Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Healthcare
October 8, 2015
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry has some of the highest paying jobs and one of the fastest growing job markets.
For all of the hospital jobs that make the top 10 list, they either meet or exceed the average growth rate by 2022. If you’ve ever considered when to start a hospital job or healthcare job, the time to start a career in the healthcare industry is now. From Radiation Therapist to Surgeon, this list will show you the top ten highest paying jobs in the healthcare industry for you to consider.
Top 10 Highest Paying Jobs in Healthcare:
At number ten on our list, we have the Occupational Therapists coming in at an average of $75,400 per year, or $36.25 per hour.
Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help patients develop, regain, and improve the functions needed for daily life.
There are multiple specializations that an occupational therapist can work in. Occupational Therapists can specialize in working with children who have special needs, pediatric hospitals, work with professionals, or work with elderly patients.
Occupational therapists are important in the healthcare realm for providing care to others in addition to the professional workforce, as OTs are responsible for educating and training workers in the proper ergonomics of their job to avoid injuries on the job.
To learn more about what an Occupational Therapist does, check out our Occupational Therapy Career Guide. To learn what it takes to become an Occupational Therapist, visit our Occupational Therapist Career Path.
Essentially, Occupational Therapists can work with a variety of patients from all walks of life, and are a great hospital career or healthcare career for individuals to consider if they want to work with a multitude of patient, and yet still earn some of the most money.
Occupational therapists usually obtain a master’s degree in occupational therapy which takes 2-4 years after a 4 year undergrad. All states also require occupational therapists to be licensed or registered.
We are expecting to see an above average growth rate of 29%, with additional 32,800 job openings, by 2022.
Take the time to view current Occupational Therapist hospital job openings.
Next on our list of the highest paying jobs are the Radiation Therapists. They treat cancer and other diseases in patients that can be affected by radiation treatments, and score an average pay is $77,560 per year, or $37.29 per hour, for their knowledge and efforts.
Radiation Therapists work in the field of oncology, where they help treat cancer and other diseases through the use of radiation treatments that they administer.
One fantastic thing about a hospital job like Radiation Therapists, is that they don’t have steep education requirements that some of the other jobs on our list of top ten 10 highest paying jobs in healthcare do.
Radiation therapists are responsible for a variety of things including locating various tumors, preparing and administering radiation treatments, in addition to other responsibilities.
To learn more about what a Radiation Therapist does, visit our Radiation Therapist Career Profile. To learn more about what it takes to become a Radiation Therapist, view our Radiation Therapist Career Path.
Radiation therapists complete associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree programs in radiation therapy. However, to be highly competitive, a bachelor’s degree is ideal. Radiation therapists must be licensed in most state, and the requirements vary by state.
Above average growth rate of 24%, and we’re expecting to see 4,500 more jobs by 2022.
Take the time to view view current Radiation Therapist hospital job openings.
At #8, we have the Physical Therapists with an average salary of $79,860 a year, or $38.39 per hour.
Physical therapists help injured people improve their motor functions and manage pain. They play an important role in the rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries.
Physical therapists work closely with patients and their families to restore wellness and overall fitness. Essentially, physical therapists are useful for educating and aiding individuals in being more active and engaging in a satisfying lifestyle.
Physical therapists are responsible for working closely with victims of accidents, individuals who are currently experiencing disabling diseases, patients with head injuries, etc.
Some of the core responsibilities for Physical Therapists include taking a patient’s history, conduct a review of various physical exams, evaluate balance and coordination for patients, and other responsibilities.
To learn more about what a Physical Therapist does, check out our Physical Therapist Career Profile. To learn more about how you can become a Physical Therapist, check out our Physical Therapist Career Path.
Physical therapists need a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree that usually takes babout 3 years, after a 4 year degree. Students must then complete a one-year residency. All states require physical therapists to be licensed.
With a high average growth rate of 36% with 73,500 more jobs by 2022.
