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Discovering the Highest Paying Jobs in Chattanooga

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Discovering the Highest Paying Jobs in Chattanooga

According to a recent annual report on occupational wages, wage growth for the most Chattanooga employees has outpaced inflation. The average annual salary for workers in the Chattanooga metropolitan area reached a record high of $54,480 in May 2023, as per data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The mean wage rate for Chattanooga workers saw an increase of more than 4.8% in the year leading up to May, averaging $26.19 an hour. This indicates an increase of $1.21 per hour compared to the average wage paid a year prior. Despite this increase, improvements in wages were balanced by a 4% surge in aggregate prices within the same 12-month period. After adjustments for inflation, the average Chattanooga citizen witnessed a minor increase in real income of about 21 cents per hour last year.

The typical Chattanooga worker’s earnings were reported to be nearly 17% below the U.S. average annual wage of $65,470 last May. A comprehensive study of over 400 occupations in Chattanooga conducted by the federal agency revealed that nine of the top 10 highest-earning professions were in the healthcare sector.

Healthcare Dominates Chattanooga’s High Earning Jobs

The highest paying jobs in Chattanooga were predominantly concentrated in the healthcare sector. These jobs generally paid above the national average, despite the overall pay in Chattanooga averaging 17% less than the national average.

The top ten earning jobs in Chattanooga are, in order:

  1. Cardiologist: Earning $546,750 annually, 21.7% above the national average.
  2. Anesthesiologists: Earning $403,440 annually, 18.8% above the national average.
  3. Neurologists: Earning $380,680 annually, 40.2% above the national average.
  4. Obstetricians and gynecologists: Earning $368,360 annually, 32.2% above the national average.
  5. General physicians: Earning $318,290 annually, 20.6% above the national average.
  6. General internal medicine physicians: Earning $301,580 annually, 22.9% above the national average.
  7. Family medicine physicians: Earning $249,570 annually, 4% above the national average.
  8. Chief executives: Earning $211,390 annually, 18% below the national average.
  9. Nurse anesthetists: Earning $196,140 annually, 7% below the national average.
  10. Dentists: Earning $175,020 annually, 18% below the national average.

Chattanooga’s Competitive Healthcare Sector

Chattanooga’s healthcare sector is highly competitive, with three hospital systems vying to attract and retain top-tier doctors. Chattanooga has a lower proportion of government, university, or residency physicians who typically earn less than doctors who operate their private practices and treat patients regularly.

According to the report, the highest paying job in Chattanooga last year was a cardiologist, with an average annual wage of $546,750, nearly 22% higher than the U.S. average. Under Tennessee law, specific specialists like heart surgeons, radiologists, anesthesiologists, and emergency physicians cannot be directly employed by a hospital. As such, they usually own their private practices and perform both medical professional and executive functions.

However, on the other end of the pay scale, entertainment and parking lot attendants were found to be the lowest-earning jobs in Chattanooga last year, with an average hourly wage of just a little over $11 as of May 2023.

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