Top 50 Highest Paying Jobs in Los Angeles

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Highest Paying Jobs in Los Angeles

Top 50 Highest Paying Jobs in Los Angeles

Having a high-paying job in any part of the world is ideal, but for a city like Los Angeles (and its nearly $1 trillion GDP) –– rich with an exciting culture, shopping, real estate, cuisine, attractions, and so much more –– big salaries not only provide a comfortable and sustainable family income, but they also help to facilitate the kind of lifestyle that allows people to experience all of the above as frequently as possible. And for many, life is worth living when you can truly live it to the fullest. But with those expectations come the work. And with a cost of living that is 51% higher than the national average, and 7% higher than the state average, you could probably use all the help you can get. 

If you are looking for a high-paying job in Los Angeles, you’ll need to know where to start. And which positions are best aligned with your long-term lifestyle plans. Check out our comprehensive guide to learning about the highest-paying jobs and industries in La-La Land, and how you can get one –– especially if you are coming right out of school.

This guide explains the top 50 highest-paying jobs in Los Angeles, the highest-paying industries in Los Angeles, and the highest-paying jobs in Los Angeles for fresh graduates. You’ll find a breakdown of the degrees you’ll need to get hired for these jobs, too. 

What Salary Is Considered Rich in Los Angeles?

The average salary in Los Angeles is $68,118 per year. However, because this city has a very high cost of living, one would need to earn quite a bit more than this to be considered rich or wealthy.

It costs a lot more to live in California compared to many other metropolitan areas in the United States. For example, rental prices are 75 percent higher in Los Angeles than they are in Houston, Texas, and they’re 36 percent higher than they are in Denver, Colorado.

With this information in mind, it seems safe to say that you would need to earn at least $100,000 per year to live comfortably in Los Angeles.

The closer you can get to the $150-$200,000 per year range, though, the better off you’d be. This is especially true when you factor Los Angeles housing prices into the equation. The median home price in Los Angeles is $795,000, which is almost double the median home price in the U.S. ($374,900). 

What Are the Highest Paying Jobs in Los Angeles?

Average annual salary: $314,200

Job description: With special attention paid to the cardiovascular system, Cardiologists spend most of their time studying diseases and disorders of the heart and blood vessels, while offering treatment, prevention, and management solutions to patients. Because of the high skill and extensive education and training necessary to perform this line of work –– and since Los Angeles has some of the best medical institutes in the country –– Cardiologists earn some of the highest paychecks anywhere.

Average annual salary: $305,320

Job description: Psychiatry focuses on the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in patients looking for a less-invasive form of rehabilitation. They also prescribe medications and conduct non-physical forms of treatment, such as psychotherapy and regression therapy. Mental soundness being part of a typical Los Angeles-area lifestyle, people with any of the above issues will often pay out-of-pocket for a qualified and experienced Psychiatrist, making their salaries some of the highest in California.

Average annual salary: $292,480

Job description: As you might imagine, Doctors in Los Angeles (and everywhere else) are not only in high demand, but they are some of the most well-paying jobs available –– which makes sense considering the extensive schooling and training required. Doctors know how to diagnose, treat, and cure those with short or long-term illnesses. They also require years of education and training before they can practice their profession. 

Average annual salary: $277,960

Job description: These professions are some of the most valued in the medical industry because they are responsible for bringing life into the world. Obstetricians/Gynecologists (or OB-GYNs) are doctors who help those before, during, and after childbirth, to ensure the seamless delivery of babies. But more than that, they are also trained to recognize and treat issues that occur within the reproductive system, including detecting sexually transmitted diseases, performing health screening, and urgent surgical procedures (such as caesareans and hysterectomies).

Average annual salary: $256,600

Job description: Every company has a Chief Executive Officer. These positions are just about as high as you can get when climbing the corporate ladder. But they also carry the most responsibilities. CEOs make crucial business decisions that affect the entire company’s bottom line, not to mention the livelihoods of all employees. Because the job of the CEO is so important to the overall function of an organization, and because they absorb so much of the risk, the compensation is typically the highest of anyone else on the payroll. 

