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Highest-paid jobs in health care

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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. Healthcare 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. The median annual wage for health-care practitioners and technical occupations (such as registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, and dental hygienists) was $66,440 in May 2018, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy of $38,640. Health-care support occupations (such as home health aides, occupational therapy assistants, and medical transcriptionists) had a median annual wage of $29,740 in May 2018, which was lower than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy.

Stacker used the Bureau of Labor Statistics' National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates to calculate which occupations in the 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 was first released in May 2018 and last updated on April 2, 2019.

Click through for a look at the best-paid jobs in health care.

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#69. Home health aides

- Average annual salary: $25,330
- Average hourly wage: $12.18
- 2018 employment: 797,670 (5.51 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.

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#68. Physical therapist aides

- Average annual salary: $28,500
- Average hourly wage: $13.70
- 2018 employment: 47,260 (0.33 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.

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#67. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

- Average annual salary: $28,690
- Average hourly wage: $13.79
- 2018 employment: 89,480 (0.62 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.

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#66. Pharmacy aides

- Average annual salary: $29,190
- Average hourly wage: $14.03
- 2018 employment: 36,970 (0.26 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.

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#65. Nursing assistants

- Average annual salary: $29,580
- Average hourly wage: $14.22
- 2018 employment: 1,450,960 (10.03 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.

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#64. Orderlies

- Average annual salary: $29,840
- Average hourly wage: $14.35
- 2018 employment: 50,100 (0.35 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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#63. Dietetic technicians

- Average annual salary: $30,130
- Average hourly wage: $14.49
- 2018 employment: 33,540 (0.23 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.

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#62. Psychiatric aides

- Average annual salary: $31,090
- Average hourly wage: $14.95
- 2018 employment: 56,910 (0.39 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.

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#61. Occupational therapy aides

- Average annual salary: $32,580
- Average hourly wage: $15.66
- 2018 employment: 7,700 (0.05 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.

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#60. Pharmacy technicians

- Average annual salary: $34,020
- Average hourly wage: $16.35
- 2018 employment: 417,860 (2.89 per 1,000 jobs)

Pharmacy technicians work to fill and dispense prescription medication. Requirements for the job include at least a high school diploma, and many states also require a separate exam and training class.

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#59. Medical assistants

- Average annual salary: $34,540
- Average hourly wage: $16.61
- 2018 employment: 673,660 (4.66 per 1,000 jobs)

Medical assistants support other members of a health-care team by gathering chart information, recording vitals, and occasionally assisting with minor medical procedures. Requirements typically include a bachelor's degree and certification.

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#57. Veterinary technologists and technicians (tie)

- Average annual salary: $35,560
- Average hourly wage: $17.10
- 2018 employment: 106,680 (0.74 per 1,000 jobs)

Veterinary technologists and technicians are responsible for the safe and humane handling of lab animals. These roles require completing a postsecondary program in veterinary technology and a credentialing exam.

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#57. Phlebotomists (tie)

- Average annual salary: $35,560
- Average hourly wage: $17.10
- 2018 employment: 125,280 (0.87 per 1,000 jobs)

Phlebotomists specialize in drawing blood from patients. Requirements for this job include a state certification, a six-week course, and a high school diploma. Having an associate degree is preferred.

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#56. Medical transcriptionists

- Average annual salary: $36,350
- Average hourly wage: $17.48
- 2018 employment: 53,730 (0.37 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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#54. Psychiatric technicians (tie)

- Average annual salary: $37,760
- Average hourly wage: $18.15
- 2018 employment: 71,360 (0.49 per 1,000 jobs)

Psychiatric technicians are responsible for taking note of patients' mental health concerns, leading therapeutic activities, and monitoring patient vitals, among other responsibilities. State requirements typically include an accreditation program, a license, and the payment of a fee.

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#54. Emergency medical technicians and paramedics (tie)

- Average annual salary: $37,760
- Average hourly wage: $18.15
- 2018 employment: 257,210 (1.78 per 1,000 jobs)

EMTs and paramedics care for the sick and injured in emergencies, including responding to 911 calls. Requirements for this job include a high school diploma, CPR certification, and the ability to perform in extremely high-stress situations.

