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The 7 Most Highly Paid Jobs In the Medical Field

Aspiring physicians spend at least 8 years in college, and their effort shows on the payslip. Specialist physicians are among the highest-paid professionals in the country, pulling in well over $200,000 every year.

Exciting, right? No, actually. It’s richly rewarding.

In fact, most jobs in the medical field offer very attractive salaries. If you have a passion for helping people and want to pursue a career that makes your bank account healthy, look no further than the medical field.

And to make your search easier, we’re listing the highest paying medical jobs. Read on!

NOTE: All salaries are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statics, as of May 2017.

1. Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons are the professionals who stand between you and a life-threatening disease. They diagnose, treat, prescribe medications, interpret medical reports, and counsel patients. Some highly experienced physicians and surgeons teach in medical and specialty schools, where they nurture the next generation of medics.

Obviously, you already know it takes almost a decade (or more), to become a physician, but the exact requirements are:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree (3-4 years)
  • Pass Medical School Admission Test
  • Complete medical school (4 years)
  • Complete a specialty program i.e. cardiology, dermatology, radiology. (3-7 years)
  • Obtain a license to practice in your state.

Average annual salary: $208,000

2. Dentists

Are you fascinated by how human teeth work? Perhaps you can pursue a medical career as a dentist.

Dentists work to improve the oral health of their patients. They diagnose and treat dental conditions such as gingivitis, gum disease, and oral cancer, and educate patients about dental hygiene.

To become a dentist, you need a bachelors degree (or complete a certain number of undergraduate courses), pass the Dental School Admission Test, and then complete dental school. You could specialize in community dental care, cosmetic dentistry or hospital dental care. You could even join the armed forces, providing dental care to soldiers.

A state occupational license is also mandatory.

Average annual salary: $158,120

3. Pharmacist

When you feel unwell and give your doctor a visit, he or she will diagnose your condition and prescribe medications. You take this prescription to a pharmacy, where a pharmacist sells you the drugs.

You certainly notice that the pharmacist will read and understand the prescription report with extreme ease.

If that fascinates you, then you can embark on a journey to become a pharmacist. Even if you won’t be diagnosing and treating diseases, you’ll still play a crucial role in the provision of healthcare.

So, what does it take to practice pharmacy and get paid for it? Just complete a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from an accredited school, and obtain a license to practice in your state.

Annual average salary: $124,170

4. Nurse Anesthetists

Even with all their professional knowledge, physicians and surgeons cannot effectively provide quality patient care on their own.

This is where nurse anesthetists step in.

These professionals, also known as advanced nursing practitioners, coordinate the provision of patient care services. Their tasks include taking patients through medical examinations, operating and monitoring media equipment, and creating and administering patient care plans.

Entry requirements? A bachelor’s degree in nursing (though a diploma or an associate degree in the same field can work), a Registered Nurse License, and at least 1 years’ experience working in clinical settings.

Upon qualifying, you can find employment in hospitals, nursing homes and even home care facilities.

Annual average salary: $110,930

5. Optometrist

With a Doctor of Optometry degree and a license to practice optometry, you can find employment as an optometrist.

Your primary task will be to improve the visual health of your patients. This includes diagnosing and treating eye problems and diseases, performing surgical procedures to correct problems, and educating patients on eye health.

To become a standout optometrist, it’s advisable to specialize in a certain field. For instance, you could specialize in correcting low-vision conditions, or focus on a certain demographic, such as kids or seniors.

After amassing several years of experience, you can move into the education sector. You’ll be reaching Doctor of Optometry students in colleges.

Annual average salary: $110,300

6. Physicians Assistant

Another of the highest paying jobs in the medical field is that of a physician’s assistant.

This job title is confusing to many people, because then, isn’t the role of nurses to assist physicians in treatment?

Well, that’s right, but the role of a physician’s assistant is highly specialized, as compared to nurses. PAs, for instance, can diagnose and treat patients, while the role of nurses is typically reduced to administering treatment programs to patients.

PAs can also prescribe medicine, manage patient records and counsel patients and their families.

To qualify for this job, complete 2-4 years of undergraduate, then complete a physician assistant education program. This job is ideal for people who are already practicing as registered nurses (regular nurses), as it presents an ideal career advancement opportunity. With nursing experience and having completed a physician assistant education program, you’ll become an irresistible candidate for employment as PA.

Annual average salary: $104,860

7. Veterinarian

Are you passionate about health but don’t fancy having humans as your clients?

Brace yourself for some pleasant news?

You can pursue a high paying medical career as a veterinarian and spend the rest of your life working with animals! Vets diagnose and treat diseases affects pets (usually cats and dogs), livestock and other animals.

The unpleasant part (if you really don’t like other humans that much) is you’ll spend some of our time with the owners of these animals, counseling them on best animal care practices. After all, animals got no money to pay you, so you have to be nice to their owners!

Annual average salary: $90,420

Have Your Pick of the Highest Paying Medical Jobs

We have fleshed the highest paying medical jobs and what it takes to pursue them, now your task is to choose the one that suits you, and begin working on obtaining those qualifications.

Need more occupational tips? Explore our education and work life pages.

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