20 Highest Paying Medical Jobs in 2022
If you are exploring medical field careers, but aren’t sure which route to take, one of the first things you're probably thinking is how much money can I make in each medical profession?
To help you navigate your healthcare career journey, we've put together a list of the highest-paying medical jobs for 2022.
The Highest Paying Medical Jobs are:
- Anesthesiologist - $331,190
- Physician and Surgeon - $208,000
- Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) - $202,470
- Pediatrician - $198,420
- Dentist - $163,220
- Podiatrist - $145,840
- Chief Nursing Officer - $135,223
- Pharmacist - $128,570
- Optometrist - $124,300
- Nurse Practitioner - $123,780
- Physician Assistant - $121,530
- Nurse Midwife - $114,210
- Medical or Health Services Manager -- $101,340
- Veterinarian - $100,370
- Clinical Informatics Manager - $97,267
- Physical Therapist - $95,620
- Occupational Therapist - $85,570
- Radiation Therapist - $82,790
- Speech Language Pathologist - $79,060
- Dental Hygienist - $77,810
Now let’s take a look at some of the highest-paying healthcare jobs available, along with their job duties and education requirements.
Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who administer pain-management anesthesia and analgesics to patients during surgery or other medical procedures.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, anesthesiologists in the US earn a mean annual wage of $331,190 per year or $159.22 per hour.
The career outlook for anesthesiologists looks bright, with the BLS projecting growth of 15% through 2026.
If becoming an anesthesiologist is part of your plans, prepare yourself for a comprehensive education. Anesthesiologists must complete a 4-year undergraduate education, followed by a 4-year medical school education to earn an MD or DO credential. After graduation, anesthesiologists must also complete a minimum of 4 years of postgraduate residency in anesthesia.
Each state in the U.S. requires anesthesiologists to be licensed to begin practicing. All states have a slightly different set of requirements; however, in general, they all require graduation from an accredited medical university, a residency program, and successful completion of all licensing exams.
Where can you work as an anesthesiologist?
Anesthesiologists work in hospitals, operating rooms, outpatient surgery centers, private physician offices, and universities.
Physicians and surgeons are medical experts who assess, diagnose and treat patient illnesses and injuries. They perform many tasks, including prescribing medications, counseling patients, interpreting diagnostic testing and operating on patients.
The U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median average salary for physicians and surgeons in the US is $208,00 annually or $100 per hour.
There are currently 761,700 surgeons and physicians working in the U.S. today. The job outlook is steady, with projected growth of 3% between 2021-2031.
Physicians and surgeons must first complete a bachelor’s degree and medical degree education, each taking four years to complete. Upon graduation, an internship and residency program must also be completed and, depending on what specialty you choose, can take anywhere from 4 to 9 years to complete.
Physicians and surgeons must be licensed to begin practicing. All states have a slightly different set of requirements. However, all require graduation from an accredited medical university and residency program and successful completion of all licensing exams.
Where can you work as a physician or surgeon?
You will find physicians and surgeons working in many different medical settings, including hospitals, operating rooms, outpatient surgery centers, and private physician offices or educational settings as professors.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) are advanced practice registered nurses who administer anesthesia to patients for surgery or other medical procedures.
Nurse anesthetists work hard, but they earn a high salary to match. Depending on the work setting and state where they are employed, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the mean annual nurse anesthetist salary in 2021 was $202,470 or $97.34 an hour.
The career outlook for CRNAs looks very bright, with the BLS projecting 40 percent growth in the profession between 2021 and 2031, during which an additional 118,600 CRNA jobs will become available.
To become a CRNA, you must first earn a bachelor's degree in nursing from an accredited university. Admission into a CRNA program requires at least two years of nursing experience in intensive care or emergency room setting.
CRNA students must then complete a master’s or doctorate degree (doctorate only starting in 2025) in a nursing anesthesia program, which takes between 2 and 4 years. Upon graduation, students must then pass the CRNA certification exam to earn licensure to practice.
Where can you work as a CRNA?