Average annual salary: $229,160

Job description: As one of the most visited cities in the world –– with one of the country’s busiest airports, Los Angeles is always on the lookout for experienced airmen and women. Pilots are some of the most in-demand positions in the country and beyond. Commercial airline pilots who fly to international destinations are typically paid more than continental or local-haul pilots, but the training required for all flights is the same. And it’s very intensive, so the rewards are usually worth it in the end. 

Average annual salary: $226,310

Job description: Working in a highly specialized field of medicine, Neurologists are medical doctors who focus on the health of the human nervous system, including issues with the spinal cord, nerves, muscles, and the brain. Day-to-day duties for Neurologists in Los Angeles include diagnosing, treating, and managing pain among those suffering from neurological diseases and disorders. Years of training, education, and patience are required. 

Average annual salary: $224,010

Job description: A well-paying, yet incredibly stressful job, anesthesiologists literally hold the lives of patients undergoing surgery in their hands. Anesthesiologists are doctors who administer the drugs (not only anesthesia) that prevent patients from feeling pain or sensation during major surgical procedures. Not only are they responsible for addressing any patient issues or discomforts before they are put under, but they are also in charge of facilitating long-term recovery for patients post-operation. 

Average annual salary: $177,550

Job description: Whatever your feelings are about lawyers, they provide a necessary service to people in need. And they are typically compensated based on how valuable they are to their clients –– the more serious the trouble people find themselves in, the higher they’ll pay to have a more experienced and knowledgeable attorney to represent them in court. Even lawyers who specialize in reading wills, buying/selling a property, or putting together contracts are well-paid because of the importance of the work involved.

Average annual salary: $174,660

Job description: Engineering jobs are very well paid just about anywhere –– but especially when considering Los Angeles’ unique urban infrastructure and its suburban environmental sectors. While Civil Engineer work is rewarding and fascinating, the training required, and the extensive years of education needed to fulfill some of the available positions mean that they are also handsomely rewarded in the form of big salaries. 

Average annual salary: $173,360

Job description: A Pediatrician is a health care professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating children (typically from birth until the age of 21) while focusing on areas of developmental health that can potentially have lasting effects on patients. Pediatricians essentially care for the youngest section of the public and guide them towards efficiencies that help them develop into healthy adults, like providing routine examinations and providing vaccinations. Due to the highly skilled training and experience required, Pediatricians are very well paid. 

Average annual salary: $172,880

Job description: Information Technology (IT) Managers specialize in the deployment and project design of various solutions affecting online areas of a business. These roles also involve organizing structure, setting up departments, and defining policy and procedure. In Los Angeles, because of the complex responsibilities of these advanced positions, you’ll likely need several years of experience (ideally as an IT Analyst) before you can work your way to the top. 

Average annual salary: $171,980

Job description: Second only to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chief Financial Officer, or CFO, is responsible for managing the company’s money –– including scheduling, overseeing budgets, determining the spend vs. costs figures within multiple departments, and so on. These high-paying jobs 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: $170,000

Job description: The years of experience required to become a college or university professor in the state of California, like anywhere, is extensive and demanding. But once a student graduates to the level of professor, especially a tenured professor, they can start teaching their students in their chosen field of education. Professors at many of Los Angeles’ top colleges and universities teach students across different subjects, creating lasting impacts on the lives of others. With the right qualifications, professors can teach their chosen subjects anywhere.

Average annual salary: $164,200

Job description: Having solid creative and design skills is just one of many expectations of an established Architect in Los Angeles. In addition to the visual insights, Architects are expected to have an exceptional grasp of subjects like mathematics, sciences, and engineering. Whether working for a government agency that erects public offices or skyscrapers, or for private clients in need of a new home, architects are not only popular with many of the downtown firms in Los Angeles, but they also pay well above the average wage. 

Average annual salary: $161, 750

Job description: Marketing Managers are responsible for using industry research and market trends to forecast growth opportunities for their companies, increasing revenue wherever possible. And this is true for Los Angeles. As the world continues to emerge from the weight of COVID-19 restrictions, there is likely to be an increase in growth for well-paying marketing jobs –– especially at the senior level. And those come with large paychecks. 

