Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Hawaii (Inc Salaries)

Stephen Ramotowski
May 20, 2024 · 11 min read

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

Think of Hawaii, or the aloha state, and what comes to mind for most people is sun drenched beaches, Pearl Harbor, volcanoes, loud Aloha shirts, surfing, and for those who can remember that far back, Hawaii Five-O.

But did you know that Hawaii is also famous for having the most amount of endangered species, the highest life expectancy in the US, and that Kauai is home to the rainiest place in the country. But, when it comes to high paying jobs, for job seekers with or without a degree, Hawaii has much to offer too. It can offer high-paying salaries in certain industries, particularly those related to tourism, hospitality, healthcare, and technology in Honolulu. This can be a dentist, family medicine physician, optometrist, real estate agent, or even construction managers, real estate brokers, air traffic controllers, chefs and head cooks, or even cane and tower operators. In fact, literally any type of role pays fairly well.

Industries such as tourism and hospitality can offer well-paying jobs when compared to others high paying job roles in the US, especially in management positions or specialized roles. Healthcare, particularly nursing and medical specialties, can also provide lucrative opportunities. Additionally, technology-related jobs, especially those in fields like software development or engineering, may offer competitive salaries due to the demand for skilled workers in these areas. Important as there is a high cost of living in Hawaii. Read on to find out if you have what it takes to land one of these high-paying jobs with a top average annual wage.

Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Hawaii (Inc Salaries)

1) Orthodontist

An orthodontist according to their job title is a dentist that is highly specialized and dedicated to diagnosing, preventing, and correcting irregularities in teeth and jaw positioning such as being able to straighten crooked teeth. These experts undergo extensive training beyond dental school, typically completing additional years of specialized education in an accredited orthodontic residency program.

Armed with a deep understanding of dental anatomy, growth patterns, and biomechanics, orthodontists utilize various tools and techniques, such as braces, aligners, and retainers, to address a wide range of orthodontic issues. By crafting personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient's unique needs, they not only enhance the aesthetic appeal of smiles but also help their clients enjoy optimal oral health and functionality.

The average annual salary of an orthodontist in Hawaii is $315,419 and is one of Hawaii's highest paying jobs and one that you'll need a high level of education to acquire.

2) Surgeon

A surgeon is a highly trained medical professional who is specialized in performing surgical procedures to treat injuries, diseases, and deformities. They undergo extensive education and training, typically completing medical school followed by several years of residency in their chosen surgical specialty.

With expertise in anatomy, physiology, and surgical techniques, surgeons possess the skills and knowledge necessary to perform a wide range of surgical interventions, from routine procedures to complex operations, and work closely with patients to evaluate their medical condition, discuss treatment options, and develop surgical plans tailored to individual needs.

The average annual salary of a surgeon in Hawaii is $455,792 making it one of the highest-paying jobs in Hawaii and one that you will require a college degree to land.

3) Anesthesiologist

An anesthesiologist is a medical doctor who specializes in administering anesthesia and managing pain before, during, and after surgical procedures or medical interventions. With extensive training in pharmacology, physiology, and patient care, anesthesiologists play a critical role in ensuring patient comfort and safety during surgical operations.

Prior to surgery they carefully assess each patient's medical history, current health status, and surgical needs to develop personalized anesthesia plans tailored to individual requirements. During surgery, the primary duties of these highly-trained medical practitioners is to closely monitor vital signs, adjust anesthesia levels as needed, and manage any complications that may arise to maintain the patient's physiological stability.

The average annual salary of an anesthesiologist in Hawaii is $450,000 making it one of the highest-paid jobs in Hawaii and definitely worth moving to Hawaii for.

4) Ophthalmologist

An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye care which relates to the diagnosis, treatment, and management of disorders and diseases related to the eyes and visual system. Through extensive training and education, including medical school and residency programs, they acquire comprehensive knowledge of eye anatomy, physiology, and pathology.

Armed with these vital skills, they are able to perform eye examinations, diagnose various eye conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and refractive errors, and provide both medical and surgical interventions to address these issues. In addition to that, ophthalmologists may perform surgeries such as cataract removal, laser eye surgery for refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness, and treatments for conditions like diabetic retinopathy.

The average annual salary of an ophthalmologist in Hawaii is $341,441 making it one of the best jobs in Hawaii and as such the profession commands high formal education requirements.

5) Pilot

A pilot is a skilled aviator responsible for operating aircraft, ranging from small private planes to large commercial airliners. Before they take to the skies, pilots undergo rigorous training and certification, including flight school, simulator training, and examinations conducted by aviation authorities.

As a necessary skill, they possess in-depth knowledge of aerodynamics, navigation, meteorology, and aircraft systems, enabling them to safely navigate aircraft through various weather conditions and airspace environments, and are adept at conducting pre-flight checks, managing flight controls, communicating with air traffic control, and making critical decisions in emergency situations.

The average annual salary of a pilot in Hawaii is $197,901. A really high annual salary and one that you will need a college education to land.

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6) Director of Public Relations

The Director of Public Relations is a key leadership role within an organization responsible for managing and shaping its public image and reputation. They oversee the development and implementation of strategic communication initiatives to effectively convey the organization's message to various stakeholders, including the media, customers, employees, investors, and the general public.

In addition they craft communication strategies, press releases, and media campaigns to promote positive public perception and manage crisis communications during challenging situations, and often collaborate with senior management to align messaging with organizational goals and values while monitoring media coverage and public sentiment.