Take the time to view current Physical Therapist hospital job openings.
Next on our list of top 10 highest paying jobs in healthcare is number 7, Physician Assistants. Physician assistants are able to practice medicine on a team under the supervision of physicians and surgeons. However, they’re educated on and able to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment.
Physician assistants are licensed medical professionals who help diagnose and treat various illnesses and diseases.
Plenty of Physician Assistants work in healthcare facilities and hospitals across the country while being under the direct supervision of a licensed physician.
One unique thing about being a Physician Assistant is that PAs are allowed to work with a little bit autonomy when treating patients.
Some of the core responsibilities as a Physician Assistant include taking a patient’s medical history, ordering various lab tests associated with patient examinations, and assisting in surgeries.
To learn more about what a Physician Assistant does, take a look at our Physician Assistant Career Profile.
As a physician assistant, you can expect to earn an average salary of $90,930 per year or $43.72 per hour.
Physician assistants must complete a physician assistant education program, which takes about 2 years to complete, from an accredited educational program. These programs usually lead to a master’s degree. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.
Physician assistants can also expect a very high growth rate of 38%, and an estimated 33,300 more job openings by 2022 as a result.
Take the time to view current Physician Assistant hospital job openings.
At #6 among the highest paying jobs we have the specialty nurses that include Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners with an average salary of $96,460 per year or $46.37 per hour.
Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), provide and coordinate patient care and they may provide primary and specialty health care.
APRNs must earn a master’s degree in their chosen field and be licensed in their state and pass the national certification exam. While many pursue a Master’s, some choose to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a Ph.D.
An APRN must be a licensed registered nurse (RN) before pursuing education in one of the advanced practice roles. Most APRN programs prefer candidates who have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or other science related degrees.
Depending on the advanced practice specialty, advanced practice nurses can be asked to fill a variety of roles as we mentioned. With each different specialty, different responsibilities are asked of each nurse.
To learn more about each of the advanced practice nurses, we have included the Career Profiles for each. Take the time to view each Career Profile for the advanced practice nurses to figure out which one you might be interested in.
To learn more about what Nurse Anesthetists do, visit our Nurse Anesthetist Career Profile. To learn more about what Nurse Midwives do, visit our Nurse Midwife Career Profile. To learn more about what Nurse Practitioners do, visit our Nurse Practitioner Career Profile.
To learn more about what it takes to become an advanced practice nurse, we have also included the Career Paths for each.
To learn more about how to become a Nurse Anesthetist, visit our Nurse Anesthetist Career Path. To learn more about how to become a Nurse Midwife, visit our Nurse Midwife Career Path. To learn more about how to become a Nurse Practitioner, visit our Nurse Practitioner Career Path.
Nurses are expected to enjoy a high growth rate of 31% with an estimated 47600 jobs by 2022.
Arguably, one of the best paying and least stressful healthcare jobs is Optometry, which comes in at number five on our list of top 10 highest paying jobs in healthcare.
Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system. They diagnose, and treat visual problems, manage diseases, injuries, and other problems our eyes face. They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses as needed and help you see as clear as possible.
Optometrists are responsible for taking care of patients eyes through various means. This includes certain types of surgery, eye examinations, eye prescriptions, and prescribing both eyeglasses and contacts.
To learn more about what an Optometrist does, view our Optometrist Career Profile.
Some of the core responsibilities for Optometrists include counseling services for patients in regards to providing the most effective and efficient eye care, and handle pre and post operative eye care.
With an expected salary of $97,820 per year, or $47.03 per hour, it’s no wonder why students would find this an attractive field to pursue.
Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree program and obtain a license to practice in a each state. O.D. programs take 4 years to complete, and students must have a bachelor’s degree and pass the Optometry Admission Test (OAT) before entering an O.D. program.
After the O.D. program, optometrists complete a 1-year residency. Areas of emphasis for residency programs include family practice, low vision care, pediatric or geriatric optometry, and ocular disease, among others.
