The Healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the US economy. The US Bureau of Labor has projected an estimated increase in healthcare occupations’ employment rate of 13% from 2021 to 2031, resulting in two million new healthcare jobs over the decade. An additional 1.9% of jobs would be created from growth and replacement needs. Moreover, the recent COVID-19 pandemic revealed the gaps in the health infrastructure and showed healthcare workers’ importance and necessity.
Even though academics and training for healthcare careers are long and difficult, it’s a rewarding field for selfless people who enjoy helping others. Of the various benefits it provides, it also includes financial security paying handsome six-figure salaries.
We have compiled a list of the highest-paying healthcare jobs and their educational requirements to help you choose a fulfilling career.
Physicians and Surgeons:
2021 median pay: $208,000 /year or $100.00/hour
Number of Jobs 2021: 761,700
Job Outlook 2021-31: 3%
A physician or surgeon diagnoses, examines and treats patients with a complete history, physical examinations, laboratory tests, medication, invasive surgical or non-surgical procedures, and follow-up visits. They also play a role in health promotion, disease prevention, and public health policy
The typical entry-level education requires a pre-medical degree followed by a four-year medical degree. The duration of training and residency programs vary, with different specialties requiring an additional three to nine years.
A surgeon mainly works in the operation theater, and a physician’s role is usually confined to wards and clinics. They can also work in non-clinical settings, including government and policy-making services, non-profit organizations, and insurance companies.
2021 median pay: $123,780/year, $59.51/hour
Number of Jobs 2021:300,000
Job Outlook, 2021-31: 40%
Nurse Practitioners include nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). They provide medication to patients, perform IVs and other interventional tasks, create everyday care plans for inpatients and monitor progress maintaining patients’ health activities.
Different specializations in the Nursing field can be rewarding as well. Take an example of a Family Nurse Practitioner; you must earn your nursing bachelor’s and master’s degree before becoming an FNP. When you’ve already started your professional career, pursuing an advanced degree may seem like a lot of work. If you want more freedom to balance your education and employment, you might choose MSN FNP programs online. Online courses not only provide flexibility, but they also come at a relatively affordable price. Consequently, you won’t necessarily need to be concerned about paying off student loans.
The course provides clinical rotation placement to provide hands-on experience to its students in clinical settings. The clinical rotations are carried out under the direct supervision of a licensed nurse practitioner to implement online classroom learning on real-life patients. The program graduates develop strong leadership skills and learn how to integrate socioeconomic, political, and ethical knowledge to make correct decisions. They understand how to help deliver health care using teaching and collaborative strategies and exhibit professional growth. It instills the value of human worth and dignity by providing patients with quality service and holistic treatment.
Nurses work full-time mainly in clinical healthcare settings, including hospitals, physicians’ offices, and clinics.
2021 median pay: $163,220/year, $78.4/hour
Number of Jobs 2021:146,200
Job Outlook, 2021-31: 6%
Dentists are healthcare professionals who specialize in oral health. They provide treatment and diagnosis of issues involving teeth, gums, palate, and other parts of the mouth. They also counsel and guide patients on nurturing healthy teeth, proper dietary plans, and maintaining oral hygiene.
Entry-level education requires a dental doctoral or a medical degree followed by various accredited written and clinical dental exams for certification and license.
Dentists usually work in private clinics or as partners with limited staff in their setups.
2021 median pay: $128,750/year, $61.81/hour
Number of Jobs 2021: 323,500
Job Outlook, 2021-31: 2%
A pharmacist is a health care professional licensed in medication prescription and dispensing, safe use of drugs and monitoring adverse drug interactions, administering vaccines, and counseling patients regarding proper dosage and effects of drugs and dietary supplements.
A pharmacist acquires a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, a four-year-long course followed by passing two licensing exams for registration.
The Pharmacist works in clinical settings in hospitals and clinics and at drug stores, pharmacies, and pharmaceutical industries, providing expert opinion on drug formulation.
2021 median pay: $145,840/year, $70.11/ hour
Number of Jobs 2021:11,000
Job Outlook, 2021-31:2%
A podiatrist is a medical specialist who specializes in problems affecting the feet or lower legs.
They provide necessary surgical and medical care for people with foot, ankle, and lower leg problems. They prescribe drugs, treat fractures, order lab and radiological tests, and perform mobility procedures.
The podiatrist’s academic journey includes earning a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree and three years of residency training in the field. In the US, podiatrists are licensed and regulated by state governments.
They usually work in clinical settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private podiatry setups.
2021 median pay: $124,300/year, $59.76/hour
Number of Jobs 2021:41,400
Job Outlook, 2021-31: 10%
An optometrist is a healthcare professional who deals with issues involving the eyes. He treats refraction defects, prescribes corrective lenses and glasses, treats eye diseases, provides vision rehabilitation, and a referral if needed for further treatment.
A four-year Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree is required, followed by state licensing, to become an optometrist.
Optometrist works in eye clinics, doctors’ offices, or optical stores. They have flexible schedules to accommodate patients at various times.
2021 median pay: $121,530/year, $58.43/hour
Number of Jobs 2021:139,100
Job Outlook, 2021-31:28%
A physician assistant is a rapidly growing healthcare job. They are healthcare professional who assists surgeons and physicians in performing various day-to-day tasks to provide patient care. They are a critical part of a physician’s team and assist in taking histories, examinations, radiology, and labs, diagnosing and treating common illnesses, and working with minor procedures.
A physician assistant is a state-licensed individual who requires a master’s degree from an accredited university to practice.
They work full-time in clinical settings, including operation theaters, inpatient settings, physician clinics, and offices.
Healthcare jobs require true commitment from employees based on the number of work hours and the significant responsibility of treating the patients. However, their satisfaction and impact on patients’ lives make it all worth it.