Healthcare Occupation Comparison

Comparing Additional Healthcare Occupations

Reports show that jobs in the healthcare sector will grow 18% from 2016 to 2026, significantly higher than most other occupations. The reason for this growth in demand is due to a rising elderly population in the United States. In May 2017, the median annual wage of health specialists and technicians (i.e. registered nurses, physicians, dental hygienists) was $64,770 while healthcare support occupations (i.e. home health assistants, occupational therapy assistants and medical transcriptionists) had a median annual wage of $28,170. An important distinction when deciding which career to pursue. The chart below summarizes job details of every healthcare sector job, its corresponding education requirements and its median pay.

Occupation Job Summary Entry-Level Education 2017 Median Pay
Athletic Trainers Athletic trainers are specialized in preventing, diagnosing, treating muscle as well as bone injuries and illnesses. Bachelor degree $46,300
Audiologists They are specialized in diagnose, treating patient’s hearing, balance or ear problem. Doctoral or professional degree $75,920
Chiropractors They are specialized to solve problem of nerves, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons. Doctoral or professional degree $68,640
Dental Assistants They have to do patient’s care, taking x-rays, schedule appointments etc. Postsecondary non-degree award $37,630
Dental Hygienists They are clean teeth, check signs of gingivitis and other oral diseases. Associate's degree $74,070
Dentists They are specialized for doing treatment of patient’s teeth, gums and related part of the mouth. Doctoral or professional degree $158,120
Radiologic Technology and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists Their main job is to operate special imaging equipment that helps to conduct tests. Associate's degree $65, 620
Dietitians and Nutritionists They have expertized to maintain human’s health with the use of food and nutrition. Bachelor's degree $59,410
EMTs & Paramedics They take care of emergency sick or injured people. They will handle all the emergency injury work and perform medical services. Postsecondary non-degree award $33,380
Exercise Physiologists They are expert to develop fitness and exercise program to recover patients from various diseases. Bachelor degree $49,090
Genetic counselor They are expert to diagnose genetic disorders or birth effects. Master’s Degrees $77,490
Home Health Aides and Personal care aides They will help people who have disabilities, chronic illnesses etc. by living with them. High school diploma or equivalent $23,130
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors. Postsecondary non-degree award $45,030
Massage Therapists Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the muscles and other soft tissues of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, help heal injuries, improve circulation, relieve stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients. Postsecondary nondegree award $39,990
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances. $51,770
Medical Assistants Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice. Postsecondary non-degree award $32,480
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians Medical records and health information technicians, commonly referred to as health information technicians, organize and manage health information data. They ensure that the information maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories. Postsecondary non-degree award $39,180
Medical Transcriptionists Medical transcriptionists, sometimes referred to as healthcare documentation specialists, listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make and convert them into written reports. They also may review and edit medical documents created using speech recognition technology. Transcriptionists interpret medical terminology and abbreviations in preparing patients’ medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents. Postsecondary non-degree award $35,250
Nuclear Medicine Technologists Nuclear medicine technologists prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients for imaging or therapeutic purposes. Associate's degree $75,660
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners, also referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty healthcare. The scope of practice varies from state to state. Master's degree $110,930
Nursing Assistants and Orderlies Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas. $27,510
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians Occupational health and safety specialists and technicians collect data on and analyze many types of work environments and work procedures. Specialists inspect workplaces for adherence to regulations on safety, health, and the environment. Technicians work with specialists in conducting tests and measuring hazards to help prevent harm to workers, property, the environment, and the general public. $67,720
Occupational Therapists Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. Master's degree $83,200
Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides Occupational therapy assistants and aides help patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working. Occupational therapy assistants are directly involved in providing therapy to patients; occupational therapy aides typically perform support activities. Both assistants and aides work under the direction of occupational therapists. $56,690
Opticians Opticians help fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists. They also help customers decide which eyeglass frames or contact lenses to buy. High school diploma or equivalent $36,250
Optometrists Optometrists examine the eyes and other parts of the visual system. They also diagnose and treat visual problems and manage diseases, injuries, and other disorders of the eyes. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed. Doctoral or professional degree $110,300
Orthotists and Prosthetists Orthotists and prosthetists design and fabricate medical supportive devices and measure and fit patients for them. These devices include artificial limbs (arms, hands, legs, and feet), braces, and other medical or surgical devices. Master's degree $66,240
Pharmacists Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They also may conduct health and wellness screenings, provide immunizations, oversee the medications given to patients, and provide advice on healthy lifestyles. Doctoral or professional degree $124,170
Pharmacy Technicians Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals. High school diploma or equivalent $31,750
Phlebotomists Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations. Some explain their work to patients and provide assistance when patients have adverse reactions after their blood is drawn. Postsecondary non-degree award $33,670
Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides Physical therapist assistants, sometimes called PTAs, and physical therapist aides work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain. $46,920
Physical Therapists Physical therapists, sometimes called PTs, help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain. These therapists are often an important part of the rehabilitation, treatment, and prevention of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses, or injuries. Doctoral or professional degree $86,850
Physician Assistants Physician assistants, also known as PAs, practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose, and treat patients. Master's degree $104,860
Physicians and Surgeons Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. Physicians examine patients; take medical histories; prescribe medications; and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones; diseases, such as cancerous tumors; and deformities, such as cleft palates. Doctoral or professional degree This wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year.
Podiatrists Podiatrists provide medical and surgical care for people with foot, ankle, and lower leg problems. They diagnose illnesses, treat injuries, and perform surgery involving the lower extremities. Doctoral or professional degree $127,740
Psychiatric Technicians and Aides Psychiatric technicians and aides care for people who have mental illness and developmental disabilities. Technicians typically provide therapeutic care and monitor their patients’ conditions. Aides help patients in their daily activities and ensure a safe, clean environment. $29,330
Radiation Therapists Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments. Associate's degree $80,570
Radiologic and MRI Technologists Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images. Associate's degree $60,070
Recreational Therapists Recreational therapists plan, direct, and coordinate recreation-based treatment programs for people with disabilities, injuries, or illnesses. These therapists use a variety of modalities, including arts and crafts; drama, music, and dance; sports and games; aquatics; and community outings to help maintain or improve a patient’s physical, social, and emotional well-being. Bachelor's degree $47,680
Registered Nurses Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members. Bachelor's degree $70,000
Respiratory Therapists Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. Their patients range from premature infants with undeveloped lungs to elderly patients who have diseased lungs. They also provide emergency care to patients suffering from heart attacks, drowning, or shock. Associate's degree $59,710
Speech-Language Pathologists Speech-language pathologists (sometimes called speech therapists) assess, diagnose, treat, and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults. Speech, language, and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes, such as a stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, developmental delay, Parkinson’s disease, a cleft palate, or autism. Master's degree $76,610
Surgical Technologists Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians, assist in surgical operations. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors during surgeries. Postsecondary non-degree award $46,310
Veterinarians Veterinarians care for the health of animals and work to improve public health. They diagnose, treat, and research medical conditions and diseases of pets, livestock, and other animals. Doctoral or professional degree $90,420
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers care for animals by performing routine tasks under the supervision of scientists, veterinarians, and veterinary technologists and technicians. High school diploma or equivalent $26,140
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians Veterinary technologists and technicians perform medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to assist in diagnosing the injuries and illnesses of animals. Associate's degree $33,400