26 Medical Careers You Can Pursue With a Master's Degree

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published January 29, 2021

Healthcare careers typically provide stability and financial security. As you narrow down your job choices, consider how education may factor into your future plans. Earning an advanced degree can often give you a professional advantage and provide you with greater earning potential. In this article, we discuss the benefits of getting a master's degree in a medical field and provide a list of medical careers you can pursue with a master's degree.

Benefits of getting a master's degree in a medical field

If you're interested in working in the medical field, an advanced degree can provide financial and career benefits. Most medical professions offer higher salaries to employees with a master's degree compared to employees without a degree or those with a bachelor's degree. Georgetown University reports that, for some majors, earning a master's degree can provide an additional $12,000-32,000 in annual salary.

Additionally, having a master's degree can lead to greater responsibilities and more professional advancement. Your degree may provide you with a higher degree of specialization than your peers, allowing you to find positions you enjoy and excel in. In many medical fields, such as nursing, holding a master's degree often makes you eligible for a management or supervisory role.

A master's degree can provide these benefits while requiring less time in school than a doctorate or medical degree. Many master's-level medical careers allow you to perform many similar functions as a medical provider, including:

  • Interacting directly with patients

  • Providing treatment

  • Consulting on medical issues

  • Analyzing data and making recommendations

Medical careers with a master's degree

Here are 25 healthcare careers that require a master's degree:

1. Community health worker

National average salary: $17.17 per hour

Primary duties: Community health workers are responsible for educating the public about healthy behaviors, current disease outbreaks and risk mitigation strategies. They may assist with public awareness campaigns and community initiatives, such as smoking cessation programs. Community health workers can work for pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies and government health agencies.

2. Nurse educator

National average salary: $19.29 per hour

Primary duties: Nurse educators are responsible for training and educating nursing staff and caregivers at a hospital or other healthcare facility. They communicate best practices and organizational standards of care through presentations and materials. Nurse educators may also review nursing and other staff members' performance.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse Educator

3. Marriage and family therapist

National average salary: $61,308 per year

Primary duties: Marriage and family therapists work with clients to identify and address family issues through strategies such as developing healthy coping skills, improving communication and using cognitive-behavioral techniques. They usually have a master's degree in marriage and family therapy.

4. Healthcare administrator

National average salary: $66,183 per year

Primary duties: Healthcare administrators oversee the operations of healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They manage budgets, interview and hire employees and ensure compliance with state and local regulations. Healthcare administrators work with various departments, including maintenance, marketing and providers.

Read more: Learn About Being a Health Administrator

5. Mental health therapist

National average salary: $33.35 per hour

Primary duties: Mental health therapists are skilled professionals who hold a master's degree in mental health counseling. Many states require that mental health counselors become licensed by the National Board for Certified Counselors. They work with patients to identify and treat mental health conditions, such as anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

6. Orthotist and prosthetist

National average salary: $74,449 per year

Primary duties: Orthotists and prosthetists design and produce supportive and adaptive equipment for patients. This can include artificial limbs, braces and other medical devices. They regularly evaluate the proper fit and function of these devices and make adjustments as needed. Orthotists focus on supportive apparatuses, like braces, and prosthetists focus on limbs.

7. Nursing supervisor

National average salary: $78,625 per year

Primary duties: Nursing supervisors are often administrators who oversee nursing staff. They may interview and hire nurses, create work schedules, monitor patient and employee satisfaction and implement nursing standards and policies that adhere to government regulations.

8. Nurse researcher

National average salary: $80,260 per year

Primary duties: Nurse researchers study treatments, medications and protocols to help improve health outcomes for patients. They conduct research studies, analyze data and report their findings. Nurse researchers can work with government agencies, pharmaceutical companies and other research organizations.

9. Physical therapist

National average salary: $82,825 per year

Primary duties: Physical therapists work with patients to diagnose and treat musculoskeletal injuries and conditions. They create treatment plans incorporating exercise regimens, stretching protocols and modalities such as ice, heat, electrical stimulation and massage.

Read more: Learn About Being a Physical Therapist

10. Industrial hygienist

National average salary: $83,021 per year

Primary duties: Industrial hygienists ensure workplaces are safe and protected from hazardous materials, including pollutants in water, air and soil. They take environmental samples from sites and analyze their compositions to ensure compliance with state and federal quality standards. industrial hygienists must be certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene.

11. Epidemiologist

National average salary: $83,168 per year

Primary duties: Epidemiologists study public health and disease at a macro level, working in areas such as organizational response to disease outbreaks, disease prevention, risk mitigation and public health policy. They are trained in statistics and public health and often work for state or national health agencies.

