Highest paying jobs in San Francisco that require a graduate degree

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March 8, 2022
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Highest paying jobs in San Francisco that require a graduate degree

Those with graduate degrees earn more on average than those without them—but not all jobs are equal. And while rising tuition costs are enough to turn people away from the prospect of a master’s or doctoral degree, many high-paying professions still require such degrees to get in the door. Stacker compiled a list of the highest- paying jobs that require a graduate degree in San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage.

The best way to guarantee a high return on investment in a graduate degree is to be aware of professions that pay top-dollar for that added educational investment. Keep reading to see where a graduate degree is required—and can earn you the most.

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University of the Fraser Valley // flickr

#50. Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $103,380 (#9 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 310

National
- Annual mean salary: $90,160 (22,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($140,300)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($119,520)
--- Charlottesville, VA ($112,640)

Job description: Teach courses in philosophy, religion, and theology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#49. Occupational therapists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $104,090 (#13 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,250

National
- Annual mean salary: $87,480 (126,610 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- The Villages, FL ($115,920)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($115,060)
--- Modesto, CA ($112,870)

Job description: Assess, plan, and organize rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays. Use therapeutic techniques, adapt the individual's environment, teach skills, and modify specific tasks that present barriers to the individual.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#48. Political science teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $104,580 (#15 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $100,970 (15,130 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($163,420)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($144,260)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($129,530)

Job description: Teach courses in political science, international affairs, and international relations. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Shane Global // flickr

#47. Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $104,810 (#5 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $80,410 (22,790 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($129,500)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($122,220)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($118,390)

Job description: Teach languages and literature courses in languages other than English. Includes teachers of American Sign Language (ASL). Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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ESB Professional // Shutterstock

#46. Atmospheric, earth, marine, and space sciences teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $105,330 (#16 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 170

National
- Annual mean salary: $104,710 (11,750 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($147,900)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($138,440)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($135,290)

Job description: Teach courses in the physical sciences, except chemistry and physics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Irina.stelea // Wikimedia Commons

#45. History teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $105,740 (#8 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $85,630 (20,450 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fresno, CA ($146,320)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($141,390)
--- Rochester, NY ($128,550)

Job description: Teach courses in human history and historiography. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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COD Newsroom // Flickr

#44. English language and literature teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $105,810 (#7 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 850

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,340 (64,800 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($141,420)
--- Fresno, CA ($130,580)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($121,510)

Job description: Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Lucky Business // Shutterstock

#43. Chemistry teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $107,480 (#13 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 190

National
- Annual mean salary: $94,630 (21,530 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($140,380)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($136,630)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($136,080)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to the chemical and physical properties and compositional changes of substances. Work may include providing instruction in the methods of qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Urban and regional planners

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $107,810 (#3 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,410

National
- Annual mean salary: $79,410 (38,190 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($109,910)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($108,860)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($107,810)

Job description: Develop comprehensive plans and programs for use of land and physical facilities of jurisdictions, such as towns, cities, counties, and metropolitan areas.

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Kenny Holston // flickr

#41. Recreation and fitness studies teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $108,140 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 250

National
- Annual mean salary: $75,430 (14,730 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($135,560)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($108,140)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($100,260)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to recreation, leisure, and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#40. Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $108,260 (#12 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 810

National
- Annual mean salary: $86,760 (49,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($147,770)
--- Fresno, CA ($129,330)
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($126,580)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to mathematical concepts, statistics, and actuarial science and to the application of original and standardized mathematical techniques in solving specific problems and situations. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Suzannekweiss // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $108,680 (#7 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 490

National
- Annual mean salary: $84,060 (61,100 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($145,990)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($120,040)
--- Savannah, GA ($117,610)

Job description: Demonstrate and teach patient care in classroom and clinical units to nursing students. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Wikimedia Commons

#38. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $108,920 (#24 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,930

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,290 (111,320 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($138,550)
--- Jefferson City, MO ($133,640)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($125,020)

Job description: Assess, diagnose, and treat mental and emotional disorders of individuals through observation, interview, and psychological tests. Help individuals with distress or maladjustment understand their problems through their knowledge of case history, interviews with patients, and theory. Provide individual or group counseling services to assist individuals in achieving more effective personal, social, educational, and vocational development and adjustment. May design behavior modification programs and consult with medical personnel regarding the best treatment for patients.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife // flickr

#37. Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $109,240 (#3 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,740 (14,030 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fresno, CA ($143,000)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($127,110)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,240)

Job description: Teach courses in criminal justice, corrections, and law enforcement administration. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#36. Anthropology and archeology teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $109,260 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $98,740 (5,590 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($133,450)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($127,900)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($109,560)

Job description: Teach courses in anthropology or archeology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Fae // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Psychology teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $112,110 (#7 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 850

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,960 (36,520 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($199,070)
--- Bakersfield, CA ($131,290)
--- Fresno, CA ($129,550)

Job description: Teach courses in psychology, such as child, clinical, and developmental psychology, and psychological counseling. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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U.S. Air Force

#34. Epidemiologists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $114,300 (#5 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 150

National
- Annual mean salary: $83,620 (7,500 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($134,580)
--- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN ($122,520)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($121,560)

Job description: Investigate and describe the determinants and distribution of disease, disability, or health outcomes. May develop the means for prevention and control.