CRNAs work in various medical settings, including operating rooms, labor and delivery units, outpatient surgery centers, pain management clinics and critical care units.
Pediatricians are physicians who work primarily with children up to 18-20 years of age. They assess, diagnose and treat illness and disease and give preventative care to their patients from infancy until they reach adulthood.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for pediatricians is $198,420, or $95.40 per hour.
The career outlook is excellent for pediatricians in the US, with the BLS projecting growth of 7% between 2018 and 2028, which is faster than the national average for all professions.
Pediatricians are medical doctors and are required to complete an education similar to other physicians or surgeons. A four-year bachelor's degree is required, followed by 4-years of medical school and a 3-year residency.
Pediatricians are also required to be licensed to begin practicing. Each US state has a slightly different set of requirements. However, they usually require graduation from an accredited medical university, a residency program, and successful completion of all licensing exams.
Where can you work as a pediatrician?
Pediatricians work in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private doctor’s offices, community health centers, schools or other health management organizations.
Dentists treat their patient’s teeth and diagnose various oral conditions. You may be most familiar with the most common type of dentist -- the general practitioner dentist. However, there are several other dentists, including oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, and prosthodontists.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for dentists is $163,220 per year or $78.47 per hour.
There are currently 146,200 dentists working in the U.S. today, and the projected job growth is 6% from 2021-2031 (as fast as the average profession).
To become a dentist, you will first need to complete a 4-year bachelor's degree followed by an accredited dental school program, which also takes about four years to complete. In dental school, you can earn one of two degrees: a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree (DMD).
Upon graduation, students must also take their state’s written and clinical exam to earn licensure. Licensure requirements vary depending on the state in which you live.
Where can you work as a dentist?
Dentists usually work in private practice or a group office. However, dentists also work in the hospital, research facilities, as educators and in public health dentistry.
We Found The Following Schools with Online Dental Assistant Programs
A podiatrist is a physician or surgeon who treats health conditions involving the foot, ankle, and sometimes related parts of the lower leg.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, podiatrists earned a median annual salary of $145,840 annually or $70.11 per hour.
The BLS also projects a slower than average growth in this field at only 2% between 2020-2030. Currently, 11,000 podiatrists are working in the U.S.
Those interested in becoming a podiatrist must first complete an undergraduate degree in a medical-related field. Then you must attend an accredited medical school specializing in podiatric medicine, which takes about four years, to receive a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. From there, you would need to complete a 3-year podiatric residency and pass the required licensure exams per your state.
Where can you work as a podiatrist?
Podiatrists work in hospitals, operating rooms, outpatient centers and private practice offices either independently or with a group of other podiatrists.
A chief nursing officer (CNO) is the highest-level registered nurse management position within a hospital or medical institution. This position oversees processes and procedures for the entire nursing staff, including safety protocols, ensuring patient safety, and managing staff.
Chief Nursing Officer Salary
A CNO’s salary can vary depending on location and experience. However, according to payscale.com, CNOs in the U.S. earn $135,223 annually or $61.87 hourly.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical and health service management positions such as CNOs will grow by 28%.
To become a CNO, you need to get a BSN and have several years of nursing experience. Then you will need at least 3-6 years of additional education and management experience to be considered a potential candidate for the role.
You will need a minimum of a master’s degree in nursing or business-related specialty. However, many CNOs also have a DNP, with many institutions preferring a higher level of education.
Where can you work as a chief nursing officer?
Most CNOs work for hospitals or medical institutions. However, many also work in nursing homes or as the overseeing position in large healthcare systems.
Pharmacists are healthcare professionals who specialize in medication preparation and pharmaceutical management.
This position ensures that patients receive the correct medications in the right dose and understand the safe and appropriate use of their pharmaceuticals to manage their health conditions best.
The median average salary you can earn as a pharmacist in the U.S. is $128,570 per year or $61.81 per hour.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a projected 2% decline in the need for pharmacists between 2021-2031.
To become a pharmacist, you must complete an undergraduate degree in a medical-related field and then attend an accredited Doctor of Pharmacy Program, where you will also complete an on-site internship. Upon graduation, you will also need to pass all licensure exams and apply for your license per your state’s requirements.
