Below we highlight some of the highest paying jobs in California in 2021. California is ranked among the states with the best wages for all occupations.
Most of the professions highlighted below have mean hourly wages of more than $100 and mean annual wages of more than $200,000.
The list is dominated by healthcare jobs with 11 out of 15 professions. This clearly indicates the dominance and lucrative nature of the medical industry.
What’s worth noting, though, is that the highest-paying jobs in California do not remain the same every year. Each year the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics releases new occupational data that estimates how much each profession pays hourly and annually.
Highest Paying Jobs in California
Let’s have a look at some of the top-paying jobs in California in 2021. We will highlight both the hourly wages and annual wages of each occupation.
Note 1: The wages highlighted here are mean wages, which means others earn more while some earn less.
- For example, there are surgeons earning more than $550,000 a year and chief executives who make up to $300,000 a year.
Note 2: These are the basic salaries, excluding bonuses and other applicable compensations.
Surgeons currently earn the highest hourly and annual wages in the state of California. The mean hourly wage for surgeons in California is $121.17 while the mean annual wage is $252,040.
2. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
They perform surgeries and related procedures on soft and hard tissues of the oral and maxillofacial regions to treat diseases and injuries, correct defects, or improve physical appearance and function.
The mean hourly wage for an oral and/or maxillofacial surgeon is $114.21 while the mean annual wage is $237,570.
3. Obstetricians and Gynecologists
These medical practitioners are tasked with providing medical care for women during pregnancy and at childbirth. They also diagnose, treat, and help prevent reproductive diseases in women. The mean hourly wage is $112.31 while the mean annual wage is $233,610.
Orthodontists examine, diagnose, and treat oral cavity anomalies and dental malocclusions. They also design devices used in teeth and jaw alignment to produce and maintain normal function as well as improve physical appearance. The mean hourly wage is $110.98 and the mean annual wage is $230,830.
Being a psychiatrist is among the highest paying jobs in California. Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, and help in the prevention of mental disorders. The current mean hourly wage for a psychiatrist is $105.98 while the mean annual wage is $220,430.
Best Paying Jobs in California in 2021
6. Family Medicine Physicians
Family medicine physicians do diagnosis, treatment, and provision of preventive care to individuals and families across their lifespans. They can also refer their patients to specialists when necessary for further diagnosis and/or treatment. The mean hourly wage for this occupation is $102.53 and the mean annual wage is $213,270.
7. Physicians and Ophthalmologists
They include Cardiologists, Emergency Medicine Physicians, Physicians, Pathologists, Radiologists, Ophthalmologists. Ophthalmologists diagnose and treat eye disorders. The hourly wage of these professions is $97.81 while the mean annual wage is $203,450.
8. General Internal Medicine Physicians
General internal medicine physicians specialize in the diagnosis ad provision of nonsurgical treatment for different diseases and injuries of internal organ systems.
They provide care mainly to adolescents and adults and are based in outpatient care settings. The mean hourly wage for general internal medicine physicians is $96.85 while their mean annual salary is $201,440.
9. Chief Executives
A chief executive position is one of the highest paying jobs in California in 2021. Their roles include formulating policies and providing overall direction for a company or private sector organization within the guidelines set up by a board of directors.
Chief executives plan, direct, and coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management. Under them include subordinate executives and staff managers. The mean hourly wage of chief executives is $93.20 while the mean annual wage is $193,850.
Pediatricians are among the highest-paid healthcare professionals in California. They diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases in children and may refer their patients to specialists for further diagnosis and/or treatment. Their mean hourly wage is $88.66 and the mean annual wage is $184,410.
Top Paying Jobs in California
11. Nurse Anesthetists
A nurse anesthetist administers anesthesia, monitors a patient’s vital signs, and also oversees their recovery from anesthesia. One has to be a registered nurse with specialized graduate education.
Nurse anesthetists can assist surgeons, dentists, anesthesiologists, and other physicians. Their mean hourly wage is $87.04 while their mean annual wage is $181,040.
12. Dentists (Dental Surgeons)
Dentists in California find themselves in one of the most lucrative careers. Dentists specialize in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of oral diseases and conditions. The mean hourly wage for dentists is $85.59 while the mean annual wage is $178,040.
13. Computer and Information Systems Managers
Computer and information systems managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities in closely related fields such as information systems, electronic data processing, computer programming, and systems analysis. Their mean hourly wage is $75.19 while the mean annual wage is $156,390.
14. Architectural and Engineering Managers
Architectural and engineering managers plan, direct, and coordinate activities such as research and development in architecture and engineering and other closely related fields. The mean hourly wage is $73.52 while the mean annual wage is $152,930.
15. Marketing Managers
Marketing managers are tasked with crucial roles including planning, directing, and coordinating marketing policies and programs. They include determining the prevailing demand for products and services, identifying potential customers, and assessing the nature of competition in the market.
The mean hourly wage for this occupation is $71.73 while the mean annual wage is $149,200.
The Highest Paying Jobs in California in 2021
These are just a few of the top-paying jobs in California. In case you wish to check out the complete list, here is a comprehensive compilation by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.