Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Colorado 2024 (Inc Salaries)

Stephen Ramotowski
May 20, 2024 · 11 min read

Discover the top 10 highest paying jobs in Colorado, including CEO, Physician, and more. Find the best paying jobs available and their salaries.

In this article, we’ll help you determine what are the highest-paid jobs in Colorado. Keep on reading to learn all the important job details, including the full job description, employment outlook, requirements, and estimated salary for that particular job title.

Did you know that there are two jobs for every jobseeker in Colorado? 

Not only that, but the state also has an unemployment rate that’s lower than the national average– only 3.2%.

These figures prove that Colorado isa top destination for anyone looking to build a thriving and lucrative career.

If you want to find high paying jobs, stop scanning through millions of job postings. Instead, check out our detailed list of highest-paying jobs in CO for 2024 below.


Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Colorado 2024 (Inc Salaries)

1. Chief Executive Officer

The CEO is the highest-ranking official in an organization, and his main duty is to direct and guide the company toward success.

He is the one who makes major decisions within the company, especially if it involves the management of operations and the use of resources.  

Lastly, he is also in charge of establishing the right business culture and goals, facilitating communication between the public and the company. 

Education and Training Requirements

At least a master’s degree in Business Administration is needed to qualify for a CEO role. Most importantly, having years of experience, especially in supervisory and managerial positions, in your chosen field is a must.

Job Outlook

CEOs, along with other top executives, will expect a surge of 3% in the next few years.

Salary Information

A CEO in Colorado makes an average annual salary of $415,100 with a chance to earn $202, 100 worth of cash bonuses or profit share.

Because of this salary range, this position is also at the top of the list of the highest-paying jobs in the US.

2. Other Chief Executive Positions

Aside from the CEO, other chief officers perform executive management roles in a company.

Their roles and responsibilities vary depending on the area they specialize in, and here are some examples:

  • Chief Operating Officer (COO) establishes business procedures to ensure that the company's daily operations will go as smoothly and efficiently as possible. 

  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO) manages the company’s finances. They establish and enforce the company’s budget, analyze cash flow, and create financial reports.

  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) manages and addresses the company's Information Technology (IT) needs. They are in charge of choosing the right  IT tools, programs, and equipment that can help the company meet their goals. 

Education and Training Requirements

The minimum requirement for other chief executives is a Master’s degree.

Chief executives in the private sector need to have a master's degree in business administration (MBA) degree. 

On the other hand, C-level officers in the public sector need a master’s degree in business administration, public administration, or law.

For this occupation, extensive specialty-specific managerial experience is the most crucial requirement. 

Job Outlook

The need for these top executives in Colorado will grow by 3% so that the industry will generate about 311, 600 job openings in the future.

Salary Information

Here are the salary data for the top executive positions in Colorado:


3. Physician

Medical doctors are highly trained in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, injuries, and other acute illnesses. They also prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, and provide diet and treatment plans based on patient needs.

Education and Training Requirements

The road to becoming a physician involves an undergraduate degree in life sciences, a medical degree, residency and fellowship programs, and subspecialty-specific certifications. 

On top of that, you also need to pass a few examinations, like the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

Job Outlook

The overall need for all types of physicians in the US will grow by 3%.

This fast-as-the-average growth rate is equivalent to 24, 200 job openings in the next few years.  

Salary Information

In Colorado, an average physician can earn an estimated annual pay of $308,000 with potential cash bonuses amounting to $62,800.

Keep in mind that the pay varies depending on the subspecialty.


4. Surgeon

A surgeon is a type of medical doctor trained in performing surgeries or other procedures used to diagnose or treat a serious illness or an emergency medical condition.

During the procedure, he also provides guidance and instructions to the team of doctors and nurses inside the operating room.

Education and Training Requirements

The 13-year road to becoming a surgeon involves obtaining two degrees: an undergraduate and medical degree. 

It also includes successfully passing the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) and  US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) to get your MD degree or the Comprehensive Osteopathic Medical Licensure Examination (COMLEX) to obtain your DO degree.

