10 Highest Paying Medical & Healthcare Jobs 2024 (Inc Salaries)

Stephen Ramotowski
May 24, 2024 · 12 min read

Discover the highest paying medical and healthcare jobs in 2024, from a pharmacist to a medical doctor, this article discusses it all. Read more!

Explore the highest-paying medical jobs in 2024, including their job description, credentials and requirements, and expected earnings. Discover everything you need to know to jumpstart your healthcare career here.

Good healthcare is a basic human need. This alone is enough reason for understanding why healthcare careers are in demand. .

As if that’s not enough, the recent COVID-19 pandemic put the spotlight on the need for a better healthcare system and a higher demand for more healthcare professionals.

Because of this, the healthcare sector is projected to have about 1.8 million job openings every year until 2032.

That’s not all. Out of the 20 fastest-growing occupations in the U.S., 8 professions belong in the medical field.

With these, we can say that this industry is an excellent option for anyone who wants a stable and secure job, a competitive salary, and a chance to make a difference in other people's lives.

That said, here are some of the highest paying medical jobs in 2024 that you should check out.

Top 10 Highest Paying Medical & Healthcare Jobs 2024 (Inc Salaries)

1. Medical Doctor

A medical doctor is a general term that refers to any doctor who attended a medical school and has a medical degree.

These public health care providers have undergone years of training, education, and clinical experience to diagnose, and treat different health conditions, and provide primary care for patients.

A few of their duties include:

  • Diagnosing medical conditions by conducting physical examinations and requesting medical tests

  • Formulating treatment plans according to their patient's age, medical history, and symptoms

  • Clearly explaining the details of the diseases to patients

  • Educating patients about potential treatments, the risks and side effects, and expected outcomes

Keep in mind that the responsibilities will vary based on your choice of specialty or subspecialty.

Educational Requirements and Credentials

Due to their extensive training and education, a medical doctor is among the highest-paying medical jobs in the healthcare industry.

However, it also has the most prolonged and complicated pathway. Here are the steps you need to take to become one:

  • Take a pre-med bachelor’s program.

  • Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

  • Enroll in a medical school.

  • Successfully complete the first two parts of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).

  • Complete your residency program based on your choice of specialization.

  • Pass the last part of USMLE to secure your medical license.

Potential Earnings

The salary of a medical director may vary depending on specialty. As per the data from Glassdoor, here are the highest-paying specialties’ average potential earnings per year:

2. Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a medical health professionals specializing in diagnosing, treating, and caring for lower legs, ankles, and feet.

Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for injuries and potential complications from chronic health issues.

Their responsibilities include:

  • Ordering and requesting diagnostic tests for feet and ankles

  • Recommending medical and mobility aid devices like braces, casts, and orthotics

  • Providing preventive foot care information

Educational Requirements and Credentials

You can become a podiatrist by:

  • Obtaining a Bachelor’s degree majoring in sciences and other pre-med programs.

  • Pass the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

  • Get a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree.

  • Complete a 2-3 year post-graduate residency training.

Potential Earnings

Podiatrists make an average salary of USD 232,000 yearly.

3. Dentist

A dentist is an oral health professional specializing in diagnosing, treating, and preventing teeth and gum disorders.

Beyond just promoting good oral hygiene, they also provide a wide range of dental services like bite correction, tooth extraction, gum surgeries, and other aesthetic and cosmetic procedures.

Some of their daily tasks include:

  • Diagnosing teeth and gum issues through different imaging and medical tests

  • Administering anesthetics for surgery

  • Prescribing medications to prevent infection and alleviate inflammation

Educational Requirements and Credentials

To become a dentist, you need to take the following steps:

  • Earn a bachelor’s degree in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and other pre-medical programs.

  • Gain experience by working as a dental hygienist.

  • Pass the Dental Admissions Test (DAT).

  • Obtain a Dental Surgery (D.S.) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DDM) degree.

Suppose you want to specialize in a particular dental niche. In that case, you must complete about 2 to 3 years of residency program.

Potential Earnings

The average salary for dentists is around USD 210,000 per year.

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4. Optometrist

An optometrist conducts vision tests and eye exams to detect vision issues, injury signs, and other eye diseases.

They are also responsible for assessing eye health and prescribing contact lenses and specs. However, they don't perform eye surgeries, which is the job of an ophthalmologist.

An optometrist is also responsible for:

  • Monitoring disease-related eye conditions.

  • Offering pre-operative and postoperative care to patients

  • Educating patients about their surgical and non-surgical options

Even though an optometrist is a doctor, they don't attend medical school because they have their own professional program.

Educational Requirements and Credentials

Below are the steps you need to become an optometrist:

  • Pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology or other medical-related field.

  • Successfully complete the Optometry Admission Test (OAT).

  • Attain a Doctor of Optometry (O.D.) degree after a 4-year program.

  • Complete a residency program.

