Top 15 Highest Paying Jobs in Washington DC 2024 (Inc Salaries)

Joe McGoldrick
January 25, 2024 · 15 min read

In this article, we will explore the top 15 highest paying jobs in Washington D.C, shedding light on the requirements, salaries, and job outlooks for each profession.

The job market in Washington DC is brimming with high-paying opportunities in various industries. In this article, we will explore the top 15 highest paying jobs in the region, shedding light on the requirements, salaries, and job outlooks for each profession.

These coveted roles encompass a diverse range of fields, including medicine, business, engineering, and law. Cardiologists, anesthesiologists, and orthopedic surgeons stand out in the healthcare sector, while marketing managers and financial managers lead the way in the business realm. Petroleum engineers, lawyers, and other professionals also feature prominently.

By examining the intricacies of these occupations, this article aims to provide aspiring professionals with a comprehensive overview of the highest paying job opportunities in Washington DC.

Key Takeaways

  • Physicians, including anesthesiologists, surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, orthodontists, and psychiatrists, are among the highest compensated roles.

  • Dental specialists, such as oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, and prosthodontists, also earn top salaries in the dental field.

  • Chief executives have the potential for high salaries, but the job outlook for this role in

    US is negative, with a projected 7.3% decline in growth.

  • Other high-paying jobs include nurse anesthetists, airline pilots, computer and information systems managers, and architectural and engineering managers.


Top 15 Highest Paying Jobs in Washington DC 2024

1. Chief Executive

Chief executives in Washington DC are responsible for leading companies and making strategic decisions.

Despite a projected job outlook of -7.3% growth, the high compensation makes this role one of the top-paying jobs in the region.

Primary Duties

The primary duties of a Chief Executive involves leading companies and making strategic decisions.

These executives are responsible for setting the overall direction and vision of the organization, developing and implementing strategies to achieve business goals, and overseeing the work of other executives and employees.

They also play a crucial role in building relationships with stakeholders, such as investors, clients, and government officials, to ensure the success and growth of the company.

Average Salary

Chief Executives in Washington DC have an average salary of $922,448.

2. Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Surgeons are specialized physicians who diagnose and treat injuries and diseases related to the musculoskeletal system. Their primary duties include performing surgeries, such as joint replacements and repairs, as well as providing non-surgical treatments like medication and physical therapy.

Primary Duties

An orthopedic surgeon in Washington DC is responsible for diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal injuries and disorders. They perform surgeries, such as joint replacements and repairs, as well as provide non-surgical treatments like medication and physical therapy.

Orthopedic surgeons also collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans and provide follow-up care to patients. Their primary duties involve evaluating medical histories, conducting physical examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, interpreting results, and communicating with patients about their condition and treatment options.

Average Salary

Orthopedic Surgeons in Washington DC have an average salary of $596,160.

3. Cardiologist

Cardiologists are medical doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating conditions of the heart and blood vessels. They perform procedures such as angioplasty, cardiac catheterization, and heart surgery.

With their specialized expertise, cardiologists earn an average salary per year that is among the highest in the Washington area.

Primary Duties

Cardiologists frequently diagnose and treat heart conditions, utilizing their expertise to provide specialized care for patients.

Their primary duties include conducting physical examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, interpreting test results, prescribing medications, and developing treatment plans.

They also perform procedures such as angioplasty and cardiac catheterization.

Cardiologists may collaborate with other healthcare professionals, educate patients about heart disease prevention, and participate in research studies.

Average Salary

Cardiologists in Washington DC have an average salary of $520,606.

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4. Surgeon

Surgeons play a critical role in providing surgical care to patients in Washington DC. Their primary duties include performing surgical procedures, diagnosing and treating medical conditions, and collaborating with other healthcare professionals.

Surgeons in Washington DC earn a high average salary, reflecting the level of skill, expertise, and responsibility required for this profession.

Primary Duties

The primary duties of a surgeon, a highly compensated role in Washington DC, include providing surgical care to patients. Surgeons are responsible for diagnosing and treating injuries, diseases, and deformities through surgical procedures.

They perform surgeries to remove tumors, repair injuries, transplant organs, and treat various medical conditions. Surgeons also collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans and provide post-operative care.

Their expertise and precision are vital in ensuring the highest level of patient care and successful surgical outcomes.

Average Salary

Surgeons in Washington DC have an average salary of $481,329.

5. Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who specialize in providing anesthesia and pain management during surgical procedures. They play a critical role in ensuring patient comfort and safety throughout the surgical process.

