Best Paying Jobs in California

Updated on February 15, 2024

California, known for its diverse economy and innovation hub, offers some of the highest paying jobs across various industries. This blog explores the top ten jobs in the Golden State, focusing on key aspects such as job title, average salary, description, responsibilities, and required education.

Chief Executives

  • Average Salary: $275,040
  • Job Description: Chief Executives oversee the overall operations, strategies, and policies of an organization, ensuring the company meets its goals.
  • Responsibilities: Developing high-level strategies, making major corporate decisions, and managing the overall operations and resources of a company.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree, often in business administration or a related field, with significant management experience.

Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

  • Average Salary: $252,110
  • Job Description: These professionals are responsible for navigating airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft.
  • Responsibilities: Ensuring safe flights by checking aircraft condition, monitoring weather conditions, and operating the aircraft.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree with flight training and FAA certification.

Computer and Information Research Scientists

  • Average Salary: $232,210
  • Job Description: They invent and design new technology and find new uses for existing technology.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting research, developing theories, and devising methods to apply technological advancements.
  • Required Education: Master’s degree in computer science or a related field.

Computer and Information Systems Managers

  • Average Salary: $215,130
  • Job Description: These managers plan, coordinate, and direct computer-related activities in an organization.
  • Responsibilities: Overseeing IT projects, ensuring the security of an organization’s network, and managing IT teams.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer or information science and related work experience.

Natural Sciences Managers

  • Average Salary: $203,210
  • Job Description: They supervise the work of scientists, including chemists, physicists, and biologists.
  • Responsibilities: Developing project goals, hiring staff, and managing budgets within scientific research.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline, with a master’s or Ph.D. preferred.

Architectural and Engineering Managers

  • Average Salary: $193,600
  • Job Description: They plan, direct, and coordinate activities in architectural and engineering companies.
  • Responsibilities: Leading research and development projects, staffing, and coordinating production activities.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering or architecture, with work experience in the field.

Financial Managers

  • Average Salary: $187,410
  • Job Description: Financial managers are responsible for the financial health of an organization.
  • Responsibilities: Producing financial reports, directing investment activities, and developing strategies for the long-term financial goals of their organization.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance, accounting, economics, or business administration.

Marketing Managers

  • Average Salary: $186,550
  • Job Description: They plan programs to generate interest in products or services.
  • Responsibilities: Working with art directors, sales agents, and financial staff members.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in marketing, business, or related fields.

Managers, All Other

  • Average Salary: $184,990
  • Job Description: This category includes managers who do not fit into other standard occupational classifications.
  • Responsibilities: Varies significantly depending on the specific position and industry.
  • Required Education: Typically requires a bachelor’s degree and relevant management experience.

Software Developers

  • Average Salary: $182,570
  • Job Description: Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs.
  • Responsibilities: Developing applications that allow people to perform specific tasks on a computer or another device.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field.

Final Thoughts

The job landscape in California is diverse, offering numerous opportunities for individuals with various educational backgrounds and skill sets. From technology to management and aviation, the state presents a promising scenario for those aiming for high-paying careers. Keeping abreast of industry trends and continuing education are key to advancing in these lucrative fields.

Other Jobs by State and Location


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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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