12. Biomedical engineer

National average salary: $84,839 per year

Primary duties: Biomedical engineers design equipment used in a variety of healthcare settings, such as artificial limbs and organs, surgical tools and equipment and diagnostic machines. They also work with facilities and organizations to install and maintain this equipment.

13. Certified nurse midwife

National average salary: $89,426 per year

Primary duties: Certified nurse midwives (CNMs) provide prenatal and postnatal care to women. They can work at hospitals, clinics or private practices to monitor mother and child development throughout pregnancy and assist in labor and delivery. They must obtain a master's degree in nursing and certification through the American Midwifery Certification Board.

14. Speech-language pathologist

National average salary: $89,946 per year

Primary duties: Speech-language pathologists work with patients to diagnose and treat communication and swallowing disorders. They can work with a wide range of patients at schools, healthcare facilities and outpatient therapy clinics to help improve speech and swallowing mechanisms and create communication strategies.

Read more: Learn About Being a Speech Pathologist

15. Legal nurse consultant

National average salary: $91,326 per year

Primary duties: Legal nurse consultants are specialized nurses that advise and provide testimony for the legal field. Their expert guidance may be used to determine the severity and nature of injuries and illnesses and discuss possible medical scenarios related to court cases.

Read more: Learn About Being a Legal Nurse Consultant

16. Healthcare manager

National average salary: $92,352 per year

Primary duties: Healthcare managers are responsible for the administrative duties of healthcare facilities and clinics. They may oversee billing, patient records, front office staff and budgeting. Healthcare managers may hold a master's degree in areas such as public health or business administration.

17. Occupational therapist

National average salary: $44.97 per hour

Primary duties: Occupational therapists work with patients to help them regain and maintain functional abilities. They create exercise and treatment plans designed to maximize patients' abilities to complete everyday tasks. This may include strengthening exercises, stretching, incorporating modifications and training to use adaptive equipment.

Read more: Learn About Being an Occupational Therapist

18. Clinical nurse specialist

National average salary: $96,179 per year

Primary duties: Clinical nurse specialists are responsible for overseeing the clinical nursing practices and protocols in hospitals, facilities and clinics. They ensure the quality of patient care and patient satisfaction by monitoring compliance and health outcomes. Clinical nurse specialists must stay updated on clinical nursing standards and implement these practices in their facilities.

19. Cardiovascular perfusionist

National average salary: $104,736 per year

Primary duties: A cardiovascular perfusionist is responsible for the machines that operate the heart and lungs while a patient is undergoing a cardiac operation. They monitor patients' oxygenation, heart rate and other metrics to ensure patient health and safety throughout the procedure. Cardiovascular perfusionists must be certified by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion.

Read more: Learn About Being a Perfusionist

20. Medical policy manager

National average salary: $105,135 per year

Primary duties: Medical policy managers are responsible for policies and procedures in medical organizations. This often includes overseeing billing and reimbursements and compliance with state and federal regulations in order to reduce costs and maintain a high percentage of reimbursements from insurance and patients.

21. Physician assistant

National average salary: $106,123 per year

Primary duties: Physician assistants perform many of the duties of a doctor, diagnosing illnesses and diseases, treating injuries and illness and prescribing medication. They work in hospitals, private practices and other healthcare facilities and can specialize in disciplines such as oncology, cardiology, pediatrics and orthopedics.

Read more: Learn About Being a Physician Assistant

22. Clinical trial manager

National average salary: $106,579 per year

Primary duties: Clinical trial managers oversee the processes and organizational systems involved in running clinical trials. They help document results, analyze data and ensure compliance with study guidelines.

23. Nurse practitioner

National average salary: $116,536 per year

Primary duties: Nurse practitioners diagnose and treat patients in a variety of care settings, including private practices, speciality clinics, hospitals and long-term care facilities. They often have at least a master's of nursing degree with some practitioners holding a doctorate in nursing.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner

24. Chief nursing officer

National average salary: $124,470 per year

Primary duties: Chief nursing officers work with upper-level hospital and facility management to oversee nursing policies and procedures. They assist with monitoring the quality of patient care, regulatory compliance and employee satisfaction. Chief nursing officers may also advise management on patient care and personnel development strategies.

25. Biostatistician

National average salary: $142,090 per year

Primary duties: Biostatisticians work with organizations conducting clinical trials and other medical research to compile and analyze data. They also collect samples, write research reports and develop research methodologies. Biostatisticians typically hold an advanced degree in statistics, math or biostatistics.

Read more: Learn About Being a Biostatistician

26. Certified registered nurse anesthetist

National average salary: $154,750 per year

Primary duties: Certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNA) have a master's degree in nursing. They are responsible for evaluating patients before and monitoring patients during procedures requiring anesthesia. CRNAs work with anesthesiologists to determine the appropriate amount and delivery method of anesthesia.

Read more: Learn About Being a Nurse Anesthetist

Explore more articles