32 Medical Careers In Demand (Plus Salary Info and Duties)

Updated May 25, 2023

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A medical professional wearing scrubs, a mask and a stethoscope stands next to a list entitled, "Interesting Careers in Medicine" with the following jobs:

• Speech-language pathologist
• Physician assistant
• MRI technologist
• Midwife
• Registered nurse
• Dentist

Caring for patients and their well-being can be very rewarding work, and many of these jobs are currently in demand. There are a variety of jobs in the health care industry, and their responsibilities range from one-on-one patient care to developing innovative medical software. Knowing which medical jobs are in demand can help you decide which career is right for you. In this article, we list 32 in-demand medical careers and their key responsibilities.

Related: 32 Career Paths in the Medical Field To Explore

22 in-demand medical careers

The job duties of each of these careers can differ significantly, from designing solutions in health care software to performing oral surgeries. As the population continues to grow over the next 10 years, the demand for medical health professionals to care for those people will increase as well. Information from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows estimates for the job outlook of different positions within the health care industry and which careers are likely to increase in demand.

Here are details on 22 in-demand medical careers. For the most current salary information, click on the link.

1. Emergency medical technician

National average salary: $43,588 per year

Primary duties: An emergency medical technician (EMT) cares for sick and injured patients in ambulances and emergency rooms and is available on call. Their job requires them to be familiar with a variety of medical conditions so they're able to determine the best immediate care for a patient. While hospitals and emergency medical clinics employ EMTs, some work for fire departments and other first responder groups.

Related: FAQ: What Does an EMT Do? (Plus Skills and Salary)

2. Health information technician

National average salary: $45,287 per year

Primary duties: Health information technicians, also referred to as medical record technicians, maintain the records of a healthcare facility or office. They make sure that health information data is accurate and accessible, often adapting to new emergent technologies. They understand health classification systems and can code patients' information accordingly.

Related: How To Become a Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT)

3. Massage therapist

National average salary: $45,864 per year

Primary duties: Massage therapists use massage to adjust patients' muscles. This can help ease stress and tension in the body and work towards overall health and wellness. Some massage therapists use standardized techniques or other types of care like acupuncture.

Related: RMT vs. LMT: Differences Between Types of Massage Therapists

4. Dietitian

National average salary: $47,285 per year

Primary duties: A dietitian treats patients by creating unique dietary plans to best handle their medical conditions and overall wellbeing. Their patients may seek their help for weight loss or to help manage a medical condition. Dietitians may work in hospitals, clinics or weight loss centers.

Related: How To Become a Registered Dietitian (Plus Duties and FAQs)

5. Dental assistant

National average salary: $60,598 per year

Primary duties: Dental assistants take on administrative tasks in a dental office, and they may also perform basic patient care. This can include filing the patient's paperwork when they arrive at the dental office or preparing the patient for oral cleaning.

Related: How To Become a Dental Assistant in 5 Steps

6. Marriage and family therapist

National average salary: $62,620 per year

Primary duties: Marriage and family therapists counsel families, married couples and people of all ages to assess the correct approach for care. They diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders by inviting patients to share their experiences. Using psychotherapy and other strategies, they determine the best way to address the patient's challenges.

Related: Should I Be a Marriage and Family Therapist? 9 Pros and Cons

7. Medical and health services manager

National average salary: $72,285 per year

Primary duties: A medical and health services manager coordinates and implements major healthcare services for hospitals and other healthcare facilities. They use their administrative abilities and problem-solving skills to improve the efficiency and excellence of healthcare organizations. A medical and health services manager may manage the organization's budgets, maintain records of faculties' services and implement healthcare policies.

Related: How Can You Become a Medical and Health Services Manager?

8. Nursing assistant

National average salary: $76,858 per year

Primary duties: Nursing assistants provide basic care for patients in hospitals, correctional institutions, hospice and nursing homes or assisted living facilities. They're responsible for cleaning and bathing the residents or patients, serving meals and helping them eat, measuring vital signs and providing prescribed medications.

Related: Learn About Being a Nursing Assistant

9. Audiologist

National average salary: $77,375 per year

Primary duties: Audiologists specialize in conditions pertaining to the ears, including hearing and equilibrium. They treat people with a variety of hearing problems, including elderly patients or patients who have experienced hearing loss due to illness or injury. Their job duties include conducting tests to evaluate their patients' abilities to hear and distinguish tones, diagnosing conditions and coordinating with other medical staff to address the prescription and implementation of cochlear implants.

Related: What is an Audiologist? What Do They Do and How Much Do They Make?

10. Registered nurse

National average salary: $78,430 per year

Primary duties: Registered nurses provide a majority of the nursing care for patients in physician's offices, clinics and hospitals. Their job duties include coordinating and providing patient care and providing information and emotional support for patients' families. They may also act as a liaison between the patient and the other medical staff.

