10 Highest Paying Jobs in California

Sometimes referred to as the “Golden State,” California boasts a booming job market along with its stunning scenery and dynamic culture. With one of the greatest economies globally, California offers a wide range of job opportunities. However, certain careers stand out for their high earning potential, attracting professionals from all over the world. Let’s explore the collision of opportunity and ambition in the Highest Paying Jobs in California.

You may be surprised to learn that, if California were a country, it would rank in the top 10 states with the most Fortune 500 headquarters. Giants including Apple, Activision Blizzard, HP, Google Alphabet, eBay, Netflix, Chevron, Meta, VISA, and Disney are based in the state. One of the main causes of the steady influx of job seekers in California is the variety of opportunities available across industries.

In addition to having a thriving job market, California provides a special combination of lifestyle advantages. Imagine having the opportunity to snowboard in the afternoon, innovate with tech experts during the week, and spend the weekend wine-tasting in Napa. The incomparable experiences add to its alluring allure.

Here’s the list of Highest Paying Jobs in California


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recently released data that shows that being a dermatologist is the Highest Paying Jobs in California. Dermatologists are here to help, whether you’re experiencing an unexpected breakout, an enigmatic rash, or simply need advice on how to shield your skin from the harsh summer sun. and arms, and face, and, you get the picture. In California, dermatologists make an average of $371,450 a year. How would I go about getting this impressive six-figure salary? The first step in becoming a doctor is earning a medical degree (MD or DO) from an approved medical school. Subsequently, you must meet the dermatologist-specific requirements established by the California Medical Board, which include getting a medical license.


Median Annual Salary: $165,310

Lawyers are the second Highest Paying Jobs in California. Attorneys can work out of their own offices or in groups. They prepare legal documents, conduct pertinent law and regulation research, and represent a variety of clients in court. They could legally represent people in criminal or civil cases. After receiving a bachelor’s degree, one must pursue a Juris Doctorate, which takes three years of study to become a lawyer. To become an attorney in California, one must complete an authorized legal education program and clear the state bar exam. Every year, about 16,000 aspiring lawyers take this test.


Imaging is specialized by radiologists. Inside our bodies, they can be “seen” with instruments like MRIs, CT scans, X-rays, and ultrasounds, which are used for diagnosis and occasionally even treatment of a variety of ailments. Vital information that is frequently hidden from view is offered by radiologists. In California, an average salary of $339,140 per year is made by radiologists. A strong education and relevant experience are prerequisites for working as a radiologist in California and earning this kind of satisfying salary. To work in the state and fulfill other requirements set forth by the California Medical Board, a medical license and either an MD or DO degree need to be held.

Nuclear Engineers

Median Annual Salary: $154,040

Nuclear engineers are employed by manufacturing companies, research institutes, or nuclear power plants. They oversee maintenance operations, create operating manuals, design equipment, and guarantee worker and public safety. Although many engineers pursue master’s and doctoral degrees, the majority of entry-level positions in nuclear engineering require at least a bachelor’s degree. The government places restrictions on how many new nuclear power plants can be constructed, making nuclear power a highly regulated industry. To replace retiring workers, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 900 openings annually across the country.


Experts in pathology who interpret the traces our cells, tissues, and organs leave behind are called pathologists. Something like Sherlock Holmes, but for the internal world of the body. They investigate the origins and consequences of infections, cancers, and other medical mysteries in addition to interpreting biopsies, blood tests, and other samples. The average yearly salary for pathologists in California is $258,090, reflecting their significant influence on patient care. An MD or DO degree and a California state medical license are prerequisites for working as a pathologist in the state.

Forestry and Conservation Science Postsecondary Teachers

Median Annual Salary: $151,570

Postsecondary educators may teach college-level courses at universities or community colleges. Teachers of forestry and conservation science must hold a master’s degree at the very least, though many work as full-time postsecondary educators and pursue doctorates in their fields. The condition of parks, forests, and other natural resources is studied by conservation scientists. They frequently make sure that state and federal environmental laws are followed.

