These Are The 25 Best Jobs In Chicago, By The Numbers

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 3 years ago
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How do you define the “best jobs” out there?

Is it a job that gives you plenty of free time? Or that allows you to follow your passion?

Well, at Zippia, we have a passion for numbers and crunch them in our free time, so the only logical answer to the best jobs in Chicago must come from them. Here were the top ten:

  1. Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators — $77,510
  2. Brickmasons and Blockmasons — $76,610
  3. Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers — $73,410
  4. Sales Managers — $124,570
  5. Structural Iron and Steel Workers — $85,390
  6. Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters — $75,010
  7. First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives — $106,160
  8. Electricians — $74,850
  9. First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers — $81,270
  10. Financial Managers — $130,930

Head on for the secret sauce that gets you promoted onto this list.

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How We Calculated The 25 Best Jobs In Chicago

So we went to the ultimate source of job statistics, the BLS and their online database buddy, ONet. Trust me, it takes a certain kind of crazy to dive into those numbers, and I’m not sure I made it out in one piece.

Once we had the data, we looked at the following for each of the 647 job titles:

  • Average Annual Salary — The higher paying, the better
  • 10th Percentile Salary — You can be “bad” at your job and still get paid well
  • Job Availability — All else equal, more jobs mean more chances to snag one
  • Education required — The lower the bar on education, the more people can do it

We then ranked each job across each criteria from 1 to 647, with 1 being best.

Finally, we averaged the ranks across each criteria to create a Zippia Job Score. The job with the highest Zippia Job Score has to be the best that Chicago has to offer.

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1. Operating Engineers and Other Construction Equipment Operators

  • Zippia Job Score: 118.75
  • Average Annual Salary: $77,510
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $53,390
  • Jobs Per 1000: 1.148
  • Education Required Index: 46.33

2. Brickmasons and Blockmasons

  • Zippia Job Score: 136.75
  • Average Annual Salary: $76,610
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $49,540
  • Jobs Per 1000: 0.539
  • Education Required Index: 39.41

3. Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers

  • Zippia Job Score: 143.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $73,410
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $50,560
  • Jobs Per 1000: 5.822
  • Education Required Index: 73.63

4. Sales Managers

  • Zippia Job Score: 147.75
  • Average Annual Salary: $124,570
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $56,530
  • Jobs Per 1000: 4.264
  • Education Required Index: 129.24

5. Structural Iron and Steel Workers

  • Zippia Job Score: 148.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $85,390
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $58,550
  • Jobs Per 1000: 0.511
  • Education Required Index: 55.09

6. Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

  • Zippia Job Score: 148.5
  • Average Annual Salary: $75,010
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $39,660
  • Jobs Per 1000: 2.659
  • Education Required Index: 56.38

7. First-Line Supervisors of Police and Detectives

  • Zippia Job Score: 148.75
  • Average Annual Salary: $106,160
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $79,040
  • Jobs Per 1000: 0.92
  • Education Required Index: 88.08

8. Electricians

  • Zippia Job Score: 149.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $74,850
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $43,420
  • Jobs Per 1000: 4.065
  • Education Required Index: 66.96

9. First-Line Supervisors of Construction Trades and Extraction Workers

  • Zippia Job Score: 150.5
  • Average Annual Salary: $81,270
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $50,350
  • Jobs Per 1000: 1.757
  • Education Required Index: 72.39

10. Financial Managers

  • Zippia Job Score: 151
  • Average Annual Salary: $130,930
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $56,290
  • Jobs Per 1000: 6.147
  • Education Required Index: 139.11

11. Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

  • Zippia Job Score: 152
  • Average Annual Salary: $76,710
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $54,840
  • Jobs Per 1000: 0.684
  • Education Required Index: 53.6

12. Airline Pilots, Copilots, and Flight Engineers

  • Zippia Job Score: 153.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $120,530
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $68,450
  • Jobs Per 1000: 1.74
  • Education Required Index: 122.89

13. General and Operations Managers

  • Zippia Job Score: 156
  • Average Annual Salary: $110,480
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $39,230
  • Jobs Per 1000: 18.735
  • Education Required Index: 110.18

14. Chief Executives

  • Zippia Job Score: 156.5
  • Average Annual Salary: $178,780
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $72,290
  • Jobs Per 1000: 4.261
  • Education Required Index: 160.84

15. Computer Network Architects

  • Zippia Job Score: 161.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $110,560
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $65,410
  • Jobs Per 1000: 1.05
  • Education Required Index: 108.34

16. Computer and Information Systems Managers

  • Zippia Job Score: 163.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $125,440
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $69,580
  • Jobs Per 1000: 2.609
  • Education Required Index: 148.33

17. Marketing Managers

  • Zippia Job Score: 165.5
  • Average Annual Salary: $123,380
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $58,430
  • Jobs Per 1000: 1.953
  • Education Required Index: 133.47

18. Managers, All Other

  • Zippia Job Score: 166
  • Average Annual Salary: $104,120
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $54,140
  • Jobs Per 1000: 6.188
  • Education Required Index: 143.76

19. Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers

  • Zippia Job Score: 167.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $80,480
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $60,240
  • Jobs Per 1000: 0.092
  • Education Required Index: 37.97

20. Management Analysts

  • Zippia Job Score: 167.5
  • Average Annual Salary: $101,960
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $50,410
  • Jobs Per 1000: 5.009
  • Education Required Index: 134.4

21. Software Developers, Systems Software

  • Zippia Job Score: 170.75
  • Average Annual Salary: $98,790
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $62,140
  • Jobs Per 1000: 2.328
  • Education Required Index: 139.75

22. Medical and Health Services Managers

  • Zippia Job Score: 171.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $110,900
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $66,670
  • Jobs Per 1000: 2.308
  • Education Required Index: 151.87

23. Cement Masons and Concrete Finishers

  • Zippia Job Score: 173.25
  • Average Annual Salary: $63,760
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $34,330
  • Jobs Per 1000: 0.815
  • Education Required Index: 35.98

24. Insulation Workers, Mechanical

  • Zippia Job Score: 173.5
  • Average Annual Salary: $77,750
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $44,140
  • Jobs Per 1000: 0.24
  • Education Required Index: 40.66

24. First-Line Supervisors of Fire Fighting and Prevention Workers

  • Zippia Job Score: 173.5
  • Average Annual Salary: $96,750
  • 10th Percentile Annual Salary: $63,350
  • Jobs Per 1000: 0.54
  • Education Required Index: 88.56