Pre Med

Salary Series: Health-Related Careers & Their Respective Salaries

Various medical professionals in their work attire

Do you think you have a passion to work in healthcare? For many, it’s about helping others. For some it’s the intellectual challenge and the chance to learn and work with other smart people. And yet for others, it’s quite simply that healthcare offers some of the best paying jobs.

So how well do health careers pay?

Explore the incomes of the top 20 medical professions

A recent report in Forbes drew data on healthcare salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics who state that salaries depend largely on the specific role, qualifications, and job location.  Here’s a look at 20 of the highest paying medical professions based on their median income, along with their required degrees:

Top 20 Medical Professions

ProfessionDegree RequiredMedian Income
3.PodiatristDoctor Podiatric Medicine$148,720
4.PharmacistDoctor of Pharmacy$132,750
5.Medical DosimetristBachelor’s degree$128,920
6.Physician AssistantMaster’s degree$126,010
7.Advanced Practice Registered NurseMaster’s degree$125,900
8.OptometristDoctor or Optometry$125,590
9.VeterinarianDoctor of Vet. Medicine$103,260
10.Physical TherapistDoctor of Physical Therapy$97,720
11.Occupational TherapistMaster’s degree$93,180
12.Genetic CounselorMaster’s degree$89,990
13.Radiation TherapistBachelor’s degree$89,530
14.Nuclear Medicine TechnologistAssociate degree$85,300
15.Speech PathologistMaster’s degree$84,140
16.AudiologistDoctor of Audiology$82,680
17.Dental HygienistAssociate degree$81,400
18.Registered NurseAssociate degree$81,220
19.Diagnostic Medical SonographerAssociate degree$81,350
20.Orthotists and ProsthetistMaster’s degree$77,070

Unfortunately, the shortage in healthcare professionals is a real concern, regardless of how lucrative industry jobs are.

According to The Hill, there is a growing shortage of healthcare professionals. In fact, by the 2030’s, the U.S. could be facing a shortage of almost 200,000 nurses and 124,000 physicians, due to both an aging population and aging workforce. Another problem; almost half of today’s working physicians are 55 and older. The industry is in great need of an influx of talent. If you are a teenager looking for high paying medical careers, here’s how you can get started while still in high school.

Get a jumpstart while you’re still in high school

High school pre-med programs are one of the best ways to put your passion to the test and see if a future in healthcare is really a good fit for you. This makes sense for many reasons.

First, getting into medical school is only for the truly committed. You’ll need a great GPA, the right coursework, a high score on the MCAT, and a record of exposure to research and extracurriculars such as shadowing in hospitals.

Universities with strong healthcare online courses for high school students

Wake Forest University is a Prelum partner school with a strong commitment to its pre-college program. And they have a lot to offer in pre med. Online courses include cancer medicine, medicine, sports medicine, women’s medicine, bioscience, and psychology.

Another school with a great precollege program for high school students interested in STEM is Rice University. Their online courses offer a great mix that includes: aerospace, genome engineering, physiology, and psychology

Still a third option is the Georgetown University Pre-College Online Program, which offers not only healthcare classes in medical research, medicine, nursing, and surgery, but also STEM courses in anatomy & physiology, biology, cybersecurity, and psychology

As you can see, there are lots of great options to start navigating your potential future while still in high school.

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*Kaplan may receive compensation upon student enrollment in one of our partner programs.*