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What are the best-paying health care jobs?

CareerBuilder | July 18, 2022

Why you should be in health care

Jobs in health care offer good pay, flexibility, and job security. Here are some characteristics of the top health care jobs and some of the best-paying health care jobs.

The health care industry offers good pay, flexibility, and job security. Health care is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States, and all signs indicate this trend will continue. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in health care occupations will increase 16% from 2020 to 2030, adding about 2.6 million new jobs. Here are some characteristics of the best health care jobs and some of the best-paying health care jobs.

Features of the best health care jobs

The best health care jobs often have a variety of appealing features, including high job satisfaction, excellent job security, and high demand for many professions. In many circumstances, people who want to work in health care can get free or discounted schooling. Many health care institutions have programs that repay some or all of employees' student loans after a certain number of years of service. Health care is a very flexible field, and you can live almost anywhere and still find a health care job.

Health care is also extremely rewarding, and many professionals in the industry get opportunities to save people's lives and help others. You can upload your resume to showcase your skills and find your own health care job faster.

The best-paying health care jobs

There are many different ways to participate in the health care industry. Here are some of the best-paying health care jobs.

Physician assistant

Physician assistants make an average of $57.45 per hour or $119,500 per year. They practice medicine with doctors, surgeons, nurses, and other health care workers. All states require a license, and most physician assistants have a master's degree.

Nurse practitioner

Nurse practitioners make an average of $56.75 per hour or $118,000 per year. They can work as primary care or specialty providers, and they perform many of the same tasks as doctors. However, in some states, they need a doctor's supervision to prescribe medication. Nurse practitioners must be licensed registered nurses and pass a national certification exam. Many of them have a master's degree.

Occupational therapist

Occupational therapists usually earn about $43.05 per hour or $89,500 per year. They help injured or ill patients recover and gain the skills needed for working and daily living. Occupational therapists must be licensed and have a master's degree from an occupational therapy program.

Speech-language pathologist

Speech-language pathologists make around $41.25 per hour or $86,000 per year. They help assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent communication and swallowing disorders. A license is usually required, and most speech-language pathologists have a master's degree.


Anesthesiologists receive an average of $159.25 per hour or $331,000 per year. They're doctors who administer anesthesia and analgesics during surgery and other medical procedures. They must complete medical school and at least four years of postgraduate residency in anesthesia, and they can work in hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, operating rooms, private doctor's offices, and universities.


A dentist makes about $39.10 per hour or $81,500 per year. They treat patients' teeth and diagnose a variety of oral conditions. Dentists who receive extra training can become oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, prosthodontists, and other specialists who earn more.

Chief Nursing Officer

A chief nursing officer (CNO) is the most important registered nurse management position in a hospital or other medical institution. CNOs earn about $40.80 per hour or $85,000 per year. They oversee procedures, ensure patient safety, and manage staff.


Pharmacists earn about $60.45 per hour or $125,500 per year. They manage pharmacies, prepare medication, advise patients, and double-check doctors' prescriptions for potential medication interactions and other problems. A pharmacist must become a doctor of pharmacy and get a pharmacy school degree.


Optometrists make an average of $60.30 per hour or $125,500 per year. They conduct eye exams, prescribe glasses, and treat other eye problems. These professionals must become doctors and graduate from optometry school.


A veterinarian is a type of doctor who treats animals instead of humans. Veterinarians usually specialize in exotic animals like the ones at zoos or pets. They earn an average of $52.85 per hour or $110,000 per year.

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists (PTs) earn about $44.70 per hour or $93,000 per year. They help manage and treat injuries and illnesses of the musculoskeletal system, and they work with patients to improve their range of motion, regain mobility, and manage pain. This position requires a bachelor's degree and attendance in a three-year physical therapy program, two years of clinical education, and a year of clinical rotations.

Many other health care jobs offer high pay as well. If you enjoy science and helping others, health care is an ideal industry. You can interact with a variety of people, solve problems, and choose to work in many different settings.

Related reading: Health care

Here's an example of a resume for a nurse.

Here's some more information about what registered nurses do.

Health care isn't just about caring for the sick. Health care has many technology jobs, too.

You may want to think about becoming a pharmacist.