Highest paid jobs in health care
When people think of medical professions, they likely think first of doctors, wearing a white lab coat and carrying a chart with a stethoscope around their neck. But when it comes to working in the sprawling and diverse field of health care, there's a wide range of jobs, from nutritionists to physical therapists to specialists.
And with that range comes a wide range of pay. Although health care is a hot field, salaries vary widely. The employment of health-care occupations is projected to grow by 14% from 2018 to 2028, adding about 1.9 million new jobs, according to the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook. Health care occupations are estimated to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups.
This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to higher demand for health-care services. Stacker used BLS employment data to calculate which occupations in health care fields pay the most. The jobs are ranked by the mean annual salary and include jobs that the BLS categorizes as major, minor, or broad. Occupations with "all other" in the name were omitted from the list, as these are aggregates of several jobs, and the wage data is not accurate to one specific occupation. The BLS notes that hourly wages are not included for some positions that do not generally work year-round or have hourly wages of over $100. The data, from March 2019, was last updated March 2020. Information on medical records and health information technicians, as well as respiratory therapy technicians, still comes from 2018 data.
Click through for a look at the best-paid jobs in health care.
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#69. Home health and personal care aides
- Average annual salary: $26,440
- Average hourly wage: $12.71
- Employment: 3,161,500 (21.5 per 1,000 jobs)
Home health aides have jobs with the least requirements in the health-care profession. Tasks include helping people bathe, dress, and eat. Basic requirements include having reliable transportation and being over the age of 18. A college degree is unnecessary.
#68. Physical therapist aides
- Average annual salary: $29,180
- Average hourly wage: $14.03
- Employment: 49,270 (0.3 per 1,000 jobs)
Physical therapist assistants help physical therapists receive and care for patients. Tasks include preparing treatment rooms and helping patients get in place for treatment. Rather than technical qualifications, the most important skills for this position are people skills.
#67. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers
- Average annual salary: $29,690
- Average hourly wage: $14.28
- Employment: 97,030 (0.7 per 1,000 jobs)
Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers are responsible for feeding, bathing, and exercising animals in labs, animal hospitals, and clinics. Most people working in this profession have high school diplomas and receive much of their training on the job.
#66. Pharmacy aides
- Average annual salary: $30,490
- Average hourly wage: $14.66
- Employment: 37,280 (0.3 per 1,000 jobs)
Pharmacy aides perform administrative work for a pharmacy, including answering the phone and stocking shelves. Requirements include a high school education and familiarity with computers and inventory management.
- Average annual salary: $30,710
- Average hourly wage: $14.76
- Employment: 46,990 (0.3 per 1,000 jobs)
Orderlies help ensure residents of nursing homes are well taken care of. This includes helping them bathe and dress and getting them from one place to another. Good people skills are a requirement for a position like this. The ability to help move patients, either in the course of daily life or in the case of an emergency, is also important.
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#64. Nursing assistants
- Average annual salary: $30,720
- Average hourly wage: $14.77
- Employment: 1,419,920 (9.7 per 1,000 jobs)
Nursing assistants help residents of hospitals with tasks related to daily life, such as bathing, medication management, and eating. As they often will need to move patients physically, one requirement for this line of work is basic physical fitness.
#63. Dietetic technicians
- Average annual salary: $31,180
- Average hourly wage: $14.99
- Employment: 29,230 (0.2 per 1,000 jobs)
Dietetic technicians work primarily in nutrition. They help patients and clients develop and maintain a nutrition program to meet their health goals. Some dietetic technicians choose to complete a two-year associate degree, but this is not a requirement.
#62. Psychiatric aides
- Average annual salary: $32,590
- Average hourly wage: $15.67
- Employment: 55,020 (0.4 per 1,000 jobs)
Working under the direction of medical staff, psychiatric aides work with people with psychiatric disorders to manage their medication and treatment. Good social skills are a requirement, along with at least a high school diploma.
#61. Occupational therapy aides
- Average annual salary: $34,310
- Average hourly wage: $16.50
- Employment: 7,560 (0.1 per 1,000 jobs)
Occupational therapy aides help patients recover, develop, and improve occupational skills. They typically require an associate degree from an occupational therapy program, a high school diploma, and training on the job.
#60. Medical transcriptionists
- Average annual salary: $35,210
- Average hourly wage: $16.93
- Employment: 55,780 (0.4 per 1,000 jobs)
Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings from other health-care specialists and convert them into written reports. Among other requirements, they must become familiar with medical terminology and have strong typing skills.
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