Want to Work with Weed? The Best Paying Jobs in the Cannabis Industry


It’s estimated that by the year 2020, marijuana business will employ some 300,000 people. Marijuana is business is booming. Those looking to get into the cannabiz have quite a few options to choose from. From starting at the bottom as a trimmer and (maybe) moving your way up to top-level positions that pay six-figures annually.

What are the Highest Paying Jobs in the Cannabis Business Industry?

What are the highest paying jobs in the cannabis business, though? While some might think the best bet is getting a business degree and then opening up shop for themselves, having your own venture isn’t necessarily going to pay top dollar.

There are risks involved. It’s estimated that 8 of 10 cannabis businesses will fail within the first two years. There’s also the fact that the government still refuses to mandate marijuana at the federal level.

Master Extractor

The people making the most in the marijuana industry are those responsible for making concentrates and oils. A master extractor is the person taking home the fattest paycheck in the industry…some in the tune of up to $250,000.

Extraction isn’t easy. Making dabs and concentrates like shatter and wax takes skill. Master extractors aren’t the ones blowing up buildings trying to make concentrates. They’re highly educated, usually possessing a PhD in biochemistry. They typically have degrees in engineering and science as well.

Master Grower

Someone interested in becoming a master grower could bring home a sizeable paycheck as well. As the second-highest paying job in cannabis business, a master grower can still bring in a six-figure salary. Some of the best master growers in the country are making around $200,000 a year. Growers getting paid the highest salaries usually have degrees in chemistry, pharmacology, and botany.

Want to Get Your Foot in the Cannabis Business Door?

If you’re looking to work with marijuana, be prepared for a very competitive industry. As Joel Silverstein, former marketing manager for Las Vegas dispensary ReLeaf, puts it, “This is a rat race for talent.”

Even being a budtender will require often require some type of education. Those with the highest education levels are typically chosen out of the multitude of applications dispensaries receive. And they’re still only making an average of $14 an hour.  

If you’re serious about capitalizing on this multi-billion-dollar industry, going to school and getting a degree is your best bet. Or you could always start as a trimmer for $8-12 an hour (on average) and try working your way to the top.