12 Highest-Paying Jobs in the Medical Field in 2023

Updated March 16, 2023

Four medical professionals in light green scrubs stand facing each other in a medical room. Two hold medical files. A large examination light hangs overhead.

The medical field is a broad industry that comprises a wide variety of rewarding occupations. One benefit of working in this field is the relatively high financial security associated with it. If you're interested in a medical career that pays well, it's important to know what your choices are so that you can make an informed decision.

In this article, we list 12 of the highest-paying jobs in the medical field, including salaries and duties, and then review some of the advantages of pursuing a career in this field.

12 high-paying jobs in the medical field

The practice of medicine offers a wide variety of professions for people seeking a high-paying career. Here are 12 of the highest-paying jobs in the medical field for you to consider:

1. Speech-language pathologist

National average salary: $85,820 per year

Primary duties: A speech-language pathologist, also known as a speech pathologist or speech therapist, specializes in diagnosing and treating speech and swallowing conditions. They work with both children and adult patients. The job involves assessing the severity of a patient's condition, determining the etiology and developing an individualized treatment plan. Commonly, they also work with the families so they, too, can help patients cope.

Read more: Learn About Being a Speech Pathologist

2. Radiation therapist

National average salary: $94,000 per year

Primary duties: A radiation therapist is a medical professional who uses radiation to treat patients, particularly those with cancer. They play an important role in an oncology team, working alongside other practitioners such as physicians, nurses, dosimetrists and medical physicists. The job involves operating machinery that directs radiation toward tumors to diminish or destroy cancer cells. Other duties include counseling patients, explaining treatments, localizing tumors, maintaining machinery and monitoring patients' responses to radiation.

Read more: Learn About Being a Radiation Therapist

3. Veterinarian

National average salary: $109,920 per year

Primary duties: A veterinarian is a medical practitioner who treats animals. They take a patient's history by discussing symptoms with the animal's owner, diagnose illnesses and injuries, prescribe medication and perform surgical procedures. Additional duties include administering vaccinations, educating owners about appropriate care and euthanizing patients when required. 

Related: Learn About Being a Veterinarian

4. Physician assistant

National average salary: $113,689 per year

Primary duties: A physician assistant, commonly known as a PA, is a medical professional who works with physicians, surgeons, nurses and other health care providers to diagnose and treat patients. They commonly perform many of the same duties as higher-level members of the medical team, including taking histories, examining patients, ordering tests, prescribing medication, diagnosing conditions and providing medical advice. Their primary role is to provide support for effective and efficient health care delivery.

Read more: Learn About Being a Physician Assistant

5. Nurse anesthetist

National average salary: $116,695 per year

Primary duties: A nurse anesthetist is a type of advanced practice registered nurse specializing in anesthesia and providing pre-, post- and perioperative care. An important responsibility is discussing patients' histories, particularly concerning illnesses, allergies and current medications, which are important factors to consider when administering anesthesia. During operations, they also closely monitor vital signs and adjust anesthesia accordingly.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse Anesthetist

6. Optometrist

National average salary: $125,440 per year

Primary duties: Optometrists are doctors who specialize in treating eye conditions. In addition to administering eye exams and diagnosing optical conditions, they commonly prescribe corrective eyewear, advise patients on proper eye care and treat eye injuries. Many optometrists also perform minor eye operations, though not to the same extent as ophthalmologists.

Read more: Learn About Being an Optometrist

7. Pharmacist

National average salary: $126,550 per year

Primary duties: The primary responsibility of a pharmacist is the safe and accurate distribution of medications to patients. They also guide patients in the proper use of over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Additional duties include conducting wellness screenings and administering injections.

Read more: Learn About Being a Pharmacist

8. Podiatrist

National average salary: $136,661 per year

Primary duties: Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in treating the feet, ankles and lower legs. Their work involves taking patients' histories, diagnosing their ailments and providing treatment. In addition, they prescribe medications, order diagnostic tests, perform surgeries and connect patients with orthotics to relieve pain.

Read more: Learn About Being a Podiatrist

9. Dentist

National average salary: $167,160 per year

Primary duties: A dentist is a medical practitioner that specializes in oral health. The profession involves inspecting patients' teeth and gums, diagnosing oral health problems and treating conditions as necessary.

Some of the routine procedures they perform include teeth cleaning and whitening, cavity fillings and oral appliance fittings. Like other types of doctors, they also take and interpret radiographs, prescribe medication and perform surgeries. Patient education is an essential responsibility of the job as well.

Related: Learn About Being a Dentist

10. Pediatrician

National average salary: $198,420 per year

Primary duties: A pediatrician is a physician who specializes in medical care for children, teenagers and young adults. Aside from taking histories, performing examinations and diagnosing conditions, their duties include administering immunizations, particularly those essential for the survival of very young patients. Like other physicians, pediatricians commonly perform surgeries and prescribe medications. Some may specialize in particular diseases that affect young people.

Read more: Learn About Being a Pediatrician

11. Obstetrician-gynecologist

National average salary: $239,120 per year

Primary duties: An obstetrician and gynecologist, also known as an OB-GYN, provide medical services to women, particularly concerning the reproductive system. Primary duties include administering regular exams, diagnosing related conditions and providing treatment. Their role also involves counseling patients on topics such as fertility, childbirth and health conditions that affect women, such as ovarian cysts, cervical cancer and menopause.

Read more: Learn About Being an OB-GYN

12. Internal medicine physician

National average salary: $292,646 per year

Primary duties: An internal medicine physician, also known as an internist, is a doctor who specializes in conditions affecting the internal organs. They play a nonsurgical role, as their function is primarily diagnostic. They typically work with adult patients and commonly specialize according to bodily systems. 

Related: Internal Medicine vs. Family Medicine: Main Differences

For the most up-to-date salary information from Indeed, click on the link(s) provided.

Why seek high-paying medical jobs?

Aside from the financial benefit, people pursue careers in the medical field for several reasons, including but not limited to:

  • Intrinsic rewards: Working in the medical field may appeal to people motivated by satisfaction or pride in their actions. This is because medicine and health care help to save and prolong people's lives.

  • Job security and growth potential: The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13% growth in employment within the health care industry by 2031, which is faster than the average for all occupations. Therefore, a job in the medical field is likely to be secure.

  • Benefit packages: Working in the medical field can bring excellent employee benefits, such as health insurance, dental insurance, life insurance and paid time off, to name just a few.

  • Wide range of requirements and specialties: There are jobs in the medical field for people at every level of education and experience. These requirements make it easy for people to start a medical career and specialize in areas of interest.

Related: 12 Health Care Leadership Jobs (With Duties and Salaries)


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