Most common jobs in Washington, D.C.

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July 11, 2021
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Most common jobs in Washington, D.C.

The 10 largest occupations in America employ 30.5 million workers, representing 21% of all workers. Keeping America’s economy moving would be impossible without office workers, package handlers, food prep workers, and truck drivers. And what would the sick do without the millions of hospital workers, nurses, and home health aides?

Stacker compiled a list of the most common jobs in Washington using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by total employment as of May 2020. While much has changed during the coronavirus pandemic, the jobs featured here give a holistic view at the most popular industries in your area and how many jobs are supported.

Keep reading to see which jobs in Washington are the most common.

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TopRank Online Marketing // Flickr

#50. Marketing managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 7,750 (2.563 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $175,860 (#12 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 270,200 (1.943 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $154,470
- 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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aboutsung // Shutterstock

#49. Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 9,120 (3.019 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $30,060 (#36 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 374,940 (2.695 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $26,300
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($42,670)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($40,390)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($37,720)
- Job description: Facilitate food service. Clean tables; remove dirty dishes; replace soiled table linens; set tables; replenish supply of clean linens, silverware, glassware, and dishes; supply service bar with food; and serve items such as water, condiments, and coffee to patrons.
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IBM Research // Flickr

#48. Computer network architects

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 9,270 (3.066 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $136,390 (#5 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 159,350 (1.146 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $119,230
- 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.
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CHRISTOF STACHE // Getty Images

#47. Preschool teachers, except special education

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 9,340 (3.091 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $39,160 (#73 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 370,940 (2.667 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,550
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Midland, TX ($58,080)
--- Odessa, TX ($54,120)
--- Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MD-WV ($52,350)
- Job description: Instruct preschool-aged students, following curricula or lesson plans, in activities designed to promote social, physical, and intellectual growth.
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Daniel Lee // Flickr

#46. Cooks, fast food

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 9,390 (3.107 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $26,540 (#82 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 544,420 (3.914 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $24,300
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Cedar Rapids, IA ($34,790)
--- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA ($33,580)
--- Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA ($33,570)
- Job description: Prepare and cook food in a fast food restaurant with a limited menu. Duties of these cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#45. Medical and health services managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 9,400 (3.110 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $138,260 (#22 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 402,540 (2.894 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $118,800
- 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.
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Canva

#44. Civil engineers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 9,540 (3.155 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $100,510 (#45 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 300,850 (2.163 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $95,440
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Orleans-Metairie, LA ($125,910)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($121,970)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($119,860)
- Job description: Perform engineering duties in planning, designing, and overseeing construction and maintenance of building structures and facilities, such as roads, railroads, airports, bridges, harbors, channels, dams, irrigation projects, pipelines, power plants, and water and sewage systems.
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Krakenimages.com // Shutterstock

#43. Childcare workers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 10,010 (3.313 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,880 (#22 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 494,360 (3.554 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $26,790
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($38,590)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($38,090)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($36,220)
- Job description: Attend to children at schools, businesses, private households, and childcare institutions. Perform a variety of tasks, such as dressing, feeding, bathing, and overseeing play.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#42. Driver/sales workers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 10,990 (3.637 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,990 (#135 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 420,890 (3.026 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,870
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Gadsden, AL ($46,460)
--- Cumberland, MD-WV ($45,780)
--- Medford, OR ($45,310)
- Job description: Drive truck or other vehicle over established routes or within an established territory and sell or deliver goods, such as food products, including restaurant take-out items, or pick up or deliver items such as commercial laundry. May also take orders, collect payment, or stock merchandise at point of delivery.
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Stock Rocket // Shutterstock

#41. Sales representatives, wholesale and manufacturing, except technical and scientific products

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 11,330 (3.750 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $80,810 (#43 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,278,670 (9.192 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $73,500
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Danbury, CT ($112,810)
--- Napa, CA ($101,850)
--- Santa Fe, NM ($93,680)
- Job description: Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.

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4 PM production // Shutterstock

#40. Automotive service technicians and mechanics

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 11,420 (3.780 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $56,730 (#11 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 620,110 (4.458 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $46,760
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fairbanks, AK ($66,060)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($64,630)
--- California-Lexington Park, MD ($64,420)
- Job description: Diagnose, adjust, repair, or overhaul automotive vehicles.
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Milkovasa // Shutterstock

#39. Medical assistants

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 11,440 (3.785 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $41,240 (#36 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 710,200 (5.106 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,930
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($53,960)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($53,660)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($52,520)
- Job description: Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
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GaudiLab // Shutterstock

#38. Paralegals and legal assistants

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 12,760 (4.222 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $70,700 (#7 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 332,720 (2.392 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $56,610
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Napa, CA ($93,110)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($90,280)
--- Trenton, NJ ($77,970)
- Job description: Assist lawyers by investigating facts, preparing legal documents, or researching legal precedent. Conduct research to support a legal proceeding, to formulate a defense, or to initiate legal action.
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Canva

