Highest paying jobs in San Jose that require a graduate degree

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August 1, 2022
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Highest paying jobs in San Jose 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 Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, 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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Photographee.eu // Shutterstock

#41. Rehabilitation counselors

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $57,400 (#10 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 400

National
- Annual mean salary: $42,080 (100,260 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- California-Lexington Park, MD ($74,170)
--- Trenton, NJ ($66,330)
--- Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA ($64,940)

Job description: Counsel individuals to maximize the independence and employability of persons coping with personal, social, and vocational difficulties that result from birth defects, illness, disease, accidents, aging, or the stress of daily life. Coordinate activities for residents of care and treatment facilities. Assess client needs and design and implement rehabilitation programs that may include personal and vocational counseling, training, and job placement.

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Daxiao Productions // Shutterstock

#40. Marriage and family therapists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $62,580 (#25 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,680

National
- Annual mean salary: $56,890 (60,850 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Provo-Orem, UT ($89,560)
--- St. George, UT ($85,290)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($81,890)

Job description: Diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders, whether cognitive, affective, or behavioral, within the context of marriage and family systems. Apply psychotherapeutic and family systems theories and techniques in the delivery of services to individuals, couples, and families for the purpose of treating such diagnosed nervous and mental disorders.

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DGLimages // Shutterstock

#39. Mental health and substance abuse social workers

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $68,960 (#23 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 580

National
- Annual mean salary: $54,540 (116,780 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Madera, CA ($92,870)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($91,480)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($89,730)

Job description: Assess and treat individuals with mental, emotional, or substance abuse problems, including abuse of alcohol, tobacco, and/or other drugs. Activities may include individual and group therapy, crisis intervention, case management, client advocacy, prevention, and education.

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KSai23 // Shutterstock

#38. Chiropractors

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $71,440 (#92 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $83,830 (34,760 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($273,530)
--- Raleigh, NC ($149,430)
--- New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($139,970)

Job description: Assess, treat, and care for patients by manipulation of spine and musculoskeletal system. May provide spinal adjustment or address sacral or pelvic misalignment.

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Canva

#37. Orthotists and prosthetists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $71,870 (#27 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,120 (9,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Jackson, MS ($122,240)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($94,190)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($88,210)

Job description: Design, measure, fit, and adapt orthopedic braces, appliances or prostheses, such as limbs or facial parts for patients with disabling conditions.

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Canva

#36. Judicial law clerks

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $73,130 (#3 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 230

National
- Annual mean salary: $63,860 (14,690 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN ($76,050)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($74,100)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($73,130)

Job description: Assist judges in court or by conducting research or preparing legal documents.

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Shane Global // flickr

#35. Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $74,530 (#40 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

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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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#34. Instructional coordinators

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $79,370 (#39 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 990

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,160 (174,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Haven, CT ($111,440)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($110,800)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($104,000)

Job description: Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology into instruction in order to provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses. May train and coach teachers. Includes educational consultants and specialists, and instructional material directors.

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VH-studio // Shutterstock

#33. Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $86,790 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,560

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,320 (292,230 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($91,420)
--- El Centro, CA ($91,110)
--- Fresno, CA ($90,860)

Job description: Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services.

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Austin Community College // Flickr

#32. Veterinarians

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $88,080 (#219 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 430

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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Jeff Reed // flickr

#31. Archivists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $90,370 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $61,210 (6,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($93,450)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($90,370)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($78,260)

Job description: Appraise, edit, and direct safekeeping of permanent records and historically valuable documents. Participate in research activities based on archival materials.

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#30. Healthcare social workers

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $98,980 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 910

National
- Annual mean salary: $60,470 (176,110 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($100,410)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($98,980)
--- Salinas, CA ($95,690)

Job description: Provide individuals, families, and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute, or terminal illnesses. Services include advising family caregivers. Provide patients with information and counseling, and make referrals for other services. May also provide case and care management or interventions designed to promote health, prevent disease, and address barriers to access to healthcare.

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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#29. Physical therapists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $108,000 (#11 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,200

National
- Annual mean salary: $91,680 (220,870 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- El Centro, CA ($143,500)
--- Modesto, CA ($123,370)
--- Visalia-Porterville, CA ($119,510)

Job description: Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.

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Canva

#28. Speech-language pathologists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $108,640 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 420

National
- Annual mean salary: $83,240 (148,450 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Modesto, CA ($128,540)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($120,920)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($115,480)

Job description: Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.

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Knight Foundation // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Urban and regional planners

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $109,910 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 340

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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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#26. Occupational therapists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $111,720 (#5 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 470

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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Wikimedia Commons

#25. Clinical, counseling, and school psychologists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $112,500 (#19 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 630

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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Canva

#24. Audiologists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $119,550 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

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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National Eye Institute // Flickr

#23. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $120,710 (#14 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 2,010

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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Canva

#22. Statisticians

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $120,850 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 660

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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Petekub // Shutterstock

#21. Economists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $121,650 (#9 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

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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indukas // Shutterstock

#20. Physicists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $128,100 (#26 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

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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fizkes // Shutterstock

#19. Industrial-organizational psychologists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $130,950 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $112,690 (780 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay: data not available

Job description: Apply principles of psychology to human resources, administration, management, sales, and marketing problems. Activities may include policy planning; employee testing and selection, training, and development; and organizational development and analysis. May work with management to organize the work setting to improve worker productivity.

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Worawee Meepian // Shutterstock

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

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $134,110 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 30

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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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $142,260 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,560

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

#16. Biochemists and biophysicists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $145,020 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 600

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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Canva

#15. Podiatrists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $145,850 (#27 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

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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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#14. Education administrators, postsecondary

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $148,150 (#12 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 520

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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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Physician assistants

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $151,500 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 510

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#12. Nurse practitioners

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $153,240 (#4 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 970

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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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#11. Pharmacists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $155,080 (#6 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,680

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

#10. Nurse midwives

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $167,870 (#3 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

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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Kzenon // Shutterstock

#9. Optometrists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $168,460 (#7 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 270

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

#8. Computer and information research scientists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $170,890 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 1,610

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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abriendomundo // Shutterstock

#7. Astronomers

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $174,950 (#2 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $126,250 (1,910 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($201,920)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($174,950)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($133,080)

Job description: Observe, research, and interpret astronomical phenomena to increase basic knowledge or apply such information to practical problems.

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Canva

#6. Nurse anesthetists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $195,190 (#30 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $189,190 (41,960 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Duluth, MN-WI ($271,940)
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($262,890)
--- Green Bay, WI ($239,140)

Job description: Administer anesthesia, monitor patient's vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. May assist anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, or dentists. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.

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Canva

#5. Dentists, general

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $196,830 (#102 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 750

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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Canva

#4. Family medicine physicians

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $228,450 (#110 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 500

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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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Lawyers

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $231,610 (#1 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 5,380

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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#2. Surgeons, except ophthalmologists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $259,230 (#48 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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#1. Psychiatrists

San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Annual mean salary: $261,640 (#18 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 200

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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