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Most top paying jobs in Dayton area are in health care: See why

The top paying jobs in the Dayton area are dominated by health care professions — with surgeons taking the top spot with a yearly average of $249,380, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Nationally, 16 of the nation’s top 30 highest-paying occupations are in the medical field, with anesthesiologist bringing in the highest pay.

Anesthesiologists are required to complete a four-year undergraduate college degree, four years of medical school, and a four-year anesthesiology residency program. Most anesthesiologists become board certified, and many complete an additional fellowship year of specialty training.



Litigation also fuels the high salaries that those in the medical professions earn. Surgeons face exponentially higher risk of malpractice lawsuits than other medical fields, a New England Journal of Medicine study found.

Top payings jobs in Dayton metro area    
Occupation Mean hourly wageAnnual mean wage  
Surgeons$119.89 $249,380   
Internists, General$102.23 $212,640   
Chief Executives$96.29 $200,280   
Family and General Practitioners$94.75 $197,070   
Physicians and Surgeons, All Other$92.13 $191,640   
Psychiatrists$91.51 $190,330   
Dentists, General$91.36 $190,030   
Pediatricians, General$67.46 $140,310   
Nurse Anesthetists$67.45 $140,300   
Computer and Information Systems Managers$61.23 $127,350   
Lawyers$59.25 $123,240   
Architectural and Engineering Managers$58.75 $122,190   
Sales Managers$58.69 $122,070   
Marketing Managers$58.23 $121,120   
Natural Sciences Managers$57.08 $118,720   
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics   

But unlike other large cities in Ohio, Dayton has more engineers receiving the highest paychecks when comparing occupations with more than 1,000 people in them, data shows.

More than 13,000 people are employed in high paying engineering jobs across the Dayton region, according to a report from the Department of Labor.


In occupations with more than 1,000 people in the Dayton area, three out of the top 10 highest paying occupations are in aerospace and electrical engineering fields. The engineering jobs have an average median salary of $101,100 and an average hourly salary of $48.60.

Dayton has a rich history of innovation and design, said Jason Eckert, Director of Career Services at the University of Dayton, and this has led to engineers becoming some of the top paid positions.

“The economy has certainly changed in the last 20 years with a lot of the traditional manufacturing being affected. However, there are still so many wonderful manufactures and companies in the Dayton region and they are thirsty to hire engineering students graduating from universities like, University of Dayton, Wright State, Miami, and Ohio State,” Eckert said.

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Engineering students have done exceptionally well in terms of average starting salary, Eckert said.

“Employment is ultimately a game of supply and demand. People that have skills that are in demand in our economy are typically paid more,” he said. “Engineering firms are looking to hire students while they’re still in school. Most companies use internships and cooperative education opportunities to recruit students.”

Eckert said it’s challenging to earn a degree in engineering.

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“So, when firms need to hire an electrical engineer there are only so many around the country to choose from. Also, those individuals have a very unique skill set,” Eckert said.

“We’re blessed at the University of Dayton that several of corporations have decided to build right on our campus, specifically GE Aviation and Emerson Climate Technologies,” he said.

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