#37. Food preparation workers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 13,140 (4.348 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $29,100 (#85 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 793,590 (5.705 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $26,820
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($37,330)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($36,120)
--- Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA ($35,860)
- Job description: Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
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Hulton Archive // Getty Images

#36. Electricians

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 13,240 (4.381 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $65,980 (#75 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 656,510 (4.72 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $61,550
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($106,680)
--- Trenton, NJ ($90,210)
--- Kankakee, IL ($88,530)
- Job description: Install, maintain, and repair electrical wiring, equipment, and fixtures. Ensure that work is in accordance with relevant codes. May install or service street lights, intercom systems, or electrical control systems.

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Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

#35. Carpenters

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 14,200 (4.699 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $51,950 (#114 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 699,300 (5.027 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $54,200
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($82,950)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($82,300)
--- Hanford-Corcoran, CA ($79,870)
- Job description: Construct, erect, install, or repair structures and fixtures made of wood and comparable materials, such as concrete forms; building frameworks, including partitions, joists, studding, and rafters; and wood stairways, window and door frames, and hardwood floors. May also install cabinets, siding, drywall, and batt or roll insulation. Includes brattice builders who build doors or brattices (ventilation walls or partitions) in underground passageways.
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sculpies // Shutterstock

#34. First-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 14,260 (4.718 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $78,930 (#58 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 614,080 (4.415 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $72,990
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($107,870)
--- Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA ($103,930)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($100,620)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of construction or extraction workers.
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JOHANNES EISELE // Getty Images

#33. Passenger vehicle drivers, except bus drivers, transit and intercity

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 14,470 (4.788 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $43,210 (#14 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 599,980 (4.313 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,360
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($46,580)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($45,780)
--- Bremerton-Silverdale, WA ($44,940)
- Job description: Drive a motor vehicle to transport passengers on a planned or scheduled basis. May collect a fare.
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pio3 // Shutterstock

#32. Police and sheriff's patrol officers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 15,320 (5.069 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $77,020 (#57 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 654,900 (4.708 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $70,000
- Entry level education requirements: nan
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($131,090)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($122,570)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($115,690)
- Job description: Maintain order and protect life and property by enforcing local, tribal, state, or federal laws and ordinances. Perform a combination of the following duties: patrol a specific area; direct traffic; issue traffic summonses; investigate accidents; apprehend and arrest suspects, or serve legal processes of courts. Includes police officers working at educational institutions.
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Pixabay

#31. Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 15,440 (5.110 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $50,810 (#88 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,797,710 (12.924 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $48,710
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($65,170)
--- Danville, IL ($63,230)
--- Lewiston, ID-WA ($62,250)
- Job description: Drive a tractor-trailer combination or a truck with a capacity of at least 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). May be required to unload truck. Requires commercial drivers' license. Includes tow truck drivers.

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Lopolo // Shutterstock

#29 (tie). Middle school teachers, except special and career/technical education

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 15,650 (5.180 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $86,910 (#6 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 599,520 (4.31 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $64,990
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bakersfield, CA ($101,970)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($89,200)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($88,220)
- Job description: Teach one or more subjects to students at the middle, intermediate, or junior high school level.
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Education Images // Getty Images

#29 (tie). Substitute teachers, short-term

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 15,650 (5.178 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,320 (#110 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 512,030 (3.681 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,090
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salisbury, MD-DE ($87,620)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($61,870)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($60,900)
- Job description: Teach students on a short-term basis as a temporary replacement for a regular classroom teacher, typically using the regular teacher's lesson plan.
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EU2017EE // Flickr

#28. Information security analysts

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 15,750 (5.211 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $117,920 (#11 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 138,000 (0.992 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $107,580
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($147,160)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($136,910)
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($130,620)
- Job description: Plan, implement, upgrade, or monitor security measures for the protection of computer networks and information. Assess system vulnerabilities for security risks and propose and implement risk mitigation strategies. May ensure appropriate security controls are in place that will safeguard digital files and vital electronic infrastructure. May respond to computer security breaches and viruses.
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OLIVIER DOULIERY // Getty Images

#27. First-line supervisors of food preparation and serving workers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 15,910 (5.264 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $42,220 (#39 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 891,540 (6.409 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $37,880
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($59,490)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($53,350)
--- Napa, CA ($53,230)
- Job description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of workers engaged in preparing and serving food.
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Pixabay

#26. Construction laborers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 16,240 (5.375 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $38,360 (#187 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 971,330 (6.983 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $43,000
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI ($66,670)
--- Kankakee, IL ($65,730)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($63,860)
- Job description: Perform tasks involving physical labor at construction sites. May operate hand and power tools of all types: air hammers, earth tampers, cement mixers, small mechanical hoists, surveying and measuring equipment, and a variety of other equipment and instruments. May clean and prepare sites, dig trenches, set braces to support the sides of excavations, erect scaffolding, and clean up rubble, debris, and other waste materials. May assist other craft workers.

