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Top 10 High-Paying Jobs in Phoenix, Arizona, to 2023

Ms. Inglish is a successful employment & training pro, setting Midwest regional records with tens of thousands placed in gainful employment.

Downtown Phoenix at night.

Downtown Phoenix at night.

Phoenix Had a Solid Economic Recovery From 2012–2016

Predictions by government and private economic analysts showed that new jobs would continue to open in and around Phoenix after New Year's 2013, and these predictions were correct. The trend of increasing jobs advertised lasted through 2015.

Economists had predicted an increase in some 23,000 new jobs for Phoenix for 2012, but they revised their prediction to 47,000+ in May 2012 (Arizona Republic, May 2012). In May 2015, job listings for the Phoenix area had increased to over 66,000 openings inside a metro area of at least one thousand square miles and a population of about 1.5 million in 2015.

Unemployment Rate

Phoenix is an important part of the statistical area labelled Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, with an unemployment rate decreasing consistently from 7.5% in July 2012 to 6.9% in September 2012, and further to 5.4% in October 2015, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With open non-seasonal jobs increasing and the unemployment rate decreasing, many jobs were left unfilled in 2014. This trend makes the Greater Phoenix Area good for job seekers in the American Southwest.

Industry Sectors That Increased Hiring by the Greatest Number of Individuals

The top seven industry sectors active in Phoenix that increased hiring by the greatest number of individuals 2015–2016 include those that indicate a growing economy (particularly numbers 1 through 6 below):

  1. Trade, transport, and utilities (especially sustainability)
  2. Construction
  3. Professional and business services
  4. Education and health services
  5. Financial products and services
  6. Leisure and hospitality
  7. Government: Local, county, and state levels.

The University of Phoenix was founded in Arizona in 1976 with eight students by John Sperling, who felt that 'working adult students are often invisible on traditional campuses and treated as second-class citizens.'

Largest Metro Area Employers

From the Arizona Top 100 Companies listing of the state Chamber of Commerce:

  1. Banner Health
  2. WalMart: Retail, grocery
  3. Kroger: Grocery, retail, other
  4. Wells Fargo: Financial
  5. Albertson's: Grocery, retail. other
  6. McDonald's: Fast food
  7. Intel: Semiconductors
  8. HonorHealth
  9. Circle K: Convenience stores and gasoline
  10. American Airlines
  11. Bank Of America: Financial
  12. J.P. Morgan Chase: Financial
  13. Home Depot: Hardware, DIY, garden, other
  14. Raytheon: World's largest in missile systems production/manufacturing; also a leader in aerospace products and services. Part of NASA Commercial Crew, they are veteran-friendly, hiring Wounded Warriors through Operation Phoenix.
  15. Honeywell: Aerospace products and services. NASA Commercial Crew.
  16. Dignity Health
  17. Apollo: Educational Services—University of Phoenix
  18. Basha's Supermarkets
  19. Freeport-McMoRan: Mining
  20. Pinnacle West Capital: Financial

Biomedical Advances From Phoenix Businesses

The Phoenix Biomedical Campus project combines the resources of three state universities in Downtown Phoenix.

Partners in residence at this facility include

  • TGen, the International Genomics Consortium,
  • Barrow Neurological Institute,
  • United States National Institutes of Health (NIH),
  • VisionGate,
  • University of Arizona (UA),
  • Arizona State University (ASU), and
  • Northern Arizona University (NAU).
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Given the talent and results already achieved at PBC, the Biomedical Industry's future is as prone to expansive success as is the local Aerospace Program (see below). In fact, biomedical aspects of space travel, included privatized programs, will link the two projects.

Other Biomedical Advances in Phoenix

  • ASU and Mayo Clinic signed an education, healthcare, and research agreement.
  • Banner Health's Alzheimer’s Institute is leading a research project worldwide to discover ways of preventing the condition.
  • Barrow Neurological Institute is the umber one training ground for neurosurgeons in the US.
  • GE Healthcare learned that the FDA approved their new cardiovascular ultrasound system.
  • St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center has become a medical school campus.
A beautiful desert sunset.

A beautiful desert sunset.

Most Highly Paid Advertised Jobs

During Fourth Quarter 2012, over 30% of job listings in Phoenix offered annual salaries of $45,000 or higher, up to over $100,000. A total of 4.0% were at the $100,000+ mark.

Jobs in highest demand also included and upward trend of high-paid jobs through December 2015, with an average of 66,000 jobs advertised on any given day.During 2016 and 2017, this number ranged between 55,000 and 66,000 jobs as well.

Most frequently listed jobs are:

  1. Engineers: Software, Systems, Network, Project, Electrical, Mechanical, Manufacturing, Component Design; and Test Technicians. Salaries to above $100K plus benefits, with over 50% at $60 and over.
  2. Truck Drivers/Owner Operators - Approximately 32% of these openings offer $40K up to $100K+, plus benefits.
  3. Physicians - Over 50% of these positions are offered at salaries of $150K - $300K.
  4. Physical and Occupational Therapists - Salaries at $60K - $120K+ predominate nearly 70% of openings.
  5. Sales Representatives - $30% of listings offer from $60K to over $120K, with benefits.
  6. Store Managers - 30% of these positions offer salaries of $40K - over $100K.
  7. Insurance and Finance - Half of these listings offer $50K - $110K+.
  8. Construction - Over 50% of these jobs offer more than $40K plus benefits, up to over $100K.
  9. Postsecondary Faculty - 38% of these salaries offered are above $50K and range to over $110K pus benefits.
  10. Tax Advisors and Auditors - 53% of advertised jobs offer salaries of $70K - $120K+.
Job numbers began recovery In 2011 and surged In 2015.

