Highest-paying jobs in Chicago

Written by:
September 12, 2021
Maurizio Pesce // flickr

Highest-paying jobs in Chicago

Stacker collected information on the highest-paying jobs in Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI, using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by average annual salary with information up to date as of May 2020. Job descriptions are from O*NET.

In Chicago, the annual mean wage is $60,340 or 7.2% higher than national mean of $56,310, while the highest-paying occupation makes $263,070. Read on to see which jobs make the list.

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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $111,410
- #71 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 9,500

National
- Annual mean salary: $103,010
- Employment: 262,480
- 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.

2 / 50
Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#49. Nurse practitioners

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $112,010
- #151 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,760

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,510
- Employment: 211,280
- 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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rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#48. Art directors

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $112,180
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,560

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,490
- Employment: 40,950
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($147,070)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($144,660)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($142,260)
- Job description: Formulate design concepts and presentation approaches for visual productions and media, such as print, broadcasting, video, and film. Direct workers engaged in artwork or layout design.

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Natee K Jindakum // Shutterstock

#47. Financial examiners

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $112,290
- #11 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,630

National
- Annual mean salary: $92,730
- Employment: 68,210
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($130,230)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($125,050)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($124,620)
- Job description: Enforce or ensure compliance with laws and regulations governing financial and securities institutions and financial and real estate transactions. May examine, verify, or authenticate records.

5 / 50
Sunshine Seeds // Shutterstock

#46. Industrial production managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $113,670
- #170 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 7,690

National
- Annual mean salary: $118,190
- Employment: 179,570
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($171,890)
--- Florence, SC ($167,660)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($155,320)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the work activities and resources necessary for manufacturing products in accordance with cost, quality, and quantity specifications.

6 / 50
TaLaNoVa // Shutterstock

#45. Sales engineers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $114,130
- #38 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,180

National
- Annual mean salary: $117,270
- Employment: 63,780
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($163,860)
--- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI ($158,140)
--- Dover-Durham, NH-ME ($155,490)
- Job description: Sell business goods or services, the selling of which requires a technical background equivalent to a baccalaureate degree in engineering.

7 / 50
IBM Research // Flickr

#44. Aerospace engineers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $115,200
- #32 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $121,110
- Employment: 60,630
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($151,410)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($142,260)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($135,490)
- Job description: Perform engineering duties in designing, constructing, and testing aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. May conduct basic and applied research to evaluate adaptability of materials and equipment to aircraft design and manufacture. May recommend improvements in testing equipment and techniques.

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indukas // Shutterstock

#43. Physicists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $115,420
- #37 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 510

National
- Annual mean salary: $137,700
- Employment: 16,160
- 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.

9 / 50
Petekub // Shutterstock

#42. Economists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $116,730
- #12 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

National
- Annual mean salary: $120,880
- Employment: 17,520
- 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.

10 / 50
SeventyFour // Shutterstock

#41. Computer hardware engineers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $117,220
- #34 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 620

National
- Annual mean salary: $126,140
- Employment: 64,710
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($179,570)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($171,540)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($153,780)
- Job description: Research, design, develop, or test computer or computer-related equipment for commercial, industrial, military, or scientific use. May supervise the manufacturing and installation of computer or computer-related equipment and components.

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dokurose // Shutterstock

#40. Actuaries

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $117,470
- #26 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,010

National
- Annual mean salary: $123,180
- Employment: 22,480
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($156,910)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($148,230)
--- San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX ($142,550)
- Job description: Analyze statistical data, such as mortality, accident, sickness, disability, and retirement rates and construct probability tables to forecast risk and liability for payment of future benefits. May ascertain insurance rates required and cash reserves necessary to ensure payment of future benefits.

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Canva

#39. First-line supervisors of police and detectives

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $118,040
- #31 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 4,250

National
- Annual mean salary: $97,180
- Employment: 122,310
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($200,090)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($182,810)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($182,720)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.

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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#38. Computer and information research scientists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $119,530
- #28 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $130,890
- Employment: 30,220
- 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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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#37. Engineering teachers, postsecondary

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $119,550
- #13 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 990

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,130
- Employment: 38,520
- 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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Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

#36. Business teachers, postsecondary

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $120,090
- #29 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,470

National
- Annual mean salary: $107,270
- Employment: 79,810
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($174,050)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($172,650)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($149,740)
- Job description: Teach courses in business administration and management, such as accounting, finance, human resources, labor and industrial relations, marketing, and operations research. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#35. Podiatrists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $123,820
- #43 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 450

National
- Annual mean salary: $151,110
- Employment: 9,710
- 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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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#34. Pharmacists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $125,180
- #193 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,690

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,460
- Employment: 315,470
- 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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rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#33. Training and development managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $125,380
- #36 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,930

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,920
- Employment: 38,710
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($178,590)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($167,570)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($166,750)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the training and development activities and staff of an organization.