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#53. Medical equipment preparers

- Average annual salary: $37,990
- Average hourly wage: $18.27
- 2018 employment: 55,610 (0.38 per 1,000 jobs)

Medical equipment preparers are responsible for sterilizing, installing, and maintaining lab and health-care equipment. Among other requirements, workers in this field are required to have the ability to monitor and gauge pieces of equipment that need servicing.

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#52. Ophthalmic medical technicians

- Average annual salary: $38,220
- Average hourly wage: $18.38
- 2018 employment: 52,890 (0.37 per 1,000 jobs)

Ophthalmic medical technicians help ophthalmologists diagnose eye diseases and perform surgery. Formal education beyond a high school diploma is not required, but associate programs are available for those who wish to take them.

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#51. Dental assistants

- Average annual salary: $39,770
- Average hourly wage: $19.12
- 2018 employment: 341,060 (2.36 per 1,000 jobs)

Dental assistants help dentists with tasks in the office, from taking X-rays to managing bookkeeping to coronal polishing. Requirements vary by state and may include different mandatory certifications and exams.

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#50. Opticians, dispensing

- Average annual salary: $39,930
- Average hourly wage: $19.20
- 2018 employment: 72,250 (0.50 per 1,000 jobs)

Dispensing opticians are responsible for measuring and fitting glasses lenses and frames for clients. Requirements to be a dispensing optician may include vocational training, a licensing exam, and an associate degree.

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#49. Medical records and health information technicians

- Average annual salary: $44,010
- Average hourly wage: $21.16
- 2018 employment: 208,650 (1.44 per 1,000 jobs)

Medical records and health information technicians maintain records in a hospital or doctor's office setting. They need to be careful to do so in keeping with relevant state and federal laws, and as such, it is a requirement that someone with this job be keenly attuned to detail, in addition to having a postsecondary certification and an associate degree.

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#48. Massage therapists

- Average annual salary: $45,880
- Average hourly wage: $22.06
- 2018 employment: 105,160 (0.73 per 1,000 jobs)

Massage therapists address pain in a client's body or provide relaxation with a range of massage techniques. Requirements vary by state, but most have certification programs that require therapists to complete around 500 hours of practice before becoming massage therapists.

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#47. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

- Average annual salary: $47,050
- Average hourly wage: $22.62
- 2018 employment: 701,690 (4.85 per 1,000 jobs)

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses provide basic nursing care in locations across the medical industry, from hospitals to nursing homes. Being a nurse requires a certification, which in most cases, takes approximately one year to complete.

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#46. Surgical technologists

- Average annual salary: $49,040
- Average hourly wage: $23.58
- 2018 employment: 110,160 (0.76 per 1,000 jobs)

Surgical technologists work alongside surgeons during medical procedures, preparing the operating room and arranging equipment. An associate degree specializing in surgical technology is required to become a surgical technologist.

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#45. Athletic trainers

- Average annual salary: $49,280
- Average hourly wage: Data not available
- 2018 employment: 26,890 (0.19 per 1,000 jobs)

Athletic trainers prevent and treat injuries of everyday people to professional athletes. Not only is a bachelor's degree specializing in athletic training typically required, but master's degrees are also common in the field.

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#44. Recreational therapists

- Average annual salary: $50,640
- Average hourly wage: $24.34
- 2018 employment: 18,840 (0.13 per 1,000 jobs)

Recreation therapists work to improve the quality of life for people who may need help maintaining a high quality of life, either due to disability, mental illness, or old age. The range of activities they engage in includes physical, spiritual, and educational activities. A recreational therapist needs to have an active interest in promoting the welfare of others, an interest in a wide range of activities, and a bachelor's degree in the field. In the case of some states, they may also need a specific certification.

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#43. Respiratory therapy technicians

- Average annual salary: $51,380
- Average hourly wage: $24.70
- 2018 employment: 9,090 (0.06 per 1,000 jobs)

Respiratory therapy technicians treat patients with respiratory illnesses using a combination of technology, manual treatment, and oxygen therapy. They also work to test patients for various conditions. These specialized positions require certification and the ability to move heavy machinery.

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#42. Exercise physiologists

- Average annual salary: $54,760
- Average hourly wage: $26.33
- 2018 employment: 6,740 (0.05 per 1,000 jobs)

Exercise physiologists analyze their patients' fitness levels to help them treat and prevent diseases like heart or lung conditions and also work with healthy individuals looking to boost their performance and maintain an overall level of fitness. While sometimes a bachelor's degree will suffice, those looking to work with cardiac patients will often need a master's degree.

