Best Paying State Jobs

Updated on February 22, 2024

The landscape of high-paying state jobs is dominated by professions in healthcare, particularly physicians, across all states. Beyond healthcare, other sectors like finance, law, engineering, and sales also offer lucrative opportunities. This blog delves into the top ten best-paying state jobs, highlighting essential aspects such as job title, average salary, responsibilities, and required education.

Orthopedic Surgeons (Non-Pediatric)

  • Average Salary: $381,830
  • Job Description: Specialize in diagnosing and treating disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, and muscles.
  • Responsibilities: Surgery, patient consultation, injury diagnosis, and post-operative care.
  • Required Education: Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree, followed by a residency in orthopedics.


  • Average Salary: $366,600
  • Job Description: Focus on treating skin conditions and diseases.
  • Responsibilities: Skin exams, prescribing medication, performing skin surgery, and offering skincare advice.
  • Required Education: MD or DO degree, followed by a residency in dermatology.

Obstetricians and Gynecologists

  • Average Salary: $364,800
  • Job Description: Provide care related to pregnancy, childbirth, and the female reproductive system.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting exams, managing childbirth, and treating reproductive system disorders.
  • Required Education: MD or DO degree, with a residency in obstetrics and gynecology.


  • Average Salary: $364,470
  • Job Description: Use medical imaging to diagnose and treat diseases within the body.
  • Responsibilities: Reading and interpreting images like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.
  • Required Education: MD or DO degree, plus residency in radiology.


  • Average Salary: $363,570
  • Job Description: Manage pain and vital life functions during surgery.
  • Responsibilities: Administering anesthesia, monitoring patient vitals, and pain management post-surgery.
  • Required Education: MD or DO degree, with a residency in anesthesiology.


  • Average Salary: Ranges from $361,150 to $362,090
  • Job Description: Specialists in diagnosing and treating heart and blood vessel conditions.
  • Responsibilities: Conducting exams, interpreting tests, and managing treatments like medications or procedures.
  • Required Education: MD or DO degree, plus residency in cardiology.

Personal Financial Advisors

  • Average Salary: $119,960 nationwide; up to $158,040 in New York
  • Job Description: Advise clients on financial plans using knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate.
  • Responsibilities: Assessing client’s financial needs, advising on investments, and planning for short- and long-term goals.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, business, or related field.


  • Average Salary: $148,030 nationwide; up to $179,060 in New York
  • Job Description: Represent clients in legal matters and provide advice on legal rights and obligations.
  • Responsibilities: Researching law, drafting documents, and arguing cases in court.
  • Required Education: Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school.

Petroleum Engineers

  • Average Salary: $145,720
  • Job Description: Design and develop methods for extracting oil and gas from deposits below the Earth’s surface.
  • Responsibilities: Developing plans to extract oil and gas, overseeing drilling operations, and ensuring environmental protection.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering or related field.

Sales Engineers

  • Average Salary: $118,630 nationwide; up to $150,950 in Maryland
  • Job Description: Sell complex scientific and technological products or services to businesses.
  • Responsibilities: Collaborating with sales teams to understand customer requirements, and providing technical presentations and product demonstrations.
  • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related technical field.

Final Thoughts

The best-paying state jobs offer not only high salaries but also the opportunity to make significant impacts in various fields. From healthcare to engineering, these roles require a combination of advanced education, specialized training, and dedication. For those aiming for the top echelons of their profession, these roles represent the pinnacle of achievement and reward.


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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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