administer anesthetics prior to, during, or after surgery or other medical procedures.

Michigan: $252,000

New York: $237,380

Virginia: $253,150

Chief executives

What they do, according to O*NET: Develop policies and provide overall direction of companies or other organizations.

District of Columbia: $253,820

Texas: $239,060


Dentists (general)

What they do, according to O*NET: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. 

Oregon: $215,750

Family medicine physicians

What they do, according to O*NET: Diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan.

Arkansas: $209,370

North Carolina: $223,190

Oklahoma: $214,130

Tennessee: $216,170

Financial managers

What they do, according to O*NETPlan, direct, or coordinate financial activities.

Vermont: $112,700

General and operations managers

What they do, according to O*NET: Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of public or private organizations.

South Dakota: $131,890

Wyoming: $101,060

General internal medicine physicians

What they do, according to O*NET: Physicians who diagnose and provide non-surgical treatment of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems.

Indiana: $264,840

Maryland: $239,710

Minnesota: $256,340

Pennsylvania: $251,540

South Carolina: $282,620

Obstetricians and gynecologists

What they do, according to O*NET: Physicians who provide medical care related to pregnancy or childbirth and those who diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases of women, particularly those affecting the reproductive system.

Florida: $245,570

Physicians, all other, and ophthalmologists (except pediatric)

This occupational category is a catchall for various medical specializations that are not classified under any other group. According to the Labor Department’s O*NET occupational database, some of the specializations in this category include radiologists, hospitalists, and pathologists, among others.

Alabama: $213,410

Colorado: $247,520

Connecticut: $210,350

Delaware: $219,940

Georgia: $251,300

Hawaii: $263,200

Idaho: $246,220

Iowa: $246,660

Kansas: $180,960

Kentucky: $249,540

Louisiana: $221,420

Maine: $279,700

Mississippi: $184,170

Missouri: $235,930

Montana: $271,560

Nebraska: $230,330

Nevada: $251,840

New Hampshire: $241,930

New Mexico: $212,160

North Dakota: $212,990

Rhode Island: $206,670

Utah: $239,450

Washington: $249,600

West Virginia: $222,760

Wisconsin: $258,470


What they do, according to O*NET: Diagnose and help patients with their mental health.

California: $245,000

Surgeons (except ophthalmologists)

What they do, according to O*NET: Physicians who diagnose and perform surgery.

Arizona: $284,260

Illinois: $271,280

Massachusetts: $265,790

New Jersey: $275,710

Ohio: $277,510

Source: businessinsider
This map shows the highest-paying job in every state