Special Report

50 Highest and Lowest Paying Jobs of 2017

Including November, the U.S. economy has now added jobs for 85 straight months. Employment rose by an average of 170,000 over the past three months alone, according to the Labor Department. The professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care industries — which also tend to employ some of the nation’s highest paid individuals — added the most jobs.

Based on data from employee reports on employee forum Glassdoor, a recruiting and data company, 24/7 Wall St. identified the year’s highest (and lowest) paying jobs. The 25 highest paying jobs include 10 engineering occupations, five management roles, and various health sector jobs. Professional services occupations such as consultants, and technology jobs such as data scientists, are well represented on the list of highest paying jobs.

By contrast, manual labor-intensive jobs and occupations that require relatively few formal qualifications comprise most of the 25 lowest paying jobs, although this is not always the case. Delivery drivers, cashiers, construction workers, and bartenders earn some of the nation’s lowest wages. But typically college-educated research assistants, medical assistants, loan officers, and insurance agents are also among the lowest paying occupations.

Median salaries of the same job — be it bartender or software engineer — can vary significantly across the nation’s 10 largest cities. San Francisco is the highest paying city for all of the 25 highest paying jobs without exception. It is also the highest paying for all but four of the 25 lowest paying jobs. This is likely due in large part to the high cost of living in the California technology hub. Atlanta pays the least for 14 of the 25 highest paying jobs and for 12 of the 25 lowest jobs.

Click here to see the highest paying jobs.
Click here to see the lowest paying jobs.

To identify America’s highest and lowest paying jobs of 2017, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed median base pay for 84 occupations provided by online employee forum and recruiting site Glassdoor. The 84 occupations are those for which Glassdoor considered its data sufficient to estimate median income and associated data. We calculated the highest and lowest paying city for each occupation from median pay figures provided by Glassdoor for each of the nation’s 10 largest cities. Year-over-year wage growth for each occupation was also provided by Glassdoor. Employment growth projections from 2016 through 2026 came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Because occupations tracked by the BLS are not always named identically to employee reports on Glassdoor, employment projections were obtained for occupations most closely resembling the Glassdoor occupations. Because national median base pay figures.