When people consider where to live or work, they look at the living standards and economic outlook of the area. So, if you’re considering living in the West, you might be wondering about the highest-paying jobs in Hawaii and whether it’s a good place to work.
This article will help you explore the ten best jobs in Hawaii, including their respective salaries. Read on to find out the duties they perform and the level of education they require.
Find Your Bootcamp Match
- Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
- Access exclusive scholarships and prep courses
Hawaii’s Economic Outlook
In 2021, Hawaii added 1,900 net jobs, lowering its unemployment rate by 0.3 percent. Hawaii’s best-performing sectors as of December 2021 were leisure and hospitality, trade, transportation and utilities, and professional and business services. The poorest-performing sectors were financial activities, information, education, and health services.
Hawaii’s unemployment rate has stabilized since the economic downturn precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in Hawaii sat between 4.1 and 4.2 percent throughout the first half of 2022. The state’s economy is projected to grow, with the leisure and hospitality sector leading the way.
The Highest-Paying Jobs in Hawaii
|Job Title||Average Salary in Hawaii||Average Salary in the US|
|Family Medicine Physician||$211,469||$215,270|
|Vice President of Application Development||$183,639||$175,702|
|Vice President of Engineering||$182,774||$176,426|
|Vice President of Marketing||$150,121||$145,399|
The Best Jobs in Hawaii: Explained
The 10 highest-paying jobs in Hawaii require a college degree. This is not to say you can’t get a high-paying job without a degree, and we tackle those roles in the following section. But first, we take a closer look at the job descriptions and responsibilities of the best jobs in Hawaii. We also explain some of the primary qualifications you’ll need for the jobs on our list.
A surgeon is a medical doctor who specializes in evaluating and treating conditions that require physical alteration of the body through surgery. Surgeons have specialized knowledge of surgery, from evaluation to post-operative management. They are advanced medical practitioners and are some of the highest-paid professionals in the world.
General surgeons in Hawaii earn about $352,524 in average annual income, with more specialized doctors, such as neurosurgeons, making more. Considering the intricacy of their work, it takes a long time to become a surgeon. The required education and training involve a pre-med degree, medical school, and residency.
An orthodontist is a dentist that offers diagnosis, prevention, and treatment services for irregular teeth and jaws. Orthodontists work with people of all ages to straighten crooked teeth, align jaws, and fix bad bites. They differ from dentists in that their specialty is concerned with correcting teeth and jaw alignment, while dentists deal with oral health.
Orthodontists have one of the highest-paying jobs in Hawaii, with an average annual wage of $343,049. To become an orthodontist, you might have to complete an orthodontic residency after graduating from an accredited dental school. This typically takes close to a decade, after which you can acquire a certification and license to practice.
A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who specializes in mental health. They assess the mental and physical aspects of psychological problems to diagnose illness triggers and prescribe treatment. They offer preventive care for a wide range of mental illnesses. Many of the psychiatrists in Hawaii are concentrated in and around urban Honolulu county.
Psychiatrists enjoy a decent living as they earn an average annual income of nearly $305,119, which is significantly higher than the national average of $270,147. To become a psychiatrist, you must complete formal education requirements, which involve a bachelor’s degree and a four-year medical school program with a specialization in psychiatry.
4. Obstetrician/Gynecologist (OB-GYN)
Obstetricians are doctors who specialize in pregnancy, conception, and the reproductive system of a woman. Meanwhile, gynecologists deal predominantly with the health of the female reproductive system. Physicians will often combine the two related job titles to become an OB-GYN, which is one of the highest-paying jobs in medicine.
An OB-GYN in Hawaii takes home about $248,254 in average annual salary, which is slightly lower than the national average of $262,432. The salary is almost five times the average household income in the United States.To become an OB-GYN, you must complete a bachelor’s degree before going to med school and specializing in obstetrics and gynecology.
An ophthalmologist is a medical doctor who specializes in eye care. They have more training than opticians and optometrists and can diagnose and treat more advanced eye illnesses. They can perform diagnostic tests, surgeries, and medical eye operations, which are their most lucrative source of income, especially if they run a private eye healthcare business.
Ophthalmology is one of the best-paying jobs in Hawaii, with practitioners making an average annual salary of $225,861. To become one, you’ll have to complete 12 to 13 years of education and training, including a four-year college diploma followed by an eight-year medical school practice.
6. Family Medicine Physician
Also known as a family doctor, a family medicine physician manages the healthcare of people of all ages. They evaluate symptoms, diagnose illnesses, treat chronic conditions, and offer preventive care. Family doctors can operate from private office settings or community medicine clinics. They deliver a wide range of services, including routine checkups, health risk assessments, immunization, and counseling.
A family medicine physician in Hawaii makes an annual salary of $211,469, making them one of the highest-paid types of physicians in the state. To become licensed to practice family medicine in Hawaii, you must undergo four years of medical school, pass the USMLE or COMLE board exams, go through a four-year residency, and earn certification from the ABFM or AOBFP.
