It comes as no surprise that Washington, DC is ranked #3 in Kiplinger’s list of top cities for millionaires. Simply put, people in the city tend to have jobs that pay well.

The District is a magnet for “the highly educated seeking high-power jobs.” Millennials have flocked here, and all the trappings of gentrification– like soaring rents and crippling traffic– continue to leave their mark.

But which industries, job titles, and careers are attracting top talent, and more importantly, how can you count yourself among them? You might be surprised.

Here are some of the most prestigious jobs that pay well in the DC area:


In the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area, physicians are making serious bank– bringing home nearly $250,000. Obstetricians, surgeons, internists, psychiatrists, and oral surgeons round out the top five highest paying jobs in the area according to theWashington Business Journal. There are opportunities for physicians to work in the region with MedStar Health being the largest employer.

Chief Executives

If medical school is not in your future you can still make a great living as the head of a company or organization. Chief Executives are second to physicians on the list of high paying jobs paying out nearly $200,000 per year.  There are opportunities to work at Fortune 500 companies located in the area like Marriott International or Verizon Wireless. Or look for Chief of Staff opportunities on Capitol Hill.

Petroleum Engineers

One surprising occupation to make the list was Petroleum Engineer. But first, what is a Petroleum Engineer? These highly-skilled individuals are responsible for designing and developing methods for extracting oil and gas deposits from the earth.  They typically work in an office environment and may visit a drill site from time to time. This career nets nearly $160,000 per year. Petroleum Engineers in DC can be found at top consulting firms like Booz Allen Hamilton.


If you are not a lawyer yourself odds are that you know at least one because DC has the most lawyers per square capita. Lawyers have ample opportunity for work in DC. This town allows them to practice in many areas ranging from regulatory law to corporate law.  There are many firms to work for in the city from the well-known firms like Steptoe & Johnson and Williams & Connolly to smaller boutique firms. DC Lawyers rake in about $160,000 per year.

Computer Information Systems Managers

Computer Information Systems Managers are the backbone of most organizations.  A strong IT department protects businesses from hackers which is incredibly important in DC-especially when it comes to the federal government. IT professionals are highly-skilled, which would explain why they rank so high in pay scale in the DC area. These managers work for companies directly or serve as consultants.  The average salary for this career is around $150,000 per year.

Photography by Collin Hardy