Primary Duties

The primary duties of an anesthesiologist involve administering anesthesia to patients during surgical procedures. They are responsible for ensuring the patient’s comfort and safety throughout the surgery by monitoring vital signs and adjusting anesthesia levels as needed.

Anesthesiologists also play a crucial role in pain management before, during, and after the surgery. Additionally, they collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as surgeons and nurses, to provide optimal patient care.

Anesthesiologists may also have administrative responsibilities, such as managing healthcare privacy and consulting as a senior executive consultant. 

Average Salary

Anesthesiologists in Washington DC have an average salary of $475,073.

Surgeon

6. Maxillofacial Surgeon

Maxillofacial Surgeons are specialized surgeons who primarily focus on treating conditions and injuries related to the face, jaw, and mouth. Their primary duties include performing complex surgical procedures to correct facial deformities, reconstructive surgeries, and treating conditions such as cleft palate and temporomandibular joint disorders.

Maxillofacial Surgeons are among the highest paid professionals, with an average salary that reflects the advanced skillset and expertise required for this specialized field.

Primary Duties

One of the best paying jobs is that of a specialist in maxillofacial surgery.

Maxillofacial surgeons are highly skilled professionals who diagnose and treat conditions affecting the face, jaw, and mouth.

Their primary duties include performing complex surgical procedures, such as jaw realignment and facial reconstruction, to correct abnormalities and improve functionality.

They may also collaborate with other healthcare professionals, provide consultations, manage teams, and oversee patient care.

Maxillofacial surgeons hold senior positions and are among the highest paid professionals in the healthcare field.

Average Salary

Maxillofacial Surgeons in Washington DC have an average salary of $360,990.

7. General Medicine Physician

General Medicine Physicians are healthcare professionals who specialize in providing primary care to patients, focusing on diagnosing and treating a wide range of medical conditions. They are responsible for conducting physical examinations, ordering diagnostic tests, prescribing medications, and developing treatment plans.

In Washington DC, General Medicine Physicians earn an average salary that ranks them among the highest paying jobs in the area.

Primary Duties

As a highly compensated role in Washington DC, the primary duties of a general medicine physician involve providing medical care to patients. They diagnose and treat various illnesses and conditions, prescribe medications, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and provide preventive care and health education.

General medicine physicians also collaborate with other healthcare professionals to coordinate patient care and may refer patients to specialists when necessary.

Their main focus is to ensure the overall health and well-being of their patients in the context of the highest paying jobs available in Washington DC for 2024.

Average Salary

General Medicine Physicians in Washington DC have an average salary of $268,422.

8. Dentist

Dentists play a crucial role in maintaining oral health by diagnosing and treating various dental conditions. They perform procedures such as fillings, extractions, and root canals, as well as provide preventative care and educate patients on oral hygiene.

In Washington DC, dentists earn an average salary of $186,570, making it one of the highest paying jobs in the region.

Primary Duties

A dentist in Washington DC is responsible for providing comprehensive dental care to patients. They diagnose and treat oral health issues, such as cavities and gum disease, and perform procedures like fillings, root canals, and extractions.

Dentists also educate clients about proper oral hygiene and preventive care. They must maintain strict standards of privacy and confidentiality when handling patient information. Effective communication skills are essential for building trust and explaining treatment options to clients.

Dentistry is a rewarding career that requires a high level of technical expertise and attention to detail.

Average Salary

Dentists in Washington DC have an average salary of $214,574.

9. Airline Pilot

Airline pilots play a crucial role in the transportation industry by flying aircraft for airlines. They are responsible for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew members while operating the aircraft.

With an average salary of $198,190, airline pilots are among the highest-paid professionals in Washington DC.

Primary Duties

One of the top paying jobs in Washington DC is that of a pilot for commercial airlines.

The primary duties of an airline pilot include flying aircraft for airlines, ensuring the safety of passengers and crew, adhering to flight regulations, conducting pre-flight inspections, and communicating with air traffic control.

They also monitor weather conditions and make decisions regarding flight routes.

In addition, airline pilots are responsible for managing and operating various aircraft systems during the flight.

Average Salary

Airline Pilots in Washington DC have an average salary of $208,301.

10. Lawyer

Lawyers are professionals who provide legal advice and representation to clients in various legal matters. They are required to have a law degree and pass the bar exam.

