Oklahoma is home to 4 million people, a third of whom are workers. As a state with a great economy, it offers many working opportunities for citizens, and some of these jobs pay very well. Incidentally, the highest-paying jobs in Oklahoma come from a range of employment opportunities and varying average wages.
In this article, we will cover the best jobs in Oklahoma and discover a few areas of employment that don’t need a professional degree to earn a high wage. We’ll also find out whether Oklahoma is a great place to work.
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Oklahoma Economic Outlook
Oklahoma has experienced improved economic conditions in the last year. With an increase in annual job growth in 2022 reported by the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, industries like leisure services have seen an increase of 7.7 percent, along with an upward trend in administration and logistics. Employment opportunities are growing, while other fields such as oil, mining, and the gas industry have declined.
The job outlook of Oklahoma overall is expected to grow by 4.1 percent, adding 25,900 jobs by the end of 2022. Oklahoma City was rated as having one of the lowest unemployment rates for large cities. For the entire year of 2021, the average unemployment rate was below three percent.
The Highest-Paying Jobs in Oklahoma
|Job Title||Average Salary in Oklahoma||Average Salary in the US|
|Owner Operator Truck Driver||$238,695||$237,691|
|Family Medicine Physician||$198,279||$196,938|
The Best Jobs in Oklahoma: Explained
Oklahoma is the 31st largest economy in the US based on GDP. While that’s below the national average, Oklahoma City is home to some professions with the highest annual salaries. Most of these professions are in the healthcare industry, while others are part of other employment fields. In the next section, we’ll help you understand the different career choices.
An orthodontist specializes in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of teeth and jaw irregularities. It’s also one of the highest-paying jobs in Oklahoma and offers a great average salary. Similar to health care jobs, it requires a professional degree or a college degree in dentistry to become an orthodontist.
As the highest-paying job in Oklahoma, the earning potential from the early years of your career starts off high, with the 25th percentile of professionals earning $234,139 per year. With more experience and becoming more established in the community and the industry, the annual salary rises to $338,151 for the 75th percentile, with top earners in the 90th percentile earning around $357,063 per year.
2. Owner Operator Truck Driver
A owner-operator is a contract truck driver that helps the goods-producing industries with deliveries as a business entrepreneur. They can transport anything from food to machinery to products for the oil and gas industry. A truck operator is one of the best jobs in Oklahoma and requires no traditional educational background.
Truck owners can transport products within Oklahoma as well as nationally or internationally. As private businesses, they serve different routes in product distribution. Truck drivers also make a decent salary nationally. To become a truck business owner, you only need entry-level education requirements to register a business, raise capital, and build a list of clients/companies.
Ophthalmology is a field of study within the healthcare community that specializes in eyes, eyesight, and eye care. They diagnose eye diseases, do surgery, and prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct vision challenges. It is one of the most lucrative health care jobs with a high annual wage. It’s a rewarding field that requires a professional degree.
4. Nurse Anesthetist
A nurse anesthetist is a registered nurse that administers anesthesia and other medication for patients, before, during, and after surgery. They also monitor a patient’s biological functions to ensure they are in stable condition. A nurse anesthetist requires a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing followed by a professional degree to gain an adequate level of knowledge of the field.
Nurse anesthetists enjoy a lucrative career while helping with overall community health in Oklahoma City. To become a nurse anesthetist, you must first acquire a college degree in nursing. Then you must pass an exam, work as a registered nurse, earn a specialist postgraduate degree, then become a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist.
5. Medical Doctor
A medical doctor (MD) is a licensed physician who diagnoses medical conditions and prescribe medicine and referrals for specialized treatment to improve community health. Qualified applicants must meet the entry-level education requirements, get a college degree, and graduate with a professional degree in medicine before launching this medical career.
6. Family Medicine Physician
A family practice physician is a doctor that provides generalized healthcare to people of all ages. Unlike most doctors, family doctors are qualified to treat most ailments and offer robust medical care for every individual. Similar to an internal medicine physician, a family physician has high-level knowledge in many areas and can also be invested in community health.
Family medicine is one of Oklahoma’s higher-paying industries and a rewarding field of study that results in a profession with high average wages. As a family doctor, you’ll encounter a wide variety of diseases and illnesses and network with other medical practitioners with private businesses to provide high-quality health care services.