Average annual salary: $160,890

Job description: Bank Managers are very well-paid in Los Angeles and beyond due to the expertise required of all candidates, plus a strong knowledge of numbers, investments, and funds. Those who can also oversee the efficiency of their entire organization while being in charge of millions, sometimes, billions of other people’s hard-earned income are vital responsibilities that make these positions highly sought-after.

Average annual salary: $155,890

Job description: The Los Angeles Police Department is famously known for its commitment to protecting and serving the residents of one of California’s largest cities. So the need (and pay) for Police Supervisors is exceptionally high. Supervisors at this level manage the day-to-day activities of law enforcement officers within any police department. Duties include staff scheduling, officer training, and organizing department investigations. A First-Line Police Supervisor can also be known as a captain, a lieutenant, or a sergeant.

Average annual salary: $154,180

Job description: Many business owners in Los Angeles need qualified job candidates to oversee the day-to-day operations of their companies. Senior-level Actuaries or Business Managers are responsible for leading employees to achieve internal goals and expectations, implementing and enforcing sales strategies, and evaluating efficiencies throughout the calendar year. Because of the immense responsibilities of managing so many moving parts, these positions are very well-paid.

Average annual salary: $153,040

Job description: While some may not necessarily value the benefits of a career in physical science, physicists might change such perceptions. These scientists, trained in physics, conduct routine research at a university or a national laboratory while experimenting to test hypotheses and theories that result in the discoveries of new ideas and methods for making the world work around us. These jobs require extensive studying (but if you want to be a Physicist, you’ll have to really love studying), but offer great salaries. 

Average annual salary: $150,720

Job description: Human Resource Managers are in charge of a list of daily tasks that keep a company running, like hiring employees, handling interpersonal issues, and ensuring employees have good mental well-being while in the working environment. Many companies across Los Angeles are looking for dedicated managers to oversee the Human Resources department –– and they’re willing to pay high salaries. 

Average annual salary: $146,040

Job description: Creative Directors across all types of media are generally responsible for helping companies create content –– which includes, but isn’t limited to advertising for print, radio, film, or digital elements. Many Creative Directors don’t typically have or require a degree in any particular creative field, but instead can be hired based entirely on an impressive portfolio of creative work. These types of jobs are typically held by those who work their way up from graphic designer or copywriter, which explains why the experience and talent equate to such large pay salaries.

Average annual salary: $145,740

Job description: The Los Angeles Fire Department has many resources available to them, and they remain a vital service to the Southern California region. As such, career (non-voluntary) Firefighters are very well paid in Los Angeles, owing mainly to the level of training and skills required. The duties of First-Line Firefighter Supervisors include performing fire-fighting training, fire prevention, and rescue drills. 

Average annual salary: $144,930

Job description: A general Nurse Practitioner has always been a vital and well-paying profession for decades throughout the USA –– but since the country found itself in the grip of a global pandemic and following its steady climb to recovery into 2023 –– the demand for nurses in California, specifically Los Angeles has exploded. Those with the medical skills and training required can eventually work up to senior positions and command some very high salaries. 

Average annual salary: $144,105

Job description: Just about any position that involves the handling and moving of money is going to be well-paid wherever the market –– and Investment Bankers are some of the most in-demand and highly compensated in Los Angeles’ busy financial district. These roles require a qualified and dedicated candidate with a strong knowledge of investments and funds, one who can also oversee the efficiency of their entire organization while being in charge of millions, sometimes, billions of other people’s hard-earned income.

Average annual salary: $143,985

Job description: A highly demanding job that requires considerable training and technical skills, an IT (Information Technology) Director, especially one at a prominent corporate digital or business firm, is not only one of the most attractive positions in Los Angeles today, but it is also one of the best paying. IT Directors help to solve computer issues at the highest level while also helping to develop and/or test software applications while troubleshooting and utilizing specialized skills like coding and writing.