Primary Duties

As legal professionals, lawyers are responsible for providing legal advice and representing clients in various legal matters. Their primary duties include:

  • Conducting legal research

  • Preparing legal documents such as contracts and agreements

  • Representing clients in court

  • Negotiating settlements

  • Advising clients on legal rights and obligations

Lawyers work in various fields such as:

  • Corporate law

  • Criminal law

  • Family law

  • Intellectual property law

They play a crucial role in ensuring justice and legal compliance.

Average Salary

Lawyers in Washington DC have an average salary of $192,448.

11. IT Systems Manager

IT Systems Managers play a crucial role in designing, managing, and maintaining a company’s information systems. 

Primary Duties

The primary duties of an IT Systems Manager in Washington DC involve overseeing and managing the company’s information systems. They are responsible for ensuring the efficient operation of the organization’s technology infrastructure, including hardware, software systems, networks, and databases.

They collaborate with other departments to identify and implement IT solutions that support business objectives. Additionally, they supervise IT staff, manage IT budgets, and stay updated on emerging technologies.

IT Systems Managers play a critical role in maintaining the highest level of cybersecurity and data protection for the organization.

Average Salary

IT Systems Managers in Washington DC have an average salary of $158,435.

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12. Financial Manager

Financial Managers play a crucial role in overseeing the financial operations of companies in Washington DC. Their primary duties include analyzing financial data, creating finance reports, and making strategic decisions to optimize financial performance.

With an average salary of $147,530, financial managers are among the highest-paid professionals in the region.

Primary Duties

A key responsibility of financial managers, is overseeing and managing the financial operations of companies. They analyze financial data, create financial reports, and develop strategies to improve profitability and minimize risk.

Financial managers also ensure compliance with financial regulations and laws. They collaborate with other departments to make financial decisions and provide guidance on investments, budgets, and financial goals.

Their primary duties involve maintaining financial stability and driving the financial success of organizations in Washington DC.

Average Salary

Financial Managers in Washington DC have an average salary of $145,903.

finance manager

13. Marketing Manager

Marketing managers play a crucial role in planning and executing marketing strategies for companies in Washington DC.

They are responsible for analyzing market trends, identifying target audiences, and developing marketing campaigns to promote products or services.

Primary Duties

The primary duties of a Marketing Manager in Washington DC involve developing and implementing strategic marketing plans for companies, and conducting market research, analyzing consumer trends, and identifying target audiences.

Marketing Managers also:

  • Oversee advertising and promotional campaigns.

  • Manage budgets.

  • Collaborate with other teams to ensure brand consistency.

  • Track and analyze campaign performance.

  • Adjust strategies as needed.

  • Provide reports to senior management.

Globally, marketing plays a crucial role in the success of businesses, and thus Marketing Managers are in high demand and command competitive salaries.

Average Salary

Marketing Managers in Washington DC have an average salary of $130,927.

14. Petroleum Engineer

Petroleum engineers play a crucial role in the oil and gas industry by designing and developing methods for extracting these valuable resources.

Their primary duties include analyzing geological data, creating drilling plans, and overseeing the extraction process, making them essential to the energy sector’s success in the region.

Primary Duties

The primary duties of a petroleum engineer involve designing and developing methods for extracting oil and gas. These professionals are responsible for analyzing geological data, conducting feasibility studies, and creating drilling plans.

They also oversee the implementation of drilling operations and ensure compliance with safety and environmental regulations. Additionally, petroleum engineers monitor production rates and reservoir performance to optimize extraction processes.

Their expertise is crucial for the efficient and sustainable extraction of petroleum resources.

Average Salary

Petroleum engineers in Washington DC have an average salary of $128,740.

15. Aviation Engineer

Flight engineers play a crucial role in ensuring the safety and efficiency of the aircraft.

Primary Duties

Primary Duties of an Aviation Engineer involve working closely with the pilot and copilot to ensure the safe operation of the aircraft.

Flight engineers are responsible for monitoring and maintaining the aircraft’s systems, including engines, fuel, and electrical systems.

They also assist with pre-flight checks, manage the aircraft’s weight and balance, and troubleshoot any issues that may arise during the flight.

Additionally, flight engineers may perform administrative tasks such as maintaining flight records and coordinating with ground personnel.

Average Salary

Aviation Engineers in Washington DC have an average salary of $91,130.


Conclusion

In conclusion, the job market in Washington DC offers a variety of high-paying career opportunities across different industries. Professionals in fields such as healthcare, business, engineering, and technology can find lucrative employment positions in the region.

