These 10 Healthcare Jobs Are the Most Lucrative, Study Finds

The top jobs in the field pay over $200k a year.

Some of the highest-paying jobs you can get are in healthcare, but not all occupations in the field will score you a big paycheck.

Although the highest-paying healthcare jobs pay over $200,000 per year on average, the 10 lowest-paying healthcare jobs pay less than $50,000. And the No. 1 lowest-paying healthcare job has an average salary of less than $30,000, a new GOBankingRates study found.

To determine the highest- and lowest-paying healthcare jobs, GOBankingRates analyzed the most recent available employment data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics and ranked healthcare occupations according to hourly and annual wages.

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Keep reading to see which healthcare occupations offer the highest wages and salaries.


If you’re considering a career in healthcare and want to score a six-figure salary, it’s important to note that to qualify for the highest-paying jobs, you will need many years of schooling.

Becoming a physician or surgeon requires a bachelor’s degree, four years of medical school, and three to seven years of internships and residency programs. But the schooling could pay off. Non-specialty physicians and surgeons make an average of $211,390, earning the No. 7 spot among the highest-paying healthcare jobs. In fact, many of the top 10 highest-paying healthcare jobs are specialty physicians and surgeons, including internists, family and general practitioners, psychiatrists, obstetricians and gynecologists, and oral and maxillofacial surgeons.

In addition to medical doctors and surgeons, dentists and orthodontists make some of the highest salaries. Dentists who are specialists have the No. 9 top-paying job, with an average salary of $199,980. You must attend an accredited dental school for three to four years after obtaining an undergraduate degree to qualify for the occupation. Orthodontists must attend an additional two- to three-year orthodontistry program after dental school, but their salaries are also higher, on average. Orthodontist is the fifth-highest paying healthcare job, with an average salary of $229,380.

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The highest-paying job — anesthesiologist — requires four years of anesthesiology training after medical school and undergraduate school, which translates to 12 years of post-high school education. However, with an average salary of $265,990, the job could be worth the student loan debt from all of the required education.

Although they didn’t make the top 10, nurse practitioners and physician assistants are also among the highest-paying healthcare jobs, and they are also some of the jobs with the most security, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

On the other end, the study found that the healthcare jobs that paid the least tended to have lower educational requirements, with many only requiring an associate degree or a high school diploma. But the exception to this is veterinary technologists and technicians, which are the third lowest-paying healthcare jobs and could require a bachelor’s degree and a post-secondary program in vet technology to qualify.

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Here’s a look at the complete ranking of the highest- and lowest-paying healthcare jobs:

Highest- and Lowest-Paying Healthcare Jobs
RankJobMean Hourly WageMean Annual Wage
3Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons$116.70$242,740.00
4Obstetricians and Gynecologists$113.10$235,240.00
7Physicians and Surgeons, All Other$101.63$211,390.00
8Family and General Practitioners$100.27$208,560.00
9Dentists, All Other Specialists$96.15$199,980.00
10Internists, General$95.37$198,370.00
12Pediatricians, General$90.16$187,540.00
13Dentists, General$83.71$174,110.00
14Nurse Anesthetists$81.47$169,450.00
18Nurse Practitioners$51.68$107,480.00
19Physician Assistants$50.37$104,760.00
20Nurse Midwives$49.83$103,640.00
22Physical Therapists$42.34$88,080.00
23Radiation Therapists$40.96$85,190.00
24Occupational Therapists$40.69$84,640.00
25Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners, All Other$40.49$84,210.00
28Speech-Language Pathologists$38.35$79,770.00
29Genetic Counselors$37.56$78,130.00
30Nuclear Medicine Technologists$37.33$77,660.00
31Dental Hygienists$35.91$74,680.00
32Occupational Health and Safety Specialists$35.38$73,600.00
33Registered Nurses$35.36$73,550.00
34Diagnostic Medical Sonographers$35.19$73,200.00
35Orthotists and Prosthetists$34.12$70,970.00
36Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists$33.89$70,490.00
37Respiratory Therapists$29.72$61,810.00
38Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers, All Other$29.13$60,600.00
39Radiologic Technologists$29.00$60,320.00
40Dietitians and Nutritionists$28.92$60,150.00
41Therapists, All Other$28.02$58,290.00
42Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians$27.52$57,250.00
43Hearing Aid Specialists$27.42$57,030.00
44Exercise Physiologists$26.31$54,730.00
45Occupational Health and Safety Technicians$25.93$53,930.00
46Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians$25.59$53,230.00
47Respiratory Therapy Technicians$24.47$50,900.00
48Recreational Therapists$23.88$49,670.00
49Athletic Trainers*$48,630.00
50Surgical Technologists$23.11$48,060.00
51Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other$22.45$46,690.00
52Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses$21.98$45,710.00
53Medical Records and Health Information Technicians$20.59$42,820.00
54Opticians, Dispensing$18.79$39,070.00
55Ophthalmic Medical Technicians$18.03$37,500.00
56Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics$17.64$36,700.00
57Psychiatric Technicians$17.34$36,070.00
58Veterinary Technologists and Technicians$16.69$34,710.00
59Pharmacy Technicians$15.90$33,060.00
60Dietetic Technicians$14.24$29,610.00

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Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed employment data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics. The most recent data is from May 2017. Healthcare occupations were ranked according to hourly and annual wages.

About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert.