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

Stephen Ramotowski
May 20, 2024 · 11 min read

Discover the top 10 highest paying jobs in Virginia, including medical doctor, dentist, and many more. Get to know the important job details, including the full job description, expected salaries, and qualifications.

Virginia seems to have everything for everyone—the beaches and mountains for the adventurous, nature and shopping for indoor and outdoor lovers, schools and festivals for the young-at-heart, and a whole lot more!

However, Virginia is a state that is perfect for one group of people—the job hunters.

According to Virginia's Worker Shortage Index, there are only 47 workers for every 100 jobs in this state.

There’s no denying that there are lots of careers in Virginia waiting for you!

What does this mean for you? This means there are plenty of employment opportunities in Virginia. And with the right education and skills, you can build a lucrative career here.

So what are you waiting for? Start your job search and look for the high paying jobs available in Virginia. Check them out below. 

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

1. Medical Doctor

These healthcare practitioners have medical degrees and are licensed to diagnose illnesses through laboratory tests, prescribe medications, or provide any necessary treatments.

They typically work in various healthcare settings, like a hospital, clinic, private practice, and many more. Not only that, but they also have the opportunity to specialize in different areas of medicine.

In addition to a medical degree, you need to secure your medical license to pass the US Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). You also need to complete residency and fellowship training and obtain certification to earn your medical specialty.

West Virginia currently employs 2,350 physicians, making it the fourth state with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients for this position. 

2. C-Suite Executives

C-suite officers are the company's top executives, meaning that they are the ones who call the big shots within the organization. These top-tier managers lead the key departments and work together to ensure that the organization adheres to the established policies and achieves its goals.

The minimum education requirement for an executive officer is a master’s in business administration (MBA) degree. However, since this career focuses more on experience than education, the most important steps you can take are to gain relevant managerial experience, seek mentorship, expand your network, and build industry connections.   

According to Salary.com, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Operating Officer (COO), and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) are the highest-paying C-suite positions in the US. 

3. Dentists (including Orthodontists and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons)

Dentists are healthcare practitioners who provide a wide range of dental services to treat and diagnose diseases that affect the gums, teeth, and other parts of the mouth. These services include routine check-ups, tooth extractions, fillings, and root canals. 

Additionally, they are responsible for improving and maintaining oral health and tooth appearance through dental veneers, teeth whitening, orthodontic devices, and more. 

The basic requirements for becoming a dentist are a Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) or Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree and state licensure, which you can obtain after passing the National Board Dental Examination.

Additional training is needed when pursuing different types of dental specialties. For example, you need to finish a 2—to 4-year residency program to become an Orthodontist or obtain a medical degree to become an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.

According to Ziprecuiter, Fort Belvoir, Bailey’s Crossroads, and Falls Church are the top three cities in Virginia with the highest pay for dentists.

4. Telemedicine Nurse Practitioner

  • Salary Range: $174,000 to $313,000, with an estimated yearly pay of $172,400

  • US Job Outlook (2022-32): 38% (faster than average)

A telemedicine nurse practitioner is a remote position. This means that the nurses in this sector don’t provide patient care directly. Instead, they monitor patients via online consultation and other telehealth platforms.

Due to their limited interaction with the patient, their only responsibility is to determine whether the patient needs to go to the hospital or visit a doctor’s clinic. They are also in charge of educating the patient regarding his treatment options.

To enter this branch of nursing, you first need an RN license and several years of in-person nursing experience. After that, you need to complete an NP-focused master's or doctoral degree and pass a certification exam.

Last but not least, you must undergo extensive technology training to run the necessary software and applications.

The need for Telehealth services arose during the pandemic days. Still, all evidence suggests that this branch of healthcare is here to stay.

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5. Nurse Anesthetist

  • Salary Range: $166,000 to $302,000, with an average annual salary of $221,900

  • US Job Outlook (2022-32): 38% (faster than average)

Certified Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are different from registered nurses because they have undergone specialized training in the safe administration of anesthetics. Their expertise allows them to work closely with patients undergoing surgical procedures and invasive treatments. 

Pre-surgery, they assess the patient’s physical condition and educate them on the anesthetic’s potential risks. Lastly, they also monitor the patient’s recovery and prescribe medications to help them manage their post-surgery pain. 

Becoming a CRNA starts with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and state nurse licensure. However, you need to obtain a higher level of education and take on a few more examinations. 

Additional requirements include a Doctor of Nursing Program (DNP) degree and a board certification from the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA).  

Being a nurse anesthetist is one of the highest-paying jobs in the USA, making it a great career path not just in Virginia but throughout the US. 

6. Airline and Commercial Pilot

This type of pilot is hired by airlines and charter companies to safely transport either passengers or cargo from one location to another. The type and size of aircraft they can operate depends on their license’s instrument rating. 

The scope of their responsibility goes beyond just operating the aircraft. They also take a proactive role in ensuring flight safety by performing pre-flight checks, preparing flight plans, and monitoring the aircraft fuel and engine condition during the flight.

The main requirements for becoming an airline pilot are a bachelor's degree in engineering or transportation and specified hours of supervised flight training. Additionally, you need to obtain a Commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating or an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. 

According to the BLS, Virginia is the fifth-highest-paying state for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers.

7. Financial Manager

  • Salary Range: $118,000 to $205,000, with an estimated total pay of $154,400

  • US Job Outlook (2022-32): 16% (faster than average)

Known as the company's money experts, financial managers are in charge of maintaining the financial health and stability of the company. Their main responsibility is to make financial plans that can help minimize risk and maximize profits. Added responsibilities include preparing financial statements, reporting them to upper management, and ensuring compliance with SEC laws and regulations.

