Top Paying Healthcare Jobs and Careers
1. Audiology: Audiology professionals help people who have ear defects, diseases and injuries that lead to hearing loss, balance problems and related difficulties. Earning a bachelor’s degree in this field can qualify you as an audiology technician, while becoming an audiologist requires a master's or doctorate.
Average Annual Salary, Audiologist: $40,360 - $98,880*
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2. Nursing: Registered nurses (RNs) perform the bulk of day-to-day nursing duties, from evaluating patients to providing front-line care. To become an RN you must earn at least an associate’s degree in nursing and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). Those who plan to elevate their careers into administration or advanced nursing practice often complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program.
Average Annual Salary, Registered Nurse: $43,410 - $92,240*
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3. Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapists help patients with injuries, diseases or age-related problems recover or improve their everyday living and working abilities. A Master of Science (MS) in Occupational Therapy is required to practice this profession.
Average Annual Salary, Occupational Therapist: $42,820 - $98,310*
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4. Pharmacy: There are two levels of pharmacy work: pharmacy technicians and pharmacists. Pharmacy technicians typically earn pharmacy certificates or associate’s degrees in pharmacy. If you want to become a pharmacist, you will need to first earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a related field – such as biology or chemistry – and then complete a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree program.
Average Annual Salary, Pharmacist: $77,390 - $131,440*
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5. Physical Therapy: Like occupational therapists, physical therapists treat patients with injuries, diseases or age-related problems. Their goal is usually to help those patients recover normal or close-to-normal use of a damaged physical ability. A Master of Science (MS) in Physical Therapy is required to practice this profession.
Average Annual Salary, Physical Therapist: $50,350 - $104,350*
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6. Physician Assistant: Physician assistants (PAs) provide diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic healthcare services as delegated by a medical doctor (MD). They are sometimes the principal care providers in small rural or inner-city clinics where the availability of MDs is limited. PA programs typically take at least two years to complete and require previous healthcare experience, a college degree, or both to enroll.
Average Annual Salary, Physician Assistant: $51,360 - $110,240*
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7. Radiologic Technology: Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The education requirements can be met at the certificate, associate's degree or bachelor’s degree level; those with more education typically have access to better positions and higher salaries.
Average Annual Salary, Radiologic Technologist: $35,100 - $74,970*
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*All salary data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-2011 Edition