Average annual salary: $143,610

Job description: Given the number of production and film studios located across Los Angeles, the need for creators of film content is high. And these types of positions are very well-paying. A Director or Producer of a production company can command big salaries for their creative and technical expertise when leading a crew. Film schools are typically where these positions are born, along with a solid portfolio of relevant work experience.  

Average annual salary: $142,700

Job description: Petroleum engineers help to source oil and gas to export and utilize for California’s extensive energy needs. They design and develop methods for extracting fuels from underground deposits while also coming up with new ways to extract from older wells. These heavily skilled roles are in high demand and well-paid throughout the country.

Average annual salary: $141,500

Job description: Economists are popular throughout the state of California, but especially in Los Angeles which is one of the major hubs of the state’s economic growth. To communicate their skills, Economists collect and analyze data and research while using their findings to predict future economic conditions. They also assess current government policies, while conducting surveys and preparing budgets to provide sound advice on business strategies that affect the entire state population. It’s a hard job, but it’s very well-paid.

Average annual salary: $138,120

Job description: In a city like Los Angeles, adjacent to Hollywood, good Public Relations Managers are in high demand. These industry big-shots will typically handle client groups and determine the most effective forms of communication for minimizing conflicts, managing crises, and promoting goods, services, people, and brands. They are an essential part of any company or studio and often earn big paychecks as a result, provided you’ve got media training and, preferably, a solid client list. 

  1. Pharmacist: Average annual salary: $136,950
  2. Administrative Law Judge: Average annual salary: $134,240
  3. Operations Manager: Average annual salary: $132,030
  4. Radiation Therapist: Average annual salary: $131,960
  5. Mathematician: Average annual salary: $129,590
  6. Physician Assistant: $129,210
  7. Software Developer: Average annual salary: $125,210
  8. Electrical Engineer: Average annual salary: $124,110
  9. Medical And Health Services Manager: Average annual salary: $122,960
  10. Veterinarian: Average annual salary:$121,750
  11. Nuclear Medicine Technologist: Average annual salary:$121,560
  12. Fundraising Manager: Average annual salary: $121,400
  13. Emergency Management Director: $121,340
  14. Clinical And Counseling Psychologist: Average annual salary: $120,230
  15. Hydrologist: Average annual salary: $119,800
  16. Construction Manager: $119,490
  17. Writer / Author: Average annual salary: $117,170
  18. Information Security Analyst: Average annual salary: $116,880
  19. Industrial Production Manager: Average annual salary: $116,560
  20. Data Analyst: Average annual salary: $114,650

Top 5 Highest-Paying Industries in Los Angeles

In addition to learning about the highest-paying jobs in this city, it’s also important to be informed about the highest-paying industries in Los Angeles. Listed below are 5 of the highest-paying industries, along with the top 8 careers and job prospects:

Understandably, the healthcare industry is one of the highest-paying industries in Los Angeles (and the rest of the United States). Medical professionals are essential workers, and they put a lot of time and effort into gaining the skills needed to save lives and improve people’s health, so it makes sense that they are some of the wealthiest professionals in the Los Angeles area. 

Top 8 Careers

Job Prospects: Healthcare workers are very important, and they’re also in high demand in the Los Angeles area. There is a great need for experienced, skilled professionals who can keep Los Angeles residents healthy and safe. Because of this, the job prospects look very promising for people in this field. If you have the proper certifications, you’ll likely have an easy time getting hired in this industry. 

The business administration/management sector is another high-paying industry in the Los Angeles area. A wide range of businesses operate out of Los Angeles, from small and medium-sized companies to major corporations like The Walt Disney Co. Because of this, there’s a great demand for business professionals who can help run these companies and ensure they’re successful.

Top 8 Careers

Job Prospects: Because there are so many businesses that operate out of Los Angeles, the job prospects for business, marketing, and finance professionals look very good. If you have a degree and experience in these fields, you’ll likely have an easy time finding a job in Los Angeles that pays well and aligns with your skills and credentials.

The aviation industry, which includes pilots, air traffic controllers, and other professionals, is also a high-paying industry in Los Angeles. Because one of the country’s biggest airports (LAX) is located here, it makes sense that those who work in the industry are paid well for their efforts and expertise. Engineering, like aviation, relies on workers with strong scientific, technical, and mechanical skills and is equally promising as a reliable career path. 