7. Podiatric Surgeon
Podiatric surgeons in Oklahoma City manage the bones, joints, and soft tissues of the foot. Podiatric surgeons are highly skilled and must acquire a common degree in podiatric medicine and later a professional degree in the same to fully practice. They work together, as a team, with orthopedic surgeons, radiologists, vascular consultants, and other specialists to offer the highest quality of health care.
In Oklahoma City, podiatrists earn an average salary significantly above the national average. Currently, there is a demand for podiatrists in the South, where Oklahoma is situated. Due to the demand for employment and salary, podiatric medicine is a rewarding field in one of Oklahoma’s higher-paying industries.
A pediatrician is a physician who manages the physical, mental and behavioral health of infants, children, and adolescents. Their level of knowledge in child health care is more advanced than general doctors. They conduct regular checkups to diagnose diseases and prescribe medication to heal illnesses, injuries, and other health complications.
To become a pediatrician, you need to earn a four-year college degree, then spend four years in medical school with three years of pediatric specialization, and then obtain certification.
9. General Dentist
A general dentist is the primary provider of dental care for people of all ages. They will examine your mouth, teeth, and gums, offer cleaning services, and discuss oral health as an oral physician. Dentistry is one of the highest-paying jobs in Oklahoma.
To become a dentist you must complete a four-year undergraduate course in an accredited dental institution and then fulfill the entry-level education requirements of the state licensing boards. Considering the array of services needed, you can specialize in preventive, restorative, cosmetic, or general services.
10. Chief Executives
A chief executive officer is the top-ranking official in companies, private businesses, or state-owned businesses. Often they are founders of private businesses or top executive employees in state-owned businesses. They are responsible for making major corporate decisions and overseeing operational aspects of the company.
Highest-Paying Jobs in Oklahoma Without a Degree
- Postmasters and mail superintendents | $78,240. These professionals are responsible for the administration, coordination, and management of the US post office service which handles one of the biggest mailing workloads in the world.
- Transportation operation managers | $75,209. A transportation operations manager oversees transportation policies, steps, and standards for logistics services. While a degree in management is beneficial, it is not a requirement for this job.
- Fire inspectors and investigators | $54,674. Fire inspectors examine buildings to detect fire hazards and take preventative measures. Although a professional degree is not required, you need experience as a firefighter, a diploma, and training in inspection and investigation.
- Property managers | $49,435. A property manager handles the administration, operations, and maintenance of property for a landlord. Their responsibility revolves around rent payment, handling tenant issues, and property maintenance all of which don’t require technical skills.
- First-line supervisors of retail sales workers | $45,900. These professionals supervise and coordinate the activities of a business’ retail workers. Their job entails accounting, purchasing, budgeting, and supervision of personnel.
What Is the Cost of Living in Oklahoma?
The cost of living in Oklahoma is 15 percent lower than the national average, according to PayScale. This suggests that most people earn above $23,544 which is the earnings necessary to maintain average living standards. In addition, housing costs in the city are significantly lower than the average in comparison to other major cities such as San Francisco or Atlantic City.
Is Oklahoma a Good Place to Work?
Yes, Oklahoma is a good place to work. Oklahoma city is above average in terms of work happiness, learning opportunities, and career purpose. Overall there is job security and room for advancement that suggests an above-average experience for most workers. The state also offers temporary insurance for unemployed workers, which assures financial sustainability.
Highest-Paying Jobs in Oklahoma FAQ
A high salary in Oklahoma is the state’s current average annual salary of $70,535, according to ZipRecruiter. This salary significantly exceeds the cost of living in Oklahoma, meaning it’s a high salary.
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The most common jobs in Oklahoma City are cashier, customer service representative, and sales associate. These jobs only require entry-level education requirements and have good average wages.
One out of six residents of Oklahoma lives below the poverty line, representing a poverty rate of 16.2 percent. There exists a slight disparity in poverty rates between genders with 3.2 percent more females living below the poverty line than males.
Yes, Oklahoma is a wealthy state. Many industries contribute to its gross per capita income. Some of those industries are service, health care, and agriculture, with a labor force of over 1.9 million people.
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