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More than Oil Work: Highest Paying Jobs in Houston

Updated on February 14, 2012
Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas | Source

© 2012 by Aurelio Locsin.

As America’s fourth most populous city, Houston also ranks as the most populated metropolitan area of Texas. The mean wages for its almost 2.5 million workers runs $22.26 per hour or $46,290 per year. This is about 10 percent higher than the $15.14 per hour or $42,220 per year earned by all 10 million workers in the state. It also higher than the mean $21.35 per hour or $44,410 per year averaged by the country’s 127 million employed. The U.S. Department of Labor supplied all the salary information.


The highest paying jobs in Houston belong to anesthesiologists, who are medical doctors responsible for managing patient pain. They are commonly seen as working with surgeon in operating rooms, where they administer anesthetics and monitor the vital signs of the patient. However, they also consult with their charges both before and after procedures. As with all medical doctors, the position requires an undergraduate degree that takes four years plus four years of medical school. They also spend at least one year in an internship and three years in a residency program. Mean wages for the 1,550 anesthesiologists in the state run $106.31 per hour or $221,120 per year.


Chief executives are the top authority of their companies, which in Houston is concentrated in oil, aerospace, petrochemicals and biomedical research. They plan corporate goals and the strategies to reach them, assisted in large enterprises by department heads and an administrative staff. Though CEOs may have advanced degrees in the technical specialties of their companies or business, they normally reach their positions only after years of experience in lower-level management and technical positions. The 3,760 working in the city make a mean $96.99 per hour or $201,730.

Houston Medical Center
Houston Medical Center | Source


The next four highest paying jobs in Houston belong to the following medical practitioners:

  1. Without resorting to surgery, internists take care of the body’s internal systems such as the digestive track, kidneys and spleen. The 890 in Houston receive mean wages of $95.82 per hour or $199,310 per year.
  2. Family practitioners handle general medical issues such as colds, aches and minor injuries. They can refer more complex cases to specialists. The 1,920 doctors get $95.14 per hour or $197,900 per year.
  3. Obstetricians and gynecologists specialize in women’s health issues such as pregnancy, childbirth and breast cancer. The mean wages of the 720 in Houston are $92.88 per hour or $193,190.
  4. The 70 podiatrists diagnose and treat foot problems, averaging $83.87 per hour or $174,450 per year.

Some of the highest paying jobs in Houston are in the oil industry.
Some of the highest paying jobs in Houston are in the oil industry. | Source

Architectural and Engineering Managers

These managers plan and coordinate teams of architectural and engineers in finishing large projects such as the building of oil refineries or research into aerospace designs. They have a minimum undergraduate degree in the technical specialties which they may supplement with master’s degree in engineering management or business administration. They usually start as architects and engineers, and are promoted to positions with growing responsibility. The 6,150 managers form the biggest of the top ten paying possessions with mean salaries at $76.70 per hour or $159,530 per year.

Natural Science Managers

These managers perform the same functions as their engineering counterparts though their subordinates are scientists such as biologists, chemists, geologists, physicists, agricultural scientists and physicists. They may coordinate projects based on pure research or work on more commercial activities such as the development of lubricants. As with all managers, they work long hours and experience pressure to meet goals on a tight budget. The average wages of 550 professionals run $75.91 per hour or $157,890 per year.

More Doctors

The final two places in the top ten highest paying jobs in Houston are held by the following medical professionals:

  1. Other physicians and surgeons are those doctors whose specialties are not broken out by the Department of Labor. The 4,050 in this classification earn a median $74.74 per hour or $155,460 per year.
  2. General dentists treat and diagnose problems with the teeth and gums, assisted by clinical and administrative staff. The 1,520 in Houston average $73.84 per hour or $153,590 per year.


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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Looking at all of the mega-mansions in many areas of Houston, and with all of the jobs in medicine and oil companies headquartered here...that accounts for much of it along with the CEO's of companies and the highly paid sports figures who also call it home. The beautiful subdivisions seem to go on almost endlessly in many parts of this city. Up votes and sharing.

    • cebutouristspot profile image

      cebutouristspot 6 years ago from Cebu

      Medical field get all the money now a days. Since everybody is super concern with health related issue. Make me wish I pursue a career in medicine :(. Thanks for sharing