Financial Managers

Median Annual Salary: $147,480

Financial managers assist clients and businesses in achieving long-term financial objectives. To identify areas for business expansion, investment upgrades, or cost savings, they also examine financial data. Titles such as risk manager, insurance manager, controller, and treasurer are possible. These business executives frequently hold a bachelor’s degree or above. But a lot of people go on to get graduate degrees or professional certifications, especially in the more specialized fields of finance, like investment banking or government accounting.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are experts at mending our mouths and dealing with a variety of issues, such as impacted wisdom teeth and broken jaws. They resemble the architects of chins and the wizards of the dental field. Their wisdom pays off in more ways than just soothing smiles. In California, the average yearly salary for oral and maxillofacial surgeons is $257,690. A DDS or DMD degree and a state dental license, obtained after passing national and state-specific dental board exams, are prerequisites for employment as oral and maxillofacial surgeons in California.

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Median Annual Salary: $151,150

These HR experts review job descriptions and assist businesses in offering competitive pay and benefits to draw in top candidates. Benefits and compensation managers frequently need to hold a bachelor’s degree in human resources. They also require knowledge of the rules and legislation about employment. To suggest leadership changes, benefit managers frequently investigate pay structures and examine trends in compensation and benefits. For instance, they might advise on paid parental leave or time off regulations, or they might suggest that the business set up employee wellness initiatives to cut down on medical expenses.


In California, doctors are heroes too—they diagnose, treat, and mentor us toward a healthier future. But not all heroes wear capes. Patients are guaranteed to feel heard, healed, and hopeful when medical expertise and bedside manners are balanced. In California, the average yearly salary for physicians is a substantial $230,860. To practice medicine in California, a candidate must obtain a medical license from the state, which requires passing several tests to demonstrate qualification.

How to Get One of the Highest Paying Jobs in California

  • Browse jobs: It is important to know where the fish are biting before you cast your net. Look through all of the California job listings on Monster, register to receive updates on the most recent positions, and upload your resume to get calls from hiring managers.
  • Research employers: Investigate a company to gain a sense of its culture, values, mission, expectations, and even its peculiarities before applying for a job or scheduling an interview. You can determine whether a company and vice versa are a good fit by finding out more about them.
  • Check your public profile: Ensure that everything about you that is visible to the public shouts “professional,” including your blog and social media handles. Hiring managers will Google you because we live in a digital age. Make sure their impressions are favorable.
  • Optimize your resume: Initial impressions count, particularly when your resume is buried among a plethora of others. For every job application, customize your resume with powerful action verbs and pertinent keywords that correspond with the job description and employer. Examine our industry-specific resume samples and utilize them as a model for your updated application.
  • Write a compelling cover letter: Cover letter distribution is more than just a courtesy. This is your opportunity to establish a more personal connection with the employer, so make sure your drive and enthusiasm come through. Your letter should address questions such as “Why you?” rather than being limited to a resume or list of accomplishments. In what ways do you fit in? What special qualities do you offer? See how to write a cover letter by looking through our examples.
  • Interview like a pro: Don suitable attire, arrive slightly ahead of schedule, and bring questions of your own along with your answers. Prospects who are as inquisitive about the organization as it is about them are highly coveted by employers. Furthermore, keep in mind that a sincere smile and a firm handshake go a long way. Take a look at our other interview advice and practice answering our sample questions to boost your self-assurance.

Cost of Living Considerations

  • While conducting your research, consider your budget and career goals in various fields. Occasionally, the highest-paying jobs may be located in areas with more affordable housing just a short commute away.
  • You can make sure you take advantage of the benefits of your employment and save for the future at the same time by making wise financial plans, like putting aside a portion of your income. Avoid giving in to the temptation of living large straight away after securing one of the best-paying jobs in California.
  • Think about all the benefits of your job besides money. Living expenses can be partly offset by things like full health benefits, childcare, gym memberships, or even allowances for transportation.

FAQ of Highest Paying Jobs in California

Q1. What is California’s minimum wage?

Ans. On January 1, 2021, California raised its minimum wage to $14 per hour. Employers with twenty-six or more employees must abide by this law. Employers with fewer workers are required to pay at least $13 per hour.

Q2. Can someone live with the minimum wage in California?

Ans. Depending on where you reside, yes. According to MIT economists, a single adult in the state must make at least $39,000 a year to pay for necessities. On the other hand, living expenses in big cities and small towns differ significantly.

Q3. What constitutes a decent wage in California?

Ans. In contrast to the average national income of $34,103 per capita, the average annual income for a single person living in California in 2019 was $36,960, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nonetheless, in 2015, the state’s top 5% of households made approximately $425,000 annually.

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