Are you looking to move and are seeking the highest-paying jobs in Alabama? While the state is known for its southern hospitality, good food, and unimaginably beautiful places, you might be wondering whether it is a good place to live and if it has promising job opportunities.
In this article, we have included information about the best jobs in Alabama, the highest-paying jobs without a degree, and whether it is a good place to work. Before we jump into the list of the best jobs, let’s first examine Alabama’s economic prospects.
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Alabama Economic Outlook
The Alabama economic outlook for 2022 shows that Alabama’s GDP is projected to grow by roughly three percent to $213.5 billion in 2022. According to the Alabama Workforce Council’s ACCCP committee report for 2020-2021, there are 238 in-demand occupations in Alabama.
These professions are spread across sixteen career clusters and identified through a specific methodology on the Alabama Department of Labor data. Some of the main economic sectors are manufacturing, construction, wholesale, and retail. For more information, you can also check out Alabama’s statewide list of in-demand occupations for 2020-2021.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average national salary in the United States is $56,310 per year, while the average annual salary in Alabama is $46,840. If we summarize all of the data, we can conclude that while there are many sought-after jobs in Alabama, they pay less than the national average.
The Highest-Paying Jobs in Alabama
|Job Title||Average Salary in Alabama||Average Salary in the US|
|Architectural and Engineering Manager||$90,159||$105,514|
|Human Resources Manager||$65,507||$74,632|
|Natural Sciences Manager||$63,783||$73,347|
|General and Operations Manager||$62,681||$73,357|
The Best Jobs in Alabama: Explained
Now that we’ve listed the best jobs in Alabama, we should examine the positions listed to determine if they would be the right fit for you.
Anesthesiologists should not be confused with nurse anesthetists (CRNA), as these two professions are similar but have a crucial distinction. Anesthesiologists are doctors who administer anesthesia, while nurses assist anesthesiologists in administering anesthesia. In Alabama, you can earn anywhere from $267,861 to $350,145 annually in this profession. Since it is such a highly-specialized field requiring more than 12 years of schooling, it is one of the most profitable occupations in the world.
2. Nurse Anesthetist
As alluded to in the previous section, CRNA’s assist physicians in administering pain medication to patients undergoing surgery. Nurse anesthetists can earn a high weekly salary. In contrast, those on the lower end of the curve can earn a lower weekly salary in Alabama. As you can see, this is also a pretty high-income profession and may be preferable to some over becoming an anesthesiologist, as becoming a CRNA only requires seven to eight years of schooling.
3. Petroleum Engineer
Petroleum engineers are responsible for optimizing oil and gas extraction by developing cutting-edge technology and techniques. They are also responsible for locating, recovering, and maintaining the world’s oil and gas reserves. The best earners in petroleum engineering have salary estimates of around $134,174, and low performers earn $72,500 per year.
4. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners are registered nurses (RN) who have completed more clinical training than general nurses and perform a variety of health care tasks that overlap with those of primary care physicians. They perform physical examinations, diagnose patients, interpret diagnostic tests, write prescriptions, order labs or tests, and more. In Alabama, nurse practitioners can earn from $80,095 to $121,675 annually.
5. Aerospace Engineer
Aerospace engineers are responsible for developing and testing designs for aircraft and spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. High-earning aerospace engineers can earn $131,304, while low-earning aerospace engineers can earn $69,153 annually.
6. Nuclear Engineer
One of the primary responsibilities of nuclear engineers is to plan, operate, construct, and decommission power plants, making sure each process is optimized. However, some nuclear engineers might not work at a power plant but rather incorporate radiation technology into other fields, such as manufacturing and health care. These types of engineers in Alabama can earn from $59,500 to $144,500 annually.
7. Architectural and Engineering Manager
Architectural and engineering managers oversee construction projects, supervising and managing employees in architectural and engineering companies. They also resolve issues and create precise technological plans to maximize productivity. Architectural and engineering managers earn $153,500 on the high-end and $64,000 on the low-end in Alabama.
8. Human Resources Manager
Human resource managers are the administrators of the staff within a company. They act as a communicator between employees and higher-ups, reconcile employee disputes, and manage the employee roster by hiring or firing staff members. Human resource managers can earn from $41,579 to $107,232 on average as a yearly salary.
9. Natural Sciences Manager
Natural sciences managers organize the studies of other scientists like chemists, physicists, and biologists. They oversee scientific research and are responsible for managing projects through arranging product development and testing. Alabama natural science managers can earn from $34,576 to an average annual salary of $99,791.