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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#32. Funeral home managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $128,250
- #1 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 320

National
- Annual mean salary: $91,530
- Employment: 10,010
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($128,250)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($112,350)
--- Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA ($102,030)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the services or resources of funeral homes. Includes activities such as determining prices for services or merchandise and managing the facilities of funeral homes.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#31. Medical and health services managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $128,980
- #47 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 10,510

National
- Annual mean salary: $118,800
- Employment: 402,540
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($174,010)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($171,430)
--- Madera, CA ($168,090)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies, or similar organizations.

21 / 50
IBM Research // Flickr

#30. Computer network architects

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $129,220
- #16 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 5,150

National
- Annual mean salary: $119,230
- Employment: 159,350
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($161,950)
--- Dover-Durham, NH-ME ($152,060)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($148,250)
- Job description: Design and implement computer and information networks, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), intranets, extranets, and other data communications networks. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning, including analysis of capacity needs for network infrastructures. May also design network and computer security measures. May research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software.

22 / 50
IAEA Imagebank // Flickr

#29. Nuclear engineers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $131,180
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 160

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,130
- Employment: 15,700
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($140,060)
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($139,530)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($136,680)
- Job description: Conduct research on nuclear engineering projects or apply principles and theory of nuclear science to problems concerned with release, control, and use of nuclear energy and nuclear waste disposal.

23 / 50
Jacob L. // Shutterstock

#28. Human resources managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $131,240
- #60 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 9,270

National
- Annual mean salary: $134,580
- Employment: 156,600
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($194,040)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($183,890)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($179,870)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate human resources activities and staff of an organization.

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rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#27. Purchasing managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $131,370
- #48 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,230

National
- Annual mean salary: $132,660
- Employment: 70,960
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO ($181,240)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($172,300)
--- Morgantown, WV ($167,740)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the activities of buyers, purchasing officers, and related workers involved in purchasing materials, products, and services. Includes wholesale or retail trade merchandising managers and procurement managers.

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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#26. Economics teachers, postsecondary

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $132,260
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 290

National
- Annual mean salary: $123,720
- Employment: 13,080
- 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.

26 / 50
Pixabay

#25. Advertising and promotions managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $133,360
- #22 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 910

National
- Annual mean salary: $147,560
- Employment: 22,490
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Boulder, CO ($220,420)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($185,490)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($181,540)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate advertising policies and programs or produce collateral materials, such as posters, contests, coupons, or giveaways, to create extra interest in the purchase of a product or service for a department, an entire organization, or on an account basis.

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Pixabay

#24. Compensation and benefits managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $135,870
- #21 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,130

National
- Annual mean salary: $137,160
- Employment: 16,340
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($194,810)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($184,050)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($180,840)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate compensation and benefits activities of an organization.

28 / 50
Pixabay

#23. General and operations managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $137,410
- #35 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 97,050

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,740
- Employment: 2,347,420
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($183,170)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($175,990)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($172,370)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the operations of public or private sector organizations, overseeing multiple departments or locations. Duties and responsibilities include formulating policies, managing daily operations, and planning the use of materials and human resources, but are too diverse and general in nature to be classified in any one functional area of management or administration, such as personnel, purchasing, or administrative services. Usually manage through subordinate supervisors. Excludes First-Line Supervisors.

29 / 50
TopRank Online Marketing // Flickr

#22. Marketing managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $142,870
- #70 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 19,640

National
- Annual mean salary: $154,470
- Employment: 270,200
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($213,180)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($211,210)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($196,260)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate marketing policies and programs, such as determining the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors, and identify potential customers. Develop pricing strategies with the goal of maximizing the firm's profits or share of the market while ensuring the firm's customers are satisfied. Oversee product development or monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services.

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Canva

#21. Sales managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $145,630
- #64 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 21,610

National
- Annual mean salary: $147,580
- Employment: 390,170
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($207,070)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($202,700)
--- Trenton, NJ ($186,960)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the actual distribution or movement of a product or service to the customer. Coordinate sales distribution by establishing sales territories, quotas, and goals and establish training programs for sales representatives. Analyze sales statistics gathered by staff to determine sales potential and inventory requirements and monitor the preferences of customers.

31 / 50
Financial Times // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Personal financial advisors

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $145,890
- #33 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,150

National
- Annual mean salary: $122,490
- Employment: 218,050
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Gainesville, FL ($206,120)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($169,850)
--- Tyler, TX ($169,690)
- Job description: Advise clients on financial plans using knowledge of tax and investment strategies, securities, insurance, pension plans, and real estate. Duties include assessing clients' assets, liabilities, cash flow, insurance coverage, tax status, and financial objectives. May also buy and sell financial assets for clients.

