Medical Job Types and Roles With Descriptions

Updated July 31, 2023

The medical field offers various career paths and jobs for individuals with different levels of work experience, education and interests. The health care profession is steadily growing across medical job types, including clinical, technical and administrative. These jobs range from upper-level jobs, like director positions, to entry-level roles like medical assisting.

In this article, we’ve comprised a list of 50 medical job titles in the health care industry for you to consider, with the most popular types of medical jobs listed first, with job descriptions, education requirements and average pay.

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Image description

In a medical office, a medical professional is seen smiling as they wrap a patient's hand with a bandage.

Most popular types of medical jobs

These jobs are considered the most popular due to their growth projections over the next few years as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in their Occupational Outlook Handbook. Here is a detailed list of some of the most popular jobs in the medical field:

1. Home health aide

National average salary: $14.52 per hour

Primary duties: A home health aide works in clients' homes to assist them with the activities of daily life, check their client's vital signs or give them medication. Many of their clients are elderly, disabled or chronically ill.

Education: No formal education required

2. Medical assistant

National average salary: $17.52 per hour

Primary duties: A medical assistant performs clinical and administrative tasks for medical professionals. They may answer phones, greet patients, collect lab specimens, prepare patients for exams or submit prescriptions to the pharmacy. Their job duties will likely depend on the setting in which they work.

Education: High school diploma or associate degree

3. Nursing assistant

National average salary: $19.17 per hour

Primary duties: A nursing assistant, or "CNA," helps registered nurses or licensed vocational nurses with some of their daily tasks. They may perform duties such as obtaining vital signs, organizing medical equipment, bathing and dressing patients and more.

Education: Associate degree or trade school training

4. Physical therapy assistant

National average salary: $31.54 per hour

Primary duties: A physical therapy assistant helps the physical therapist with providing therapy services to people of all ages who are injured or have other medical conditions that limit their ability to move around and perform basic daily tasks.

Education: Associate degree

5. Licensed practical nurse

National average salary: $32.24 per hour

Primary duties: An LPN performs a variety of patient care tasks such as feeding, bathing, giving injections, collecting samples for lab tests, monitoring patients and using medical equipment. They are also responsible for gathering and recording patient information, like vital signs and symptoms.

Education: Postsecondary degree

6. Registered nurse

National average salary: $41.57 per hour

Primary duties: A registered nurse works in health care teams with other medical professionals to provide optimal care to patients. They perform duties such as administering treatment and medications, performing diagnostic tests and recording patient symptoms and medical history.

Education: Bachelor's degree

7. Occupational therapist

National average salary: $43.62 per hour

Primary duties: An occupational therapist helps those who are disabled, ill or injured to get around and perform the activities required for day-to-day living. They may assist in learning to adjust to a permanent disability or provide therapy to overcome an injury that affects daily life. They may work in schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other locations to provide therapy patients care and assistance.

Education: Master's or doctorate

8. Physical therapist

National average salary: $49.86 per hour

Primary duties: A physical therapist provides treatment to injured or ill individuals of all ages that need support and therapy to complete the daily tasks of life. The duties they perform include diagnosing physical problems, teaching patients exercises and providing hands-on therapy that assists with pain management.

Education: Doctorate

9. Physician assistant

National average salary: $66.00 per hour

Primary duties: A physician assistant works under the supervision of a licensed physician to provide medical care for patients. They may treat patients, diagnose them, prescribe medication and conduct other clinical duties as necessary.

Education: Master's degree

10. Nurse practitioner

National average salary: $83.65 per hour

Primary duties: A nurse practitioner provides care similar to a physician. They provide primary or specialty health care under the supervision of a physician. They usually perform duties such as diagnosing patients, ordering laboratory tests, prescribing medications and managing health conditions. The medical care and duties they perform may vary depending on state regulations where they practice.

Education: Master's degree or doctorate

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

Clinical medical jobs

Clinical job roles are characterized by the direct treatment or hands-on medical care of patients. The roles mentioned in this list are job titles that are required to have advanced formal schooling to perform their daily clinical duties. Here is a list of some clinical medical job types:

  1. Surgeon

  2. Veterinarian

  3. Pediatrician

  4. Optometrist

  5. Medical surgery nurse

  6. Chiropractor

  7. Psychiatrist

  8. Podiatrist

  9. Physician

  10. Oncologist

  11. Dentist

Administrative medical jobs

There are many tasks in the health care field that need to be performed outside of the clinical care of patients. Many of these roles provide support to clinical roles in various ways. Here are some of the roles you may consider in medical administration:

  1. Administrative medical assistant

  2. Assistant director of nursing

  3. Bereavement coordinator

  4. Medical transcriptionist

  5. Medical biller

  6. Director of nursing

  7. Medical records director

  8. Medical receptionist

  9. Patient services representative

  10. Health services manager

Technical medical jobs

The medical field has many technological advances that need to be monitored and operated for patient care and for general health care-related duties. Here is a list of technical medical job types that you may consider:

  1. Surgical technologist

  2. Cardiovascular technologist

  3. Pharmacy technician

  4. MRI technologist

  5. Veterinary technician

  6. Diagnostic medical sonographer

  7. Phlebotomist

  8. Dental lab technician

  9. Cytotechnologist

  10. Health care web developer

Other related jobs

Certain medical job roles may perform clinical and non-clinical functions as well as technical responsibilities. Some roles do not fit one specific function within the medical field. Here are some related job roles that may perform many key and important functions within the medical field:

  1. Psychologist

  2. Biomedical engineer

  3. Speech language pathologist

  4. Nutritionist

  5. Genetic counselor

  6. Histology technician

  7. Human resource specialist

  8. Paramedic

  9. Clinical social worker

Discover Indeed’s top resources for health care talent including career advice, sample resumes, job search quick links and more.

Frequently asked questions

What's it like working in health care?

What your workplace is like in health care can depend on your specific role. Health care roles are often fast-paced and challenging, but there are many benefits to a medical role. There are many advantages to a medical job, including:

  • Fulfilling work

  • High salaries

  • Engaging workplace

  • Challenges

  • Travel opportunities

  • Flexible scheduling

Are health care jobs in-demand?

Health care jobs are in-demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in health care occupations may grow by 13% from 2021 to 2031, which is much faster than the average 5% growth rate.

How can I prepare for a medical job?

If you're still in high school, you can prepare for a medical job by maintaining a high GPA and studying subjects like biology, anatomy and physiology. Consider becoming a nursing assistant or volunteering in hospitals to gain experience.

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