Want a bigger paycheck? Here are the highest-paying jobs in SLO County

It’s going to sound obvious, but if you want to make a lot of money in San Luis Obispo County — go to medical school.

The three highest paid professions in the county for the first quarter of 2018 were all in the medical field, based on data from the California Employment Development Department.

Other high-paying jobs? Head-of-company or head-of-department positions like CEOs, directors and managers all also topped the list with their average annual paychecks ranging between $140,000 to $165,000.

In total, 38 professions netted their workers six-figure averages each year. Here’s a look at the top 10 highest paid:

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1. Family and general practitioner: $262,630

Family and general practitioners once again topped the list of highest paid in San Luis Obispo County this year, though the average wages for them did drop ever so slightly from the same time last year, going from $265,078 to $262,630 (less than a 1 percent drop).

2. Physicians and surgeons: $228,237

Physicians and surgeon paychecks are on the rise this year: Between 2017 and 2018, the average annual salary grew 13.5 percent to $228,237.

3. Psychiatrists: $200,860

Another perennial top-of-the-pay-scale profession, psychiatrists came in with annual average paychecks of about $200,860. That’s up 5.3 percent from last year, when the mean salary was $190,730.

4. Chief executives: $164,380

In the first quarter of 2018, salaries for chief executives grew more than 3 percent to $164,380.

5. Emergency management director: $158,133

Wages for emergency management directors — which coordinate disaster response or provide preparedness training, according to EDD — in the county grew roughly 5.6 percent between 2017 and 2018, from $149,717 to $158,133.

6. Architecture and engineering managers: $147,223

The average paycheck for an architectural or engineering manager shrunk by only a couple of dollars between 2017 and 2018, going from $147,370 to $147,223.

7. First-line supervisor of police and detectives: $143,348

The mean salary for a first-line supervisor of police and detectives grew 2 percent to $143,348 in 2018. In 2017, it was $140,310.

8. Training and development manager: $141,212

Average salaries for training and development managers fell the most of the top 10 professions since last year: According to the EDD, the average salary for a manager was $141,212 in the first quarter of the year, down 10 percent from $156,962 in the same quarter last year.

9. Pharmacists: $138,479

Pharmacist salaries were also virtually unchanged this year, with the average paycheck coming in at $138,479, compared with $137,557 last year.

10. Biological scientists: $135,870

This profession was not included in the EDD’s 2017 first quarter wage data roundup, so comparison between this year and last is not available.

For the full list of wages, visit the California Employment Development Department website.

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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