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#41. Occupational health and safety technicians

- Average annual salary: $55,270
- Average hourly wage: $26.57
- 2018 employment: 18,020 (0.13 per 1,000 jobs)

Occupational health and safety technicians play an important role in keeping workplaces safe. They routinely test and collect data on health and safety conditions in workplaces to prevent injury to workers and the public. While some occupational health and safety technicians have associate degrees, others enter the field intending to progress through on-the-job training only.

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#40. Hearing aid specialists

- Average annual salary: $55,650
- Average hourly wage: $26.75
- 2018 employment: 7,680 (0.05 per 1,000 jobs)

Hearing aid specialists administer tests to see if people need hearing aids, fit them for the correct aids if so, and help them adjust and maintain their hearing aids. The requirements to specialize in this field typically include a bachelor's degree, but employers are also looking for those who have people skills and a service-oriented attitude toward their work.

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#39. Physical therapist assistants

- Average annual salary: $57,750
- Average hourly wage: $27.77
- 2018 employment: 94,250 (0.65 per 1,000 jobs)

Physical therapist assistants work with physical therapists in hospitals or private offices to assist with a variety of tasks, including setting up the office for patient visits and preparing specific treatments. The profession requires an associate degree, a state certificate or license, and, due to needing to move equipment around, the physical ability to do so.

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#38. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

- Average annual salary: $58,730
- Average hourly wage: $28.24
- 2018 employment: 56,560 (0.39 per 1,000 jobs)

Cardiovascular technologists and technicians help physicians diagnose and treat people with heart disease and other cardiac issues by scheduling appointments, gathering data, and monitoring heart rates. These positions often require at least an associate degree, but those job candidates with master's degrees have better prospects than those without.

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#37. Occupational therapy assistants

- Average annual salary: $60,410
- Average hourly wage: $29.04
- 2018 employment: 42,660 (0.30 per 1,000 jobs)

Occupational therapy assistants work with patients to provide self-care and therapeutic techniques for rehabilitation, monitoring patients' progress, and encouraging them to return to complete their treatment. An associate degree and a state license are also required, and some employers require their occupational therapy assistants to be certified to provide CPR.

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#36. Dietitians and nutritionists

- Average annual salary: $61,210
- Average hourly wage: $29.43
- 2018 employment: 64,670 (0.45 per 1,000 jobs)

Dietitians and nutritionists advise patients and clients on what, when, and how to eat to meet health goals or respond to specific medical issues. Aside from requiring a bachelor's degree in a nutrition-related field, many states require additional certification.

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#35. Radiologic technologists

- Average annual salary: $61,540
- Average hourly wage: $29.59
- 2018 employment: 205,590 (1.42 per 1,000 jobs)

Radiologic technologists use medical imaging technology and equipment (like X-rays) to produce images of the inside of a patient's body. An associate or bachelor's degree is required, and technologists are encouraged to choose specialties, like MRI machines. Those with multiple specialties are often in higher demand.

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#34. Respiratory therapists

- Average annual salary: $62,500
- Average hourly wage: $30.05
- 2018 employment: 129,600 (0.90 per 1,000 jobs)

Respiratory therapists care for patients with disorders or conditions that make it difficult for them to breathe on their own. Although technically only an associate degree is necessary, a bachelor's degree is recommended, and every state besides Alaska requires a license.

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#33. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

- Average annual salary: $72,230
- Average hourly wage: $34.73
- 2018 employment: 38,540 (0.27 per 1,000 jobs)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technologists specialize in using MRI machines to take images that give doctors valuable data in diagnosing patients with various diseases and conditions. Besides an associate degree, MRI technologists are required to have a certificate from the state in which they are practicing or from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists.

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#31. Orthotists and prosthetists (tie)

- Average annual salary: $73,860
- Average hourly wage: $35.51
- 2018 employment: 8,830 (0.06 per 1,000 jobs)

Orthotists and prosthetists measure, fit, design, and adapt prostheses, appliances, or braces for patients with disabling conditions. Those hoping to work as an orthotist or prosthetist must complete a master's degree in the field, which includes a clinical component.