Where can you work as a pharmacist?
Most pharmacists work in pharmacies at your local drug store or grocery store. However, you can also find pharmacists working in hospital pharmacies or even physician offices.
We Found The Following Schools with Online Pharmacy Technician Programs
An optometrist is a medical professional who specializes in eye health and prescribes eyeglasses and contact lenses when appropriate. They also diagnose and treat visual injuries, disorders, diseases and other issues of the eyes.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states the median annual salary that optometrists earn is $124,300 or $59.76 per hour.
According to the BLS, in 2021, 41,400 optometrists worked in the U.S. There will be a need for 4,000 more between 2021-2031. There is also a 10% projected career growth during that time.
If you want to be an optometrist, you must complete an undergraduate degree followed by four years of optometry school for a doctor of optometry (OD) degree.
Where can you work as an optometrist?
Optometrists more commonly work in private optometry offices. However, you can also find them in outpatient clinics, retail companies, and doctor’s offices.
We Found The Following Schools with Online Optician Programs
Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) who treat various patient health conditions and have a larger scope of practice than a general RN.
Nurse Practitioner Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, NPs earn a national average annual wage of $123,780 or $59.51 per hour. But that varies by several factors, including your area of specialization.
The career outlook is bright for nurse practitioners, with the Bureau to Labor Statistics projecting a 40% growth for all APRNs between 2021-2031.
Nurse practitioners also report incredibly high levels of job satisfaction, and U.S. News and World Report rank the career as the second-best in healthcare.
To become a nurse practitioner, you must first complete a bachelor's or associate degree in registered nursing and pass the NCLEX exam to achieve licensure.
After a minimum of two years or more experience, you can attend a master’s degree program specializing in the type of advanced practice nursing that interests you.
Programs last anywhere from 2-4 years for a master’s program or 4-6 years to achieve a doctorate of nursing practice. Upon graduation, you will need to pass the required licensure and certification exams.
Where can you work as a nurse practitioner?
You can find NPs working in all areas of the hospital setting, including critical care areas, emergency room, in-patient and outpatient surgery and other specialty floor units. NPs also work in community clinics, nursing homes, health care centers and physician offices. In some states, NPs can run their own practice.
A Physician Assistant (PA) is a licensed medical professional who works under the supervision of a physician. PAs work with the same medical model as medical doctors and care for patients suffering from a wide range of diseases, injuries and other medical conditions.
Some of the tasks they perform include assessing patients, writing prescriptions, ordering diagnostic tests, assisting in surgery and developing and managing treatment plans.
Physician Assistant Salary
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a physician assistant (PA) in 2021 is $121,530 per year or $58.43 per hour.
In 2021 there were 139,100 jobs available for PAs in the United States. The career outlook is bright in the profession, with anticipated growth of 28% between 2021-2031.
Becoming a PA requires you to obtain a bachelor’s degree in a medical-related field and complete prerequisite courses to be eligible for PA school. Most PA schools require a few years of experience within the healthcare field in some capacity for eligibility.
PA school is about 24 to 28 months of classroom education and clinical rotations. PA students do not choose a specialty (like an NP) but have a general medical education. (PA specialty training comes when you start practicing within a specific medical area).
Upon graduation from PA school, you will need to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) to earn certification to start practicing as a PA in the field.
Where can you work as a physician assistant?
PAs can work in any setting that physicians do, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, surgery centers, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and other healthcare environments.
Nurse-midwives are best known for assisting women through pregnancy and childbirth. However, they are also trained to help women with medical care during other various phases of life and can diagnose and treat medical conditions, perform health assessments and write prescriptions.
Nurse Midwife Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the mean annual income for nurse midwives is $114,210 or $54.91 per hour.
The BLS also projects a 45% growth for all APRN careers, such as nurse midwives, between 2020-2030.
To become a nurse-midwife, you must complete a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN). After a minimum of two years or more experience, you can attend a master’s degree program specializing in nurse-midwifery. Upon graduation, you will need to pass the required licensure and certification exams.