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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#33. Engineering teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $114,570 (#17 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,130 (38,520 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($162,430)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($142,380)
--- Austin-Round Rock, TX ($141,860)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to the application of physical laws and principles of engineering for the development of machines, materials, instruments, processes, and services. Includes teachers of subjects such as chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, mineral, and petroleum engineering. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#32. Physics teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $114,730 (#10 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $101,290 (13,670 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Rochester, NY ($160,370)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($148,480)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($141,180)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to the laws of matter and energy. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#31. Audiologists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $118,350 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 300

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,230 (13,300 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Reno, NV ($151,460)
--- Tulsa, OK ($128,620)
--- Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR ($127,210)

Job description: Assess and treat persons with hearing and related disorders. May fit hearing aids and provide auditory training. May perform research related to hearing problems.

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Austin Community College // Flickr

#30. Veterinarians

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $119,640 (#42 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 870

National
- Annual mean salary: $108,350 (73,710 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($169,220)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($150,370)
--- Akron, OH ($150,330)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#29. Biological science teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $122,380 (#8 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 380

National
- Annual mean salary: $101,320 (51,500 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR ($195,730)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($161,980)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($147,290)

Job description: Teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#28. Statisticians

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $127,080 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,910

National
- Annual mean salary: $97,170 (38,860 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($127,080)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($120,850)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($118,900)

Job description: Develop or apply mathematical or statistical theory and methods to collect, organize, interpret, and summarize numerical data to provide usable information. May specialize in fields such as biostatistics, agricultural statistics, business statistics, or economic statistics. Includes mathematical and survey statisticians.

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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $128,700 (#18 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,430

National
- Annual mean salary: $103,010 (262,480 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Modesto, CA ($154,970)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($146,070)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($145,590)

Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary schools.

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luchschenF // Shutterstock

#26. Biochemists and biophysicists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $128,750 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $104,810 (32,010 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($145,020)
--- Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN ($132,280)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($131,720)

Job description: Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.

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National Eye Institute // Flickr

#25. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $130,250 (#5 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 6,300

National
- Annual mean salary: $101,800 (126,110 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($143,800)
--- New Haven, CT ($142,330)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($136,230)

Job description: Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities.

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Worawee Meepian // Shutterstock

#24. Administrative law judges, adjudicators, and hearing officers

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $131,190 (#7 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 360

National
- Annual mean salary: $102,050 (14,570 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($145,340)
--- Kansas City, MO-KS ($139,930)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($139,150)

Job description: Conduct hearings to recommend or make decisions on claims concerning government programs or other government-related matters. Determine liability, sanctions, or penalties, or recommend the acceptance or rejection of claims or settlements.

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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#23. Economics teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $132,650 (#14 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $123,720 (13,080 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($180,450)
--- Rochester, NY ($175,010)
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($171,450)

Job description: Teach courses in economics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#22. Genetic counselors

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $133,640 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,710 (2,280 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($134,590)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($133,640)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($101,360)

Job description: Assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. Provide information to other healthcare providers or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions. Advise individuals and families to support informed decisionmaking and coping methods for those at risk. May help conduct research related to genetic conditions or genetic counseling.

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S√∏ren Fuglede J√∏rgensen // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Mathematicians

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $135,980 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $112,530 (2,460 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($138,160)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($135,980)
--- Trenton, NJ ($131,570)

Job description: Conduct research in fundamental mathematics or in application of mathematical techniques to science, management, and other fields. Solve problems in various fields using mathematical methods.

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Kzenon // Shutterstock

#20. Optometrists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $136,050 (#46 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 620

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,440 (36,690 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Columbia, SC ($228,340)
--- New Haven, CT ($186,950)
--- Evansville, IN-KY ($182,980)

Job description: Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.