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#31. Diagnostic medical sonographers (tie)

- Average annual salary: $73,860
- Average hourly wage: $35.51
- 2018 employment: 71,130 (0.49 per 1,000 jobs)

Diagnostic medical sonographers are also called ultrasound technicians and are responsible for using ultrasound technology to provide images of internal body tissues. Employers like to hire ultrasound technicians with professional certifications, and those with more than one area of specialty have the best job prospects.

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#30. Occupational health and safety specialists

- Average annual salary: $74,940
- Average hourly wage: $36.03
- 2018 employment: 88,390 (0.61 per 1,000 jobs)

Occupational health and safety specialists identify hazards in workplace environments and work to design programs and protocols that prevent workers from being injured on the job, including analyzing toxic materials. The requirements to work as an occupational health and safety specialist start with a bachelor's degree, but those who want to work in industrial hygiene or health physics are typically required to have a master's degree.

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#29. Dental hygienists

- Average annual salary: $75,500
- Average hourly wage: $36.30
- 2018 employment: 215,150 (1.49 per 1,000 jobs)

A dental hygienist's primary job is to conduct initial patient screenings, clean teeth, and assist dentists on some medical procedures. Dentist hygienists need to have several boxes checked off to get a job, including a bachelor's degree in the field, a license, and experience.

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#28. Registered nurses

- Average annual salary: $75,510
- Average hourly wage: $36.30
- 2018 employment: 2,951,960 (20.40 per 1,000 jobs)

Registered nurses provide care for patients across the medical landscape, assist physicians in providing care, and supervise other health-care workers who may not have as much training. They are required to obtain RN degrees, which may be done at the associate level, bachelor's level, or separate RN program.

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#27. Nuclear medicine technologists

- Average annual salary: $78,870
- Average hourly wage: $37.92
- 2018 employment: 18,810 (0.13 per 1,000 jobs)

Nuclear medicine technologists use scanners to create images of the inside of a patient's body and prepare and administer radioactive drugs to give to patients before going into the scanner. Those looking to work as a nuclear medicine technologist will need to have a bachelor's or associate degree specifically in the field. Many who enter the field get such degrees fields like nursing before they go on to get a certification in nuclear medicine technology.

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#26. Speech-language pathologists

- Average annual salary: $80,700
- Average hourly wage: $38.80
- 2018 employment: 146,900 (1.02 per 1,000 jobs)

Speech-language pathologists work to diagnose and assess treatment for people with speech and language disorders and often work with deaf individuals and families. In many environments where speech-language pathologists practice, a Ph.D. is desirable, making it a career where educational credentials are extremely important.

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#25. Genetic counselors

- Average annual salary: $80,860
- Average hourly wage: $38.88
- 2018 employment: 2,640 (0.02 per 1,000 jobs)

Genetic counselors analyze genetic data to diagnose the likelihood of individuals developing certain diseases and what risk factors at play might trigger them. A significant amount of education is required to work in this field, including a master's degree in genetic counseling. There are only a few programs that provide this degree, making admission to each extremely competitive.

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#24. Audiologists

- Average annual salary: $82,210
- Average hourly wage: $39.52
- 2018 employment: 13,300 (0.09 per 1,000 jobs)

Audiologists are trained to manage, diagnose, and treat patients with balance and hearing problems. Audiology is a highly specialized field, requiring a doctoral degree and licensure in all 50 states.

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#23. Occupational therapists

- Average annual salary: $85,350
- Average hourly wage: $41.04
- 2018 employment: 126,900 (0.88 per 1,000 jobs)

Occupational therapists use special tools, equipment, and practices to help people regain and maintain the skills they need for daily living after having lost them. In some cases, they may provide long-term care. In addition to a bachelor's degree and certification, requirements include having a high tolerance for difficult interpersonal situations, as people who occupational therapists may be dealing with significant pain.

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#22. Chiropractors

- Average annual salary: $85,870
- Average hourly wage: $41.28
- 2018 employment: 34,740 (0.24 per 1,000 jobs)

Chiropractors align a patient's spine and spinal joints to manage pain and promote overall health and well-being. A very specific degree is required to do so: a four-year degree called a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. Some chiropractors looking for a competitive edge also get a master's degree in a related field, like sports medicine.