Lastly, it also involves post-graduate programs like the general surgery residency program, subspecialty fellowship program to get your subspecialty, and board certification from the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS).

Job Outlook

In the US, surgeons can experience a growth rate of 2% in employment opportunities. This is equivalent to 1,000 new job positions in the next few years.

Salary Information

The average median salary for physicians in the surgical sector is $283,600. The compensation package may also include an estimated additional pay of $41, 900.

Being a surgeon is one of the best paying jobs in Colorado Springs, which is one of the top-paying metropolitan areas for this position.


5. Orthodontist

An orthodontist is a type of dentist with additional training that gives him the authority to diagnose, treat, and manage more complex oral health problems.

They specialize in correcting teeth alignment, treating jaw disorders, and improving bite using orthodontics like veneers, corrective braces, and many others.

Education and Training Requirements

Here are the steps you need to take to establish your career in dentistry:

  • Secure an undergraduate degree in life sciences.

  • Pass the Dental Admission Test (DAT).

  • Finish dental school to obtain your Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree.

  • Pass the National Board of Dental Examination (NBDE) to secure your dental license.

  • Complete an orthodontic residency program to be a certified orthodontist.

Job Outlook

In the next few years, we can expect to see the need for orthodontists to increase by 4%. This means that the industry will produce 300 new positions until 2032.

Salary Information

Orthodontists in Colorado make an annual average pay of $217,800, which may also include an estimated additional pay of $42,700.


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6. Airline Pilot

The primary responsibility of an airline pilot is to transport both passengers or crew from one place to another with their safety in mind. 

Aside from operating aircraft, they also play a role in equipment and logistics inventory, carrying out administrative flight tasks, and performing evaluation and monitoring tests on the aircraft.

Education and Training Requirements

The pathway to becoming an airline pilot is pretty straightforward, and it includes obtaining a private pilot license with an instrument rating and passing the Commercial Pilot Airplane (CAX) exam.

Lastly, you may also need to secure industry-specific certifications like the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate.

Job Outlook

Colorado has 4, 810 airline pilot jobs available in Colorado which is the highest concentration for all states.

The need for this position in the US will even grow by 4%, which is equivalent to 16, 800 new job opportunities until 2032.

Salary Information

In the Colorado area, airline pilots receive an annual median wage of $192,700.

Depending on the company's pay structure and policy, they may also get an estimated cash bonus of $31,300.


7. Engineering Manager

Being the head of the engineering department, an engineering manager oversees the activities, operations, and performance of the company’s team of engineers with various specializations.

Their main goal is to provide leadership and guidance to ensure that the engineering projects’ goals are met within the established timeline.

Education and Training Requirements

A bachelor’s degree in engineering can get you started on your engineering career. However, you need long years of field experience and Master’s degree in Engineering Management (MEM) to get an engineering management role. 

While not a requirement, an MBA is highly recommended since it will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need to become an effective manager.

Job Outlook

The need for architectural and engineering managers is expected to increase by 4% in the next few years. This converts to about 13,600 new job positions until 2032.

Salary Information

The average pay for this job title in Colorado is $190,500 per year. It also comes with an estimated cash bonus of $36,500.

With a mean hourly wage of $87, Colorado is one of the top-paying states for this position.


8. Compensation Manager

As part of the human resource department, the compensation manager's main responsibility is to ensure that employees are receiving fair pay.

Other duties include formulating the employee payment system and compensation packages, determining the company budget, and ensuring that the pay scale complies with state regulations. 

Education and Training Requirements

The road to becoming a compensation and benefits manager includes earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration or human resources and acquiring compensation-related certifications from either the HR Certification Institute (HRCI) or the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM).

Obtaining an advanced degree like a Master of Business Administration (MBA) can pave the way to better-paying positions.

Job Outlook

The employment for compensation and benefit managers is projected to grow by 2% in the next few years. This fast-as-the-average growth rate equals 1,100 job openings until 2032.

Salary Information

The annual median wage of a compensation manager working in Colorado is $158,100. There’s also an opportunity of receiving a yearly cash bonus of $32,000. 

