As the third-largest US state by area, California is home to many different industries including film production (Hollywood), technology (Silicon Valley), healthcare, natural resources, and others––many of which offer high-paying careers.
This article will highlight the highest-paying jobs in California––what these jobs entail, and how much you can expect to earn each year.
Table of Contents
What are the Top 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in California?
Average annual salary: $241,000
California doctors working in pediatrics are experts in providing comprehensive healthcare to young children and adolescents. This specialized area of medicine means having an extensive knowledge of child development, common childhood illnesses, and preventative healthcare measures.
Since there is such a strong emphasis placed on specialized healthcare for children, Primary Care Pediatricians make big money.
Average annual salary: $235,000
A Hospital Physician working in California provides top-notch healthcare to patients within a hospital setting. Their chief responsibilities include diagnosing and treating medical conditions, conducting comprehensive physical exams, interpreting diagnostic tests, prescribing appropriate medications, and formulating individualized treatment plans.
Hospital physicians also work closely with nurses, specialists, and other healthcare professionals to ensure optimal patient outcomes. And as a result of the heavy workloads, these jobs are extremely well-paid.
Average annual salary: $217,000
Orthodontists are specialized dental professionals who diagnose and treat misaligned teeth and other dental issues. Having advanced knowledge in dentofacial orthopedics, California’s highest-paid orthodontists combine the art and science of creating beautiful smiles.
They are responsible for designing customized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs, including using tools such as braces, aligners, retainers, or other corrective appliances.
Average annual salary: $212,500
Psychiatrists specialize in the diagnosing and treatment of mental health disorders for staff members in California’s biggest corporations. They are responsible for providing evidence-based solutions to those dealing with varying psychological conditions.
In addition to conducting thorough evaluations of patients, psychiatrists often collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop comprehensive treatment plans tailored to each individual’s specific needs.
Average annual salary: $203,000
These high-ranking medical executives perform an essential function in forming and maintaining an organization’s overall vision and direction for healthcare.
They are responsible for leading and managing a team of physicians, ensuring quality patient care, and implementing effective protocols and best practices that meet industry standards. Throughout California, these jobs are often some of the highest-paying available.
Average annual salary: $200,500
A Pulmonary Physician, also known as a pulmonologist, is a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions related to the respiratory system.
Their main area of expertise lies in managing patients with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), pneumonia, tuberculosis, and lung cancer.
Given their critical role in managing respiratory health, these physicians need excellent clinical skills and knowledge––and they are paid very well as a result.
Average annual salary: $199,000
A General Surgery Physician Assistant is another highly skilled healthcare professional, playing a critical role in the field of surgery.
Working under the supervision of a licensed surgeon, they are responsible for providing intensive care to patients before, during, and after surgical procedures. In California, these specialists are highly sought after and well compensated.
Average annual salary: $194,000
The Financial Officer, or CFO, is responsible for managing the finances of some of California’s largest companies. Their duties often include scheduling, overseeing budgets, and determining spend vs. cost figures.
These are very high-paying jobs and they come with even higher pressure due to the expectations, as well as the robust financial knowledge, and tough decision-making that impacts the lives of all employees.
Average annual salary: $189,000
These doctors specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain conditions in hospitals throughout California. They perform a critical role in improving the quality of life for many patients by treating various types of debilitating, long-term afflictions including arthritis, back pain, neuropathic pain, migraines, and fibromyalgia.
Average annual salary: $188,500
Obstetricians/Gynecologists provide extensive healthcare services for girls and women throughout their reproductive years.
While their roles can vary from medical facility, the primary role of an OB/GYN involves diagnosing and treating various conditions related to the female reproductive system, and they are also trained to perform regular check-ups, administer prenatal care, monitor fetal development, provide family planning guidance, and conduct medical screenings.
Average annual salary: $184,000
A dermatologist is a medical professional specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of conditions related to the skin, hair, and nails. These professionals play a crucial role in maintaining healthy skin and addressing various skin disorders while also having expertise in cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections or laser treatments.
This well-paying profession demands not only advanced medical skills but also exceptional interpersonal and communication abilities.
Average annual salary: $182,500
In California, the Vice President of Corporate Development is responsible for improving growth and expansion strategies within an organization. It is a high-profile, executive-level position that requires strong leadership, business knowledge, and a deep understanding of market dynamics.
This particular VP collaborates closely with senior management to define the company’s long-term goals and aligns the corporate development strategy accordingly.
Average annual salary: $180,000
General Physicians in California are tasked with examining patients, conducting medical search histories, performing physical examinations, and ordering necessary diagnostic tests to determine the cause of patients’ ailments––all while providing human care and compassion.
These essential medical professionals are required to possess exemplary skills that work within a wide range of fields. As expected, they are very well compensated.