Where can you work as a nurse-midwife?
Nurse-midwives can practice in hospitals, private practices, public health clinics and birthing centers.
A medical or health services manager, also referred to as a healthcare manager, is responsible for overseeing the administrative and clinical processes of a medical unit or facility such as a hospital floor, outpatient center or nursing home.
Some of the daily tasks include managing nursing staff and other personnel, handling financial matters, maintaining patient safety measures and ensuring that the highest standard of medical care is met.
Medical or Health Services Manager Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that in 2021, medical and health services management positions earned median pay of $101,340 per year or $48.72 per hour.
The career outlook is excellent for those interested in becoming a medical or health services manager. In 2021, 480,700 managers were working in the position. Between 2021-2031 there is a projected growth of 28% within the profession.
Becoming a medical or health services manager requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. However, most employers now require a master’s degree in healthcare or business management as well.
Many managers are medical professionals who worked within a particular specialty area and were able to promote themselves into the role. For example, most management positions within the hospital setting are filled with registered nurses who became experts within a particular specialty and desired to work in the business side of nursing.
Where can you work as a medical or health services manager?
Medical and health services managers work in almost all hospital settings, group physician offices, nursing homes and other health facilities.
A veterinarian is a medical professional who specializes in the medical health and wellbeing of animals. The most common type is a veterinary physician who treats animals for illness, disease and injury in a similar way that human physicians do -- some veterinary specialties include dentistry, surgery and anesthesiology, just to name a few.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median pay for veterinarians in the US was $100,370, or $48.26 per hour.
The career outlook for aspiring veterinarians is bright, with a projected job outlook of 19% increase between 2021-2031.
It is not always necessary that you complete a bachelor’s degree before applying to a veterinary school. However, you will need a certain amount of prerequisite courses to apply to a program.
Most veterinarians, however, do complete a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field. By taking that route, students can complete all necessary classes for eligibility and have time to volunteer or intern for an established veterinarian to make sure they love the career before fully committing.
You will likely need to take the GRE and have a few letters of recommendation as part of your application process.
Doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) school education takes four years to complete and includes coursework, labs, and hands-on clinical experience. Following graduation, you will also need to pass the North American Veterinary Licensing Examination (NAVLE) before you can start practicing.
Where can you work as a veterinarian?
Veterinarians work in veterinary clinics, animal hospitals, zoos, farms and laboratories.
We Found The Following Schools with Online Veterinary Assistant Programs
Clinical informatics managers organize, plan, and manage a healthcare organization’s clinical information program - which are computer-based systems designed to collect, organize, and store patient’s healthcare information and other important information that is essential to healthcare delivery.
Some of the essential benefits of these programs are that they help medical professionals like doctors and nurses improve efficiency, minimize medical errors and improve overall patient care.
Clinical Informatics Manager Salary
According to Payscale, clinical informatics managers make an average of $97,267 per year or $37.05 per hour in the US.
With technology increasing by the day, the career outlook for clinical informatics managers looks bright, with an expected job growth of 32% between 2020-2030.
A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to enter into the profession. However, employers often prefer that candidates have a master’s degree for employment consideration. In addition to formal education, many clinical informatics managers must have prior work experience in the field as a medical administrator or another clinical role in a hospital or healthcare facility.
Where can you work as a clinical informatics manager?
Clinical informatics managers usually work in large medical systems, hospitals and other medical clinics.
Physical therapists (PTs) are licensed medical professionals who treat and help patients manage illnesses and injuries to the musculoskeletal system. They work one-on-one with patients to improve their range of motion, manage pain and regain the highest level of mobility they can.
Physical Therapist Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean salary for PTs in the US in 2021 was $95,620 per year or $45.97 per hour.
If becoming a PT interests you, you are in luck because there will be many opportunities ahead. The BLS projects 17% growth in the profession between 2021-2031.
To become a Physical Therapist (PT), you must start by getting a bachelor’s degree in a medical-related field. While there, you must complete the required science prerequisites to be eligible for a doctor of physical therapy (DPT) program you wish to attend.