7. Nurse Anesthetist
A nurse anesthetist is responsible for administering anesthesia to patients who’ll undergo surgical procedures or any other pain-inducing medical operations. In addition, they monitor the patient to ensure they remain stable by collaborating with other professionals on the surgical team.
The nurse anesthesia profession is also one of the highest-paying jobs in Hawaii, with an average annual income of $189,294. To become an anesthetist, you must earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, pass the NCLEX-RN exam, complete a nurse anesthesia program, and get a certification before acquiring a practice license.
8. Vice President of Application Development
A vice president of application development is an executive manager heading application development-related operations. You’ll oversee all application development activities, including design and implementation. You’ll also manage development teams as they develop different applications, and you’ll review proposals and budgets.
You’ll also develop best practices and integrate them into the application development workflow. You’ll set quality standards for application development. You can get to this position by working for many years in corporate environments. A college degree, expertise, connections, and work experience all help professional developers ascend to the job.
9. Vice President of Engineering
As a vice president of engineering, you’ll enjoy a satisfying average salary and be among the company executives. You’ll oversee and direct the engineering development teams, ensure that development teams meet all design requirements, and ensure timely completion and delivery of projects. You’ll be expected to uphold the company standards.
As the second-in-command in your company’s engineering department, you’ll recommend new development processes to increase efficiency. You’ll prepare budgets, participate in recruitment activities, and make recommendations to the president. A bachelor’s or master’s degree in a relevant discipline, usually engineering or business, is an entry-level education requirement.
10. Vice President of Marketing
As a vice president of marketing, you’ll enjoy a high annual income as you plan, direct, and coordinate marketing programs and policies. You’ll develop pricing strategies to help your company maximize profits, oversee product development, and monitor trends to guide you in developing new services and products. You’ll also evaluate marketing campaigns.
You’ll need a basic college education filled with marketing and business courses. Afterward, you should get a Master of Business Administration degree and gain 10 years of experience in marketing to fully qualify for a senior vice president of marketing position.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot
Highest-Paying Jobs in Hawaii Without a Degree
- Real Estate Broker | $88,125. As a real estate broker, you’ll oversee real estate transactions and run a real estate office. You can also work in commercial real estate to help sell and lease buildings used for business purposes.
- Luxury Hotel General Manager | $82,961. As the general manager of a luxury hotel, you’ll plan, direct and coordinate all lodging activities. Lodging managers book accommodations, supervise guests, and ensure the hospitality department satisfies your guests’ needs.
- Transport Manager | $60,522. The primary duties of a transport manager are to direct and coordinate transportation, storage, and distribution in compliance with your company’s policies and applicable government regulations.
- Police Detective | $55,741. As a police detective, you’ll be conducting investigations. You’ll also coordinate the daily actions of police officers to ensure compliance with standards and regulations. You can become a police detective with a community college education, or even with no more than a high school education.
- Fire Department Lieutenant | $55,091. In this role, you’ll directly manage and coordinate all firefighting actions. You’ll also participate in fire control and fire prevention activities.
What Is the Cost of Living in Hawaii?
Hawaii’s cost of living index is expected to be 192.9 in 2022, according to World Population Review. This is on the high side, surpassing the average cost of living in the US by about 96 percent. Hawaii’s housing index is 336.3, while a livable annual wage is $61,000. A two-bedroom house costs $1,895 per month, and grocery costs are high.
Is Hawaii a Good Place to Work?
Yes, Hawaii is a good place to work because you can get a secure job with a good average wage. You’ll also be in a better position as a professional if you can land one of the highest-paying jobs in Hawaii. The best part of having one of the best jobs in Hawaii is that you’ll get to enjoy your high salary while living in the beautiful environment of the Aloha State.
Highest-Paying Jobs in Hawaii FAQ
Surgeons have the highest-paying job in Hawaii. Surgeons earn between $100,000 and $400,000 in annual income, which is quite high compared to other professions. Their high annual salary exceeds that of all other health practitioners in the state.
Yes, you can get a well-paying job in Hawaii without a degree. You can become a real estate broker, a hotel manager, a police detective, or a transport manager, and you’ll still earn a decent income, all while skipping college.
The most in-demand job in Hawaii is a restaurant cook, according to an official report on employment projections issued by the State of Hawaii. The number of cooks in Hawaii is expected to increase by 84 percent between 2020 and 2030. According to the same report, the occupation with the highest total number of expected job openings is fast food worker.
The most common jobs in Hawaii are fast food workers, retail salespersons, and office clerks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 17,560 fast food employees, 17,040 retail salespersons, and 15,680 office clerks in Hawaii. These jobs don’t have strict educational requirements. Of these three occupations, office clerks are the highest-paid.
About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.