They also must be licensed by the state and complete all sections of The National Board of Examiners in Optometry.
Optometrists are expected to enjoy a 24% growth rate that is well above average, resulting in an estimated 8,100 additional jobs by 2022.
Take the time to view current Optometrist hospital job openings.
The next top highest paying job in healthcare is at #4, we have the Podiatrists with a median salary of $116,440 per year or $55.98 per hour.
Podiatrists have a relatively low stress job and are a considered a specialist.
They are lower leg, ankle, and foot doctors, that diagnose illnesses, treat injuries, and perform surgery involving the lower extremities.
Podiatrists are medical professionals who focus on the study of human movement. Podiatrists spend extra time in their studies to focus on a particular body part and how that particular body part should function.
Some of the core responsibilities for a podiatrist include diagnosing disorders, providing treatment for disorders, identifying disorders of the foot, and treating those disorders.
In addition, podiatrists can perform surgery, prescribe medications, administer medications, order important diagnostic tests, and more.
They must have a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree from an accredited college of podiatric medicine, which takes about 4 years to complete on top of a bachelor’s degree in a related science field. Students must take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to get into the DPM program.
The education courses required for podiatrists focus on orthopedics, dermatology, rehabilitation, physical medicine, surgical procedures, and more.
To learn more about what a Podiatrist does, check out our Podiatrist Career Profile.
After earning a DPM, podiatrists must apply to and complete a podiatric medical and surgical residency (PMSR) program, which takes 3 years.
Podiatrists in every state must be licensed and must pass the American Podiatric Medical Licensing Exam (APMLE).
With an average growth rate of 23%, it ranks above average in influx of jobs. There are to be an estimated 2,400 jobs by 2022.
Take some time to view current Podiatrist hospital job openings.
Pharmacists have a lot of responsibilities and trust placed in them, which means they come in at number 3 in top ten highest paying jobs in healthcare. For the money, Pharmacists have a relatively stressful job because they are responsible for not overdosing patients and getting medication correct. Pharmacists main role is to dispense prescription medication and offer expertise in the safe use of drugs.
At an average of $116,670 a year, Pharmacists making a comfortable living at the 3rd highest paying job, and many own their own businesses, earning much more than those that do not.
Pharmacists have been consistently ranked as one of the best jobs in the United States, and frequently ranked as a top earner in both the hospital job and healthcare job industry.
Pharmacists assist patients and their health by advising physicians and other healthcare providers on the selection, various interactions, recommended dosages, and potential side effects of medications that can help assist patients in their treatment or comfort level of significant side effects.
A Pharmacist’s core responsibilities include understanding the use of drugs and the clinical effects of the medication composition. In addition, pharmacists have to essentially become experts of medication in the healthcare industry.
Pharmacist’s have a tremendous amount of responsibility to protect and safeguard the public who don’t know the various complications or concerns associated with each medication.
To learn more about what a Pharmacist does, check out our Pharmacist Career Profile.
To become a Pharmacist, a student must receive a bachelor’s degree in a related science field and 4 year professional degree Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm. D.).
To get into the Pharm. D. program, applicants must pass the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).
Note: some programs only require at least 2 years of undergrad, but to be competitive, it is wise to get a bachelor’s of science.
Pharmacists must also be licensed in each state, and to do so, they must pass 2 exams.
A 14% growth rate by 2022 is expected, resulting in an additional 41,400 jobs by 2022.
Dentists have a lower stress job than physicians and surgeons and come in at number two on the list of highest paid healthcare jobs.
Dentists diagnose and treat problems with the teeth, gums and other problems of the mouth. There are 9 specialties you can pursue in dentistry; this, of course, takes more time and education. Furthermore, a dentist must be licensed in all states and licensed for each specialty.
Dentists help treat and provide care to problems of the mouth through the use of x-rays designed to diagnose oral healthcare issues, and specialized equipment to treat and care for a multitude of conditions that might develop.