Average annual salary: $178,500
San Francisco’s Silicon Valley is home to some of the highest-paying tech jobs in the country. These director-level positions are heavily involved, as they are responsible for overseeing and managing the software development teams while guiding to ensure the successful delivery of high-quality software products and solutions.
Directors at this skill level also collaborate with stakeholders, including senior management, to define software development goals and establish the overall roadmap for various projects.
Average annual salary: $176,000
Nurse practitioners in California are required to undergo additional education and training (above and beyond standard hospital nurses) in order to provide extensive healthcare services to patients. Reporting directly to physicians, NPs are qualified to diagnose, treat, and manage both acute and chronic illnesses.
Additional responsibilities include conducting physical examinations, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, and developing treatment plans.
Average annual salary: $171,000
California is home to many highly paid creative people. And some of the most sought-after roles at the executive level are Creative Directors. They work in all types of media and are generally responsible for helping companies create content, including photography work, and advertising for print, radio, film, or digital elements.
These types of roles are often held by those who started off as graphic designers or copywriters, which explains why having extensive experience results in hefty paychecks.
Average annual salary: $168,000
These specialized medical professionals are responsible for using imaging technology, such as X-rays, ultrasounds, and MRI scans, to diagnose and treat various diseases and injuries in patients throughout California.
Their primary role includes interpreting diagnostic images accurately and efficiently in order to provide accurate diagnoses.
Average annual salary: $166,500
A Chief Software Architect is crucial in the field of software development. They are responsible for designing, planning, and implementing software systems that meet business objectives, while also overseeing the entire software development process.
They collaborate with stakeholders to identify their needs and provide high-level solutions and technical expertise.
Average annual salary: $164,000
A Sports Medicine Physician is a medical professional specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of sports-related injuries. These doctors play a crucial role in the healthcare team for athletes, ensuring their physical well-being and performance optimization.
Their job primarily involves providing medical care to athletes during training sessions, competitions, and injury rehabilitation programs. Many of California’s biggest athletes rely on Sports Medicine Physician––and pay them very well.
Average annual salary: $162,500
California is the epicenter of publicity. And therefore, Public Relations Directors are in high demand. A Public Relations Director oversees a person or company’s public image and manages any of their communication strategies.
They, along with their teams, develop effective PR plans to enhance brand reputation and create positive public perception. Because so much of a business’s reputation relies heavily on public relations, these are some of the most well-paid roles in California.
Average annual salary: $158,500
A Medical Consultant is a highly experienced and knowledgeable professional who provides expert advice and guidance on medical matters. They possess extensive clinical experience and are trained to analyze complex medical data, diagnose conditions, and develop appropriate treatment plans.
They also collaborate with healthcare teams to ensure optimal patient care.
Average annual salary: $154,000
The Director of Enterprise Sales has an important position within companies all across California. They are responsible for setting ambitious sales targets, cultivating relationships with potential clients, and leading a team of highly skilled sales professionals to overall business success.
Average annual salary: $150,500
The main goal of any of California’s Chief Software Architects is the managing and development of software systems for the business.
These highly trained and technically skilled professionals also analyze business requirements, identify software solutions, and provide technical guidance to the development team.
Average annual salary: $147,500
Attorneys are highly skilled legal professionals who specialize in providing legal advice and representation to clients. Their main responsibilities include assessing legal issues, researching laws and regulations, drafting legal documents such as contracts and agreements, and representing clients in court proceedings.
Whatever their individual field of practice, attorneys need to have knowledge of state and federal laws while remaining up to date on changes or amendments in the legal system.
Average annual salary: $139,500
CEOs in many of California’s largest companies often have lots to do on any given day. These are the highest-ranking executives in an organization, and their contributions and decisions are critical to ensuring its overall success. As manager of all business operations, the CEO sets the teams’ strategic goals and objectives while leading the company toward profitability and growth.
CEOs are also responsible for making difficult decisions that impact the entire organization, including resource allocation, budgeting, and employee management.
How Can I Find a High-Paying Job in California?
If you live in California and you are looking to advance your career, sourcing the next high-paying job can be tricky. For those who need a hand, there are many online job boards available to help get you started.
One of the best options for localized postings is GrabJobs––a convenient and versatile platform for sourcing and finding jobs. Featuring a ton of career resourcing tools, including online courses and informative blog articles, GrabJobs features thousands of job posts at any given time. Trusted by more than 5,000 companies around the world, GrabJobs even has an automatic profile generation feature that lets users apply for roles in seconds.
Considering a career move? Discover GrabJobs and find some of the highest-paying jobs in California.
The Top 25 Highest-Paying Jobs in California
There you have it! The highest-paying jobs in California right now. Whatever city you call home, there are many different resources available to help you find a high-paying job of your own. Check out GrabJobs to discover career opportunities in your state.