It’s no secret that some of the highest paying careers are in the medical field. Careers in health care offer long-term stability and growth opportunities, as well as high pay. But what, exactly, are the highest paying medical jobs?
If you’re considering a job in healthcare, it’s a good idea to review these top-paying medical careers. Income isn’t everything when it comes to choosing a role in health care. However, financial wellbeing does play an import role when you’re facing substantial medical school student loans.
Below, you’ll find a full list of the 15 highest-paying medical jobs, from highest to lowest.
15 Highest Paying Medical Jobs
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides a complete list of salary information for medical jobs in the United States. Using that data, we’ve compiled a list of the top 15 highest paying medical jobs.
- Average base salary: $267,020
- Employment: 31,060
Anesthesiologists are not only the highest-paid medical professionals; according to the BLS, they’re also the highest-paid professionals, period.
An anesthesiologist is a type of physician who administers anesthetics before, during, and after surgery or other medical procedures. As an anesthesiologist, you’ll most likely work in a physicians’ office, a hospital, or an outpatient care center.
The top cities for anesthesiologists are:
- Providence, RI
- Wichita, KS
- Honolulu, HI
- Springfield, IL
- Spartanburg, SC
The average base salary for anesthesiologists is $267,020. As of 2018, there were 31,060 anesthesiologists employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $255,110
- Employment: 34,390
Surgeons are the second-highest-paid medical professionals and the second-highest-paid workers in the United States.
A surgeon treats diseases and injuries with invasive or non-invasive surgical methods. As a surgeon, you would work in a physicians’ office, a hospital, an outpatient care center, or a university.
The top cities for surgeons are:
- Portsmouth, NH
- Manchester, NH
- Youngstown, OH
- Wausau, WI
- Norfolk, VA
The average salary for surgeons is $255,110. As of 2018, there were 34,390 surgeons employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $238,320
- Employment: 18,590
The BLS ranks obstetricians and gynecologists at the third highest-paying medical career.
Ob-Gyn includes obstetricians (doctors who care for women during pregnancy and just after labor) and gynecologists (doctors who specialize in women’s health). As an Ob-Gyn doctor, you’ll be trained in both types of medicine.
As an Ob-Gyn, you would work in a medical office or hospital, or for a university or diagnostic laboratory.
The top cities for obstetricians and gynecologists are:
- Waterbury, CT
- Toledo, OH
- Tampa, FL
- Scranton, PA
- Milwaukee, WI
The average salary for Ob/Gyn doctors is $238,320. As of 2018, there were 18,590 Ob-Gyns employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $225,760
- Employment: 5,350
Orthodontists diagnose and treat dental conditions. Unlike a dentist, an orthodontist designs and creates appliances which help realign the teeth and jaws.
As an orthodontist, you can work in a dental office, a surgical hospital, or in a medical practice.
The top cities for orthodontists in the U.S. are:
- Yakima, WA
- Tulsa, OK
- Portland, OR
- Phoenix, AZ
- Omaha, NE
The average salary for orthodontists is $225,760. As of 2018, there were 5,350 orthodontists employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $220,380
- Employment: 25,630
A psychiatrist is a type of physician who diagnoses, treats, and helps prevent disorders of the mind. Unlike a therapist or psychologist, a psychiatrist is licensed to prescribe medication.
As a psychiatrist, you would work in a psychiatric or substance abuse hospital, a physicians’ office, or an outpatient care center.
The top cities for psychiatrists in the U.S. are:
- Stockton, CA
- Sebastian, FL
- Sacramento, CA
- Riverside, CA
- Napa, CA
The average salary for psychiatrists is $220,380. As of 2018, there were 25,630 psychiatrists employed in the U.S.
6. Family and General Practitioner
- Average base salary: $211,780
- Employment: 114,130
A family and general practitioner treat and help prevent diseases and injuries that occur in the general population. They treat patients on an ongoing basis and often make referrals to specialists when needed.
As a family doctor or GP, you would work in a medical office, a hospital, or an outpatient care facility. You could also work for a university or for a government agency.
The top cities for family and general practitioners are:
- Longview, TX
- Iowa City, IA
- Hanford, CA
- Ames, IA
- Sheboygan, WI
The average salary for family and general practitioners is $211,780. As of 2018, there were 114,130 family and general practitioners employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $196,490
- Employment: 37,820
An internist is a medical doctor who diagnoses and treats illnesses and injuries that affect the internal organs. Internists mainly provide non-surgical treatments, and they offer services to adults who already have a diagnosis associated with the internal organs.
As an internist, you would work in a physicians’ office or a hospital. You could also work in a specialist hospital, an outpatient care center, or a university.
The top cities for internists are:
- Barnstable Town, MA
- Reno, NV
- Sioux Falls, SD
- Tulsa, OK
- Greenville, SC
The average salary for internists is $197,490. As of 2018, there were 37,820 internists employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $191,400
- Employment: 380
A prosthodontist creates oral prosthesis pieces to replace missing teeth and other important oral structures. This can be to repair natural or acquired deformations, and to improve oral function, speaking, or appearance.
A prosthodontist differs from an orthodontist in that a prosthodontist more commonly rebuilds dental structures. Orthodontists focus more on aligning existing teeth and jaws, while a prosthodontist may be needed to replace a tooth or provide other reconstructive therapies.
Prosthodontists typically work in dental offices.
