High Paying Jobs in Grand Rapids Michigan

We use data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Department of Education to determine the highest paying jobs in Grand Rapids along with the schools where you can get training.
High Paying Jobs in Grand Rapids

If you live in or are thinking about moving to the Grand Rapids, MI area, then you might want to know what the job market looks like.

The good news is that Grand Rapids is home to some of the best-paying jobs in Michigan, and is the second-largest job market in the Detroit Metro area.

Grand Rapids is also close to many educational institutions ready to prepare you for these high paying jobs regardless of where you settle down.


Key Findings

Average income in Grand Rapids: People living in Grand Rapids are earning more than the average Michigander with an average income of $93,778 and a median of $72,021.

Grand Rapids highest paying jobs: As with the state overall, Grand Rapids has many its best paying jobs in STEM-related fields such as computers and engineering.

Grand Rapids degree levels compared to pay: Bachelor’s degrees accounted for 45% of the highest paying jobs, but 30% only require an associates degree or less.

Table of Contents

Average Income in Grand Rapids

The mean (average) household income in Grand Rapids as of 2021 was $93,778 while the median income was $72,021. 

Because average incomes can be skewed higher by a low number of very higher earners, we use median figures throughout most of our analysis.

The numbers above are household incomes. The median incomes of nonfamily households were $42,673.

Here’s a look at the different income brackets and the percentage of people earning at that level.

IncomeHouseholdsFamiliesMarried-couple familiesNonfamily households
Less than $10,0004.7%3.1%0.7%8.5%
$10,000 to $14,9993.8%1.5%0.6%8.3%
$15,000 to $24,9995.7%3.1%1.6%11.4%
$25,000 to $34,9997.0%4.8%3.0%12.5%
$35,000 to $49,99911.9%11.0%8.0%14.9%
$50,000 to $74,99918.9%17.6%17.3%19.9%
$75,000 to $99,99915.2%17.1%17.8%12.0%
$100,000 to $149,99917.5%21.8%25.7%7.8%
$150,000 to $199,9997.3%9.3%11.7%2.3%
$200,000 or more8.0%10.8%13.5%2.2%

High paying jobs breakdown

Similar to the overall Michigan breakdown, many of the high-paying jobs in Grand Rapids are found in the Healthcare, STEM and Business functions according to the BLS data.

The top of the detailed occupations is dominated by healthcare jobs, but keep in mind most of those require a master’s degree. Many of the jobs just below the top ten require much less school.

General Internal Medicine Physicians $ 190,000
Obstetricians and Gynecologists $ 169,660
Nurse Anesthetists $ 168,090
Dentists, General $ 165,060
Pediatricians, General $ 164,530
Physical Scientists, All Other $ 130,010
Pharmacists $ 128,170
Architectural and Engineering Managers $ 127,140
Nurse Midwives $ 127,110
Computer and Information Systems Managers $ 126,500
Marketing Managers $ 126,500
Natural Sciences Managers $ 126,500
Optometrists $ 125,110
Financial Managers $ 123,390
Sales Managers $ 122,390
Purchasing Managers $ 120,680
Public Relations Managers $ 119,830
Lawyers $ 106,520
Commercial Pilots $ 104,770
Chemical Engineers $ 102,080
Physician Assistants $ 101,680
Healthcare Diagnosing or Treating Practitioners, All Other $ 100,390

High paying jobs in Grand Rapids by education level

Bachelor’s degrees comprise the largest percentage of high-paying jobs, but those with an associate’s degree or less make up 30%.

We expect to see the list of occupations requiring less than a bachelor’s to grow and alternatives to 4-year universities continue to grow.

How to get high paying jobs in Grand Rapids

Bachelor’s degree – If you’re sure of the direction you want to go and have the financing, then a university is a great choice that will typically pay off in the long run.

Community Colleges – These schools are where you can find many associate degree programs and other programs intended to get workers out of school faster. Community colleges are also a great place to start if you’re unsure of what career you’re interested in. You can take a broad curriculum and earn credits towards a bachelor’s degree at a larger university in the process. Just be sure to check the classes and understand if they transfer to your desired university.

Apprenticeships – These programs are a fantastic way to get training and prepare for a high-paying career. An apprenticeship is typically run through an employer, combining on-the-job and classroom training. This allows participants to earn money while completing the program, which typically takes only 12-24 months.

The downside of apprenticeships is they don’t give as broad an education as a community college or university. But if you’re certain the path you’d like to take, then an apprenticeship can be one of your best options.

Technology BootcampsBootcamps have been on the rise for the past decade and are similar to trade schools, where you receive training in a specific area, typically related to technology. Areas of focus have been on coding, data science, UX design, and cybersecurity, as these are all fast-growing areas within tech.

Similar to apprenticeships or certification programs, bootcamps typically last from 6-18 months and cost far less than a university.

Are you over 40? Join our fast-growing community to get discounts and articles tailored to your busy life.