  • Pass all parts of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry, then earn relevant certifications.

Potential Earnings

Optometrists make an average annual wage of USD 135,000.

5. Pharmacist

A pharmacist ensures patients can make the most out of their medications. They don't just dispense prescription medications to patients but also educate them about drug use, potential side effects, and possible drug-drug interactions.

Their other responsibilities include:

  • Preventing medication errors

  • Recommending over-the-counter medications based on patients’ symptoms

  • Maintaining and supervising the medicine supply chain

Educational Requirements and Credentials

To get high-paying pharmacist jobs, you need to:

  • Get a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, biology, biological sciences, or a pre-pharmacy program if the university has one.

  • Gain practical experience by working as a pharmacy tech or assistant.

  • Pass the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT).

  • Earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD ) degree.

  • Pass the North American Pharmacy Licensure Examination (NAPLEX) from the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).

Potential Earnings

A registered pharmacist earns an average median wage of about USD 123,000, making it one of the highest-paying healthcare jobs in Nigeria and the U.S.

6. Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN)

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse is the general term for registered nurses who have attained a higher level of education (master’s or doctoral degree) that has equipped them with the advanced skills and knowledge needed to transition to more advanced nursing and healthcare roles.

APRNs are categorized based on their specialty, and these include:

  • Nurse Practitioner (NP): With their advanced training and education, NPs have more autonomy than RNs and share almost the same responsibilities as doctors, like ordering diagnostic tests and prescribing medications.

  • Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM): CNMs have specialized training in providing care and support to women during preconception, pregnancy, and childbirth. They may also offer postpartum and newborn assistance as well.

  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS): CNSs carry out the same duties as registered nurses plus more. In addition to being an expert clinician, they also play the roles of an educator to other nursing staff, researchers, and consultants for the hospital administration.  

  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA): CRNAs work with physicians and surgeons during surgeries by providing anesthesia and anesthesia-related patient care.

Educational Requirements and Credentials

Here are the steps you need to take to become an APRN:

  • Obtain an MSN or DNP degree.

  • Pursue a state nursing license.

  • Complete the necessary clinical hours (may vary depending on your specialty).

  • Pass a national certification exam from a specialty-specific accredited organization.

Potential Earnings

The average annual salary varies depending on the Advanced Practice Registered Nurse type. According to Glassdoor, the potential earnings are as follows:

best paying medical and healthcare careers

7. Cardiovascular Technologist

A cardiovascular technologist is a medical sonographer who works with and assists medical doctors in identifying and diagnosing different cardiovascular disorders.

They use specialized and sensitive medical equipment to perform cardiovascular tests, such as electrocardiograms, stress tests, and many more.

Their day-to-day duties include:

  • Operating and maintaining specialized cardiovascular equipment

  • Preparing the patient for the procedure

  • Discussing what to expect from a procedure and its potential risks to patients

Educational Requirements and Credentials

Becoming a cardiovascular technologist requires the following:

  • An associate or bachelor’s degree in sonography and cardiovascular technology

  • A Cardiographic Technician certification by passing the examination from the Cardiovascular Credentialing International.

  • Other basic certifications include Basic Life Support and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation.

Potential Earnings

Diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists can earn an average salary of USD 106,500 every year.

8. Medical and Health Services Manager

Also called Healthcare Administrators, Medical and Health Services Managers are responsible for planning, optimizing, and coordinating a medical facility's day-to-day operations and systems.

Their main goal is to ensure that the facility will run as smoothly and efficiently as possible, delivering the highest quality of patient care in the safest and most cost-effective way possible.

Their daily jobs typically consist of:

  • Employee hiring, training, and screening

  • Ensuring that the operations are carried out in accordance with state and national laws

  • Maintaining facility service records and proper health care budgets

Due to the unique nature of their responsibilities, healthcare managers work in medical offices rather than wards or clinics, so they don't directly interact with patients. 

Educational Requirements and Credentials

The steps to becoming a health and service manager include:

  • Getting a bachelor’s degree in business administration, nursing, or nursing administration

  • Gain administrative work experience

  • Fulfill licensure requirements and get the necessary specialty certifications

While it’s not necessary, pursuing a higher education is recommended. For example, an MBA degree can help you cultivate the leadership, management, and administrative skills you need to be a great healthcare administrator.

Potential Earnings

Medical and health services managers have an annual median wage of USD 101,000.

9. Physician Assistant/ Associate

A physician assistant or associate works interdependently with physicians in diagnosing and treating patients. These professionals are tasked to practice medicine but under the direct supervision of a licensed medical doctor.  