With an hourly mean wage of $79, Colorado is one of the top-paying states for this position.


9. Data Scientist

Considered as the data experts, the role of data scientists is to analyze, interpret, and extract valuable insights from complex and large digital data. 

Businesses use the collected data to solve problems, make information-based decisions, and formulate better strategies.

Education and Training Requirements

The qualifications and eligibilities required for a data science role include:

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, mathematics, and other related fields,

  • Data-related certifications like Microsoft’s Azure Data Scientist Associate Certification and Dell’s Data Science Associate Certification,

  • And relevant work experience.

To increase your earning potential, obtaining advanced degrees like an MBA or PhD in data mining and analytics is a must.

Job Outlook

The employment for data scientists will have a growth rate of 35%, which is equivalent to 59, 400 new job opportunities until 2032.

Salary Information

In Colorado, data scientists are paid an annual median wage of $151,500.

Depending on the company and compensation package, they may also get an additional pay of $24,700. 

The average hourly rate for data scientists in Boulder, CO, is $68, making it one of the top-paying metropolitan cities for this position.


10.  Lawyer

Attorneys are authorized to provide legal advice to their clients and represent them in a court of law when needed. They use their extensive legal knowledge to protect their client's rights while also upholding the law.

Education and Training Requirements

The first step to being a lawyer is completing a bachelor’s degree in business, political science, and other related fields.

After that, you need to passing the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), attend law school to earn a Juris Doctor (JD) degree by completing law school.

The last step is to pass the bar examination to obtain full legal licensure. 

Job Outlook

There are 11,550 employed lawyers in the Aurora- Lakewood - Denver area making it one of the metropolitan cities that have the highest concentration of jobs for this position.

The job opportunities in the US for attorneys will grow by 8%. This means that the legal industry will generate up to 39,100 job openings until 2032.

Salary Information

In Colorado, lawyers earn an average salary of $141,300 which may also include an estimated cash bonus of $13,900 per year.

Other top jobs in Colorado include Licensed Practical Nurses, Computer Numerically Controlled Programmers, Certified Nursing Assistants, Administrative Assistants, and Claims Adjusters. 

While most of the highest-paying jobs in Denver require higher education, there are high-paying professions that listed a high school diploma as their education requirement and don’t require a college degree: These include sales representative, plumber, electrician, and house sitting jobs.


All employment statistics prove that the future of Colorado's job market is bright, so it's time to start working your way to these high-paying CO jobs.

With that said, then obtaining a business degree is a critical move you need to make.

To get started, you should check out our university, Nexford. We're an American university offering online MBA and BBA programs that can help you further your future careers. These programs provide job seekers with affordable and high-quality business education that can prepare them for the global workplace.


What is the highest-paying job in Colorado in 2024?

With a salary range of $311, 000 to $581, 000, being the CEO will be the highest paying job in Colorado in 2024.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which Colorado jobs are projected to have the highest level of growth?

With a projected growth rate of 35%, data science will be the fastest-growing industry in Colorado.

What is the best career path in Colorado in 2024?

Keeping in mind the nature and the projection of the jobs in this list, the best industries in Colorado are the business and medical sectors. 

What skills or expertise is required for high paying jobs in Colorado?

The top skills you need to develop to land any of these best-paying jobs are Communication, Critical Thinking, Teamwork, Good Work Ethic, and many more.

Regardless of the sector, it’s also important that you develop leadership skills and business ethics. 

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What qualifications are required for high-paying Colorado jobs?

The minimum requirement for most of these jobs is a master's degree. In contrast, a medical degree is necessary to get a physician jobs.

More than the education requirement, having extensive field experience is also a must.

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Why is it beneficial to gain a BBA/MBA degree to earn a high-paying job in CO?

An online BBA or MBA program can help you land the highest-paying jobs in Colorado, and here are the reasons why:

  • Broader professional network

  • Diverse and transferable skills

  • Professional growth

  • Hard and soft skill development

  • Entrepreneurship and global mindset

All these benefits can give you access to higher earning potential, work promotion, and better job opportunities.

About the author
Stephen Ramotowski
Stephen Ramotowski

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