10 high-paying health care jobs (besides doctors)

Non Doctors Jobs

Check out these 10 non-doctor jobs in the health care industry

Health care is one of the fastest-growing industries in America, and all signs indicate this trend will continue. So how can you get in on this booming industry without actually being a doctor? Here are 10 high-paying jobs in the health care field that are expected to see big growth in the next five years.

1. Physician assistants* practice medicine on teams with physicians, surgeons and other health care workers. The work of physician assistants depends in large part on their specialty or the type of medical practice where they work. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.

  • Median annual earnings – $52.21
  • Typical entry level education – Master's degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 17%


2. Nurse practitioners serve as primary and specialty care providers, delivering advanced nursing services to patients and their families. They assess patients, determine the best way to improve or manage a patient's health and discuss ways to integrate health promotion strategies into a patient's life. Nurse practitioners must also be licensed registered nurses in their state and pass a national certification exam.

  • Median hourly earnings – $51.42
  • Typical entry level education – Master's degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 17%


3. Occupational therapists treat injured, ill or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Occupational therapists also must be licensed. Requirements vary by state.

  • Median hourly earnings – $40.44
  • Typical entry level education – Master's degree
  • Job growth 2015-2020 – 12%


4. Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients. Speech, language and swallowing disorders result from a variety of causes. Most states require that speech-language pathologists be licensed. Requirements vary by state.

  • Median hourly earnings – $37.16
  • Typical entry level education – Master's degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 10%


5. Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventive dental care. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state.

  • Median hourly earnings – $35.99
  • Typical entry level education – Associate's degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 10%


6. Occupational health and safety specialists examine the workplace for environmental or physical factors that could affect employee health, safety, comfort, and performance. They may examine factors such as lighting, equipment, materials, and ventilation.

  • Median hourly earnings – $35.09
  • Typical entry level education – Bachelor's degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 6%


7. Diagnostic medial sonographers specialize in creating images of the body's organs and tissues. The images are known as sonograms (or ultrasounds). Sonograms are often the first imaging test performed when disease is suspected.

  • Median hourly earnings – $34.87
  • Typical entry level education – Associate’s degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 12%


8. Registered nurses 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. Registered nurses must be licensed.

  • Median hourly earnings – $34.45
  • Typical entry level education – Bachelor’s degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 8%


9. Dietitians and nutritionists advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal. Many provide customized information for specific individuals. Many states require dietitians and nutritionists to be licensed.

  • Median hourly earnings – $29.01
  • Typical entry level education – Bachelor’s degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 8%

10. Respiratory therapists care for patients who have trouble breathing—for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. Respiratory therapists are licensed in all states except Alaska; requirements vary by state.

  • Median hourly earnings – $28.98
  • Typical entry level education – Associate’s degree
  • Job growth 2019-2024 – 12%


*Occupation descriptions from Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pay, education and projected growth from Economic Modeling Specialists, Intl.