The medical field features plentiful advances in technology, demand for its services and many opportunities for employment. Below, we feature the best paying medical jobs for those seeking a career in medicine. The careers you will see here all have a median annual salary bigger than $80,000. For the data and other information, we used primarily the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and sprinkled in a listing from PayScale.
10. Occupational Therapist
Occupational therapy offers strong five-figure average due to the education and skills needed. Most hold a master’s degree, with some achieving the doctorate level. Nursing homes, hospitals and private occupational therapy practices and providers employ large numbers of occupational therapists.
What does an occupational therapist do: The role of an occupational therapist involves helping patients with disabilities, strokes, and arthritis perform the daily activities of life, such as eating, dressing, and grooming. Patients may receive from occupational therapists instructions on using wheelchairs, braces and other devices that allow adaptation to various environments.
What annual salary an occupational therapist has: On a mean basis, the yearly salary reaches $84,640 for occupational therapists. While those in the top one-tenth of earners see pay above $120,440 per year.
9. Physical Therapist
Not only do physical therapists rank among the holders of the best paying medical jobs, they also are among fastest growing in medicine. By 2026, employment of these professionals could grow by 28 percent, or 67,100. This results from the high demand for rehabilitation services as people age and encounter injuries such as automobile crashes or work-related accidents.
What does a physical therapist do: Among the tasks of a physical therapist include leading patients in exercises and instructing them on bends, lifts, sitting and other movements. Physical therapists may educate patients on how to use wheelchairs, walkers, canes or other assistive devices. The type of therapy offered may differ by the patient’s underlying condition that necessitates the therapy.
What annual salary a physical therapist has: The median salary for this position stands at $88,080 per year. At the 90th percentile level, a physical therapist can expect to make over $122,650.
8. Medical Scientist
Many of the developments in diagnosis and treatment of injury and disease come from the work of medical scientists. These professionals make the list of best paying medical jobs because pay exceeds $80,000 per year. Becoming a medical scientist typically requires a doctorate degree. Some may enter a program such as a medical school or dental school to have a combined degree in medical science and medicine or dentistry.
What does a medical scientist do: To learn about the causes of diseases and effectiveness of the remedies, medical scientists design studies, conduct trials and test sample pharmaceuticals and devices. They study specimens and other materials to identify the source of diseases. Standard doses, delivery methods and strength of medicines come from medical scientists so that drug makers can mass produce them.
What annual salary a medical scientist has: The mean medical scientist salary rests at $96,070 per year, with the highest ten percent of earnings rising above $160,520.
A physician assistant performs many services once held within the exclusive province of licensed physicians. The physician assistant’s role has become quite prominent, as the employment of these professionals should rise by 37%, or 39,600 by 2026. The United States had 106,200 such professionals in 2016. Rural and other areas with sparse numbers of physicians may have more physician assistants.
What does a physician assistant do: Physician assistants can examine patients and diagnose and treat certain conditions. These may include administration of regular vaccinations, prescribing pharmaceuticals, setting fractures and closing wounds. Educating patients and their families on health questions is also part of the job.
What annual salary a physician assistant has: The median pay for a physician assistant is $104,760 per year. At the 90th percentile, pay rises above $146,260 annually.
Next on our best paying medical jobs list, we have the nurse practitioner. This professional along with nurse anesthetists and nurse midwives hold the best paying nursing jobs because of the responsibilities they assume above registered nurses. To enter this level of nursing this professional needs a master’s degree. Some advanced practice nurses may even earn doctorate degrees. With an expected employment growth rate of 31 percent by 2026, opportunities may abound for these practicing nurses.
What do nurse practitioners do: Nurse practitioners suggest solutions and healthy strategies to patients based on assessments. They also take care of patients while they are in the hospital. Licensing laws may limit or otherwise shape the scope of practice.
What annual salary do nurse practitioners have: For a nurse practitioner, the mean salary stands at $107,480 each year.
5. Medical and Health Service Manager
The administration of hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics can result in high pay due to the combination of business skills and medical knowledge. Some of these managers may come from the ranks of registered nurses. Employers may accept those with majors in business administration, nursing, public health administration and health management.
What does a medical and health service manager do: Finding, training and assigning staff represents one of the major types of tasks. Within the medical and health service manager job description also lie oversight of insurance and patient billing, maintenance of facility and patient records and setting goals for departments or the nursing.
What Annual Salary a Medical and Health Service Manager Has: These managers fetch on a yearly basis around $111,680. The highest ten percent of earners see annual pay exceed $176,130.
An optometrist follows a four-year track of post-graduate education in an optometry program, completes a one-year residency program and may enter a specialty, such as ocular disease, rehabilitation or pediatric optometry. The requirement of an optometrist license and the opportunity for self-employment also help put these professionals on our list.
What does an optometrist do: Optometrists practice chiefly within offices, testing patients’ vision, evaluating results and diagnosing conditions such as farsightedness, nearsightedness, and glaucoma. Their exams may detect other conditions, such as diabetes, for which other medical professionals would receive referrals. Also, part of their job description is to counsel, to offer vision treatments, prescription of glasses, and some minor eye surgeries.
What annual salary an optometrist has: The annual optometrist earnings rest at $119,100. The 90th percentile pay of $190,090 places optometrists on the roster of best paying medical jobs.
Pharmacists have a number of choices for employment, such as neighborhood pharmacies, retail chains, and medical facilities. Generally, pay does not span broadly across the industries or settings in which pharmacists practice.
What does a pharmacist do: In community settings, the pharmacist fills the prescription from the ordering physician. They contact physicians to verify the type, dosage, and frequency of the prescription and with insurance companies on coverage or authorization issues. Hospital or other clinical pharmacists supervise the administration of drugs to patients and otherwise participate directly in patient treatment. Duties also include advising patients on instructions for taking the medicine and potential side effects.
What annual salary a pharmacist has: Pharmacists earn on a yearly basis a median salary of $121,710.
2. Medical Science Liaison
The position combines elements of science, medicine, public relations and marketing. Liaisons must have the knowledge, credibility and interpersonal skills to bridge makers of medical devices and pharmaceuticals or health products with others in the medical community. Some may work for companies that manage health care.
What does a medical science liaison do: Physicians, hospitals, pharmacists and others delivering healthcare get interpretations of data and test results from medical science liaisons. These professionals may oversee or establish tests and train sales representatives in the finer points of the pharmaceuticals, devices or other medical and health products.
What annual salary a medical liaison has: According to PayScale, the mean registers at $126,301 per year. While with bonuses and profit sharing, earnings can range from $72,525 to $164,110.
A list of the best paying medical jobs is bound to include those at the heart of the field — the doctors. Given the number of specialties, the pay for physicians can vary widely. For some specialists, earnings can significantly eclipse the national mean for physicians overall.
What does a physician do: While the procedures depend on the field of medicine, physicians in general gather information on symptoms or events that lead to illness or injuries, examine, diagnose and treat patients. The physician must consult medical histories and vitals to know the patients’ allergies and whether past problems contribute to present ailments or other conditions.
What annual salary a physician has: Physicians earn a median salary of $211,390 every year.
These best paying medical jobs are but a sample of the many opportunities if you wish to help improve the health of your fellow people. The physician, with its many specialties, is one of the best paid medical jobs in the field. Let us know your experience or whether you have other jobs to suggest.