Last Updated on Dec 24, 2019 by James W
If you have a caring nature and like to make a positive difference, a career in the healthcare field may be the perfect choice for you. Not only can a healthcare career make you tons of money, but you will find plenty of jobs that specialize in a range of areas in the healthcare sector.
There are all sorts of reasons why you should consider a position in the medical field. Not only is a position in healthcare known as one of the highest paying roles, but employment in this field is expected to continuously grow in the coming years. With an expected growth of 18% from 2016-2026, this means that there will be more than 2.3 million new jobs, providing you with the job security you need. While you may need to undergo education before getting started, the high pay and job security are key factors that make the investment worthwhile. With that in mind, here are some of the top paying health careers in the United States.
Physicians and Surgeons
Whether you want to become a physician or a surgeon, you will find that these two roles are the highest earning professional careers in the health care sector. The main duty of a physician is to diagnose and treat patients, as well as understand their medical history, and prescribe the right medication. Surgeons on the other hand, are responsible for treating patients but focusing more on operating to fix ailments like cancerous tumors. To get started in any of these fields, you will need to obtain a professional or doctoral degree. Once you have the credentials behind you, physicians and surgeons can expect to make up to $208,000 per year.
We all know the importance of looking after our teeth and gums. As dentists, their main role is to treat patients’ gums and teeth, as well as demonstrate the importance of oral health. Other roles of a dentist include:
- Removing tooth decay
- Filling cavities
- Repairing fractured teeth
- Performing root canal treatment
- Tooth extraction
- Treating patients of all ages
If a career in dentistry is what you’re after, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree first, before going on to a dental school for four years. Before you can practice, you will need to pass a licensing exam too. Dentists can make roughly $159,000 per year, making it one of the most popular health care careers to go into.
The main role of a podiatrist is to treat conditions of the feet, as well as the lower limbs. There are a range of foot problems that podiatrists can treat and alleviate, which include:
- Toenail problems
- Thickened toenails
- Fungal nail infections
- Ingrown toenails
If you would like to become a podiatrist, it’s important that you have the right qualifications and credentials behind you first. Podiatrists need to obtain a professional or doctoral degree before applying. Once you have gained the right credentials, you can expect to make roughly $124,000 per year.
The main role of a pharmacist is to dispense prescription medications to patients, as well as provide support and guidance on how to safely administer medicine without the risk of causing adverse reactions. Pharmacists also monitor the health and progress of their patients, to ensure they are administering medications effectively and safely. Pharmacists are also responsible for advising patients on general health topics, such as regular exercise, following a balanced diet, and how to deal with stress. To practice as a pharmacist, you will need to obtain a doctoral or professional degree. Pharmacists can earn roughly $122,000 per year, making the role one of the most sought after and lucrative in the medical world.
Nurse Anesthetists, Midwives, and Practitioners
Nurse anesthetists deliver anesthesia and specialized medical care during and after surgery. Nurse midwives provide prenatal care and family planning services to women, whereas, nurse practitioners help integrate promotion strategies into their patient’s life. If you would like to become a family nurse practitioner, there are a range of nurse practitioner certificate programs that you can look into which can equip you with the knowledge and skillset to get started. With any of these three positions, you can expect to make around $107,000 per year.
An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned their Doctor of Optometry degree which is used to examine eyes for both health and vision problems, as well as correct refractive errors. To do this effectively, optometrists will need to prescribe contact lenses and eyeglasses to patients. There are some optometrists who specialize in low vision care and vision therapy. Once you are qualified in optometry, you can make around $106,000 per year.
Physician assistants work alongside physicians to deliver care to patients. Some of the main roles of a physician’s assistant include:
- Obtain patient histories
- Perform physical examinations
- Diagnose illnesses
- Develop treatment strategies
- Perform various medical procedures
If you are interested in becoming a physician’s assistant, you will need to obtain a Master’s degree first. Once you get started, physician assistants can make roughly $101,000 per year. If you like the idea of working alongside a team of surgeons and physicians, becoming a physician’s assistant may be the perfect role for you.
As a nation of animal lovers, for those who want to go that one step further and have a career in helping animals, becoming a veterinarian may be the perfect occupation to go into. The main duty of a vet is to care for the health of animals (no matter their size or species) by diagnosing, treating, and researching all types of medical conditions. Before you can qualify as a vet, you need to have a professional or doctoral degree behind you. Once you have qualified, veterinarians can expect to make roughly $88,000 per year.
The main duty of a physical therapist is to help injured patients improve their mobility, as well as track and manage their pain through a range of non-invasive procedures and regular exercise. Providing expert advice to patients on how best to manage their condition will mean they can lead a better quality of life. Like with most healthcare positions, physical therapists need to obtain a doctoral or professional degree before they can qualify. The average salary of a physical therapist is roughly $85,000 per year.
Similar to a physical therapist, an occupational therapist treats disabled patients through everyday activities. The main role of an occupational therapist is to promote independence to patients, helping them to lead a good quality of life. Occupational therapists can help patients who are:
- Physically disabled
- Recovering from an operation or illness
- Have learning disabilities
- Are getting older
- Have mental health problems
Occupational therapists work with people from all walks of life and ages and can advise on ways to cope with all aspects of daily life in the home, workplace, or school. If you are interested in becoming an occupational therapist, you will need to obtain a master’s degree. The average salary of an OT stands at $81,000 per year.
Medical and Health Services Manager
Otherwise known as Healthcare Executives, Medical and Service Managers are solely responsible for directing and coordinating medical services across a range of settings. These professionals may manage a whole facility or specialize in a particular clinical department or area. Medical and health service managers need to have training and knowledge in:
- Healthcare laws
To become a medical and health services manager, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree. This role can see you earn a median salary of $99,000, making it one of the most sought-after roles in the healthcare industry.
A genetic counselor is specially trained in genetics and counseling. Duties include providing risk assessment, support, and education to patients who would like information about their risk of inheriting certain diseases. Genetic counselors also interpret genetic tests for their patients. Most genetic counselors tend to work full-time, and can operate in a variety of environments, such as:
- Private and public hospitals
- Medical centers
- Diagnostic laboratories
If this sounds like the right career for you, the median salary of a genetic counselor stands at $80,000 per year. What’s more, there is a predicted 26% rise in employment between 2016-2026, providing you with job security.
With a wide range of careers to pick in the healthcare field, it can be challenging to know where to start. No matter what area of healthcare interests you, it’s vital that you have the correct qualifications and credentials before applying. Whether you want to become a dentist, physician assistant, or surgeon, reading up on entry requirements will help cement whether you’re right for the job.
The healthcare industry is booming, and with millions of new jobs expected to be created in the coming years, entering into the healthcare sector can provide you with job security, stability, and financial security. With many healthcare careers requiring you to have doctoral or professional degrees, it’s important that you find a course that matches your future ambitions.