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Top 24 Best-Paying Healthcare Jobs: A Guide for Employers

As a hiring manager or HR professional for a hospital, clinic, private practice, long-term care facility or other healthcare business or facility, attracting quality candidates and retaining employees are vital to delivering quality care to your patients.

Offering competitive compensation is important for accomplishing both goals, particularly when your open positions are among the best-paying healthcare jobs. Knowing what the highest-paying medical jobs are also helps you better allocate resources when expanding your business or establishing a new practice.

According to Indeed data for 2023, these are the top 24 best paid jobs in healthcare in the United States.¹

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Key Takeaways

  • Healthcare jobs are predicted to grow by 8% through 2032, with 10,243.7 new positions expected.
  • A shortage of between 37,800 and 124,000 physicians is expected by 2034 due to factors such as retirements and the creation of new positions.
  • 65% of rural areas faced a healthcare worker shortage in 2023.
  • Surveyed healthcare workers cite base pay as the No. 1 reason why they remain with their employers.
  • 23 of the 24 highest-paying healthcare jobs are for physicians and surgeons.
  • Management positions and dental specialties also made the list of the best-paying healthcare jobs.

Top 24 best-paying healthcare jobs

For each of the highest-paying medical jobs, you’ll find the average and median annual salaries listed and a short description of what each position involves.

1. Anesthesiologist

Average annual salary: $386,391

Median annual salary: $455,269

Ranked first among the best-paid jobs in healthcare based on median salary, anesthesiologists administer anesthetics and pain-relieving agents to keep patients comfortable before, during and after medical procedures.

2. Urologist

Average annual salary: $284,233

Median annual salary: $379,955

Urologists diagnose and treat conditions affecting the urinary system, adrenal glands and reproductive system, such as recurring urinary tract infections, urinary incontinence, enlarged prostate, kidney stones, erectile dysfunction and pelvic organ prolapse.

3. Gastroenterologist

Average annual salary: $297,624

Median annual salary: $379,236

Gastroenterologists specialize in treating conditions that affect the esophagus, stomach, intestines, liver, bile ducts, pancreas and gallbladder, such as irritable bowel disease, stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease and hepatitis.

4. Otolaryngology physician

Average annual salary: $315,121

Median annual salary: $375,000

Also known as ENTs and otolaryngologists, otolaryngology physicians diagnose and treat conditions affecting the ears, nose, throat, head and neck, including recurring ear infections, vertigo, hearing loss and cancers of the mouth and throat.

5. Orthopedic surgery specialist

Average annual salary: $298,130

Median annual salary: $375,000

Sometimes referred to as orthopedists or orthopedic surgeons, orthopedic surgery specialists focus on treating injuries and conditions of the joints, bones, muscles, ligaments and tendons.

6. Internal medicine physician

Average annual salary: $259,975

Median annual salary: $300,000

Commonly called internists, internal medicine physicians specialize in adult medicine, helping patients manage complex chronic conditions and delivering preventative care. They often serve as primary care physicians.

7. Plastic surgeon

Average annual salary: $298,940

Median annual salary: $300,000

Plastic surgeons perform procedures to improve the appearance and functionality of areas like the chest, breasts, skin, face, ears, mouth, nose, head and neck.

8. Family medicine physician

Average annual salary: $251,070

Median annual salary: $300,000

Family medicine physicians deliver comprehensive care for patients of all ages, seeing everyone from infants to seniors. Often acting as primary care physicians, they treat routine illnesses, perform basic procedures, manage chronic conditions and offer preventative services.

9. Orthodontist

Average annual salary: $259,858

Median annual salary: $300,000

Orthodontists are dental specialists who correct misalignments of the teeth and jaws for aesthetic and functional purposes with appliances like braces and retainers.

10. Urgent care physician

Average annual salary: $275,277

Median annual salary: $300,000

Urgent care physicians provide immediate care for individuals with injuries and acute illnesses. They often work in outpatient clinics that accept walk-in patients, offering a solution for people who need prompt care but aren’t experiencing medical emergencies.