The top locations (top cities not available) for prosthodontists are:
The average salary for prosthodontists is $191,400. In 2018, there were only 380 prosthodontists employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $183,240
- Employment: 28,490
Pediatricians are specialists who treat and help prevent illnesses and injuries in children.
As a pediatrician, you can work in a doctors’ office, a hospital, or an outpatient facility. You can also find employment at a college or university or a specialty hospital, like a children’s hospital.
The top cities for pediatricians are:
- Montgomery, AL
- Jackson, MS
- Killeen, TX
- Madison, WI
- St. Louis, MO
The average salary for a pediatrician is $183,240. In 2018, there were 28,490 pediatricians employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $180,590
- Employment: 113,000
The tenth highest paid medical job is another oral health field. In general, dentists diagnose and treat diseases and injuries of the teeth and gums. They sometimes treat nerve tissue and other dental structures that affect oral hygiene.
Dentists may fit dental appliances, but these are typically created by an orthodontist or prosthodontist. Invasive surgical replacements or reconstructions will also be performed, usually, by a prosthodontist rather than a dentist.
The top cities for dentists are:
- Amarillo, TX
- Longview, TX
- Fond du Lac, WI
- Reno, NV
- Sebring, FL
The average salary for dentists is $180,590. As of 2018, there were 113,000 dentists employed in the U.S.
11. Nurse Anesthetist
- Average base salary: $174,790
- Employment: 43,520
You don’t have to attend medical school to get one of the highest-paying medical jobs. Nurse anesthetists are registered nurses with specialized graduate education and training.
They perform many of the same tasks as anesthesiologists, including administering anesthesia before, during, and after surgery. They monitor patients’ vital signs and oversee a patient’s recovery from anesthesia.
As a nurse anesthesiologist, you can work in a hospital, physicians’ office, or for a home healthcare service.
The top cities for nurse anesthetists are:
- Akron, OH
- Columbus, GA
- Tampa, FL
- San Francisco, CA
- Vallejo, CA
The average salary for nurse anesthetists is $174,790. As of 2018, there were 43,520 nurse anesthetists employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $148,220
- Employment: 9,500
A podiatrist is a type of physician who diagnoses and treats conditions of the foot and lower limbs. They’re trained in correcting deformations, either natural or acquired, and in helping people stay active. They may treat injuries, help relieve pain, and prescribe medication for infections.
As a podiatrist, you’ll most likely work in a doctor’s office or private practice. You can also work in a hospital or an outpatient care facility.
The top cities for podiatrists are:
- Charlotte, NC
- Milwaukee, WI
- Indianapolis, IN
- Providence, RI
- Minneapolis, MN
The average salary for podiatrists is $148,220. As of 2018, there were 9,500 podiatrists employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $123,670
- Employment: 309,550
Next on the list of highest-paying medical jobs is a career that focuses on prescription medication. As a pharmacist, you would dispense medications that have been prescribed by other health practitioners. You would also provide essential information to patients about their prescription medications and how to use them.
Pharmacists work in health and personal care stores, as well as grocery stores. You might also work in a hospital as a pharmacist.
The top cities for pharmacists are:
- Tyler, TX
- Santa Cruz, CA
- Vallejo, CA
- Santa Maria, CA
- San Jose, CA
The average salary for pharmacists is $123,670. As of 2018, there were 309,550 pharmacists employed in the U.S.
- Average base salary: $119,980
- Employment: 37,220
A specialty that focuses on the human eye is next on the list of highest paying medical jobs. Optometrists diagnose and treat conditions and diseases related to the eye and visual processing systems.
They perform eye exams and diagnose conditions or impairments that might affect vision. (This specialty differs from ophthalmologists, who are considered surgeons.)
As an optometrist, you could work in an office of health practitioners or physicians, or in a health and personal care store.
The top cities for optometrists are:
- Hartford, CT
- Gulfport, TX
- Killeen, TX
- Burlington, VT
- Terre Haute, IN
The average salary for dentists is $119,980. As of 2018, there were 37,220 dentists employed in the U.S.
15. Nurse Practitioner
- Average base salary: $110,030
- Employment: 179,650
Last on the list of the top 15 highest paying medical jobs is another advanced-practice nurse position. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with advanced education and training. They perform many of the same tasks as a family or general physician.
A nurse practitioner can focus on the promotion of health and disease prevention. They can also order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests and prescribe medication.
Nurse practitioners may work independently (depending on state regulations) or as part of a greater healthcare staff. As a nurse practitioner, you’ll likely work in a hospital or physicians’ office.
The top cities for nurse practitioners are:
- New Bedford, MA
- San Francisco, CA
- Spokane, WA
- Sumter, SC
- Vallejo, CA
The average salary for nurse practitioners is $110,030. As of 2018, there were 179,650 nurse practitioners employed in the U.S.
Choosing a Career in Medicine
If you want a career with high earning potential, medicine is one of your best options. Careers in health care can be expected to stick around for the foreseeable future, which means you won’t have much trouble finding employment.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in health care are expected to grow 14% between 2018 and 2018. That’s much faster than the average occupation increase for all jobs in the United States, and it translates to about 1.9 million new medical jobs. The BLS expects healthcare careers to increase more in the coming decade than any other occupational group.
A career in medicine may require years of higher education, but the salaries listed above are evidence that all of that hard work will pay off.
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