32 / 50
Pixabay

#19. Architectural and engineering managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $151,930
- #83 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,560

National
- Annual mean salary: $158,100
- Employment: 195,900
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($226,920)
--- Amarillo, TX ($199,940)
--- Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL ($198,610)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering or research and development in these fields.

33 / 50
Kzenon // Shutterstock

#18. Optometrists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $152,860
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,000

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,440
- Employment: 36,690
- 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.

34 / 50
Burben // Shutterstock

#17. Air traffic controllers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $155,420
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 730

National
- Annual mean salary: $127,440
- Employment: 22,190
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($157,220)
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($155,420)
--- Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA ($152,840)
- Job description: Control air traffic on and within vicinity of airport, and movement of air traffic between altitude sectors and control centers, according to established procedures and policies. Authorize, regulate, and control commercial airline flights according to government or company regulations to expedite and ensure flight safety.

35 / 50
Canva

#16. Financial managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $156,490
- #28 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 34,420

National
- Annual mean salary: $151,510
- Employment: 653,080
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($214,670)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($210,180)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($192,310)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate accounting, investing, banking, insurance, securities, and other financial activities of a branch, office, or department of an establishment.

36 / 50
Almonroth // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Computer and information systems managers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $156,960
- #35 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 17,820

National
- Annual mean salary: $161,730
- Employment: 457,290
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($235,040)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($212,480)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($201,320)
- Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as electronic data processing, information systems, systems analysis, and computer programming.

37 / 50
NNSA // Flickr

#14. Law teachers, postsecondary

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $157,400
- #4 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 580

National
- Annual mean salary: $134,760
- Employment: 14,930
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Nashville-Davidson--Murfreesboro--Franklin, TN ($190,320)
--- Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA ($180,020)
--- Tallahassee, FL ($164,590)
- Job description: Teach courses in law. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

38 / 50
Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Lawyers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $159,010
- #15 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 27,320

National
- Annual mean salary: $148,910
- Employment: 658,120
- 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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Canva

#12. Nurse anesthetists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $175,560
- #59 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,060

National
- Annual mean salary: $189,190
- Employment: 41,960
- 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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Sebastian Duda // Shutterstock

#11. Judges, magistrate judges, and magistrates

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $182,320
- #5 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 780

National
- Annual mean salary: $131,850
- Employment: 28,550
- 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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#10. Dentists, general

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $192,000
- #116 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 2,960

National
- Annual mean salary: $180,830
- Employment: 95,920
- 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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#9. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $201,120
- #9 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 6,780

National
- Annual mean salary: $186,870
- Employment: 83,550
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI ($259,010)
--- Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL ($254,640)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($252,430)
- Job description: Pilot and navigate the flight of fixed-wing aircraft, usually on scheduled air carrier routes, for the transport of passengers and cargo. Requires Federal Air Transport certificate and rating for specific aircraft type used. Includes regional, national, and international airline pilots and flight instructors of airline pilots.

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Canva

#8. General internal medicine physicians

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $201,880
- #80 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,770

National
- Annual mean salary: $210,960
- Employment: 50,600
- 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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#7. Family medicine physicians

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $205,760
- #168 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,770

National
- Annual mean salary: $214,370
- Employment: 98,590
- 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

#6. Pediatricians, general

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $217,250
- #19 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 680

National
- Annual mean salary: $184,570
- Employment: 27,550
- 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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Maurizio Pesce // flickr

#5. Chief executives

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $226,170
- #46 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 8,030

National
- Annual mean salary: $197,840
- Employment: 202,360
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($293,000)
--- Midland, TX ($269,360)
--- Sioux Falls, SD ($263,770)
- Job description: Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private and public sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct, or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

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LightField Studios // Shutterstock

#4. Psychiatrists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $234,170
- #41 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 670

National
- Annual mean salary: $217,100
- Employment: 25,540
- 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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#3. Anesthesiologists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $244,360
- #21 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 620

National
- Annual mean salary: $271,440
- Employment: 28,590
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($307,390)
--- Duluth, MN-WI ($306,350)
--- Tallahassee, FL ($303,600)
- Job description: Administer anesthetics and analgesics for pain management prior to, during, or after surgery.

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Canva

#2. Obstetricians and gynecologists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $250,650
- #21 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 500

National
- Annual mean salary: $239,120
- Employment: 18,900
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI ($294,450)
--- Tulsa, OK ($294,400)
--- Albuquerque, NM ($292,740)
- Job description: Provide medical care related to pregnancy or childbirth. Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases of women, particularly those affecting the reproductive system. May also provide general care to women. May perform both medical and gynecological surgery functions.

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Unsplash

#1. Surgeons, except ophthalmologists

Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- Annual mean salary: $263,070
- #44 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 860

National
- Annual mean salary: $251,650
- Employment: 37,900
- 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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