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nullplus // Shutterstock

#25. Light truck drivers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 16,700 (5.525 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $46,790 (#23 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 929,470 (6.682 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $41,050
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,420)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($51,890)
--- Anchorage, AK ($51,590)
- Job description: Drive a light vehicle, such as a truck or van, with a capacity of less than 26,001 pounds Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW), primarily to pick up merchandise or packages from a distribution center and deliver. May load and unload vehicle.
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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#24. Maids and housekeeping cleaners

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 17,530 (5.802 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,110 (#34 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 795,590 (5.72 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,010
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($44,640)
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($41,370)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($40,490)
- Job description: Perform any combination of light cleaning duties to maintain private households or commercial establishments, such as hotels and hospitals, in a clean and orderly manner. Duties may include making beds, replenishing linens, cleaning rooms and halls, and vacuuming.
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Almonroth // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Computer and information systems managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 19,130 (6.331 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $177,840 (#9 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 457,290 (3.288 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $161,730
- 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.
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Canva

#22. Financial managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 21,120 (6.990 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $177,140 (#7 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 653,080 (4.695 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $151,510
- 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.
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Pixabay

#21. Maintenance and repair workers, general

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 21,630 (7.157 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $50,610 (#16 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,357,630 (9.76 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $43,790
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($58,140)
--- Yuba City, CA ($57,930)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($54,820)
- Job description: Perform work involving the skills of two or more maintenance or craft occupations to keep machines, mechanical equipment, or the structure of a building in repair. Duties may involve pipe fitting; HVAC maintenance; insulating; welding; machining; carpentry; repairing electrical or mechanical equipment; installing, aligning, and balancing new equipment; and repairing buildings, floors, or stairs.

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Paul.J.West // Shutterstock

#20. Teaching assistants, except postsecondary

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 22,160 (7.333 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,450 (#35 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,272,840 (9.151 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $30,630
- Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($42,110)
--- New Bedford, MA ($41,780)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($41,160)
- Job description: Assist a preschool, elementary, middle, or secondary school teacher with instructional duties. Serve in a position for which a teacher has primary responsibility for the design and implementation of educational programs and services.
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Canva

#19. Computer systems analysts

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 22,930 (7.587 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $116,670 (#6 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 574,450 (4.13 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $99,020
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($133,970)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($125,350)
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($124,070)
- Job description: Analyze science, engineering, business, and other data processing problems to develop and implement solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions, improve existing computer systems, and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and schedule limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software.
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New Africa // Shutterstock

#18. Receptionists and information clerks

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 23,040 (7.623 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $36,900 (#15 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 968,420 (6.962 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,410
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Napa, CA ($43,270)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,160)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($41,840)
- Job description: Answer inquiries and provide information to the general public, customers, visitors, and other interested parties regarding activities conducted at establishment and location of departments, offices, and employees within the organization.
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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#17. Bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 23,970 (7.930 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $51,600 (#9 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,443,940 (10.381 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $44,100
- Entry level education requirements: Some college, no degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($56,700)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($55,720)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($55,720)
- Job description: Compute, classify, and record numerical data to keep financial records complete. Perform any combination of routine calculating, posting, and verifying duties to obtain primary financial data for use in maintaining accounting records. May also check the accuracy of figures, calculations, and postings pertaining to business transactions recorded by other workers.
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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#16. Market research analysts and marketing specialists

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 24,220 (8.013 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $80,480 (#17 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 690,160 (4.962 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $73,970
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($117,900)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($97,720)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($96,150)
- Job description: Research conditions in local, regional, national, or online markets. Gather information to determine potential sales of a product or service, or plan a marketing or advertising campaign. May gather information on competitors, prices, sales, and methods of marketing and distribution. May employ search marketing tactics, analyze web metrics, and develop recommendations to increase search engine ranking and visibility to target markets.