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#21. Radiation therapists

- Average annual salary: $86,730
- Average hourly wage: $41.70
- 2018 employment: 18,260 (0.13 per 1,000 jobs)

A radiation therapist works with patients who have cancer by scanning X-rays for tumors and monitoring their treatment and progress. Requirements include a two- or four-year degree, specifically in radiation therapy and state board exams. Due to the sensitive and high-stakes nature of the work, people in the field need to have an empathetic personality.

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#20. Physical therapists

- Average annual salary: $88,880
- Average hourly wage: $42.73
- 2018 employment: 228,600 (1.58 per 1,000 jobs)

Physical therapists help people with limited ranges of motion to regain or gain the full use of their bodies. Physical therapy requires advanced training and degrees, which can sometimes be a Master of Physical Therapy degree but is more often a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, with a bachelor's preceding either. Physical therapists also often have to lift patients and will need to have the strength to do so.

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#19. Veterinarians

- Average annual salary: $105,240
- Average hourly wage: $50.59
- 2018 employment: 71,060 (0.49 per 1,000 jobs)

Veterinarians provide medical care for animals, making it an excellent profession for the medically inclined who also hold a particular soft spot for animals. Years of specialized training is required, including a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from a veterinary college and a state license.

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#18. Nurse midwives

- Average annual salary: $106,910
- Average hourly wage: $51.40
- 2018 employment: 6,250 (0.04 per 1,000 jobs)

Midwifery has existed as a medical profession for centuries, and today, midwives help women with low-risk pregnancies deliver children with traditional birthing practices. A Master of Science in Nursing is required, along with certification.

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#17. Physician assistants

- Average annual salary: $108,430
- Average hourly wage: $52.13
- 2018 employment: 114,710 (0.79 per 1,000 jobs)

Physician assistants work with doctors and surgeons to provide medical care, including supervising medical technicians and nurses, ordering tests, administering drugs, and counseling patients. A master's degree is required, and most people working as a physician assistant have a bachelor's degree in a related field. Not only is a license required, but continuing education is also required to keep the license current.

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#16. Nurse practitioners

- Average annual salary: $110,030
- Average hourly wage: $52.90
- 2018 employment: 179,650 (1.24 per 1,000 jobs)

Nurse practitioners often perform duties that are very similar to primary care doctors, including diagnoses, treatment, and consultation. The requirements to work as a nurse practitioner are extensive, requiring master's degrees, registered nursing licenses, clinical experience, and passing other licensing exams.

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#15. Optometrists

- Average annual salary: $119,980
- Average hourly wage: $57.68
- 2018 employment: 37,220 (0.26 per 1,000 jobs)

Optometrists work with patients with a variety of eye issues, doing everything from administering vision tests to treating patients with glaucoma or macular degeneration. To treat such a specialized and sensitive area, optometrists must have Doctor of Ophthalmology degrees, which they typically get after obtaining a four-year bachelor's degree.

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#14. Pharmacists

- Average annual salary: $123,670
- Average hourly wage: $59.45
- 2018 employment: 309,550 (2.14 per 1,000 jobs)

Pharmacists prepare medication for pickup by analyzing doctors' reports and offering counsel to patients on the safe use of prescription medication. Pharmacy training is specialized and intensive and requires a Doctor of Pharmacy Degree.

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#13. Podiatrists

- Average annual salary: $148,220
- Average hourly wage: $71.26
- 2018 employment: 9,500 (0.07 per 1,000 jobs)

Podiatrists treat people with a range of foot issues, including surgical care, removing bone spurs, and prescribing medication. Requirements include completing a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree and a three-year residency program.

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#12. Nurse anesthetists

- Average annual salary: $174,790
- Average hourly wage: $84.03
- 2018 employment: 43,520 (0.30 per 1,000 jobs)

Nurse anesthetists work with other medical professionals to administer anesthetics safely, including managing patient pain and recovery during surgery. Because the stakes of their job are so high and the administration of their work is so technical, a significant amount of education is required, including a bachelor's degree, an RN degree, a master's degree, experience as an RN in an acute setting, and a certification from the national board.