Their specific responsibilities would vary depending on the discretion of the supervising physician or laws of the state, but it generally includes:

  • Collecting medical history and performing physical examination

  • Requesting and interpreting diagnostic tests

  • Formulating and monitoring treatment plans

  • Providing patient counseling

Educational Requirements and Credentials

The pathway to being a Physician Assistant includes:

  • Obtaining a Bachelor's degree, majoring in any sciences or pre-PA degrees

  • Graduating from an ARC-PA accredited physician assistant program

  • Passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) to become Physician Assistant-Certified (PA-C).

Potential Earnings

A Physician Associate or Assistant earns an average salary of USD 100,000 annually.

10. Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist is an oral health professional who works with dentists in maintaining good oral health through routine cleaning. They are also responsible for educating patients on proper oral health care.

Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Conducting oral health checks to examine the condition of teeth and gums

  • Taking medical history

  • Performing and interpreting dental x-rays

  • Assisting the dentists in performing complicated surgical procedures

Educational Requirements and Credentials

To be a dental hygienist, you must:

  • Graduate from an accredited dental hygiene program

  • Successfully take a state jurisprudence and ethics examination

  • Complete a state or regional clinical examination

  • Pass the written National Dental Hygiene Board exam

Potential Earnings

According to data, a dental hygienist has the potential to earn an average wage of USD 99 576 per year.

In addition to these professions, other healthcare field jobs that offer competitive pay include Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Radiation Therapist.


Conclusion

Medical and healthcare are the most stable sectors, and they will continue to become more in demand in the many years to come. However, all these benefits come with one disadvantage—it’s a highly competitive field.

Because of this, you must take all the necessary programs and certifications to ensure your resume will stand out.

Aside from doctorate degrees and specialty-related certifications, a business administration degree in your resume will show future employers that you have the right skills and knowledge to take on management and administrative roles. 

Fortunately, Nexford offers an online MBA and BBA degree to help healthcare professionals earn the necessary credentials despite their hectic schedules.


FAQs

What are the types of medical specialties?

Earning an M.D. degree is a massive part of the journey, but it's not the final destination. After getting that degree, the next step is to decide which medical specialties they should pursue. Here are the different types to choose from:

  • Allergy and Immunology

  • Anesthesiology

  • Dermatology

  • Emergency Medicine

  • Family Medicine

  • Internal Medicine

  • Genetics and Genomics

  • Nuclear Medicine

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

  • Ophthalmology

  • Otolaryngology

  • Pathology

  • Pediatrics

  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

  • Preventive Medicine

  • Psychiatry and Neurology

  • Radiology

  • Surgery

  • Urology

Some of these medical specialties have subspecialties you can attain through fellowship programs.

What is the highest-paying medical job in 2024?

Being an anesthesiologist will be the highest-paying medical job in 2024. Data shows that anesthesiologists can earn a yearly wage of as low as USD 239,000 to as high as USD 445,000, with an average annual salary of around USD 270,000 per year.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which healthcare jobs are projected to have the highest growth in 2024?

As per BLS' list of fastest-growing occupations, nurse practitioners will have the highest growth rate in 2024.

The said profession is projected to grow by 45% by 2032. 

Is medical healthcare a good career path?

Yes, a career in medicine and healthcare is rewarding for plenty of reasons, including:

  • Job stability and security (BLS states that healthcare employment is projected to grow faster than almost all jobs in the next decade.)

  • Opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives and health of others

  • Competitive salary (According to U.S. News, healthcare jobs are listed as the best-paying jobs in the U.S.)

What skills or expertise are required for high-paying medical and healthcare jobs?

You need a blend of technical and soft skills to land any of these positions.

The technical skills you must develop include clinical skills and reasoning, procedural techniques, delegation and prioritization knowledge, good bedside manner, in-depth knowledge about medical principles, and analytical skills.

On the other hand, the required soft skills include collaboration, communication, empathy, stress management, patience, and adaptability.

Find out if you have the right skills to maintain a lucrative healthcare and medical career. Download our free report today!

What qualifications are required for high-paying medical and healthcare jobs?

The basic qualifications for all healthcare and medical jobs are:

  • A Bachelor's of Science in sciences or any pre-medical course

  • A degree in business administration (for healthcare administrators)

  • A specialty-related certification by passing examinations from the appropriate boards or committees.

  • Years of clinical experience, which may vary depending on your chosen profession.

To get the best paying jobs in healthcare, you may also need the following:

  • Specialty certifications

  • Advanced training or doctorate degrees

  • An MBA or BBA degree, especially for administration positions 

Why is it beneficial for a medical specialist to gain a BBA/MBA degree?

An online MBA or BBA degree will equip you with the skills and know-how to navigate the business side of the healthcare industry.

These degrees provide doctors and allied medical health professionals with all the business and communication skills they need to transition from clinical work into administrative, policymaking, and leadership roles.

Not only that, but these will also give you the business know-how you need to open, expand, and maintain a private practice.


Find out if you have the right skills to maintain a lucrative healthcare and medical career. Download our free report today!

About the author
Stephen Ramotowski
Stephen Ramotowski

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