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Best Jobs and Salaries in Phoenix, Arizona

Updated on November 13, 2012

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin

The 2010 census ranked Phoenix, Arizona as the sixth largest city in the United States, based on population, with 1.46 million people spread out over 517 square miles. Major industries include tourism because of the region’s warm weather and manufacturing of such goods as aircraft parts, electronic equipment, agricultural equipment, leather goods and Native American crafts. The best jobs in the city vary by job title, salary and employment numbers.

Best Pay

The top three highest paying jobs in Phoenix belonged to medical professionals as of May 2011, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  1. The 100 obstetricians and gynecologists made a mean $217,920 per year or $104.77 per hour.
  2. General internists number 680 and averaged $195,040 yearly, or $93.77 hourly.
  3. General dentists showed 1,430 individuals earning a mean annual $185,540, or $89.20 per hour.

The highest paid non-medical professionals were chief executives, with 2,740 earning a mean $178,760 per year, or $85.94 per hour.

These amounts compared to the mean $44,950 annually, or $21.61 hourly received by all 1.69 million workers in the city, and to the average $45,230 yearly, or $21.74 hourly made by all 128.28 million workers in the United States.

Best Paid Categories

In terms of job categories, the following were the best paid in the city:

  1. Management occupations, which numbered 93,890 and averaged $100,000 per year, or $48.07 per hour. This category included chief executives, operations managers, sales managers, education administrators, postmasters and social service managers.
  2. Legal occupations contained 13,700 workers with mean pay of $98,580 yearly, or $44.99 hourly. This category covered lawyers, law clerks, judges, arbitrators, paralegals and title examiners.
  3. The 35,760 in architecture and engineering occupations averaged an annual $76,960 or $37 per hour. This category included architects, cartographers, electrical engineers, petroleum engineers, drafters and engineering technicians.

Best Numbers

Another way to judge what jobs are best is to look at the employment numbers. Professions with the highest numbers increase the chances of getting hired. The following jobs showed the greatest numbers in Phoenix.

  1. The 60,430 retail salespersons earned a mean $25,070 per year, or $12.05 per hour. Salaries were below the averages for all workers in the city. Unfortunately, the occupations with the greatest numbers also had below-average wages.
  2. Customer service representatives numbered 45,940 and showed mean wages of $33,440 yearly, or $16.08 hourly.
  3. The 35,170 waiters and waitresses averaged $21,550 per year, or $10.36 per hour, followed closely by the 35,120 cashiers who made a mean annual $22,820, or $10.97 hourly.

Categories with the Best Numbers

The following categories showed the highest numbers of workers.

  1. Office and administrative support occupations showed 310,060 individuals averaging $34,950 per year, or $16.81 per hour. This category included administrative supervisors, general office clerks, cargo agents, mail carriers, secretaries and emergency dispatchers.
  2. Sales occupations numbered 194,430 workers with mean pay of $38,420 yearly, or $18.47 hourly. This group covered cashiers, advertising sales agents, travel agents, real estate brokers, models and sales workers.
  3. The 194,430 working in food preparation and serving related occupations averaged an annual $22,600, or $10.86 per hour. They included chefs, cooks, bartenders, food servers, dishwashers and restaurant hosts.


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    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

      We have family in Phoenix, so find ourselves visiting the city almost annually. He works in management, which you've mentioned above. I know the area has suffered a lot with the housing market in recent years. Another interesting installment in the series.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Aurelio,

      I am beginning to see a trend no matter which city you write about concerning salaries. The doctors and dentists are always near the top with the exception of a few high end CEO's of companies. Guess that is to be expected since they spend such a long time in school learning their professions and in practicing them can impact our lives so greatly.

      The economy is also to blame in some of these regions. Where foreclosures have been the highest it has a ripple effect on the job market. Hopefully in the days and years ahead things will improve for everyone. Up, useful and interesting votes.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Welcome back and great Geico story!

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      Hi Alocsin, I haven't been by in a while, Messy here on the Jersey Shore, after Hurricane Sandy. Anyway, another Excellent Hub read on Salaries... and Arizona is such an Interesting State. Such diverse Occupations. The Highs and Lows in Earnings are Interesting as well. I think the Big draw there is the Climate. Thanks for Sharing.

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Calhoun 5 years ago from Western NC

      I didn't know they manufactured airplane parts in Phoenix. My one visit there, I liked it, but it was too hot. I still could probably live there though, once I got over the shock of moving from the country. Hehehe.