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#11. Dentists, general

- Average annual salary: $175,840
- Average hourly wage: $84.54
- 2018 employment: 113,000 (0.78 per 1,000 jobs)

Dentists take care of people's teeth, gums, and mouths, working with them to prevent disease and treat issues that have already taken root. Dentistry is a highly skilled and technical profession, and it requires completing four years of dental school after undergraduate schoolwork, passing several tests, and completing more schooling in specialties like pediatric dentistry.

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#10. Pediatricians, general

- Average annual salary: $183,240
- Average hourly wage: $88.10
- 2018 employment: 28,490 (0.20 per 1,000 jobs)

General pediatricians care for children with minor illnesses and injuries and provide them with primary care. They work to establish relationships with the child and the family and to manage their care. Pediatricians are required to get a medical degree at a licensed medical school after their undergraduate training. They must then attend a residency and get a license.

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#9. Prosthodontists

- Average annual salary: $191,400
- Average hourly wage: $92.02
- 2018 employment: 380 (0.00 per 1,000 jobs)

Prosthodontists are dentists who create oral prostheses to replace missing teeth and correct any abnormalities in the mouth and jaw. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are only 1,000 prosthodontists in the United States, which explains their high salaries.

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#8. Internists, general

- Average annual salary: $196,490
- Average hourly wage: $94.47
- 2018 employment: 37,820 (0.26 per 1,000 jobs)

Internists diagnose and provide non-surgery treatment options and care for patients with issues in their internal organ systems. Requirements to become an internist are extensive, including medical school and a three- to seven-year residency and internship specializing in internal medicine.

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#7. Family and general practitioners

- Average annual salary: $211,780
- Average hourly wage: $101.82
- 2018 employment: 114,130 (0.79 per 1,000 jobs)

A family and general practitioner is a doctor who specializes in diseases that are common in the population. In other words, they specialize in non-specialties. Working as one will require a medical degree obtained after undergraduate, as well as several years at an internship and residency specializing in family and general medicine.

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#6. Psychiatrists

- Average annual salary: $220,380
- Average hourly wage: $105.95
- 2018 employment: 25,630 (0.18 per 1,000 jobs)

Psychiatrists examine, diagnose, and treat individuals with mental, emotional, and behavioral medical disorders and prescribe and manage medication. Psychiatrists are required to attend medical school, followed by years of residencies and internships. They also need to be licensed by the state in which they intend to practice.

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#5. Orthodontists

- Average annual salary: $225,760
- Average hourly wage: $108.54
- 2018 employment: 5,350 (0.04 per 1,000 jobs)

Orthodontists specialize in correcting problems in the teeth and jaw and are most widely known for administering braces and retainers to work with crooked teeth and overbites. A significant amount of education is required, including the Doctor of Medical Dentistry or the Doctor of Dental Surgery and accreditation by the American Dental Association.

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#4. Obstetricians and gynecologists

- Average annual salary: $238,320
- Average hourly wage: $114.58
- 2018 employment: 18,590 (0.13 per 1,000 jobs)

Obstetricians and gynecologists work with women's reproductive health, including delivering children in hospitals and treating women's sexual health concerns and issues. Those hoping to work in the field will need to complete medical school as well as several years of internships and residencies before being allowed to practice. They also need to be licensed by the state in which they're practicing.

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#3. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

- Average annual salary: $242,370
- Average hourly wage: $116.52
- 2018 employment: 4,830 (0.03 per 1,000 jobs)

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform surgery on the mouth region to treat and prevent diseases. Besides a Doctor of Medical Dentistry or the Doctor of Medical Surgery after a four-year college, they require exceptional hand-eye coordination and dexterity to do such sensitive work.

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#2. Surgeons

- Average annual salary: $255,110
- Average hourly wage: $122.65
- 2018 employment: 34,390 (0.24 per 1,000 jobs)

Surgeons perform surgery for a wide range of illnesses and conditions. Requirements to be a surgeon include a four-year undergraduate degree in a field relating to science or medicine, a medical degree, five years of residency training, and excellent hand-eye coordination, dexterity, and visuospatial awareness.

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#1. Anesthesiologists

- Average annual salary: $267,020
- Average hourly wage: $128.38
- 2018 employment: 31,060 (0.22 per 1,000 jobs)

Anesthesiologists administer anesthesia to patients during surgery and monitor their condition and pain before, during, and after. They will need to attend medical school, complete a year of an internship and three years of a residency, and receive certification.

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