5 of the Highest Paying Healthcare Jobs

5 of the Highest Paying Healthcare Jobs

Looking for a career in healthcare? Healthcare jobs are booming and hospitals and other healthcare facilities are quickly hiring to fill the growing need for healthcare professionals. 

Salaries depend on your number of years in practice, your specialty, and where in the U.S. you work. For example, a registered nurse salary in Scranton, Pennsylvania, is 4% higher than the national median; a physical therapist salary in San Antonio, Texas, is 1% higher than the national median; and a dental hygienist salary in New Haven, Connecticut, is 4% higher than the national median.

Here are five of the top paying and fastest growing healthcare jobs in the industry.

Nurse Practitioner
Average Salary: $82,313

The demand for nurse practitioners is on the rise as baby boomers move into their golden years. It’s a fast growing field with hospitals and care facilities quickly filling positions to keep up with the demand for treatment.

Projected job growth is strong, and the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics predicts that by 2022 there will be a 31 percent increase in nurse practitioner jobs. US News and World Reports states that the highest paid NPs are making six figures and that the average annual salary is around $83,000. According to PayScale, the average salary for nurse practitioners is anywhere from $64,000 to $108,700 per year.

However, most nurses won’t say they got into the nursing field for the money, but rather out of a desire to care for others. It’s a demanding job that can be physically exhausting and depending on the healthcare facility you work for, you might have to work some odd hours. Becoming a Nurse Practitioner also requires a bachelor’s degree in nursing as well as a graduate’s degree. You will also have to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and obtain any certifications for the specialty you want to practice in. But the hard work will certainly pay off and it’s a fast growing field to get into with great pay and strong projected growth.

Check out openings on Monster to find Nurse Practitioner jobs in your area.

Physical Therapist
Average Salary:

Physical therapy is another occupation benefitting from an aging population; as long as there are elderly people, physical therapists will have a job. Besides the elderly, potential clients also include those with disabilities, mobility issues, or people recovering from injuries.

Jobs are expected to increase in the coming years thanks again to the baby boomer population, and the BLS projects that by 2022 there will be a 36 percent increase in physical therapy jobs. PayScale reports that the average salary for a physical therapist is just under $65,000 per year, with reported salaries ranging from $54,600 to $90,600 per year.

Education requirements to become a physical therapist include a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and a state license. Many physical therapists go on to complete their doctorate in physical therapy as well, and according to US News and World Reports, all graduates after 2017 will be required to hold a doctorate in physical therapy. Doctorate programs generally take three years to complete and some licenses require you to complete continuing education programs to maintain your certification. Although you might be looking at years of schooling to become a physical therapist, it’s a fast growing healthcare field with job security and great pay.

Check out openings on Monster to find Physical Therapist jobs in your area.

Occupational Therapist
Average Salary:

As an occupational therapist you might work in a hospital, rehab center, school, medical office, and sometimes directly in a client’s home. Occupational therapy is different than physical therapy in that you generally work with clients of any age who have physical, mental, emotional, or developmental issues. Your main goal is to help them better perform daily tasks so that they may lead more independent lives.

Occupational therapy is another job that is in high demand due to the growing elderly population, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics states that between 2012 and 2022, there will be an additional 32,800 jobs added to the current 105,540. It was even ranked as one of the best jobs of 2014 by US News and World Report. PayScale reports that the average salary for occupational therapists is $60,000 per year, with a reported annual salary range of $49,600 to $91,000. The BLS also reports that the top ten percent of occupational therapists in the field make over $100,000 per year.

Educational requirements include a master’s degree in occupational therapy from an accredited institution. Once you obtain a master’s degree from a school approved by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education, you will have to pass a national certifying exam. US News and World Reports states that while many of the programs require a full time commitment, more schools are starting to offer part-time and weekend programs.

Check out openings on Monster to find Occupational Therapist jobs in your area.

Registered Nurse
Average Salary:

Registered nurses make up around 2.6 million workers in the healthcare field, according to US News and World Report. As an RN you will be able to work in a range of healthcare facilities, emergency rooms, and schools depending on what area you decide to specialize in. 

The BLS cites a predicted 19.4 percent job growth – nearly 527,000 additional registered nursing jobs – by 2022 thanks to the growing elderly population and a number of Americans who will now have health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. PayScale reports the average salary for a registered nurse is $55,754 with a reported range of $42,300 to $81,700 per year.

To become a registered nurse you must hold at least an associate’s degree in nursing or a Bachelors of Science in nursing. While an associate’s degree will get you an entry-level position, more RNs are entering the field with bachelor’s degrees. As with most healthcare positions, you will also need to pass a national exam called the National Council Licensure Examination. Some other requirements may vary depending on the state in which you plan to practice.

Check out openings on Monster to find Registered Nurse jobs in your area.

Dental Hygienist
Average Salary: $50,808

As a dental hygienist, you will work alongside a dentist to help administer dental care to patients by performing routine cleanings, preparing patient’s for x-rays, administering anesthesia for oral surgery, and other administrative tasks. The field of dental hygiene is experiencing rapid job growth and it’s a great entry level healthcare job to launch your career.

The BLS predicts that jobs will grow 33 percent by 2022, with 64,200 jobs added onto the existing 192,800. According to PayScale, the average salary for a dental hygienist is $50,808 per year with a reported annual salary range of $43,647 to $86,859.

In order to become a dental hygienist you will need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. However, a number of dental hygienists are entering the field with bachelors and masters degrees to help their job prospects. You will also need to pass a licensing exam in the state you plan to work. The US News and World Reports states that it will also be helpful to complete an internship in a dentist’s office to gain experience in the field.

Check out openings on Monster to find Dental Hygienist jobs in your area.