6 Healthcare Careers To Pursue To Become Rich Faster

Team of happy doctors and two businessmen cooperating while going through paperwork in a hospital.
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If you’re considering the healthcare field to find a top-paying career, you’re on the right track. Not only is employment in the healthcare industry growing at a rate that’s faster than all other occupational industries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but the median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technicians is higher than all other occupations.

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And while it’s no secret that physicians are the highest-paid earners in the healthcare field, there are several other healthcare careers that pay six figures, on average, and plenty of others that pay above $80,000. The best part is that none of them require anywhere near the level of education and training that it takes to be a physician, and pursuing one of these careers can help you become rich faster. Take a look.

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Nurse Practitioner 

  • Median Salary: $117,670

Nurse practitioners serve in primary and specialty care roles, such as pediatric health or mental health. They assess and help manage the health of each patient under their care. While the scope of nurse practitioners’ duties vary by state, they often work independently, write prescriptions and order lab tests, consulting with physicians when needed.

To become a nurse practitioner, you typically are required to have at least a master’s degree in an advanced practice nursing field. You must also be a licensed registered nurse in your home state, pass a national certification exam and possess a state APRN license, according to the BLS. Nurse practitioner job openings are expected to grow 45% from 2020 to 2030 — much faster than the average rate of 8%. On average, 29,400 job openings are expected per year over the decade.

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Physician’s Assistant

  • Median Salary: $115,390

Physician’s assistants work on a team with physicians and surgeons and are tasked with examining, diagnosing and treating patients. The level of supervision a PA requires from a physician or surgeon on the same team varies depending on the state. Most people who apply to a physician assistant education program already have a bachelor’s degree and patient care experience, such as from working as a registered nurse or a paramedic. Educational programs in this field typically lead to a master’s degree.

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Physician assistant positions are expected to grow much faster than average at 31%, and 12,200 job openings per year, on average, are expected up to the year 2030.

Nurse Anesthetist

  • Median Salary: $117,670

Principal job duties for nurse anesthetists include administering anesthesia and providing care to patients before, during and after medical procedures. Providing pain management is also part of their expertise.

Like a nurse practitioner, to become a nurse anesthetist, you typically are required to have a minimum of a master’s degree in an APRN field. Other requirements of this profession include being a licensed registered nurse in your state, passing a national certification exam and possessing a state APRN license.

Nurse anesthetist’s positions are expected to grow much faster than average at a rate of 45% up to 2030. On average, 29,400 job openings are projected in the career field each year.

Medical and Health Services Manager

  • Median Salary: $104,280

Medical and health services managers, aka hospital administrators, are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating medical and health services for an entire facility, specific department or a medical practice. They typically have some administrative or clinical experience in a healthcare facility or hospital before taking on the role.

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A bachelor’s degree in health administration or nursing is common, but some of these professionals have a master’s degree. While the median salary for this position is right over $100K, the highest earners can make over $195,630. Employment in this field is projected to grow much faster than average at 32%, and about 51,800 openings are projected for each year, on average, up to 2030.

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Radiation Therapist

  • Median Salary: $86,850

Radiation therapists are responsible for administering radiation treatments to people who are suffering from cancer or other diseases. They are a critical part of the oncology team and often work with oncologists, oncologist nurses and medical physicists. The job outlook is about as fast as average for all occupations at 9%, and about 1,100 job openings, on average, are projected for each year up to 2030.

Radiation therapists complete programs that lead to an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy, and most states require them to be licensed or certified. Certification often requires passing a national certification exam. Top earners in this field earn more than $132,930, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Genetic Counselor

  • Median Salary: $85,700

If you are interested in assessing individuals or families for various inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects, becoming a genetic counselor could be a great career path. While the median salary for this position doesn’t reach six figures, the top-earners in this field earn more than $126,350, according to the BLS.

Genetic counselors require a master’s degree in genetic counseling or genetics and board certification. The job outlook up to 2030 for these professionals is much higher than average at 26%. Around 300 job openings are projected each year.

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About the Author

Cynthia Measom is a personal finance writer and editor with over 12 years of collective experience. Her articles have been featured in MSN, AOL, Yahoo Finance, INSIDER, Houston Chronicle, The Seattle Times and The Network Journal. She attended the University of Texas at Austin and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.
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