Find out which healthcare careers offer the highest salaries.
Advanced practice nurses earn from $80,000 to $150,000 annually, on average, depending on the type of nursing role and level of experience.
Although the pay is high, the required investment of time, school, and money needed to become a doctor are also large. After college, prospective doctors must complete a four year medical school program, and then 3-7 years of residency training, depending on the medical specialty they wish to practice. Some specialists must also complete additional years of training after residency, called fellowships. Therefore, many doctors begin their careers hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt. However, if you can handle the investment, the career can be extremely rewarding, both financially and intrinsically.
Physician assistants must have a bachelor's degree plus a master's degree from a physician assisting program. The average salary for physician assistants is about $85,000 per year for primary care, and close to $100,000 for surgical P.A.s
4. PharmacistPharmacist is yet another healthcare profession that enjoys a hefty paycheck, with an average income of about $117,000 according to the MGMA (Medical Group Management Association). Pharmacists must obtain a doctoral level degree, a PharmD, in order to work as a pharmacist in the U.S. Pharmacists work in a variety of settings including hospitals, retail drug stores, and medical clinics.
5. OptometristAn optometrist is a medical professional with a doctorate degree from an accredited optometry program. Optometry is the medical science of assessing patients' eyesight, diagnosing deficiencies or abnormalities, and fitting the patient with the appropriate prescription of eyeglasses or contact lenses for vision correction.
6. Chief Executive Officer - Hospital or Healthcare SystemCEOs of hospitals and healthcare systems are among the highest earners in the healthcare field. In fact, the salaries of many hospital CEOs have recently come under heavy scrutiny in light of the rising costs of healthcare in the U.S. and the need for America's healthcare system to operate more cost effectively. However, running a hospital is a huge responsibility and one which requires a highly-qualified executive who can handle a great deal of pressure and stress. Not only is a hospital CEO responsible for a facility, the employees, and the multi-million dollar budget, but the hospital CEO is also responsible for hundreds of lives at any given time.
It's difficult to quote an average salary for hospital CEOs, because the bulk of their compensation is paid out as benefits and bonuses. Therefore, their actual annual "salary" may be quoted in the low 6-figures, but many CEOs make mid- to high- six-figure salaries, and some earn 7-figure, multi-million dollar annual payouts after bonuses are included.
To become a hospital or healthcare system CEO, you must first start out as a healthcare administrator and work your way up to the C-level role. A minimum of a master's degree is required typically, such as an MBA or Master's of Healthcare Administration, plus many years of experience as a healthcare executive.