50 Highest and Lowest Paying Jobs of 2017

December 15, 2017 by Thomas C. Frohlich

Source: StockRocket / iStock
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.

Highest Paying Jobs

Source: UberImages / iStock

25. Human resources manager
> National median base pay: $68,029
> Highest median pay: $96,938 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $75,044 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 1.3%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

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Source: kasto80 / iStock

24. Business development manager
> National median base pay: $68,829
> Highest median pay: $93,689 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $72,059 in Philadelphia
> YoY wage growth: 2.2%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 10%

Source: zhuyufang / iStock

23. Network engineer
> National median base pay: $70,751
> Highest median pay: $99,795 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $75,407 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 1.0%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 6%

Source: Alexjey / iStock

22. Field engineer
> National median base pay: $70,999
> Highest median pay: $79,000 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $67,660 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 2.2%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

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Source: milanvirijevic / iStock

21. Quality engineer
> National median base pay: $71,359
> Highest median pay: $89,749 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $69,851 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: -0.4%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

Source: scyther5 / iStock

20. Java developer
> National median base pay: $71,379
> Highest median pay: $96,793 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $73,988 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: -3.8%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 24%

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Source: Zapp2Photo / iStock

19. Manufacturing engineer
> National median base pay: $71,681
> Highest median pay: $92,432 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $72,587 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 1.4%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 5%

Source: Thinkstock

18. Design engineer
> National median base pay: $72,226
> Highest median pay: $94,418 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $73,081 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 2.9%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

Source: NicoElNino / iStock

17. Project manager
> National median base pay: $72,465
> Highest median pay: $93,139 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $76,731 in Philadelphia
> YoY wage growth: 0.4%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

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Source: nd3000 / iStock

16. Mechanical Engineer
> National median base pay: $72,652
> Highest median pay: $92,866 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $72,656 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 0.9%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

Source: AndreyPopov / iStock

15. Physical therapist
> National median base pay: $73,010
> Highest median pay: $95,766 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $74,583 in Boston
> YoY wage growth: -0.1%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 25%

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Source: nd3000 / iStock

14. Program manager
> National median base pay: $73,452
> Highest median pay: $98,886 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $77,354 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: -0.3%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

Source: Rawpixel Ltd / iStock

13. Consultant
> National median base pay: $74,497
> Highest median pay: $97,445 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $80,643 in Washington DC
> YoY wage growth: -0.3%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 12%

Source: scyther5 / iStock

12. UX Designer
> National median base pay: $75,698
> Highest median pay: $104,182 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $74,214 in Philadelphia
> YoY wage growth: -0.2%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 13%

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Source: anyaivanova / iStock

11. Electrical engineer
> National median base pay: $76,287
> Highest median pay: $96,579 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $75,698 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 0.7%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026):

Source: gorodenkoff / iStock

10. Process engineer
> National median base pay: $76,978
> Highest median pay: $96,009 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $78,033 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 1.3%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026):

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Source: Audy_indy / iStock

9. Systems engineer
> National median base pay: $78,663
> Highest median pay: $100,119 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $75,126 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 0.6%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026):

Source: scyther5 / iStock

8. Software engineer
> National median base pay: $85,618
> Highest median pay: $119,964 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $83,399 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 1.7%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 24%

Source: monkeybusinessimages / Thinkstock

7. Professor
> National median base pay: $86,849
> Highest median pay: $126,530 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $89,866 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 0.1%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 15%

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Source: shironosov / iStock

6. Product Manager
> National median base pay: $89,669
> Highest median pay: $123,315 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $92,627 in Philadelphia
> YoY wage growth: 0.4%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

Source: Thinkstock

5. Attorney
> National median base pay: $93,019
> Highest median pay: $140,435 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $101,158 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 0.4%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

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Source: Thinkstock

4. Data scientist
> National median base pay: $93,562
> Highest median pay: $133,666 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $95,226 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: -0.4%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 19%

Source: Thinkstock

3. Tax manager
> National median base pay: $93,988
> Highest median pay: $120,779 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $99,613 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 0.2%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 9%

Source: Thinkstock

2. Solutions architect
> National median base pay: $101,469
> Highest median pay: $126,087 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $104,252 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: -0.1%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 6%

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Source: Thinkstock

1. Pharmacist
> National median base pay: $127,682
> Highest median pay: $141,217 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $115,299 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 0.9%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 6%