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Pixabay

#15. Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 24,440 (8.086 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,760 (#190 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,805,200 (20.167 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $33,710
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($42,690)
--- Fairbanks, AK ($41,900)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($41,820)
- Job description: Manually move freight, stock, luggage, or other materials, or perform other general labor. Includes all manual laborers not elsewhere classified.
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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#14. Public relations specialists

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 24,640 (8.153 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $104,370 (#1 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 244,550 (1.758 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $71,940
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($104,370)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($96,630)
--- Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO ($92,160)
- Job description: Promote or create an intended public image for individuals, groups, or organizations. May write or select material for release to various communications media. May specialize in using social media.
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Tim Goode/PA Images // Getty Images

#13. Sales representatives of services, except advertising, insurance, financial services, and travel

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 30,700 (10.159 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $84,380 (#15 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 977,070 (7.024 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $70,490
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($115,620)
--- Lawrence, KS ($97,910)
--- Boulder, CO ($94,870)
- Job description: Sell services to individuals or businesses. May describe options or resolve client problems.
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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#12. Elementary school teachers, except special education

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 31,990 (10.584 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $84,830 (#15 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,364,870 (9.812 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $65,420
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Merced, CA ($99,360)
--- Kingston, NY ($93,780)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($92,910)
- Job description: Teach academic and social skills to students at the elementary school level.
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Sean Rayford // Getty Images

#11. Security guards

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 34,220 (11.321 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $46,460 (#10 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,054,400 (7.58 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $34,360
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Idaho Falls, ID ($66,030)
--- San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA ($61,090)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($51,850)
- Job description: Guard, patrol, or monitor premises to prevent theft, violence, or infractions of rules. May operate x-ray and metal detector equipment.

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The Boston Globe // Getty Images

#10. Stockers and order fillers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 34,320 (11.355 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $32,560 (#80 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,210,960 (15.895 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,010
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Odessa, TX ($39,130)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($39,040)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($38,580)
- Job description: Receive, store, and issue merchandise, materials, equipment, and other items from stockroom, warehouse, or storage yard to fill shelves, racks, tables, or customers' orders. May operate power equipment to fill orders. May mark prices on merchandise and set up sales displays.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#9. Waiters and waitresses

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 34,790 (11.511 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $33,260 (#49 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,944,240 (13.977 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $27,470
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Urban Honolulu, HI ($62,630)
--- Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI ($57,210)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($43,160)
- Job description: Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.
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G-Stock Studio // Shutterstock

#8. Secretaries and administrative assistants, except legal, medical, and executive

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 41,560 (13.753 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $49,570 (#5 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,850,360 (13.302 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $40,420
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($56,080)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($52,480)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($51,930)
- Job description: Perform routine administrative functions such as drafting correspondence, scheduling appointments, organizing and maintaining paper and electronic files, or providing information to callers.
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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lawyers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 43,990 (14.554 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $186,070 (#3 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 658,120 (4.731 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $148,910
- 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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Ruslan Galiullin // Shutterstock

#6. Office clerks, general

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 49,430 (16.357 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $43,440 (#15 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,788,090 (20.044 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $37,770
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($49,560)
--- Napa, CA ($47,570)
--- Boulder, CO ($47,160)
- Job description: Perform duties too varied and diverse to be classified in any specific office clerical occupation, requiring knowledge of office systems and procedures. Clerical duties may be assigned in accordance with the office procedures of individual establishments and may include a combination of answering telephones, bookkeeping, typing or word processing, office machine operation, and filing.

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Unsplash

#5. Janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeeping cleaners

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 51,350 (16.992 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $33,900 (#60 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,990,510 (14.31 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,410
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($44,110)
--- Barnstable Town, MA ($43,860)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($42,250)
- Job description: Keep buildings in clean and orderly condition. Perform heavy cleaning duties, such as cleaning floors, shampooing rugs, washing walls and glass, and removing rubbish. Duties may include tending furnace and boiler, performing routine maintenance activities, notifying management of need for repairs, and cleaning snow or debris from sidewalk.
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Pxhere

#4. Fast food and counter workers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 57,100 (18.894 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $28,250 (#60 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 3,450,120 (24.803 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $24,540
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($34,020)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($34,000)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($33,370)
- Job description: Perform duties such as taking orders and serving food and beverages. Serve customers at counter or from a steam table. May take payment. May prepare food and beverages.
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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#3. Retail salespersons

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 57,660 (19.078 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $31,360 (#140 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 3,659,670 (26.31 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $30,940
- Entry level education requirements: No formal educational credential
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($43,160)
--- Carson City, NV ($40,030)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($39,160)
- Job description: Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, appliances, or apparel to consumers.
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Pixabay

#2. General and operations managers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 73,250 (24.239 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $155,750 (#8 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 2,347,420 (16.876 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $125,740
- 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.
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Roman Samborskyi // Shutterstock

#1. Software developers and software quality assurance analysts and testers

Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Employment: 75,910 (25.117 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $119,920 (#16 highest pay among all metros)

National
- Employment: 1,476,800 (10.617 per 1,000 jobs)
- Annual mean salary: $114,270
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($157,480)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($144,740)
--- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA ($140,930)
- Job description: Research, design, and develop computer and network software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions, applying principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis. Update software or enhance existing software capabilities. May work with computer hardware engineers to integrate hardware and software systems, and develop specifications and performance requirements. May maintain databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.

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