The average annual salary of a director of public relations in Hawaii is $167,378 making it one of the highest paying jobs in Honolulu and one that you will need at least a four-year college degree to acquire.

7) Software Architect

A software architect is a senior-level professional responsible for designing and overseeing the technical architecture of software systems. These IT professionals possess extensive knowledge of software development principles, programming languages, and system design patterns, and in their job analyze requirements, evaluate technology options, and define the overall structure and behavior of software applications to meet business objectives.

In addition they collaborate with stakeholders, including project managers, developers, and clients, to translate functional requirements into scalable, efficient, and maintainable software solutions.

The average annual salary of a software architect in Hawaii is $154,161 making it one of the best paid occupations in Hawaii according to indeed career services.

8) School Principal

A school principal is a respected educational leader responsible for maintaining and overseeing the daily operations and overall management of a school. Serving as the administrative head, they ensure that the school runs smoothly and effectively, fostering a positive learning environment conducive to student success. They also play a crucial role in implementing and enforcing policies and procedures, managing budgets, and coordinating curriculum development.

Furthermore, these head of school will also work with people to oversee faculty and staff, providing guidance, support, and professional development opportunities to ensure high-quality teaching and learning experiences.

The average annual salary of a school principal in Hawaii is $123,498 which is significantly higher than the national average.

9) Perfusionist

A perfusionist is a highly skilled healthcare professional who operates the heart-lung bypass machine during open-heart surgery and other medical procedures requiring cardiopulmonary support. They play a critical role in ensuring that oxygenated blood circulates throughout the body while the patient's heart is temporarily stopped or bypassed and are responsible for monitoring and adjusting the flow of blood and administering medications and other necessary agents to maintain the patient's physiological stability during surgery.

In addition they work closely with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other members of the surgical team to optimize patient outcomes and minimize risks. Beyond the operating room, they may be involved in research, education, and quality improvement initiatives aimed at advancing perfusion practices and improving patient care.

The average annual salary of a perfusionist in Hawaii is $160,939 making them one of the best paid people in Hawaii.

10) Pharmacist

A pharmacist is a highly trained healthcare professional who specializes in the preparation, dispensing, and management of medications to ensure optimal patient health outcomes. They are experts in pharmaceuticals, understanding the composition, properties, and effects of various drugs on the human body and work in a variety of settings, including retail pharmacies, hospitals, clinics, and research laboratories.

Their responsibilities include interpreting prescriptions, counseling patients on medication use and potential side effects, and collaborating with healthcare providers to optimize treatment plans. In addition they also play a vital role in medication management, conducting medication reviews, monitoring for drug interactions, and promoting medication adherence.

The average annual salary of a pharmacist in Hawaii is $158,792 which is quite high and significantly above the cost of living index.


In conclusion, pursuing high-paying jobs in Hawaii offers a multitude of advantages that extend beyond financial gain. Beyond the picturesque landscapes and vibrant culture, Hawaii presents unique opportunities for career growth and personal fulfillment. High-paying jobs in sectors such as tourism, healthcare, technology, and renewable energy not only provide competitive salaries but also offer a rewarding work-life balance amidst the island paradise. Moreover, Hawaii's diverse economy, coupled with its strategic geographical location, fosters innovation and entrepreneurship, creating a dynamic environment for professional advancement.

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What is the highest paying job within Hawaii in 2024?

The list can be exhaustive as Hawaii is one of the highest paying regions in the US to work in. That said, the one job that seems to stand head and shoulders above the rest is that of a surgeon who can expect to earn on average annual salary of around $455,792, making it one of the high-paid jobs in the u.s and well above Hawaii's cost of living standards. To land this job, you will definitely need a college degree.

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

Looking at the figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it would appear that total employment is projected to grow by almost 4.7 million from 2022 to 2032. This growth will be primarily driven by growth in the health care and social assistance sector.

What is the best career path in Hawaii in 2024?

This accolade would appear to go to a mental health technician with 1,425 jobs available from a base of 1 million in the region.

What skills or expertise is required for high-paying Hawaii jobs?

The healthcare industry stands out as one of the most promising career paths in Hawaii, given the state's aging population and the high demand for medical services. Professionals with medical expertise, such as doctors, anesthetists, and surgeons, can expect a steady stream of employment opportunities. Hawaii's appeal as a retirement destination for individuals from California, Michigan, and various parts of the world further fuels the need for healthcare services.

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What qualifications are required for high paying Hawaii jobs?

There are many entry-level jobs where a simple school leavers certificate will do. However, if you are lookin to earn a six figure salary, you would be best served getting an MBA or an MSc.

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

Earning a BBA or MBA degree can significantly enhance one's prospects of securing a high-paying job in Hawaii's competitive job market. These degrees provide a comprehensive understanding of business principles, management strategies, and financial analysis, all of which are highly valued skills in various industries across the state.

With Hawaii's economy diversifying beyond tourism to include sectors such as healthcare, technology, and renewable energy, employers increasingly seek candidates with strong business acumen and leadership capabilities. A BBA or MBA not only equips individuals with the knowledge and expertise needed to thrive in these evolving industries but also opens doors to higher-level positions and greater earning potential.

Unlock your full potential and pave the way to career advancement and financial success by expanding your skillset with a BBA or MBA from a prestigious university such as Nexford. These degrees can not only enhance your expertise, but also open doors to higher-level positions and increased earning potential. Whether aiming for a promotion, seeking new opportunities, or striving for personal growth, investing in your education equips you with the tools and knowledge needed to excel in today's competitive business landscape.

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About the author
Stephen Ramotowski
Stephen Ramotowski

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