Lowest Paying Jobs

Source: Jovanmandic / iStock

25. Maintenance Technician
> National median base pay: $44,135
> Highest median pay: $55,872 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $42,959 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 1.3%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 7%

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Source: Szepy / iStock

24. Loan officer
> National median base pay: $43,456
> Highest median pay: $54,060 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $40,973 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: -3.7%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 11%

Source: kadmy / iStock

23. Warehouse associate
> National median base pay: $42,282
> Highest median pay: $56,120 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $38,755 in New York City
> YoY wage growth: 3.9%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 7%

Source: Thinkstock

22. Licensed practical nurse
> National median base pay: $41,668
> Highest median pay: $55,304 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $43,109 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 2.4%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 12%

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Source: Thinkstock

21. Insurance agent
> National median base pay: $41,636
> Highest median pay: $49,093 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $38,078 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 4.1%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 10%

Source: SeventyFour / iStock

20. Construction laborer
> National median base pay: $39,741
> Highest median pay: $51,633 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $35,469 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 2.6%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 13%

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Source: DuxX / iStock

19. Maintenance Worker
> National median base pay: $39,544
> Highest median pay: $49,528 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $37,453 in Philadelphia
> YoY wage growth: -1.8%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 6%

Source: lisafx / iStock

18. Machine Operator
> National median base pay: $38,633
> Highest median pay: $49,863 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $36,986 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: -1.1%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026):

Source: DragonImages / iStock

17. Administrative assistant
> National median base pay: $38,611
> Highest median pay: $53,681 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $40,107 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 0.6%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): -5%

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Source: AndreyPopov / iStock

16. Delivery driver
> National median base pay: $37,907
> Highest median pay: $47,879 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $36,185 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 3.0%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 4%

Source: hroe / iStock

15. Material handler
> National median base pay: $35,963
> Highest median pay: $45,284 in Boston
> Lowest median pay: $34,905 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 1.8%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 7%

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Source: Wavebreakmedia / iStock

14. Customer service representative
> National median base pay: $35,916
> Highest median pay: $47,670 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $36,937 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 2.7%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 5%

Source: monkeybusinessimages / iStock

13. Emergency medical technician
> National median base pay: $34,994
> Highest median pay: $43,778 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $32,730 in Chicago
> YoY wage growth: 2.7%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 15%

Source: AndreyPopov / iStock

12. Security officer
> National median base pay: $34,243
> Highest median pay: $47,387 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $32,168 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 2.0%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 6%

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Source: Lighthaunter / iStock

11. Medical assistant
> National median base pay: $33,746
> Highest median pay: $49,641 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $34,845 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 1.1%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 29%

Source: m-imagephotography / iStock

10. Server
> National median base pay: $32,553
> Highest median pay: $39,829 in Boston
> Lowest median pay: $30,247 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 1.9%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 7%

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Source: Lacheev / iStock

9. Bartender
> National median base pay: $30,822
> Highest median pay: $40,473 in Boston
> Lowest median pay: $31,862 in Los Angeles
> YoY wage growth: -4.9%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 2%

Source: shironosov / iStock

8. Research assistant
> National median base pay: $30,481
> Highest median pay: $40,130 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $30,709 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 0.6%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): N/A

Source: JackF / iStock

7. Pharmacy technician
> National median base pay: $30,213
> Highest median pay: $44,778 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $28,366 in Philadelphia
> YoY wage growth: 2.4%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 12%

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Source: monkeybusinessimages / iStock

6. Retail key holder
> National median base pay: $28,693
> Highest median pay: $36,507 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $28,652 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 0.7%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 2%

Source: YinYang / iStock

5. Bank teller
> National median base pay: $28,676
> Highest median pay: $33,451 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $28,339 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 3.5%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): -8%

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Source: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock

4. Certified nursing assistant
> National median base pay: $28,493
> Highest median pay: $39,150 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $26,227 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 1.6%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 11%

Source: Lacheev / iStock

3. Restaurant cook
> National median base pay: $28,452
> Highest median pay: $36,185 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $26,620 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 4.2%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 6%

Source: Thinkstock

2. Cashier
> National median base pay: $27,620
> Highest median pay: $34,613 in Seattle
> Lowest median pay: $26,327 in Atlanta
> YoY wage growth: 3.5%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): -1%

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Source: Thinkstock

1. Barista
> National median base pay: $24,563
> Highest median pay: $29,924 in San Francisco
> Lowest median pay: $22,387 in Houston
> YoY wage growth: 3.8%
> Employment outlook (2016-2026): 14%