When choosing a career path, Americans often gravitate towards professions and locations that offer the highest pay. However, not all jobs or places offer the same benefits,as far as wages go. The two maps found below detail the highest and lowest paying professions in each state.
The Five Highest Annual Wages by State and Profession
- Anesthesiologist in Kansas – $287,410 per year
- Orthodontist in Alabama – $287,250 per year
- Surgeon in New Jersey? – $286,710 per year
- Surgeon in Nebraska – $285,640 per year
- Anesthesiologist in North Dakota – $285,290 per year
From the map of the highest wages by state, it is easy to see that the professions with the highest annual wages are found exclusively in the healthcare sector. In every state, the profession with the highest annual wage is either anesthesiology, orthodontics, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, oral and maxillofacial surgery, or some sort of medical practice, such as internal medicine or even podiatry. The state of Kansas has the profession with the highest annual wage in the country with anesthesiology coming in at an annual average wage of $287,410. The state with the lowest of the highest annual wages is Oregon, where obstetricians and gynecologists earn an average of $247,580 per year.
The Five Lowest Annual Wages by State and Profession
- Shampooers in South Carolina – $17,190 per year
- Shampooers in North Carolina – $17,790 per year
- Manicurists and Pedicurists in New Mexico – $17,880 per year
- Food Preparers in Louisiana – $17,920
- Ushers, Lobby Attendants and Ticket Takers in Wyoming – $17,920
The lowest annual wage map shows that there is a greater variety of professions at the lowest end of the average annual wage range. Shampooers in South Carolina receive the lowest annual wage in the entire country at $17,190 per year. Shampooers in North Carolina don’t fare much better with an annual wage of $17,790. Most of the other professions on the lowest wage map are in the service sector, especially those involving personal care or dining. Shampooers, ushers, manicurists, cooks, and food preparers are among the most common low wage professions. The West Coast and Northeast tend to offer the highest of the lowest annual wages.
It is clear from the data and the maps that the healthcare sector offers a number of high paying jobs. In every state, the highest annual wage belongs to professions in the healthcare sector, even states that are more remote. This is likely due to both the demand for and price of health care services in the United States, as well as the years of education required to hold these professions. On the other side, the jobs with the lowest annual wage tend to be in the service sector. Cooks, fast food workers, beautician services, and attendants tend to be the professions with the lowest annual wages. Those looking for a high paying job may want to think about a career in medicine, especially surgery and anesthesiology. Either way, the graphic shows that not only is what you do important, but where you do it can make a huge annual difference.