The 15 best-paying jobs in SLO County

There’s a lot of good that can be said about living in San Luis Obispo County: great weather, beautiful scenery, slow pace of life. But ask people whether there are any negatives, and the likely response is “high cost of living.” It sure is expensive to live in paradise! What’s the solution? Get a high-paying job!

The Bureau of Labor Stastistics has released 2015 wage and employment data for the San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande metropolitan area. These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors.

Not surprisingly, service-industry jobs tend to pay the lowest wages. Restaurant workers, maids and farmworkers average less than $25,000 a year. On the other end of the scale are those in the medical field, judges and lawyers, and those managing businesses or law enforcement. The top-15 highest-paid occupations, listed below, earn well over $100,000 annually.

For a complete list, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

1. Internists, general | Annual wage: $258,370


Description: Physicians who diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems. Provide care mainly for adults who have a wide range of problems associated with the internal organs.

2. Dentists, general | Annual wage: $230,580


Description: Examine, diagnose and treat diseases, injuries and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

3. Family and general practitioners | Annual wage: $212,500


Description: Physicians who diagnose, treat and help prevent diseases and injuries that commonly occur in the general population. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.

4. Psychiatrists | Annual wage: $188,500


Description: Physicians who diagnose, treat and help prevent disorders of the mind.

5. Physicians and surgeons | Annual wage: $181,970


Description: All physicians and surgeons not listed separately.

6. Chief executives | Annual wage: $153,810


Description: Determine and formulate policies and provide overall direction of companies or private- and public-sector organizations within guidelines set up by a board of directors or similar governing body. Plan, direct or coordinate operational activities at the highest level of management with the help of subordinate executives and staff managers.

7. Managers | Annual wage: $152,330


Description: Management of companies, government and schools.

8. Judges, magistrates | Annual wage: $142,870


Description: Arbitrate, advise, adjudicate or administer justice in a court of law. May sentence defendant in criminal cases according to government statutes or sentencing guidelines. May determine liability of defendant in civil cases. May perform wedding ceremonies.

9. Pharmacists | Annual wage: $135,900


Description: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions and side effects of medications.

10. Sales engineers | Annual wage: $129,990


Description: Sell business goods or services, the selling of which requires a technical background equivalent to a baccalaureate degree in engineering. Excludes engineers whose primary function is not marketing or sales.

11. Police and detective first-line supervisors | Annual wage: $128,300


Description: Directly supervise and coordinate activities of members of police force.

12. Lawyers | Annual wage: $127,320


Description: Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

13. Marketing managers | Annual wage: $127,170


Description: Plan, direct or coordinate marketing policies and programs, such as determining the demand for products and services offered by a firm and its competitors and identify potential customers. Develop pricing strategies with the goal of maximizing the firm’s profits or share of the market while ensuring the firm’s customers are satisfied. Oversee product development or monitor trends that indicate the need for new products and services.

14. Financial analysts | Annual wage: $124,830

financial analysts

Description: Conduct quantitative analyses of information affecting investment programs of public or private institutions.

15. Architectural and engineering managers | Annual wage: $122,080


Description: Plan, direct or coordinate activities in such fields as architecture and engineering or research and development in these fields.

10 SLO County jobs that pay at least $100,000

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, accessed April 23, 2016,