North Carolina’s Dreamiest Jobs

When you think of your ‘dream job,’ what comes to mind? Is it an impressive title and an equally impressive salary? Do you want to work for a company with great benefits, flexible work, and high employee satisfaction?  Are you seeking a sense of purpose and making a difference? Do you want to start a business and be your own boss? Or do you want it all?

Whatever your idea of the dream job is, North Carolina has it for you.

Big title, big salary

An impressive salary is relative. What is a lot of money in one place is average in another. The average salary in North Carolina is just under $53,000, a little over $25.00 an hour. Most salaries in North Carolina are between $36,625 to $67,406. However, you will find many jobs in NC that start at about twice the average and come with solid-sounding titles.

According to ZipRecruiter, the top five paying jobs in North Carolina are all in the medical field. They are:

  • Oncologist—Salary: $387,239
  • Pediatric Dermatologist—Salary: $378,817
  • Travel Anesthesiologist—Salary: $372,392
  • Dental Anesthesiologist—Salary: $372,392
  • Interventional Gastroenterologist—Salary: $371,260

Beyond this list, there are a host of other high-paying jobs in the medical field. Best of all, the health industry is one of the largest employers in North Carolina.

If the medical field is not your calling, lists these well-paying titles:

  • Director of Strategic Sourcing—$150,000–$180,000 a year
  • Regional Manager—$115,000–$140,000 a year
  • Supply Chain Program Manager—$115,000–$130,000 a year
  • Transformation Analyst—$100,000–$160,000 a year
  • Vice-president positions—starting at $100,000

Great benefits, flexible work, and employee satisfaction

The Best Companies Group produces a list titled, Great Employers To Work For In North Carolina each year. Best Companies Group is an independent research firm that ranks companies based on an established research methodology. The list is research-driven and includes company practices, programs, and benefits. They also survey employees to gain their perspective.

The list is divided by company size. The best companies to work for in North Carolina by size are:

15-49 Employees

1Eller Residential Inc
2Zoe Dental
3The Brooks Group
4VPC Builders
5Verigent, LLC

50-249 Employees

1Martin Starnes & Associates, CPAs, P.A.
2Blue Ridge Energy
3Bernard Robinson & Company
4Electric Supply & Equipment
5Champion Credit Union

250 or More Employees

1Davenport & Company LLC
2Burns & McDonnell
3McAngus Goudelock & Courie
4Total Quality Logistics
5CPI Security Inc.

A sense of purpose and making a difference

We all need money. That’s just a fact of modern life. But we all know there is more to life than just money. Everyone needs a sense of purpose and a feeling that they are making a difference, even in a small way. lists the most meaningful jobs; they generally fall into several categories, and all of them can be easily found in North Carolina.


  • Teacher—Average salary: $32,076
  • College adviser—Average salary: $40,039
  • School counselor—Average salary: $50,641
  • Special education teacher—Average salary: $52,063


  • Rehabilitation specialist—Average salary: $41,175
  • Fitness trainer—Average salary: $43,026
  • Health educator—Average salary: $47,429
  • Therapist—Average salary: $52,805
  • Psychologist—Average salary:  $105,064
  • Physician assistant—Average salary: $105,874
  • Pediatrician—Average salary:  $187,227
  • Neurosurgeon—Average salary: $197,435
  • Psychiatrist—Average salary:  $218,264
  • Physician—Average salary:  $223,257

Emergency service

  • Firefighter—Average salary: $44,112
  • Ambulance dispatcher—Average salary: $53,135
  • Police officer—Average salary $54,612
  • Paramedic—Average salary: $37,907


  • Environmental scientist—Average salary: $71,689
  • Veterinarian—Average salary: $102,934
  • Cook—Average salary: $36,558
  • Recreation manager—Average salary: $50,922
  • Social worker—Average salary: $59,972
  • Yoga instructor—Average  salary: $74,569
  • Engineer—Average salary: $71,021

This list just scratches the surface and does not include the not-for-profit sector. While non-profits often pay less, they are often much more meaningful.

Entrepreneurism—be your own boss

Forbes magazine says North Carolina is one of the top five states to start a business in 2024. North Carolina has a low business registration fee, just $125. It boasts an impressive small business success rate of 77%. An average of $22,000 in grants and incentives to aid startups is also available.

The cost of living is slightly lower in North Carolina than the national average, making it affordable for business owners and employees. The state also has a large labor pool. 65% of its population is working-age.

Unlike many states, North Carolina is growing. In fact, it is the fifth fastest-growing state with a rate of growth of 1.3%. Growth is exactly what an entrepreneur needs for business success.

Have it all

Can you have it all? Probably not, but it’s worth a try. North Carolina has the right mix to pursue your ultimate dream job.

The medical field may be the answer to the Have It All dream. It’s a high-paying field that provides a strong sense of purpose and genuinely makes a difference in people’s lives. It’s also a growing field in NC.

Most jobs in the medical industry include great benefits. You can have a flexible work schedule if you choose to work as an independent contractor. North Carolina’s business start-up-friendly environment makes it easy to pursue your own business in the medical field and be your own boss.

Almost all of the billionaires in North Carolina started their own businesses. Once you have that kind of money you can build dreams for yourself and others.

About the Author

Walter Yuhl

Walter (Way) Yuhl is a freelance writer and business professor. Way has written for the Arizona Daily Sun, Flagstaff Business News, Bangkok University, and Shandong University of Science and Technology as well as edited content for the U.N., Thailand International airports, and other organizations. He has worked with Cantena Media since 2019.