What Are the Highest Paying Health Professions?

Are you interested in working in the healthcare field? For the most part, specializing in a field will help you earn the highest salary. Keep reading to learn what health professions will net you the most income. Schools offering Allied Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Health Professions with the Highest Earnings

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), in 2014 the top ten highest paying professions were in the healthcare industry (www.bls.gov). These included orthodontists, surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, internists and anesthesiologists.

Important Facts About the Highest Paying Health Professions

Orthodontists Surgeons Anesthesiologists
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 18% growth 20% growth 21% growth
Required Education Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM), or Doctor of Medical Dentistry (DMD) degree Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree Medical Doctor (M.D.) degree
Key Skills Patience; problem solving; physical endurance; manual dexterity Manual dexterity; patience; physical endurance; leadership Patience; attention to detail; observation; coordination
Similar Occupations Dental hygienists; physicians; surgeons Physicians assistants; dentists; nurse practitioners Nurse anesthetists; physicians assistants; registered nurses

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Orthodontists

Orthodontists treat deformities and issues within the mouth, teeth and jaws. In this profession, you may use braces to help align patients' teeth or help patients with misaligned jaws.

In this largest dental specialty group, the BLS reported an average annual salary of $201,030 as of May 2014. Offices of other health practitioners were the top-paying employer with an average annual salary of $231,240.

Surgeons

Surgeons perform procedures on patients to treat deformities, diseases and injuries. In this career, you are the team leader during surgery and must coordinate the efforts of anesthesiologists and nurses. Within this field, there are a range of specialties focusing on specific areas of the body or certain types of medical conditions.

According to the BLS, surgeons are the top earners in the healthcare field. The annual mean salary reported by the BLS in May 2014 for surgeons was $240,440. The highest paying employer were state governments, paying their surgeons a mean annual salary greater than $247,900.

Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Using advanced medical technology and skill, as an obstetrician or gynecologist, you'll work in women's health. You may administer routine annual tests and examinations to monitor women's health issues in patients or you may examine women who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant or who have just had a baby. It may be your job to predict and prevent possible complications that may arise during pregnancy. You may also work with women who have cancer of the female reproductive organs.

The BLS reported the mean annual salary for this field was $214,750 as of May 2014. The average hourly wage was $103.25. Specialty hospitals were the highest paying employers with an average annual salary of $226,450.

Internists

In this field, you focus on treating issues with the internal organs; this is not a surgical field, though. The treatments you provide are non-invasive, and this category includes specialties such as cardiologists.

The BLS reported the annual average salary for internists as $191,520, as of May 2012. The top-paying industry in this field were specialty hospitals with an annual mean wage of $210,450.

Anesthesiologists

As an anesthesiologist, you administer the medication that helps patients fall asleep, relax and not feel pain during surgical or other invasive procedures.

The BLS reported as of May 2014 the average annual salary for this field was $190,530. Medical and diagnostic laboratories were the highest paying employer with an average annual salary of $251,760.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. Next »