10. General and Operations Manager
General and operations managers have skills that apply to any number of institutions, organizing the goings-on of various departments within a private sector. Additionally, these managers have other responsibilities, such as overseeing marketing, business strategy, and human resources. Top earners have an average salary of $124,000, while low earners have an average salary of $48,000 annually.
Highest-Paying Jobs in Alabama Without a Degree
- Airline Pilot | $186,870. The only essential education you’ll need to complete to become a pilot is flight school, though some airlines do prefer a bachelor’s degree or graduate degrees. Some of the best career options for commercial pilots without a degree are charter pilots and air tour pilots. Low earners have an $80,920 salary, while top earners gain more than $208,000 per year.
- Postmasters and Mail Superintendents | $83,900. In addition to wearing a snazzy uniform, delivering mail is an excellent career that does not require a professional degree if you are comfortable walking for many hours of the day.
- Sound Engineering Technicians | $79,040. Also known as sound mixers, these workers use audio equipment to record and mix sounds, whether music, speech, or sounds, in-tune with the producer’s specifications. While a college degree or a graduate education can help you learn more about the field, neither degree is required for most jobs.
- Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers | $76,560. Not afraid of getting electrocuted, these employees are responsible for making sure the power grid doesn’t go out and repairing it when it does. They either work for energy, utility, or communications companies and only need a high-school diploma to start working.
- Detectives and Criminal Investigators | $73,230. Leaving behind the romanticization of Noir movies, investigators gather clues related to a criminal case to discover the perpetrator. Though some agencies now prefer an associate or bachelor’s degree, you can absolutely become a detective without either.
What Is the Cost of Living in Alabama?
The average cost of living in Alabama is $35,859 per year, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. We mentioned in the previous sections that Alabama’s average salary is lower than the national annual salary, but if we take into account the MERIC cost-of-living index, Alabama has the fourth-lowest cost index in the US.
Compared to the rest of the country, Alabama is quite affordable. If you are thinking of settling down in this state, it is not a bad idea. You can also use the Living Wage Calculator to see an in-depth analysis of your costs if you are considering moving to Alabama.
Is Alabama a Good Place to Work?
Yes, Alabama is a good place to work, but only if you work in one of its major economic sectors. According to the latest statistics from the Alabama Department of Labor, the unemployment rate in Alabama as of February 2022 has dropped to three percent, which is also lower than the US average of roughly four percent.
According to the same report, wage and salary employment in Alabama has increased in the utilities, transportation, manufacturing, and trade sectors. These statistics show that the employment rate and the annual salary in Alabama have risen.
This positive uptrend should be taken into account by prospective job seekers who want to settle in this state. As we mentioned in the previous sections, Alabama is also one of the states with the lowest cost of living, which is also affordable.
However, though Alabama has job opportunities and is an affordable state to live in, it has a lower average wage than the US national average. We hope our article helped you gain some insight into the highest-paying jobs in Alabama and assisted you in deciding if you want to relocate in this state.
Highest-Paying Jobs in Alabama FAQ
A good salary in Alabama is around $65,000 per year. According to ZipRecruiter, the average pay in Alabama is $53,786 per year. High-earners make $78,782, while low earners make $43,330 every year. So, you would need to have a better-paid job if you like to live comfortably in Alabama.
Alabama has many good job opportunities. However, whether they are good or not depends on what you are looking for. If you look at the Alabama online job posts, you will notice that they add jobs in almost all industries, but this state is facing labor shortages and has more jobs available than there are people available. Also, you may be able to find high-paying entry-level roles without a degree.
According to the Alabama Department of Labor, the numbers from November 2021 show 26,524 more online jobs ads. Fourteen percent of these available jobs offer salaries above $75,000, while 49 percent offer salaries of $35,000 or under. So if you work for under $35,000, this would not be a good job opportunity.
Yes, Alabama is a good place to live. Alabama has pleasant weather all year and is filled to the brim with natural wonders such as forests, mountains, and beaches. Alabama is also a low-cost state with low real estate prices. It has several prestigious universities, as well as several job possibilities.
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One of Alabama’s poorest cities is Oak Hill, with an average household income of $9,286. The average US household income is $44,758, by comparison. Some of the most dangerous cities are Fairfield and Anniston. Some of the safest and most peaceful places are Margaret, Helena, Southside, Mountain Brook, and Vestavia Hills.
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