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11 of the Highest Paying Jobs in California for 2023

11 of the Highest Paying Jobs in California for 2023

California ends 2023 with exciting job opportunities in several industries. If you are interested in the highest-paying jobs in California, this guide is precisely what you need.

You’ll get an overview of the State’s job market along with 11 high-paying jobs for 2023.

The Golden State’s Thriving Job Market

Although 2022 was not the best for California’s job market, the State has rapidly recovered since the COVID-19 pandemic. Since April 2020, the State has added over 3 million nonfarm jobs. By the end of this year, California increased nonfarm jobs by 2.5% compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

Most industries have already recovered from pandemic job loss, namely 7 out of 11 primary spheres.

This trend will remain for at least the following year. So, it is good news if you are planning a job search or want to move to California. There are enough high-paying job opportunities for different professionals here.

Healthcare Professions

Healthcare professions are among the highest-paying jobs on the national average. According to labor statistics, this industry is secure and well-paid. No wonder medical school is very competitive. Medical professionals are at the top of the highest-paying jobs in California.

Indeed, it takes a lot of time and effort to become doctors or nurse practitioners. But if you are passionate about the field, your future employment looks very promising.


Surgeons are usually on the highest-paying jobs lists all over the world. And California is no exception. The average annual salary for a surgeon in California is about $283,882.

The lower annual salary is $215,247, and the highest is $374,402. Besides salary, surgeons of the Golden State also have significant benefits, such as:

  • Medical insurance;
  • Flexible scheduling;
  • Life insurance;
  • Assistance in getting loans;
  • Fantastic retirement plans;
  • Tuition reimbursement;
  • Relocation assistance.

If you decide to become a surgeon based on the impressive salary data, you must remember that it is a demanding profession. Also, it takes a lot to become one.

You must graduate from an accredited medical school, pass all exams, and complete residency training. As for education, one will need a bachelor’s degree and a medical degree program as well (four more years).

Physicians and Specialists

The average annual salary for a Physician in California is $206,314. The lowest rate is about $119,70, and the highest is $355,510.

Physicians and specialists are among the highest-paying jobs in California. Here, one can specialize in one of the specific niches. Dentists care for damaged teeth and fill cavities. Other professionals work in geriatric medicine, treat chronic conditions, or assist in preventative care.

The top specialties in California are:

  • Internal medicine;
  • Primary care;
  • Geriatrics;
  • Physical and Rehabilitation care;
  • Home health.

Becoming a Physician is relatively difficult as well. The education alone might take from 7 to 15 years. One must acquire a bachelor’s degree and attend medical college afterward. After that, you’ll have to pass exams and complete residency training.

Registered Nurse

The average salary for registered nurse practitioners in California is $112,526. The range goes from $72,346 to $175,021.

The demand for nurse practitioner specialists is growing faster than the average. Nurses treat patients, provide case management, coordinate patient care, and educate patients on health conditions. A nurse practitioner needs to have a Bachelor’s or associate’s degree and a license.

Specialists can find jobs in hospitals, nursing care facilities, physician offices, or home healthcare services. Infection Control Certification is one of the most in-demand skills in this sphere now.

Nurses might need to operate different medical devices to provide care. They also need to be good communicators and have high emotional intelligence.

Computer Systems and Information Technology

Computer Hardware Engineers

The next cluster of the highest-paying jobs in California is IT. It is also not surprising, as it is one of the most demanded industries in the world. The average annual salary for hardware engineers is $134,559. The lowest rate is $88,201, and the highest is $205,284.

Typically, one needs a Bachelor’s degree to enter the industry. Many professionals decide to pursue a Master’s degree later in their careers.

Job seekers will be glad to learn that the demand for hardware engineers is growing faster than the national average. So there is a decent job security.

Computer hardware engineers design and develop various computer systems and components. They primarily work in research laboratories and close to manufacturing facilities.

Software Developers

Software developers design and develop software programs of all kinds. Some might focus on enterprise-level solutions like ERP or CRM systems. Others develop mobile applications or games. Some professionals work in the cybersecurity niche.

