5 High-Paying Health Care Careers

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A career in medicine is among the most rewarding career paths on the planet. First and foremost, you get the satisfaction of helping other people and often saving lives. You can improve their quality of life and help them bear significant physical burdens.

It’s also one of the highest-paying careers. Medical professionals go through years of training and residencies before they’re awarded their licenses, and they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on the journey. That kind of dedication and hard work deserves a high salary.

Although all doctors are paid well, some are paid significantly more than others. Here are five high-paying health care careers you might consider.

Orthopedic surgeon

Orthopedic surgeons are trained to diagnose and treat injuries and diseases pertaining to the musculoskeletal system. Whether you want to open your own orthopedic clinic or work in general surgery, this is a great-paying career that’s in high demand.

They most commonly work with patients who experience dislocation, serious fractures, sprains, strains, osteoporosis, arthritis, cerebral palsy, spine disorders, damage to the muscles or ligaments, damage to the tendons, club foot, bow legs, or bunions. Their expertise is instrumental in helping patients gain full mobility and a higher quality of life.

According to Forbes, orthopedic surgeons make a whopping average of $519,000 per year. It’s one of the highest-paying surgical jobs in the medical field. Their contextual knowledge of the musculoskeletal system and its inner workings are essential and worth the time spent in school.

Orthopedic surgeons are looking at a bright future with constantly evolving medical treatments and procedures. They enjoy high job satisfaction, a great paycheck, and most of all, the knowledge that they’ve helped someone in need.

Oral surgeon

If you’ve ever needed a complex oral procedure performed, your dentist may have referred you to an oral surgeon. As the name suggests, an oral surgeon assists in the diagnosis and treatment of injuries and diseases associated with the mouth.

Most dentists can perform basic oral surgery such as the removal of wisdom teeth, which often leads people to think that they’re the same career. Although they work in the same field and some responsibilities overlap, there’s a difference between a dentist and an oral surgeon.

An oral surgeon spends seven to eight years in medical school earning a DDS, just like a dentist. But oral surgeons must also go on for several more years learning surgical techniques and performing residencies. They execute more complex procedures such as dental implants, impacted wisdom teeth, tissue grafting, and treatments for severe gum disease.

If you become an oral surgeon, you can also own and operate a dental practice, but most prefer to specialize in complex oral surgery only. This increases your demand and helps you achieve mastership in your niche. Although they don’t make nearly as much as orthopedic surgeons, oral surgeons make a very comfortable living. Their hourly wage equates to about $104 per hour and $218,000 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The BLS also points out that New York state is the highest employer of oral surgeons, who see an average earning of $232,000 per year. If you’re interested in this career, it’s worthwhile to check out an oral surgeon in central New England to ask him or her about the career and network for your future.

Obstetrician-gynecologist

Women have very unique health needs, which is why there’s an entire specialty surrounding their care. Every woman needs an obstetrician/gynecologist (OB/GYN) to maintain reproductive health, deliver babies, screen for life-threatening cancers which only affect women, provide advice and general care, help women navigate menopause, and treat other illnesses, diseases, and injuries specific to the female sex. Women will spend a lot of time searching for the perfect OB/GYN to look after them.

Because women make up half the world’s population, you can probably imagine the demand for their services is high. On average, OB/GYNs make roughly $218,000 per year, although some states make significantly more than others.

The highest-paying state for OB/GYNs is Wisconsin at $276,000 per year. However, thanks to the high pay, the space is becoming crowded. If you’re looking to work as an OB/GYN, it’s important to choose a space where demand is high and the payscale is on an upward slope.

Consider being an obstetric gynecologist in Covington, LA, or somewhere similar. The average salary in the state is $255,000, although many OB/GYNs enjoy a salary upwards of $305,000. The living is comfortable, and you won’t have to compete to gain clientele.

Podiatrist

You may never have to see a podiatrist, and many people don’t even know what that is. In layman’s terms, a podiatrist is a foot doctor. To achieve this career path, you must study for a minimum of eight years until you receive your Doctor of Podiatric Medicine, at which point you’ll spend several years in residency before striking out on your own.

Podiatrists enjoy very comfortable hours. You’ll often only work a few days per week, and you can take weekends and holidays off. You’re never on call, and your stress levels are very low because most patients who visit you do not have life-threatening illnesses.

For that reason, podiatrists make about $198,000 per year on average. That’s not nearly as high as some of the jobs on this list, but when you consider the relaxing benefits of the job, it’s still a good value.

If you want to enjoy a more competitive wage, head somewhere like Pennsylvania. You can be one of the few podiatry specialists in Easton, PA or other towns with competitive wages. The average podiatrist salary in Pennsylvania ranges from $213,000 to $282,000 per year.

Neurosurgical specialist

The brain is hands down the most complex organ in our bodies, which makes it one of the most difficult to treat. It’s connected to your central nervous system and affects every other part of your body. Therefore, any treatment to the brain must be handled by a niche specialist who knows the ins and outs of the central and peripheral nervous systems, the brain, and the spinal cord.

A neurosurgical specialist uses surgery to treat illnesses, disorders, or injuries that involve the brain and nervous systems. They often deal with muscle weakness, coordination problems, dizziness, confusion, memory disorders, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, strokes, brain abscesses, neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, headaches and migraines, spinal cord problems, and autoimmune disorders.

If you’d like to achieve mastery in this field, you’ll spend about 12 years in school, including a residency program. This journey is not easy, as you must master challenging material, but the compensation for such dedication and hardwork is high. You’re looking at as much as $873,000 in a year.

New England has a shortage of neurosurgical specialists, thanks to the growing population. Find an area where your services are needed and settle down. You could join the neurosurgical specialists in Summit, NJ, for example, to stay competitive in your field and vie for the top salary in the industry.

Choosing a career in medicine is one of the most noble pursuits there is, and it helps if you’re compensated fairly for your efforts. While you’re mastering your skills and helping people, you can enjoy your comfortable living in peace.

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