The career starts with a bachelor's degree in business or finance and at least 5 years of experience working as a financial analyst or accountant. However, securing an MBA degree is important since this is a managerial role. 

On top of that, obtaining certifications like the Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) will demonstrate your competence and increase your job prospects.

According to Ziprecruiter, Falls Church, Lynchburg, and Arlington are the top 3 highest paying Virginia cities for financial managers.

8. Cybersecurity Engineer

  • Salary Range: $117,000 to $193,000, with an average annual salary of $149,600

  • US Job Outlook (2022-32): 32% (faster than average) 

These information security professionals are responsible for protecting computer systems and databases from potential security breaches by designing and implementing security measures such as firewalls, antivirus software, and more. 

They perform regular vulnerability and penetration tests to identify the system’s weaknesses and determine how to improve the security programs. 

But their job doesn’t stop there. They also establish and implement SOPs following the industry’s best practices. 

At least a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology or Cybersecurity is needed for entry-level cybersecurity positions, while a master's degree is required for managerial roles. 

Earning relevant certifications, such as ISACA's Certified Data Privacy Solutions Engineer and Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), is also highly recommended. 

Virginia currently employs 18,460 Information Security Analysts, making it the state with the highest employment rate for this position. 

9. Data Scientist

  • Salary Range: $112,000 to $190,000, with an annual median wage of $145,200

  • US Job Outlook (2022-32): 35% (faster than average)

The main responsibility of data scientists is to interpret and analyze unstructured data and convert them into structured insights that can help companies solve complex problems and make strategic business decisions. 

Using their in-depth data science knowledge, they create algorithms capable of identifying previous trends and formulating business forecasts.

The minimum education requirement for this role is a bachelor’s degree in statistics, computer science, or mathematics. For project manager roles, most employers prefer candidates with either a master’s or doctoral degree.

The data scientist’s technical expertise can also be used in different types of tech-related occupations, such as Data Engineer and Machine Learning Engineer. 

10.  Truck Driver / Owner Operator

Owners/operators are self-employed truck drivers. As entrepreneurs, they finance and manage the trucking business. This means that they take care of the logistics, including the truckload schedule, route plans, legal compliance, and vehicle maintenance, in addition to operating the vehicle themselves. 

Certain legal and education requirements must be met to operate a truck in Virginia, including obtaining a valid driver’s license for OTR commercial drivers (CDL) and passing a medical examination. 

Due to the additional business-related responsibilities, a truck driver/ operator must also develop critical management skills, which can be acquired through a business (BBA or MBA) degree.

US is short of around 78,000 truck drivers, and 1,500 to 1,800 of those are needed in the Virginia area. 

If you don't find your target career in the list, here are other high-paying VA jobs you can check out:

And if you didn’t graduate from any college program, don’t lose hope. There are good-paying Richmond jobs that you can get only with a high school diploma. These include: 

  • Insurance Sales Agent, 

  • Pilot Driver, 

  • Airline Aircraft Refueler, 

  • HVAC/R Technician, 

  • Electrical Technician, 

  • Line Service Technician, 

  • Customer Service Advisor, 

  • Call Center Specialist, 

  • Production Team Member, 

  • and Crew Team Member

Conclusion

Despite the shortage of workers in Virginia, the competition for these high-paying jobs remains as tough as ever.

Suppose you want to make your application more attractive to prospective employers. The best career advice is to invest in a higher level of education. Since management and leadership are critical skills to all sectors, obtaining a business degree is an excellent option.

The good news is you can now find online BBA or MBA programs that can help you further your career without breaking the bank or disrupting your work schedule.

That said, you may want to check out Nexford, an online university known for providing world-class online MBA and BBA degrees that will allow you to further your career in Virginia and anywhere in the world.

FAQs

What is the highest-paying job within Virginia State in 2024?

A medical doctor will be the highest-paid position in Virginia in 2024. According to Glassdoor, this occupation pays a salary range of $335,000 to $610,000. The compensation package may also include a potential cash bonus of $124,400 per year.

The top three highest-paid medical specialties in Richmond, VA, are Anesthesiology, Cardiology, and Radiology

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

According to the BLS data, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (38%), Data Scientists (35%), and Cybersecurity Engineers (28%) will be the fastest-growing occupations in the US in the next few years. 

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What is the best career path in Virginia in 2024?

Four out of the ten jobs in this belong to the healthcare industry. With that said, we can surmise that it will be one of the best career paths to enter in 2024.

If this is not your cup of tea, the business sector is your next best bet since three of the best-paying jobs are in this category.   

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

To enter the healthcare sector, you need to have good medical knowledge, excellent patient care skills, critical thinking, collaboration, and proper communication.

Conversely, the technology and business industries require excellent technical expertise, problem-solving abilities, business acumen, and project management skills.

For all sectors, it's imperative to develop good management and leadership skills, along with a strong knowledge of business and collaboration, to land the best-paying positions.

Download Our Free Report to determine which type of soft and hard skills you need to develop to land your dream job! 

What qualifications are required for high-paying Virginia jobs?

The qualifications vary depending on the industry. For example, a medical or doctoral degree is required for healthcare occupations. In contrast, a bachelor's in business administration (BBA) degree is recommended for the business sector.

However, a master’s in business administration (MBA) degree is recommended for anyone who wishes to advance their career in any industry.

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

A BBA or MBA degree provides excellent leadership and management skills and networking opportunities. It also demonstrates an advanced skillset, professional credibility, and continual commitment to professional growth. 

With that said, here are the benefits you can get with this degree:

  • high earning potential,

  • faster career progression,

  • better job security,

  • more job prospects,

  • and broader network connections.

About the author
Stephen Ramotowski
Stephen Ramotowski

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