In any case, software developers enjoy high-paying jobs in the Golden State. The average yearly salary is $142,556. The lowest rate is $92,731, and the highest one is $291,151. Most developers only need a Bachelor’s degree to find high-paying jobs.

The salary rates depend on one’s experience, seniority level, computer programming language, and particular skills. Computer engineering is rising, and the demand for computer software developers is significant.

Data Scientists

Among the high-paying jobs in California is Data Science. It is a quickly developing niche of the information technology industry. The annual salary for such experts is $148,363, starting with the lowest, $102,926, and going up to the top, $213,859.

Data scientists work with computer systems to collect, store, organize, and analyze various data types. It is one of the top-paying jobs because it is beneficial for many industries. Data science allows making informed decisions based on the research findings, whether it deals with marketing, finance, or manufacturing.

The demand for this job title is expected to grow by 26% in the next ten years. To become a data scientist, one usually needs a master’s degree in Data Science. However, entry-level positions might also be available for Bachelor’s degree holders. One must also possess strong programming skills, attention to detail, and analytical thinking.

Engineering and Construction

Civil Engineers

A civil engineer is another well-paid job in California. The average annual salary for such professionals is $106,218, which allows them to live comfortably. The lowest rate for people employed in civil engineering is $71,619. And the highest annual salary is $157,533.

The professional network of civil engineers can work for government agencies and private building companies. The responsibilities include planning, designing, and supervising building construction. The demand for civil engineers in this highly populated State is significant. And it is growing faster than the average, based on the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics data.

People employed in this industry work closely with architects, builders, and city administration. Also, they spend half of their time on the object and the other half in the office.

Electrical Engineers

Electrical engineers receive $113,286 annually in California. The lowest rate for people employed in this sphere is $74,700, and the highest rate is $171,805.

Electrical engineers work for companies designing and manufacturing electrical equipment. It includes radars, motors, navigation systems, power generators, and communication systems. For instance, one can find positions for such experts in the federal aviation administration or automotive industry. In such a case, you will be working on developing electrical systems for aircraft or automobiles.

You could work on a commercial aircraft or create a new cutting-edge vehicle. People employed in electrical engineering usually need a Bachelor’s degree and relevant skills.

Nuclear Power Reactor Operators

The average yearly salary for such experts is $119,687. They operate and control nuclear reactions. It is one of the most demanded job titles. But it comes with a high level of responsibility and expectations.

People in the nuclear power industry must know Science, Math, Engineering, Technology, and safety procedures. They have to be attentive, logical, and prone to quick problem-solving. One also has to be resilient to stress and adaptable.

At the same time, your career can take off with only a high school diploma or GED.

Financial and Business Services

Financial Managers

On average, financial managers receive $114,537 annually in California. The lowest rate is $70,742. The highest rate is $185,444.

Whether you decide to work in San Francisco or other parts of the State, you’ll be able to find enough job postings looking for financial managers. Finance experts are needed both in governmental agencies and private companies.

Managers can advise clients on their investments and finances. They also do work with legal documents occasionally. Some might develop pricing strategies for a company. The exact responsibilities depend on the employer, industry, and experience level.

Overall, it is instead an office job that comes with plenty of benefits and growth opportunities. It requires a college education and relevant skills.

Marketing Managers

If natural sciences are not up your alley, you might consider marketing as a career. Marketing managers receive $85,572 annually in California. The lowest rate is $56,410, and the top is $129,809.

Marketing managers can work for almost any business, from a commercial airline to an e-commerce store. Everyone needs an expert to promote their products and reach the target audience.

People employed in marketing do not always have to acquire a college degree. However, it will be a benefit in the job search process. And a degree is needed to grow professionally and get a higher salary.

In Summary

Besides the abovementioned professions, there are other well-paid jobs in California. For example, airline pilots, real estate agents, animal scientists, HVAC supervisors, and massage therapists. The local job market is growing and attracting different specialists.

Date: 16 November 2023
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