DPT programs are generally three years in length, with two years of clinical education followed by one year of clinical rotations.
Upon graduation, you must pass the National Physical Therapy Examination (NPTE) to be licensed to practice in the US.
Where can you work as a physical therapist?
PTs can work in various medical environments, including many different areas of the hospital, outpatient settings, rehabilitation centers, schools, sports facilities and geriatric homes.
We Found The Following Schools with Online Physical Therapy Aide Programs
Occupational therapists (OTs) develop customized treatment plans to help ill or injured patients develop fine motor skills, perform tasks that involve hand-eye coordination and complete activities of daily living. Their goal is to help their patients live as independently as possible or develop skills to help them live better with their disabilities.
Occupational Therapist Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, OTs annually earned $85,570 or $41.14 per hour in 2021.
For those interested in becoming an OT, there will be increased career opportunities in the coming years. The BLS states that growth within the profession will increase by 14% from 2021-2031, resulting in a need for 18,600 additional OTs.
Becoming an OT requires that you earn a bachelor’s degree in a medically related field and complete all of the required prerequisite classes to be considered a candidate for OT school. In addition, admission to OT school usually requires completion of the graduate record examination (GRE) and additional volunteer or observation hours in an occupational therapy setting.
OT school requires that you complete either a master’s degree or a doctoral program from an accredited university. Upon graduation, certification to practice requires that you pass the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) exam.
Where can you work as an occupational therapist?
OTs work in most hospital areas, occupational therapy offices, schools, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and home health.
A radiation therapist (RT) is a type of allied health professional who works with an interdisciplinary team of oncologists, nurses and other health professionals to treat cancer patients or ease disease symptoms with radiation therapy.
Radiation Therapist Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that radiation technologists earned a mean income of $82,790 per year or $39.80 per hour in the US in 2021.
Radiation therapy careers will be in demand over the coming years, with the BLS predicting a 6% growth between 2021-2031.
Most employers prefer that you complete either an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy. Or you can attend a radiation therapy certificate program, which can take anywhere from 1-2 years. (Although it is possible to enter a radiation therapy program with a high school degree or GED, higher education offers more career opportunities and advancement).
Where can you work as a radiation therapist?
Radiation therapists most commonly work in hospitals, medical offices and other outpatient facilities where patients receive radiation treatments.
A speech-language pathologist is a medical professional who assists patients with speech and swallowing disorders. They assess, diagnose and treat their patients to improve communication and produce speech sounds effectively.
Speech-Language Pathologist Salary
In 2021, speech-language pathologists earned a mean average of $79,060 per year or $38.01 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Job growth is predicted to grow by 21% between 2021-2031 which means there will be a need for an additional 34,000 speech-language pathologist jobs.
Becoming a speech pathologist requires that you complete a bachelor’s program in communication sciences and disorders (CSD).
Then you must attend a graduate program and achieve a master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology/Communicative Sciences and Disorders. Upon graduation, you must also complete a post-graduate fellowship and pass the National Exam in Speech-Pathology before you can apply for licensure in your state.
Where can you work as a speech-language pathologist?
Speech pathologists most commonly work in the hospital setting but can also be found working in outpatient centers and rehabilitation facilities.
A dental hygienist works with a dentist to assist with caring for their patient’s oral health. Some of the services dental hygienists perform include patient screening, taking x-rays, removing calculus and plaque, applying fluoride treatments, administering topical anesthesia, educating patients on proper dental health and assisting with office management duties.
Dental Hygienist Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, dental hygienists earned an average of $77,810 per year or $37.41 per hour in 2021.
Projected growth within the dental hygienist profession will be 9% from 2021-2031.
To become a dental hygienist you need to complete a minimum of an associate’s degree. However, bachelor’s degrees and master’s degrees are also available for those who want to work in more specialized care or achieve higher career advancement opportunities.
Where can you work as a dental hygienist?
Dental hygienists most commonly work in dental offices. However, they also work in public health clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and or other health organizations.
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