Highest Paying Jobs in Oregon

A Credit Karma Study

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In terms of overall average annual wages, Oregon is pretty on par with the United States as a whole.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage for all occupations in the U.S. is $58,260. In Oregon, the corresponding average is $59,070. Oregon’s highest paying job — non-pediatric orthopedic surgeons — earns an average of $352,360 a year, placing Oregon nearly in the middle — No. 24 out of the 50 states — in terms of the salary for its highest paying job.

To identify Oregon’s other top-paying jobs, Credit Karma compiled and analyzed a variety of publicly available datasets from the BLS. As is typical in states across the country, the five highest paying jobs in Oregon are all in medicine:

  1. Orthopedic surgeons (non-pediatric): $352,360
  2. Surgeons (all other): $330,200
  3. Psychiatrists: $312,160
  4. General internal medicine physicians: $278,810
  5. Ophthalmologists (non-pediatric): $267,770

But Oregon, also like other states, Oregon has high-paying jobs outside healthcare and medicine, too. Read on for more details.

Highest paying jobs in Oregon

In Oregon, careers in the “healthcare practitioners and technical occupations” occupational group — which includes doctors — comprise the top-five highest paying jobs in the state. Here are the highest paying jobs in each of the BLS’s other major occupational groups.

Major occupational Group Occupation title Annual mean wage
Healthcare practitioners and technical Orthopedic surgeons (non-pediatric) $352,360
Management Chief executives $251,440
Computer and mathematical Computer and information research scientists $166,450
Transportation and material moving Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers $163,620
Educational instruction and library Health specialties teachers (postsecondary) $158,080
Legal Lawyers $139,520
Life, physical, and social science Physicists $137,690
Architecture and engineering Computer hardware engineers $136,150
Business and financial operations Personal financial advisors $121,070
Sales and related occupations Sales engineers $120,290
Arts, design, entertainment, sports and media Athletes and sports competitors $119,300
Production Power distributors and dispatchers $119,300
Protective service First-line supervisors of police and detectives $114,880
Installation, maintenance and repair Electrical and Electronics Repairers, Powerhouse, substation and relay $112,760
Construction and extraction Elevator and escalator installers and repairers $105,320
Farming, fishing and forestry Fallers $85,860
Community and social service Healthcare social workers $79,870
Personal care and service Embalmers $72,690
Healthcare support occupations Massage therapists $65,580
Office and administrative support Executive secretaries and executive administrative assistants $63,600
Food preparation and serving-related Chefs and head cooks $57,210
Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance First-line supervisors of landscaping, lawn service, and groundskeeping workers $57,170

Only one occupation outside of healthcare has an average annual salary above $200,000 — chief executives. But many other occupations in Oregon command high wages compared to national averages.

For example, computer and information research scientists in Oregon earn an average of $166,450 per year, compared to $142,650 for the nation as a whole. Another example are fallers, people who cut down trees in a controlled way to minimize collateral damage to other trees. Fallers earn more in Oregon than the national average — $85,860 in Oregon versus $53,760 nationally.

Oregon is also one of 14 states in which athletes and sports competitors are the highest paying job under the “arts, design, entertainment, sports and media” occupation, taking in an average of $119,300 a year — slightly better than the national average of $116,930.

Other notable high-paying jobs in Oregon

  • Health specialties teachers (postsecondary): These teachers at the university level cover courses in laboratory technology, medicine, pharmacology, veterinary science, dentistry and more. They earn more on average in Oregon ($158,080) than they do on the national level ($133,310).
  • Healthcare social workers: Falling under the “community and social service” occupational group, which generally doesn’t command great wages, healthcare social workers do quite well comparatively in Oregon. They earn an average of $79,870 a year in Oregon versus $62,310 nationwide.
  • Embalmers: These employees prepare bodies for interment according to legal requirements. Embalmers are the highest paying job in Oregon in the “personal care and service” occupational group, earning an annual mean of $72,690. That’s over $20,000 more than the national average of $51,210 per year.

High-paying jobs, taxes and cost of living in Oregon

People with high-paying jobs in Oregon may benefit from the fact that Oregon has no state sales tax. But Oregon’s cost of living is a bit on the high side. In a previous Credit Karma study on the cheapest and most expensive places to live, Oregon ranked as the 11th most expensive state to live in.

Also, Oregon’s individual income taxes can take a bite out of high-income salaries, with a top marginal tax rate of 9.9% for incomes over $125,000 when single filing. You’ll want to consider these factors when thinking about the ideal salary in Oregon for your needs. Our cost of living calculator can help you get a sense how far your salary may — or may not — go in Oregon or another state.

Methodology

To identify the highest-paying jobs Oregon, we analyzed all U.S. states, then scored and ranked them based on the following criteria:                             

  • Annual mean wage for occupations, with occupations chosen based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) that categorizes an occupational level as “detailed”; other SOC occupation levels such as “major”, “minor”, and “broad” were excluded for being too general in their occupational title.                                
  • Hourly mean wage for occupations, with occupations chosen based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) that categorizes an occupational level as “detailed”; other SOC occupation levels such as “major”, “minor”, and “broad” were excluded for being too general in their occupational title.

Sources

Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Employment Statistics — May 2021