Top 10 Highest Paid Careers in Healthcare

This is a list of the top ten highest paid medical careers according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Not only do all of the top ten careers require a doctorate degree, they are also specialists in their field. This means these careers require additional education and training in addition to their doctorate degree. However, the education and effort can pay off. Each of the top 10 highest paid medical careers earn over $200,000 a year, with the top two toping over $400,000. Each of these top ten highest paid healthcare careers fall broadly under three categories: surgeons, physicians, and dentistry.

top 10 medical careers in healthcare

  1. Anesthesiologist: $453,687
    An anesthesiologist is responsible to sedate a patient or numb parts of a patient’s body so that a surgery can be virtually painless. They also monitor the patient before, during, and after anesthesia and watch for adverse reactions or complications. Learn how to become an anesthesiologist.
  2. General Surgeon: $409,665
    A surgeon is a doctor that specializes particularly in surgery. There use operative measures to treat disease, injury, or repair/remove body tissues, bones, or organs. Their primary responsibility is performing surgical procedures or operations on some part of the human body or on an animal. Learn how to become a surgeon.
  3. Obstetrician/Gynecologist: $330,696
    An obstetrician is a medical doctor that focuses primary on pregnancy and the birthing of infants. They often times are confused with a gynecologist because they also provide medical care to females; however the primary difference is an obstetrician can perform surgery and their primary focus is on labor and delivery whereas gynecologists specialize in illness, injuries, or diseases of the female reproductive system such as breast and hormonal problems, urinary tract and pelvic disorders, and cancer of the cervix. Those that specialize in both are called an OB/GYN doctor. Learn how to become an obstetrician or a gynecologist.
  4. Psychiatrist: $255,543
    Though psychologists and psychiatrists may collaborate to help patients, a psychiatrist is the only one able to write prescriptions and have attended medical school. Learn how to become a psychiatrist.
  5. Internal Medicine: $247,319
    Internal medicine is a medical discipline that concentrates on the care of adults. Many internists work as primary care providers for their patients and only refer them to specialist doctors if it is necessary. Learn how to become an internist.
  6. Pediatrician: $231,637
    As defined by The American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics is a branch of medical sciences which deals with the medical care of people below 21 years. Learn how to become a pediatrician.
  7. Family Medicine (without Obstetrics): $230,456
  8. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons: $208,000 or more
    Oral and maxillofacial surgeons perform operations and procedures on the tissues of the mouth and maxillofacial region of the head to treat diseases, injuries, or defects. They diagnose and may perform surgery to improve function or appearance for their patients. Learn how to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
  9. Orthodontist: $208,000 or more
    Orthodontists study each patient’s mouth and jaw using dental and medical histories, X-rays, and plaster models of the teeth. Then they treat abnormalities in how the upper and lower teeth fit together. Learn how to become an orthodontist.
  10. Dentists, all other specialists: $173,000 or more
    Dentists that specialize in a field of dentistry can earn more than a general dentist. Currently there are nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. These specialties include pediatric dentistry, periodontics, prosthodontics, and oral and maxillofacial radiology to name a few.

Just because a career pays well, doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have job satisfaction! When considering what career you may be interested in, do some research on what a typical day looks like and consider if you’ll really love it! You’ll also want to research the growth rate of the career to be sure there will be jobs available after you graduate. The good news in, the healthcare field is one of the fastest growing industries and the careers tend to have a higher than average occupational growth rate.

Article Citations

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physicians and Surgeons and Dentists (visited March 25, 2018).