Job numbers began recovery In 2011 and surged In 2015.

A commercial building.

A commercial building.

Jobs Expecting the Highest Growth Through 2023

  1. Construction Trades and Helpers
  2. Biomedical Engineers
  3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
  4. Dental Hygienists
  5. Tapers - Construction in plastering.
  6. Physical Therapy Jobs
  7. Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers
  8. Electricians' Helpers
  9. Brickmasons and Blockmasons
  10. Combined Food Prep & Service Jobs -- Number One in total numbers of new jobs expected.
The aerospace industry is a large employer.

The aerospace industry is a large employer.

The Aerospace Industry

Arizona supports well over 500 different Aerospace Industry companies and some of these appear on the listing of NASA's Commercial Crew partners.

The Commercial Crew began gathering before the last US Shuttle Flight in order to begin the transition from government to privatized aerospace endeavors. The Commercial Crew and NASA personnel are in place, whether the government cuts funding to the space agency or not.

Private companies like Google, Paul Allen, and James Cameron have been in the aerospace business for some time at this writing, even beginning a space mining project in 2012. Google LunarX landers will be on the moon earlier than expected in early 2013 - in fact, 2015 had been the deadline. The Space Program is running with or without the federal government and we should look forward to the effects of drawing on additional natural resources from space to support our planet.

Phoenix Metropolitan–Area Aerospace Companies

This market area supports over hundreds of relevant aerospace companies and branches. In the exciting decade of 2018 through 2028, some of the most active will continue to include:

  • Accord Technology
  • Aerostar Aerospace
  • Air Response
  • Alliant Techsystems
  • Attaway Air
  • Electron International II
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • General Dynamics C4 Systems
  • Leading Edge Aerospace
  • Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • New Nose Company Inc
  • Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC)
  • Paragon Transportation LLC
  • Phoenix Technology Works
  • RU2 Systems in Mesa
  • Semiray
  • Sonic Aerospace Inc
  • Space Data - Aerospace, Gas & Oil, Transportation, several others and the military StarFighter® and StarSite® that create ground communication and data hubs of 400 miles diameter.
  • Spectrum Tracking
  • Times Microwave Systems

Local Universities and Space

Local universities are all members of the Arizona Space Grant Consortium and work with private businesses and the government to further our country's Space Program as they help to create new jobs. Near Phoenix is a related center for Astronomical Adaptive Optics, the Department of Planetary Sciences, and the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory.

Arizona State University with a campus in Phoenix and other campuses nearby created four units that ensured success for the milestone Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER) that sends us pictures and data every day from Mars.

Successful Privatized Space Projects

  • ASU School of Earth and Space Exploration: From Earth and Environmental Studies to Astrophysics, Astronomy, Geology, Engineering and Science Education, students have a chance to master skills in cutting edge aerospace research for high-paying jobs.
Lockheed Martin SR 72. Hypersonic aircraft that will go twice the speed of the SR-71.

Lockheed Martin SR 72. Hypersonic aircraft that will go twice the speed of the SR-71.


  • Arizona State University Newsletters. ASU Now. Accessed 2012 - 2017.
  • Mayo Clinic Center for Biomedical Discovery. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  • Phoenix, Arizona Chamber of Commerce, 2012 - 2017.
  • Phoenix Biomedical. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  • Phoenix Economic Development Department. Retrieved December 11, 2017.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.

© 2012 Patty Inglish MS


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on February 18, 2013:

The border situation is bad all the way around, at least from the news about it I get up here in the Midwest. I'd think truck driving would be hard wearing on the body during long-haul anywhere, but wonder how long the high wages will be offered. It must be pretty frustrating to drive in South Dakota where the Native Americans block the highway and construction of the Keystone pipeline. The worst must be driving on the Ice Roads farther north, though, I think.

Thanks for visiting!

Ghost32 on February 18, 2013:

Had to check this one out, mainly because I mostly ignore Phoenix despite it being relatively nearby (6 hours drive max). I was a little surprised to see truck driving jobs (some of them) reaching up toward the $100k range. Until now, the only driving jobs I'd been aware of that paid in that range were oil patch related, plus maybe the occasional heavy hauler here and there.

We haven't seen the # of border crossers increasing again, though. Perhaps the folks south of the border aren't really up on the improved conditions yet, either.

Voted Up and More.

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 20, 2012:

Economy is rising in certain pockets of America, and the Phoenix Area seems to be one of them. I hope more events combining efforts of govt, business, and education can help us all.

healthwriterbob from United States on November 20, 2012:

Hi Patty,

Excellent hub about the economy of the Phoenix area. Interesting that the construction industry has increased hiring so much over the last year. It lends support to the belief of many economists that the U.S. is slowly but very definitely emerging from the Great Recession. Also, I did not realize that Phoenix was such as hub of biomedical research. The Phoenix Biomedical Campus is a great example of the kinds of things that can be accomplished when government, industry and academia pool their talent and resources. Voted up and interesting.

Take care.


Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 16, 2012:

I have friends that live half the year near Phoenix and they love it (semi-retired).

Carolina Dursina from Spring Green WI on November 16, 2012:

Sounds like good news, great job on his detailed hub!

Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on November 16, 2012:

I don't believe that and your comment has nothing to do with this Hub, but thanks for your views.

We have plenty of Aerospace Industry jobs open and opening in larger numbers in the very near future, although many people want to deny that.

Frank Slovenec from San Francisco, CA on November 16, 2012:

Well when welfare is extended and unemployment is extended by the Socialist Government there is not a need to look for work..a a matter of fact we should advise all people in a family making less than $40,000 to quit and let the Government Support them it will be a lot easier.

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