7 of the Highest Paying Healthcare Careers

Updated on July 10, 2020

Healthcare is one of the most stimulating and rewarding professions out there.

But it’s challenging too! Physically, mentally, and emotionally, working in the service of other peoples’ wellbeing can take its toll. Thankfully, there’s a gratifying number of high-paying healthcare professions that make it worth your while financially.

Indeed, the median salary for healthcare practitioners was $68,190 last year. That’s close to double the national average! And the highest paying healthcare careers earn far more.

That’s good news for aspiring healthcare professionals. After all, those high salaries may help justify the years of training it can take to qualify and the high-stakes, high-stress work you end up doing every day thereafter.

Are you considering a job in healthcare and want to learn more about the positions that pay best? Keep reading to discover 7 of the highest paying health jobs available today.

1. Surgeons

If you’re looking to earn mega-bucks in health care, then surgery is arguably the best way to go. They’re the top paying hospital jobs available by a long way.

Some neurosurgeons, for instance, can earn seven figures every year! You don’t have to cut into peoples’ brains to earn sizeable sums of money as a surgeon though. People in every discipline of surgery can expect to generate six-figure salaries with ease.

Of course, these high paying roles aren’t for the faint of heart! You get paid so much money because of the expertise required to do the role. Throw in the decade of education, on-the-job-training, and potential fellowships that it takes to qualify, and you’re looking at a profession that earns every dollar of their impressive salaries.

It’s worth remembering the investment involved here, too, though. Most surgeons (and all physicians, for that matter) are forced to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt in order to qualify.

2. Cardiologists

All physicians enjoy high salaries in healthcare.

But some get paid more than others! And cardiologists are renowned as some of the best-paid in America.

Like surgeons, that’s largely to do with the heavy responsibility and expertise required to be proficient in this role. You’d be spending your days assessing the health of patients’ hearts and cardiovascular functioning; running tests and using patient-centered strategies to improve ailing hearts.

Want even more money and the responsibility that inevitably comes with it? You could consider working in invasive cardiology. These guys use invasive surgery to diagnose and treat heart problems!

Needless it say, it’s another high-stress position. But you’d be rewarded with around half a million dollars each year for your trouble.

3. Radiologists

Radiologists are tasked with reading and interpreting patient x-rays.

Imagine somebody coming into the hospital with a suspected tumor, a broken bone, or any other inner physical issue. They get their x-ray, ultrasound, or CT scan, and the results get sent off to the radiographer. It’s then up to them to decipher the scan(s), identify/confirm any problems, and suggest the recommended course of action as a result.

Some radiologists specialize in certain types of radiation screening and even perform interventional roles as well. If you’ve got a keen eye for detail and don’t mind making life or death decisions, then radiology could be the right position for you! Expect salaries upwards of $400,000 if you went into it.

4. Advanced Practice Nurses

Unfortunately, unlike other roles on this list, nurses don’t always enjoy the same reputation for earning high-salaries. Advanced practice nurses, by contrast, can earn sizeable sums of money.

Advanced practice nurses enjoy various titles, such as ‘clinical nurse specialist’ and ‘Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist’, for example. Whatever the title, though, these healthcare leadership roles are usually reserved for nurses of the highest ability.

Depending on the amount of experience you have and the specific role you’re in, you could bring home $150,000 or more per annum.

5. Dermatologist

Dermatologists are fully-qualified doctors who chose to specialize in skin conditions.

They’re trained to examine, test, diagnose, and treat all manner of skin-related issues. Patients could be struggling with acne or allergies, eczema, or skin cancer, but you, as their dermatologist, would be in charge of their treatment.

Being a good dermatologist requires strong communication skills, attention to detail, and, of course, the highest levels of medical knowledge to boot. To get there, expect years of education, internships, and specialized on-the-job training in order to qualify.

Once you’re finished, though, you can expect to bring home six figures per year.

6. Emergency Doctors

No prizes for guessing what these physicians do!

Someone that works in this role is tasked with the unenviable job of handling medical emergencies. A patient will be rushed into ED in need of desperate, life-saving care. It would be up to you and your team to respond appropriately, stabilize their condition, and help them recover.

Needless to say, this is another position with immense responsibility. Peoples’ lives are in your hands every day. You’d have to be comfortable in stressful situations, think clearly under pressure, and have vast levels of medical knowledge to draw upon in an instant.

This is fast-paced medical work dealing with the most serious injuries and illnesses. If you’re up to the challenge, you could be paid around $345,000 per year for your irreplaceable skillset.

7. Dentists

We don’t need to tell you what dentists do for a living!

This is one position with which almost everybody’s already familiar. These healthcare professionals are, of course, responsible for the oral health of their patients. As a dentist, it would be your job to work in a preventative and curative role – cleaning, diagnosing, and treating gum and teeth problems.

A key part of your role would also be around oral health education. Having assessed someone’s oral health, you may offer advice on how to take better care of their teeth.

With a doctoral or professional degree to your name, you could expect upwards of $150,000 per year.

Apply for the Highest Paying Healthcare Careers

Healthcare professionals work long hours in challenging environments. Thankfully, they’re often paid highly enough to reward all the training and hard work that’s required to do them!

Hopefully, this post has highlighted the highest paying healthcare careers. Keep them in mind when deciding which job role in this industry is right for you.

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The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.