The D.C. area ranks highly in a nationwide survey of how much workers in various fields are paid: U.S. News and World Report ranked D.C. seventh nationwide in their Best-Paying Cities list for 2020.
U.S. News compiled the list by using Bureau of Labor Statistics data to rank metropolitan areas by how much they paid each of nearly 200 occupations. Then they picked the best-paying cities on the basis of the number of jobs for which each city reached the top five.
D.C. was among the five best-paying areas for 22 of the nearly 200 careers, placing seventh. San Francisco came in at the top, with 77 occupations; San Jose, California, was second at 64; New York rounded out the top three with 43.
The jobs D.C. ranked highly in included some instinctive choices, such as interpreter and translator, paralegal and political scientist. (Choreographer might be a bit of a head-scratcher.)
Whitney Wycoff, the senior editor of advice products at U.S. News and World Report, said the list is meant to be a jumping-off point for research, both for those looking for a new city to work in or students pondering what field to enter.
“You have to consider a lot of factors,” Wycoff said. The top spots on the list “doesn’t necessarily mean you should go to New York or you should go to San Francisco. It could actually mean that it’s just more expensive to live there, and the salaries are aligned with that reality.”
The list is “a good starting point; it’s a great data point,” she added. “But we encourage everyone to do their own research to determine where they might want to live.”
The Best-Paying Cities List is being released in conjunction with U.S. News’ Best-Paying Jobs list, and Wycoff said that the health care field dominated the top end. Anesthesiologist came in at number 1, while health care jobs took the top 11 slots.
And while software developer came in at the top of the Best Jobs list, health care is among the fields the BLS said are the hottest for future growth, Wycoff said, so health jobs rank high on the overall list in general.
You can see all the lists on the U.S. News site.