25 highest-paying jobs in Chicago

Written by:
February 15, 2019
quinntheislander // Wikimedia Commons

25 highest-paying jobs in Chicago

Careers in law, medicine, and business have long been considered paths to wealth. Digging into the nuances of a city’s labor landscape, however, reveals that each region has a blend of traditional industries and unique regional opportunities that provide a range of routes to a lucrative calling.

To help discover the top-paying jobs in the Chicago metro, Stacker compiled 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Zippia, which ranked occupations by their average annual salary. For each occupation, Stacker has also included the entry level salary and the estimated number of workers employed within the metro area.

Some of these professions have humble starting salaries with serious upsides, with the potential to triple or even quadruple in time. Read on to discover the top earning occupations in the Chicago area.

RELATED READING: 50 most meaningful jobs in America

1 / 25
Tech.Co's Chicago Startup of the Year Competition // Flickr

#25. Sales engineers

- Average annual salary: $111,460
- Entry level salary: $55,600
- Total employment in Chicago: 2,830

2 / 25
wellphoto // Shutterstock

#24. Public relations and fundraising managers

- Average annual salary: $111,560
- Entry level salary: $52,350
- Total employment in Chicago: 2,250

3 / 25
Intel Free Press // Flickr

#23. Computer network architects

- Average annual salary: $113,780
- Entry level salary: $65,650
- Total employment in Chicago: 3,460

4 / 25
Rhoda Baer // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Pharmacists

- Average annual salary: $114,110
- Entry level salary: $71,320
- Total employment in Chicago: 6,970

5 / 25
Chicago O'Hare International Airport // N i c o l a // Flickr

#21. Air traffic controllers

- Average annual salary: $115,650
- Entry level salary: $62,010
- Total employment in Chicago: 580

6 / 25
Foxy Burrow // Shutterstock

#20. Marketing managers

- Average annual salary: $122,250
- Entry level salary: $55,290
- Total employment in Chicago: 7,580

7 / 25
Marvent // Shutterstock

#19. General and operations managers

- Average annual salary: $122,360
- Entry level salary: $42,090
- Total employment in Chicago: 68,270

8 / 25
indukas // Shutterstock

#18. Physicists

- Average annual salary: $123,950
- Entry level salary: $81,050
- Total employment in Chicago: 610

9 / 25
Ruslan Krivobok // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Nuclear engineers

- Average annual salary: $125,450
- Entry level salary: $87,300
- Total employment in Chicago: 440

10 / 25
Fizkes // Shutterstock

#16. Sales managers

- Average annual salary: $128,010
- Entry level salary: $54,080
- Total employment in Chicago: 16,220

11 / 25
U.S. Navy // Flickr

#15. Dentists, general

- Average annual salary: $128,810
- Entry level salary: $54,310
- Total employment in Chicago: 2,000

12 / 25
Northwestern University School // Ivylaw // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Lawyers

- Average annual salary: $129,220
- Entry level salary: $54,180
- Total employment in Chicago: 23,150

13 / 25
Natee K Jindakum // Shutterstock

#13. Financial managers

- Average annual salary: $132,170
- Entry level salary: $56,350
- Total employment in Chicago: 22,980

14 / 25
Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#12. Computer and information systems managers

- Average annual salary: $132,570
- Entry level salary: $74,010
- Total employment in Chicago: 10,300

15 / 25
Myfuture.com // Flickr

#11. Pediatricians, general

- Average annual salary: $141,320
- Entry level salary: $55,130
- Total employment in Chicago: 710

16 / 25
Sergey Mironov // Shutterstock

#10. Anesthesiologists

- Average annual salary: $148,460
- Entry level salary: $54,280
- Total employment in Chicago: 500

17 / 25
University of Chicago Law School // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Law teachers, postsecondary

- Average annual salary: $149,420
- Entry level salary: $62,250
- Total employment in Chicago: 550

18 / 25
Lightfield Studios // Shutterstock

#8. Psychiatrists

- Average annual salary: $152,080
- Entry level salary: $42,980
- Total employment in Chicago: 660

19 / 25
Kzenon // Shutterstock

#7. Internists, general

- Average annual salary: $172,640
- Entry level salary: $54,230
- Total employment in Chicago: 1,660

20 / 25
wavebreakmedia // Shutterstock

#6. Physicians and surgeons, all other

- Average annual salary: $173,810
- Entry level salary: $50,030
- Total employment in Chicago: 9,370

21 / 25
Stacey // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Podiatrists

- Average annual salary: $177,480
- Entry level salary: $68,620
- Total employment in Chicago: 220

22 / 25
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chelsea A. Blom // U.S. Navy

#4. Family and general practitioners

- Average annual salary: $182,930
- Entry level salary: $54,560
- Total employment in Chicago: 3,510

23 / 25
Boeing CEO Dennis A. Muilenburg meeting Donald Trump. // North Charleston // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Chief executives

- Average annual salary: $188,500
- Entry level salary: $71,670
- Total employment in Chicago: 13,650

24 / 25
Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#2. Obstetricians and gynecologists

- Average annual salary: $211,500
- Entry level salary: $74,560
- Total employment in Chicago: 470

25 / 25
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital // Ala1188 // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Surgeons

- Average annual salary: $255,580
- Entry level salary: $142,420
- Total employment in Chicago: 930

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