Top 8 Careers

Job Prospects: The job prospects look quite promising for those who work in the aviation and engineering industries in Los Angeles. The aviation and travel fields in particular have struggled over the last couple of years, but they’re picking up steam once again as people start traveling regularly. Engineering, alternatively, is as in-demand as ever as we continue to get back to normal. If you have the skills and certifications necessary to work in either of these similar fields, you’ll likely find a job very quickly.

The information technology (or IT) industry is also growing rapidly in Los Angeles. There are lots of jobs for computer experts and tech professionals, from software developers to information systems managers. 

Top 8 Careers

Job Prospects: There are plenty of job opportunities in the information and technology sector. If you have experience in computer science or a related field, you’ll likely find that you can earn a very good living in Los Angeles and won’t have to search too hard to find a job. 

Educators often aren’t paid well in many other parts of the United States, but Los Angeles is an exception. Post-secondary educators, in particular, can earn very high salaries in Los Angeles and are some of the best-paid workers in the entire city.

Top 8 Careers

Job Prospects: The post-secondary education industry is quite competitive, and it can be challenging to find open positions in this field. However, those who are skilled and have previous education experience will likely have an easier time finding jobs in the Los Angeles area. If you have a passion for education and want to teach at a higher level, don’t give up just because it may take a little longer for you to find the right job. 

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Top 10 Highest-Paying Jobs in Los Angeles for Fresh Graduates

For college students who are planning for the future, it’s also important to know about the highest-paying jobs in Los Angeles for fresh graduates.

It may take a while before you can work your way up to a high salary at some of the highest-paying jobs on the Top 20 list above. However, there are also plenty of jobs that offer high entry-level salaries and are good choices for people who want to earn a lot of money right after leaving school.

The following are 10 of the best options to consider working toward. 

Cardiologists are officially the highest-paying jobs we’ve found in Los Angeles, so if you are fresh out of school and looking for a career in the medical field that offers a big salary, you should pursue cardiology. Presuming you have studied the field in school, you are likely to know where to begin your interning. But for those who need a hand, consider the fact that Los Angeles has some of the best hospitals and medical facilities in the country. These are prime areas to begin your search as a cardiology resident. Again, Cardiologists, on  average, earn a whopping $314,200 salary, while a starting salary is around $165,600. 

Another healthcare worker who can earn a high salary fresh from school is an obstetrician and gynecologist (or OB-GYN). OB-GYNs can earn an entry-level salary of $147,050 per year. Once they’ve put in a few years of work and paid their dues, they can also earn nearly $277,960 per year (on average). 

It takes quite a while to become an OB-GYN (4 years for a bachelor’s degree, 4 years for a medical degree, and 3 to 7 years in internships and residencies). As soon as you graduate and land a job, though, you can start earning more than 2 times the average salary for a Los Angeles resident, though, so it’s worth the time and effort.

Psychiatrists, in addition to being the highest-earning professionals in Los Angeles, also have one of the highest entry-level salaries. Fresh from school, you can earn an average starting salary of $127,320 per year as a psychiatrist (the average salary for experienced Psychiatrists tips the scales at $305,320). As is the case with many other healthcare professions, it takes quite a while to become a psychiatrist. This career path isn’t for the faint of heart. In addition to a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a 4-year medical degree, you’ll need to complete a 4-year residency program before you can start practicing and seeing patients. Once you’ve completed your schooling, though, you’ll be able to earn a high salary right away. 

Healthcare professions aren’t the only high-paying careers in the Los Angeles area. If a healthcare-related degree isn’t right for you, you may want to consider a career in engineering. 

Many engineers can earn high salaries right after they graduate, including petroleum engineers. Petroleum engineers work to find oil and gas to meet the country’s energy needs. They also design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas. Petroleum engineers receive an average entry-level salary of $96,130 per year, which is well over the average salary for a Los Angeles resident.