Related: Your Guide to Registered Nursing Programs

11. Dental hygienist

National average salary: $79,272 per year

Primary duties: A dental hygienist assists dentists by cleaning the patients' teeth and gums before, during and after a dental procedure. They work alongside dentists, orthodontists and other dental professionals to ensure proper patient diagnosis and care.

Related: 14 Reasons To Consider a Career as a Dental Hygienist

12. MRI technologist

National average salary: $80,108 per year

Primary duties: An MRI technologist operates MRI equipment to administer scans of different parts of the body, working closely with doctors to diagnose a wide range of conditions. Besides administering the scan, they also prepare and monitor the patient and review the images to capture every detail during a scan.

Related: How To Become an MRI Tech in 6 Steps

13. Physical therapist

National average salary: $82,024 per year

Primary duties: A physical therapist helps their patients recover mobility and function following an injury or illness. They help their patients improve their mobility and reduce pain through stretches and exercises. Their responsibilities include consulting with patients, teaching patients exercises and providing therapeutic massages to injured areas.

Related: FAQ: How Long Does It Take To Become a Physical Therapist?

14. Occupational therapist

National average salary: $84,185 per year

Primary duties: Occupational therapists help patients restore skills and abilities to help them return to work or complete daily life tasks. They primarily assist patients after accidents and injuries or patients with neurological conditions. They also show patients how to safely and efficiently build strength in weakened areas of the body.

Related: How To Become an Occupational Therapist

15. Biomedical engineer

National average salary: $91,204 per year

Primary duties: Biomedical engineers analyze and design healthcare solutions using engineering and principles in medical science. They work towards improving the effectiveness and quality of patient care by creating and updating devices like pacemakers, prosthetics and more.

Related: Biomedical Engineer vs. Doctor: What's the Difference?

16. Midwife

National average salary: $98,614 per year

Primary duties: A midwife is a primary caretaker for pregnant women, providing critical supervision before and after labor. Nurse-midwives conduct diagnostic tests, develop treatment plans and assess and diagnose patients, often working closely with an OB/GYN physician. Besides caring for expectant and delivering mothers, they also conduct annual and medical exams for women.

Related: 11 Reasons To Be a Midwife (Plus Definition and Duties)

17. Physician assistant

National average salary: $107,064 per year

Primary duties: A physician assistant (PA) diagnoses injuries, examines patients and administers treatments. A surgeon or physician supervises them as they practice medicine, and some nurse practitioners may work as physician assistants because the training programs and duties are very similar.

Related: A Day in the Life of a Physician Assistant: Activities and Duties

18. Speech-language pathologist

National average salary: $111,727 per year

Primary duties: Speech-language pathologists, also referred to as speech therapists, assess, diagnose and treat swallowing, speech and communication disorders. They work with both children and adults that are struggling with speech and language disorders that could have resulted from developmental delays or injuries.

Related: What Is a Speech-Language Pathologist?

19. Pharmacist

National average salary: $116,589 per year

Primary duties: A pharmacist dispenses and distributes prescription medications to medical facilities and patients. They review prescriptions for accuracy, evaluate patients' drug reactions and work with other healthcare professionals to plan and monitor the effectiveness of a drug for their patients. Many pharmacists will also offer their patients recommendations for over-the-counter medication to treat and manage symptoms.

Related: What Is a Day in the Life of a Pharmacist Like?

20. Family nurse practitioner

National average salary: $119,723 per year

Primary duties: Family nurse practitioners take on many tasks to assist physicians, including diagnosing patients and prescribing them medications. They can also work in a variety of fields, including research, nurse leadership, education or diagnostics. In many states, nurse practitioners can open up their own medical practice without the supervision of a doctor, and some may even perform minor surgeries.

Related: What Is a Family Nurse Practitioner? Definition, Salary, Subspecialties and Career Guide

21. Certified registered nurse anesthetist

National average salary: $177,280 per year

Primary duties: A certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) assists anesthesiologists with administering anesthesia medication to patients during operations. They work in a variety of offices with dentists, doctors, surgeons and other nurse staff to help in the administration of anesthesia and keep patients safe while undergoing surgery.

Related: How Long Does It Take To Become a Nurse Anesthetist?

22. Dentist

National average salary:$236,537 per year

Primary duties: Dentists prevent, diagnose and treat problems with their patient's teeth and gums with a focus on overall oral health. Dentists can identify and diagnose general and specific oral conditions so they can treat the patient accordingly. They can fill cavities and remove teeth in their offices, and many dentists perform oral surgery as well.

Related: 12 Reasons To Become a Dentist (Plus Definition and Tips)

Do you need help with your resume?

10 more in-demand medical careers

Here are 10 more in-demand medical careers to consider:

  • Optometrist

  • Medical assistant

  • Exercise physiologist

  • Physical therapy aide

  • Phlebotomist

  • Pharmacy technician

  • Home health aide

  • Health educator

  • Sonographer

  • Respiratory therapist

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