Interested in Health Care? These 15 Jobs Pay More Than $50,000 a Year
Interested in working in the health field? Even if you’re not sure you could stand being a doctor or nurse, there are plenty of other options out there. The highest paying health care jobs don’t all involve working directly with patients. Whether you’re good with technology (page 10), a pro in business management (page 6), or you love research (page 8), there’s likely a job in the field for you with a decent salary to match.
Here are just a few of the positions you could hold in health care, with the right education, training, and dedication.
15. Health information manager
- Average annual salary: $53,000
Health information managers oversee the collecting, keeping, and releasing of medical records. As managers, they usually supervise multiple staff members in their department.
A bachelor’s degree in information management or related program in health information administration will prepare you for this role.
Next: These clinical experts often decide what a patient eats while in the hospital.
14. Clinical dietitian
- Average annual salary: $57,000
Clinical dietitians work in hospital settings to assess, prescribe, and provide information and recommendations related to patient diets.
Entry-level dietitians can enter the field after earning an undergraduate degree and completing a year-long internship, but a master’s degree in nutrition is usually preferred.
Next: These technicians use their skills to help diagnose health problems.
13. Diagnostic medical sonographer
- Average annual salary: $69,000
Ultrasound technology goes beyond determining the gender or health of a baby. Diagnostic medical sonographers also use it to diagnose a variety of medical conditions.
Most health care professionals trained to use this imaging technology have completed a professional certification on top of an undergraduate degree in math or science. Many learn the skill on the job.
Next: People who want to know if they’re at risk for a certain disease go to these professionals.
12. Genetic counselor
- Average annual salary: $74,000
Genetic counselors help patients determine their risk of diseases like cancer based on family history and blood tests. They’re skilled in interpreting lab results and making related recommendations.
Becoming a genetic counselor requires a master’s degree in genetics or genetic counseling, plus passing a board exam in most states.
Next: These professionals fit patients for hearing aids, and much more.
- Average annual salary: $76,000
Audiologists specialize in treating patients with hearing loss and balance issues, such as those diagnosed with vertigo.
After completing an undergraduate degree, obtaining a four-year doctoral degree in audiology allows these professionals to practice in this area of health care.
Next: These professionals take care of all the behind-the-scenes work at a hospital or clinic.
10. Health care administrator
- Average annual salary: $84,000
Health care administrators are in charge of an entire medical facility, handling business affairs such as coordinating marketing strategies and making sure all hospital staff are happy and doing their jobs to the best of their ability.
Most health care administrators hold a master’s degree in business with a health care concentration.
Next: These therapists treat physical ailments and pain.
9. Physical therapist
- Average annual salary: $85,000
Physical therapists treat patients who have sustained injuries that interfere with their mobility or cause severe pain, such as stress fractures in athletes.
Anyone who wants to become a physical therapist must first complete a relevant bachelor’s degree before entering a three-year doctoral degree.
Next: It’s up to this person to develop the equipment health care professionals use every day.
8. Biomedical engineer
- Average annual salary: $85,000
Biomedical engineers design medical equipment to help prescribe, treat, and cure illnesses and diseases through research and development.
You can work in the field with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering, or obtain a master’s degree or on-the-job training with an undergraduate degree in a different type of engineering.
Next: These nurses undergo special training to do more specialized work.
7. Advanced practice nurse
- Average annual salary: $91,000
Advanced practice registered nurses are specialists in their field. Depending on their specialty, some assist doctors during surgery or prescribe treatments and medications.
To become an advance practice nurse, you must complete a bachelor’s degree in an accredited nursing program and complete a certification in the specialty of your choosing.
Next: These people protect your personal health information from hackers.
6. Information security analyst
- Average annual salary: $92,000
Patient medical records contain extremely sensitive personal information. Information security analysts often work with hospital systems to protect these records against cyberattacks.
These analysts need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, and preferably work experience in information technology.
Next: These vital medical professionals support doctors and surgeons every step of the way.
5. Physician assistant
- Average annual salary: $101,000
These professionals perform similar tasks to doctors, but must work under the supervision of or in collaboration with a doctor or surgeon.
Prospective physician assistants must complete a 26-month master’s program, pass a certification exam, and obtain a license to practice in the state they plan on working in.
Next: The anatomy of this organ takes a long time to master if you want to help treat it.
- Average annual salary: $106,000
Optometrists perform eye exams to diagnose problems like far-sightedness and diseases like glaucoma. They can prescribe everything from contacts to medications.
You’ll need a bachelor’s degree and a Doctor of Optometry at minimum to practice in this particular area of health care.
Next: These people help keep patients alive while doctors operate on them.
- Average annual salary: $110,000
Perfusionists work alongside surgeons in operating rooms to monitor a patient’s circulatory system as needed, often administering medications and monitoring the temperature of blood.
Some aspiring perfusionists complete a bachelor’s degree and certification program. Others obtain a relevant master’s degree.
Next: These professionals make sure patients are taking their medications correctly.
- Average annual salary: $122,000
Pharmacists dispense medications, but they also instruct patients on how to take them, answer questions, and make sure the medicines they’ve been prescribed won’t interact with other drugs they’re already taking.
Pharmacists must complete up to a four-year doctoral degree.
Next: This high-paying job also requires more than 10 years of advanced education.
1. General surgeon
- Average annual salary: $272,000
General surgeons diagnose and treat a variety of diseases and illnesses through operations. These surgeries might range from repairing damaged organs to repairing broken bones.
While it’s the highest-paying job on this list, it also requires the most education. Surgeons must complete a total of 12 years of post-secondary education to practice this advanced type of medicine.
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