The best ways to land one of the many high-paying jobs would be to think about your job outlook, get on-the-job training, earn certificates, or get an MBA or BBA from an internationally renowned university like Nexford.

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We hope that you found this article has provided valuable insights into the top 15 highest paying jobs in the area, showcasing the requirements, salaries, and job outlooks for each profession.

As the saying goes, ‘The sky’s the limit,’ and with determination and skill, individuals can aim for these well-compensated positions in the nation’s capital.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the highest paying job in Washington DC?

The top paying job in Washington DC is that of a chief executive. These individuals are responsible for leading companies and making strategic decisions. Their role involves setting the overall direction and vision of the organization, developing and implementing strategies to achieve business goals, and overseeing the work of other executives and employees. 

Chief executives play a crucial role in building relationships with stakeholders, such as investors, clients, and government officials. As a result of their high level of responsibility and the impact of their decisions, chief executives in Washington DC have an average salary of $922,448, making this the top-paying job in the area.

This high salary reflects not only the financial success and influence of the companies they lead, but also the level of expertise and experience required for this demanding position. 

What is the new highest paying job in Washington DC without a degree?

High paying jobs in Washington DC, without a degree are often found in the field of information technology. With the rapid advancement of technology, there is a high demand for skilled individuals in roles such as computer systems analysts, network administrators, software developers and software engineers.

These positions often offer competitive salaries, with opportunities for career growth and advancement. Additionally, certain specialized roles within the healthcare industry, such as medical and health services managers, also offer lucrative salaries without requiring a degree.

These positions may require relevant certifications or extensive experience in the field, but they can provide a pathway to a high-paying career without the need for a traditional four-year degree.

Overall, Washington DC's thriving job market and strong economy offer numerous high-paying job opportunities for individuals without a degree, particularly in fields that require specialized skills and knowledge. Given the demand, there are often new jobs added daily to job boards.

How can I get the best paying career?

To secure the best paying career, it is essential to continuously educate yourself and expand your knowledge by taking online courses and reading up on industry trends.

Networking with others, particularly on professional platforms like LinkedIn, can also open doors to new opportunities and higher-paying positions.

Putting yourself out there and making a good first impression within the industry is critical, whether it's through attending industry events, conferences, or reaching out to professionals in your field.

Being proactive and seeking out new challenges or projects can also demonstrate your value and potentially lead to higher paying roles.

Additionally, staying informed about market demands and sought-after skills can help you stay ahead of the curve and position yourself for top-paying positions. By consistently investing in your skills and building a strong network, you can increase your chances of landing the best paying career available. 

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Discover how you can acquire the most in-demand skills with our free report, and open the doors to a successful career. 

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Will an online BBA or MBA help me secure a better paying job?

Yes, obtaining an online BBA or MBA can definitely help you secure a better paying job. Not only does it improve your skillset and experience levels, but studying at an online university such as Nexford can provide you with valuable real-world skills and case studies.

In addition, having a degree provides that golden ticket to career paths that may otherwise be off-limits for those without a degree. Graduates statistically make more money on average, and many employers often look for candidates with a BBA or MBA when making hiring decisions. 

With the knowledge and expertise gained from an online business degree, you will be better equipped to excel in the job market and negotiate higher salaries. Therefore, earning a BBA or MBA from an online university can greatly improve your chances of securing a better paying job and advancing in your career. 

Where can I find high-paying DC jobs?

When searching for high-paying DC jobs, there are several resources you can use to find the perfect opportunity. Job boards like Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor often have a wide range of high-paying positions listed.

LinkedIn is another valuable resource, as many companies use this platform to recruit top talent. Simply specify your location, whether that's Washington DC, Maryland or nearby, and results will appear. You can then apply for today's top job roles.

You can also visit your ideal employer's website directly and set up Google alerts on their careers page, so you are notified when new positions are added. This allows you to stay up to date with job openings and apply as soon as they become available.

Additionally, networking and building strong connections within your industry can also lead to high-paying job opportunities. By staying proactive and utilizing these resources, you can increase your chances to get hired and land a high-paying job that aligns with your skills and experience. 


To make sure that you get the soft skills and hard skills needed to start and build a lucrative career, download our free report today!

About the author
Joe McGoldrick
Joe McGoldrick

Known for strategy and attention to detail

Joe has more than 10 years of marketing experience, working within the public sector, client-side, and agency side.

He is passionate about using data and customer insights to improve marketing performance.

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