Given the rise in demand for healthcare all around the United States, it comes as no surprise that several healthcare jobs are listed in the top ten highest paying jobs of 2014. All of these healthcare industry jobs require some form of higher education.
Surgeon, the highest paying position among healthcare jobs in the United States averages about $233,150 annually. Because of the required schooling and specialization, the national average tops six-figures across the board. However, salary is largely determined based on location and area of expertise, with the highest paid surgeons specializing in neurology. The Medical Group Management Association placed the average income of neurological surgeons at $767,627 per year in 2011.
General practice physician ranks second on the list of highest paying healthcare jobs. The national average for general practitioners is about $187,200. Similar to surgeons, general practitioners require almost a decade of schooling and completion of a residency program before they can start their career.
For professionals who have a passion for STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), a career as a pharmacist could net qualified individuals an average salary of $116,670. However, if a jobseeker is more interested in earning a medical doctorate, family practitioners and pediatricians earn around $157,000 per year, respectively.
It’s important to remember that all types of healthcare professions require a certain amount of education, and student loans can add up quickly. While earning a big paycheck is a wonderful feeling, most medical students leave school with around $175,000 worth of debt.
Programs for medical technicians such as phlebotomists and dental hygienists can earn between $30,000 and $70,000 annually with an education at the associate’s degree level. Phlebotomists can earn certification in as little as four months, though education level ranges from an associate’s degree to a master’s degree. Some medical tech fields only require basic certifications for entry level positions, and some employers may sponsor further education and certification for their employees once the candidate gains work experience.
Attending medical school or participating in a medical tech certification program can seem like a large undertaking, but it’s important to remember that seven of the top ten paying jobs in the United States are healthcare jobs. On par with programs such as computer science and engineering, healthcare is a stable industry that has a projected growth of 18 percent over the next decade, though some fields predict as much as a 30 percent growth rate.
It’s undeniable given the rising demand for healthcare services that healthcare jobs are some of the most sought-after and highest paying positions in the United States, while also being some of the most available. Nurses, dentists, orthodontists and psychiatrists all average six-figure salaries, and many of these fields have incredibly low unemployment rates which makes job seeking after graduation less stressful and more fruitful.