If you are looking for a job in Texas, learning about the highest paying careers in the state is a great place to start.
With a population of 29 million people, Texas is the second largest state in the U.S.. That number is on the rise as more people relocate to the Lone Star State in search of career opportunities and a lower cost of living. According to the U.S. Census, Texas grew by nearly 16% in the last decade, welcoming almost four million new residents.
In August of 2021, the unemployment rate in Texas fell to 5.9%, down from more than 14% at the peak of the pandemic. With new jobs added to the economy every day, Texas is becoming a hub for Americans looking to build their lives and careers.
So, whether you are moving to Texas for new opportunities or currently live in the state, it is helpful to understand the landscape of the job market. In this article, you will learn about the 10 highest paying jobs in Texas, as well as their starting salaries, qualifications, and next steps for your job search.
How We Found the Best Paying Jobs in Texas
Before we dive into the list, it is important to note where this data comes from.
The information listed below, including job titles, average salaries, job descriptions, and qualifications, was gathered from the Bureau of Labour Statistics website. There, you can find wage data by occupation and area for all 50 states.
In the context of this article, “highest paying” is defined as the highest average yearly salary of individuals in each role. For comparison purposes, the average salary of jobs in Texas as of October 2021 is $56,536, according to data from Ziprecruiter.
Top Paying Careers in Texas
The following have the highest paying jobs in Texas:
1. Chief executives
- Average Salary: $239,060
- Entry Level Salary: $115,500
- Number of people: 6,730
What they do: Top executives plan strategies and policies to ensure that an organization meets its goals.
How to become a Chief Executive: Top executives typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and considerable work experience to enter the occupation. (BLS)
2. Surgeons, Except Ophthalmologists
- Average Salary: $234,680
- Entry Level Salary: $60,360
- Number of people: 3,290
What they do: Surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses and address health maintenance. They also operate on patients to treat injuries, diseases, and deformities.
How to become a Surgeon: Surgeons typically need a bachelor’s degree as well as a medical degree, which takes an additional four years to complete. Depending on their specialty, they also need three to nine years in internship and residency programs. Subspecialization includes additional training in a fellowship of one to three years. (BLS)
3. Family Medicine Physicians
- Average Salary: $220,390
- Entry Level Salary: $91,190
- Number of people: 8,010
What they do: Family Medicine Physicians diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan. They may refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.
How to become a Family Medicine Physician: Physicians typically need a bachelor’s degree as well as a medical degree, which takes an additional four years to complete. (BLS)
- Average Salary: $195,970
- Entry Level Salary: $62,170
- Number of people: 1,550
What they do: Psychiatrists diagnose, treat, and help prevent mental disorders. (BLS)
How to become a Psychiatrist: After high school, aspiring psychiatrists must earn a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes four years. This is followed by four years of medical school and then a four-year residency program. Some psychiatrists also complete fellowship programs for additional training. (GCU)
5. Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Average Salary: $194,430
- Entry Level Salary: $54,600
- Number of people: 1,740
What they do: An OB-GYN, or Obstetrician Gynecologist provides medical care related to pregnancy or childbirth. They also diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases of women, particularly those affecting the reproductive system. They may also perform both medical and gynecological surgery functions. (BLS)
How to become an OB-GYN: You must complete a bachelor’s degree and four years of medical school training to become an OB-GYN. After medical school, you must complete four years of graduate-level education as a resident focusing on obstetrics and gynecology. (Healthline)
6. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers
- Average Salary: $194,100
- Entry Level Salary: $87,550
- Number of people: 9,860
What they do: Airline and commercial pilots fly and navigate airplanes, helicopters, and other aircraft.
How to become an Airline Pilot: Airline pilots typically begin their careers as commercial pilots or flight instructors. Commercial pilots need a high school diploma or equivalent and a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Airline pilots usually need a bachelor’s degree and also must have the FAA-issued Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. (BLS)
- Average Salary: $184,410
- Entry Level Salary: $61,490
- Number of people: 8,480
What they do: Dentists diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums, and related parts of the mouth.
How to become a Dentist: Dentists must be licensed in the state in which they work. Licensure requirements vary by state, although candidates usually must graduate from an accredited dental program and pass written and clinical exams. (BLS)
8. Nurse Anesthetists
- Average Salary: $180,380
- Entry Level Salary: $136,690
- Number of people: 2,960
What they do: A Nurse Anesthetist provides pain medication (anesthesia) care for patients before, during, and after surgery. They administer medications to keep patients asleep or pain-free during surgery and constantly monitor every biological function of the patient’s body. (Mayo Clinic)
How to become a Nurse Anesthetist: Nurse Anesthetists must earn at least a master’s degree in one of the APRN roles. They must also be licensed in their state and pass a national certification exam. (BLS)
9. Architectural and Engineering Managers
- Average Salary: $173,550
- Entry Level Salary: $97,340
- Number of people: 15,400
What they do: Architectural and Engineering Managers are responsible for developing the overall concept of a new product or for solving the technical problems that prevent the completion of a project. To accomplish this, they must determine technical goals and produce detailed plans. (BLS)
How to become an Architectural and Engineering Manager: Architectural and Engineering Managers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree and considerable work experience as an architect or engineer. (BLS)
10. Software Engineering Managers/Leads
- Average Salary: $158,010
- Entry Level Salary: $90,430
- Number of people: 29,970
What they do: Computer and information systems managers’ are responsible for planning and organizing software-related activities while handling a team of tech professionals. Their most valuable skills include computer systems design, enterprise management, scientific and technical consulting, software development and publishing, scientific research, and more. (BLS)
How to become a Software Engineering Manager: Software engineering managers need a bachelor’s degree in either information technology, computer science, or computer engineering and must have solid math skills. Those looking to scale up will benefit from having a master’s degree, like a Master of Science in Software Management, and a Master of Business Administration. Apart from technical skills, employers value a solid track record as a software engineer or a similar role in the field of technology.
Jumpstart Your Career Search in Texas with Top Paying Jobs
So, there you have it. These are the current highest paying jobs in Texas. Did you see any that piqued your interest? Or do you want to learn more about other well paying jobs in the state? Either way, the best way to move forward in your job search is through the help of Best Companies Texas. Here, you can explore award-winning employers in Texas, browse jobs, and get expert advice on all of your most important career questions.