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They Love L.A. – The Highest Paying Jobs in Los Angeles, California

Updated on February 14, 2012

© Copyright 2011 by Aurelio Locsin.

The second largest metropolitan area in the U.S. has over 5.1 million jobs according to the U.S. Department of Labor. It covers both Los Angeles and Orange Counties, and includes such cities as Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Ana. Average salaries here run $24.10 per hour or $50,120 per year. This is slightly lower than the averages for the state of California, which is $24.39 per hour or $50,730 per year. But it is over 10 percent higher than the national average of $21.35 per hour or $44,410 per year.


The highest payings jobs in Los Angeles goes to the 930 obstetricians and gynecologists who devote their medical careers to preventing and treating diseases affecting women. They can handle general health issues but focus on female conditions such as breast cancers, hormonal disorders, pregnancy and childbirth. They average $103.62 per hour or $215,540 per year.


The 12,050 chief executive officers rank number two for pay because they hold the fate of their companies in their hands, and can affect the lives of millions of employees, suppliers, customers and stockholders. In small private concerns, they may make all the decisions themselves, while in large companies they are assisted by executives in charge of their own departments. CEOs often have advanced degrees in business but usually reach their heights only after many years of experience and promotions. They make a mean $102.82 per hour or $213,860 per year.


Medical doctors occupy the next five highest paying jobs in Los Angeles. Their higher salaries are justified by two factors. First, they handle matters of life and death And second, their training period is some of the longest and most expensive of any career. It requires four years of college, four years of medical school, and three to eight years of internship and residency. The following table shows their titles, employment numbers, hourly means and yearly averages.

All Other Doctors
General Internists
General Practitioners


Lawyers or attorneys represent clients in legal proceedings such as negotiations, contracts or court cases. Their training also lasts long, with four years of undergraduate college plus three years of law school. They can concentrate in criminal or civil law. About a quarter work for themselves either solo or as partners in a law firm. The 30,470 in Los Angeles average $78.12 an hour or $162,480 a year.


Psychiatrists are medical doctors who specialize in treating mental conditions through a mix of therapy, medication and hospitalization. Therapy involves regular discussions with patients in group or individual settings, and counseling to change unproductive behaviors. The 1,470 who work in Southern California average $72.65 an hour or $151,110 a year.


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