Another one of the best-paid jobs in Los Angeles, particularly for fresh graduates, is a career as an air traffic controller. Air traffic controllers use a variety of tools, including radar, computers, and visual references, to monitor and direct aircraft movement in the sky and on the ground. 

Air traffic controllers can earn an entry-level salary of $91,260. With experience, they can earn quite a bit more ($147,230 per year on average).

Many of the highest-paying careers for fresh graduates are in the medical field. This makes sense when you consider it one of the highest-paying industries in Los Angeles. Nurse midwives are some of the highest earners in this field, even those who are freshly graduated.

Nurse midwives are advanced nurses who care for women during pre-conception, pregnancy, and childbirth, as well as during the postpartum period.

As the last few years have shown us, people in the healthcare profession are vital to our collective health before, during, and especially after a global pandemic hits without warning. Post-care medical providers like Pharmacists are relied upon to provide a secondary form of at-home assistance in the way of dispensing pharmaceuticals to patients and customers, as well as providing knowledge of side effects, dosages, and potential allergies or drug interactions. In Los Angeles, the average salary for an established Pharmacist is $136,950, but the starting average is generally around $78,850, making it a very attractive position for those interested in pursuing a career in the medical field right out of school. 

Given that Los Angeles is situated within various tech hubs –– not to mention its proximity to THE tech hub in neighboring Silicon Valley ––  just about any post-graduate job involving computer and/or technology will likely lead to an unbelievably successful career. Software Developers (also known as Software Specialists or Software Engineers) have been in-demand since the early 2000s given their inescapable relevance to so many different industries. On average, Developers earn about $125,210, with a starting salary of around $76,300, and while they typically work long hours, these positions come with flexible schedules and major growth opportunities. 

Los Angeles is one of the most exciting cities in the world, owing mainly to the fact that there are countless production studios creating film, television, digital, and other media content. If a job in the entertainment industry sounds appealing, LA is the place to get started. And fortunately, there are plenty of positions into which new graduates can enter with minimal experience that can eventually turn into massively high-paying careers. Writers, including script supervisors for production companies, are in-demand across Los Angeles, and established wordsmiths claim an average salary of $117,170. For those looking for an entry-level figure, you’re looking at around $72,000 –– a great place to start.

With so many creative types flocking to Hollywood, Los Angeles is teeming with agencies and brand companies looking to sell their goods and services. And these companies need directors with a singular vision to take their brands global. A Creative Director in Los Angeles earns, on average, $146,040, but for a new graduate, a position at an agency is easy to secure –– you’ll typically start as a copywriter or graphic designer, both of which feature solid starting salaries. Once you’ve put in anywhere from 3 to 5 years’ worth of experience, you can start looking for a challenging director role. 

What Degree Pays Most in Los Angeles?

If you want to increase your chances of landing one of the best-paid jobs in Los Angeles, it helps to have a college degree.

In general, your earning power goes up when you’ve received a degree. However, not all degrees are created equal.

The table below shows some of the best degree types to consider for Los Angeles residents, as well as the potential salaries you can earn once you’ve obtained them:

Degree Type

Potential Salary

Medical-Psychiatry

$252,080 per year

Medical

$232,250 per year

Aviation

$218,970 per year

Nursing

$191,440 per year

Engineering

$182,720 per year

Of course, there’s always a possibility that you’ll earn more or less than what’s mentioned above after earning one of these degrees.

These numbers are just estimated to give you an idea of what your potential salary might be. They can help to point you in the right direction, though, and make it easier for you to plan for the future.

Find One of the Highest-Paying Jobs in Los Angeles Today

There you have it! The highest-paying jobs in Los Angeles right now. There are plenty of resources available to help you find a high-paying job of your own, wherever you live. Use these resources and tools to your advantage to help land the career of your dreams.  

GrabJobs is a great resource that can help you expand your skillset and help you find a high-paying job in Los Angeles. Check out our Career Resources section or our free job search tool today to learn more.

Valentin Berard

COO at GrabJobs. Valentin leads strategic and operational activities regionally. Background in Business Development and Recruitment. Passionate about social innovation, he constantly strives to find solutions to real-world problems through harnessing smart technology. Read more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/valeberard/