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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#19. Computer science teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $137,960 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $98,680 (32,230 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($153,430)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($150,480)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($143,650)

Job description: Teach courses in computer science. May specialize in a field of computer science, such as the design and function of computers or operations and research analysis. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#18. Education administrators, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $138,030 (#21 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,210

National
- Annual mean salary: $115,200 (140,880 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ithaca, NY ($205,810)
--- Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC ($178,210)
--- Charlottesville, VA ($176,040)

Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate student instruction, administration, and services, as well as other research and educational activities, at postsecondary institutions, including universities, colleges, and junior and community colleges.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#17. Area, ethnic, and cultural studies teachers, postsecondary

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $143,090 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $88,790 (9,960 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($143,090)
--- Rochester, NY ($133,150)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($121,010)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to the culture and development of an area, an ethnic group, or any other group, such as Latin American studies, women's studies, or urban affairs. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Physician assistants

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $143,840 (#15 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,430

National
- Annual mean salary: $116,080 (125,280 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salinas, CA ($168,220)
--- Waterbury, CT ($165,230)
--- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($158,020)

Job description: Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.

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Canva

#15. Podiatrists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $147,070 (#24 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $151,110 (9,710 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA ($229,330)
--- Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC ($226,260)
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($221,380)

Job description: Diagnose and treat diseases and deformities of the human foot.

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Petekub // Shutterstock

#14. Economists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $148,980 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 900

National
- Annual mean salary: $120,880 (17,520 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($153,610)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($148,980)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($142,580)

Job description: Conduct research, prepare reports, or formulate plans to address economic problems related to the production and distribution of goods and services or monetary and fiscal policy. May collect and process economic and statistical data using sampling techniques and econometric methods.

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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#13. Pharmacists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $154,580 (#7 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 3,870

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,460 (315,470 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Madera, CA ($165,350)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($162,540)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($161,120)

Job description: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.

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Suzanne M. Day // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Nurse midwives

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $162,110 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $115,540 (7,120 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($191,440)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($171,000)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($167,870)

Job description: Diagnose and coordinate all aspects of the birthing process, either independently or as part of a healthcare team. May provide well-woman gynecological care. Must have specialized, graduate nursing education.

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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#11. Computer and information research scientists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $163,330 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,330

National
- Annual mean salary: $130,890 (30,220 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($170,890)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($163,330)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($150,090)

Job description: Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.

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indukas // Shutterstock

#10. Physicists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $164,420 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $137,700 (16,160 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($170,690)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($164,420)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($159,290)

Job description: Conduct research into physical phenomena, develop theories on the basis of observation and experiments, and devise methods to apply physical laws and theories.

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Canva

#9. Dentists, general

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $177,420 (#144 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,770

National
- Annual mean salary: $180,830 (95,920 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Dover-Durham, NH-ME ($286,540)
--- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL ($278,790)
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($278,390)

Job description: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#8. Nurse practitioners

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $177,800 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,080

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,510 (211,280 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($188,070)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($177,800)
--- Salinas, CA ($155,310)

Job description: Diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lawyers

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $201,920 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 16,740

National
- Annual mean salary: $148,910 (658,120 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($231,610)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($201,920)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($186,070)

Job description: Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

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Sebastian Duda // Shutterstock

#6. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $211,940 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 280

National
- Annual mean salary: $131,850 (28,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($211,940)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($210,160)
--- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL ($185,950)

Job description: Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate, or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.

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Canva

#5. Family medicine physicians

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $214,810 (#148 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,960

National
- Annual mean salary: $214,370 (98,590 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA ($309,800)
--- Napa, CA ($302,040)
--- Gadsden, AL ($292,110)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.

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Canva

#4. Pediatricians, general

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $235,190 (#10 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $184,570 (27,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($280,860)
--- State College, PA ($275,730)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($275,610)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries in children. May refer patients to specialists for further diagnosis or treatment, as needed.

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Canva

#3. General internal medicine physicians

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $239,360 (#39 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $210,960 (50,600 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Rochester, MN ($315,830)
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($314,080)
--- Wichita Falls, TX ($311,260)

Job description: Diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment for a wide range of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems. Provide care mainly for adults and adolescents, and are based primarily in an outpatient care setting.

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Unsplash

#2. Surgeons, except ophthalmologists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $250,590 (#59 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $251,650 (37,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sioux City, IA-NE-SD ($305,480)
--- Akron, OH ($297,710)
--- Lincoln, NE ($296,150)

Job description: Diagnose and perform surgery to treat and prevent rheumatic and other diseases in the musculoskeletal system.

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LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#1. Psychiatrists

San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
- Annual mean salary: $254,480 (#25 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 300

National
- Annual mean salary: $217,100 (25,540 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($297,710)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($289,580)
--- Kansas City, MO-KS ($287,220)

Job description: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental disorders.

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