11. Vascular surgeon

Average annual salary: $300,701

Median annual salary: $300,000

Vascular surgeons care for patients with conditions affecting the arteries, veins and lymphatic vessels, such as aneurysms, blood clots, peripheral artery disease, stroke and varicose veins.

12. Surgeon

Average annual salary: $297,953

Median annual salary: $300,000

Surgeons, or general surgeons, perform procedures as part of treatment plans for conditions affecting the internal organs and the musculoskeletal system. They help treat traumatic injuries, congenital defects, breast cancers and other issues.

13. Dermatologist

Average annual salary: $261,862

Median annual salary: $296,927

Dermatologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions involving the hair, nails, skin and mucous membranes, including hair loss, nail fungus, acne, rosacea, eczema and skin cancer.

14. Psychiatrist

Average annual salary: $257,498

Median annual salary: $293,643

Psychiatrists diagnose and treat emotional, mental and behavioral conditions, including substance use disorder, anxiety disorders, clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder and personality disorders.

15. Senior medical director

Average annual salary: $279,008

Median annual salary: $289,561

A senior medical director oversees a program or practice and acts as a direct supervisor for physicians and other healthcare professionals. They are typically physicians and may provide direct patient care while also performing other duties, such as establishing budgets and drafting policies.

16. Chief medical officer

Average annual salary: $258,807

Median annual salary: $288,270

Chief medical officers are physicians who serve as liaisons between medical providers and administrators at hospitals and other facilities. Their duties often involve hiring and leadership responsibilities, and in some cases, they may provide patient care.

17. Pulmonologist

Average annual salary: $268,616

Median annual salary: $286,219

Pulmonologists develop treatment plans for patients who have illnesses and conditions affecting the lungs, such as asthma, bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, lung cancer and tuberculosis.

18. Nocturnist

Average annual salary: $215,685

Median annual salary: $285,915

Nocturnists are physicians who work overnight shifts in hospitals, monitoring and delivering care for patients with acute illnesses. They usually have training in internal or family medicine or a specialty, such as pediatrics.

19. Rheumatologist

Average annual salary: $276,112

Median annual salary: $284,982

Rheumatologists receive advanced training in inflammatory diseases to help patients with osteoporosis, arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and similar conditions manage symptoms.

20. Hospitalist

Average annual salary: $244,928

Median annual salary: $281,496

Also known as hospital medicine clinicians, hospitalists care for acutely ill patients while they remain hospitalized. Their training and job duties are similar to those of nocturnists, but they generally work daylight rather than evening hours.

21. Neurologist

Average annual salary: $230,815

Median annual salary: $276,518

Neurologists diagnose and treat diseases and injuries involving the brain, spinal cord and nerves. They care for patients with a wide range of conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, epilepsy, chronic headaches, meningitis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, spinal cord injuries, peripheral neuropathy and stroke.

22. Obstetrics and gynecology physician

Average annual salary: $218,611

Median annual salary: $272,822

Commonly called obstetrician-gynecologists or OB-GYNs, obstetrics and gynecology physicians specialize in women’s health, caring for pregnant women, delivering babies and diagnosing and treating illnesses and diseases that affect the reproductive system.

23. Endocrinologist

Average annual salary: $250,234

Median annual salary: $272,702

Endocrinologists benefit from advanced training in the endocrine system and hormones, allowing them to diagnose and treat conditions like diabetes, thyroid disease, endocrine cancers, polycystic ovary syndrome and osteoporosis.

24. Neonatologist

Average annual salary: $238,177

Median annual salary: $270,000

Neonatologists monitor and care for premature infants and newborns with diseases and congenital disorders. They work closely with obstetricians and pediatricians.

¹Indeed data (US), Dec 2022 – Dec 2023

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