Some of the core responsibilities for Dentists include using techniques and various equipment to examine the head, neck, and oral cavity to identify and care for oral health issues.
Dentists use special tools to restore and replace damaged teeth from trauma or disease, perform corrective surgery, extract teeth when necessary, and improve chewing and speech for patients.
Dentists have a lot of individual responsibilities to provide care and improve overall health to their patients, which makes it easy to understand why they are paid so well.
Dentists are second among the highest paying jobs at $149,310 a year or about $72 an hour and specialty dentists can make more money per year.
Dentists undergo varying degrees of education depending on if they are a general dentist or specialize in any areas of dentistry but all have a Doctoral or Professional Degree.
General dentists need a 4 year undergrad degree coupled with another 4 years of Dental school and must pass the Dental Acceptance Test. After this, general dentists usually require no additional training.
If a dentist wants to specialize in one of the nine specialties of dentistry, they need an additional 2-4 years of education, 1-2 year residency, and, in some cases, a special state exam. Also, a 2 year post-grad may be required of some.
Note: If they plan to teach or become research dentists, it takes another 2-5 years of advanced training.
With a 16% growth rate, comes in 5% above the average growth rate among all jobs.
There is an expected additional 23,300 job openings by 2022.
1. Physicians & Surgeons
The highest paid healthcare jobs are physicians and surgeons. Arguably, they have the highest stress positions that come with the pay.
Physicians and Surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians diagnose patients, prescribe medication, order, perform and interpret tests, and interact with patients to help them with issues ranging from diets to depression.
Physicians and doctors help take a biological approach to healing patients, and are the most familiar type of physician or type of doctor that most patients will visit or receive care from in the country.
There are different types of physicians and surgeons throughout the country, and they specialize in areas such as: Anesthesiology, General Medicine, Psychiatry, Gynecology, Surgery, and more.
Physicians and surgeons can operate in a hospital or healthcare environment, or even start their own practice in an independent clinic.
Surgeons are the skilled hands that remove cancers, repair bones, and maneuver through a complexity of other issues found in the human body. Both surgeons and physicians go through rigorous education, training, and residency programs. And both deal with large amounts of stress.
Due to the large amount of education and stress that Physicians and Surgeons have to deal with, it requires a large amount of focus and concentration to become one.
Physicians’ and Surgeons’ core responsibilities include diagnosing diseases, diagnosing conditions, assessing the various needs for treatment options, monitoring patient progress, monitoring patient response, and keeping accurate patient information.
To learn more about what a Physician, Doctor, or Surgeon does, view our Career Profiles on each. To learn more about what a Medical Doctor does, view our Medical Doctor Career Profile. To learn more about what a Surgeon does, view our Surgeon Career Profile.
However, their stress is well-compensated, with each raking in more than $187,200 or $90.00 an hour. The median pay for primary care physicians is around $220,000 and specialists make an average of about $400,000.
It takes a Doctoral or Professional Degree to become either a physician or surgeon.Both go through strenuous and time intensive education and training which is stressful and full of long days and nights.
With an average of 4 years of undergrad, 4 years of medical school, and 3-8 years of internship and residency many students get out with massive piles of student debt.
Physicians and surgeons as a position should expect to enjoy an 18% growth by 2022, much faster than average compared to other jobs in the US.
By 2022 there will be an estimated 123,300 more jobs than when the figures were compiled in 2012.
Take the time to view some of the current Physician, Surgeon, and Doctor job openings. Take the time to view current Physician hospital job openings. Take the time to view current Doctor hospital job openings. Take the time to view current Surgeon hospital job openings.
There you have it, the top 10 highest paying jobs in healthcare. If you’re looking to make the big bucks, any of these positions will help you get there.
And if you’re dedicated, I wouldn’t worry too much about the student loan debt involved. If you’re dedicated to what you do, and display compassion and understanding with your patients, you’ll do great!
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