What Doctor Makes the Most Money?

What Doctor Makes the Most Money?

The healthcare industry offers some of the best-paid jobs in the world. Healthcare providers today have a plethora of choices to choose from when it comes to making a career.

While there are well-paying jobs in the healthcare industry that do not require being a certified physician, physicians and surgeons are among the highest-paid professionals in the field.

There are numerous non-clinical jobs in the industry that pay extremely well.

There is an increasing rise in demand for genetic counselors, physician’s assistants, healthcare administrators and more in the industry.

These job profiles are all related to ensuring the overall wellness of the patient and helping to diagnose, treat and prevent disorders and diseases.

Top 6 Highest Paying Job Profiles in Healthcare

Let’s check out the top 6 highest-paying jobs in the healthcare industry in 2021:

1 – Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists are trained to handle disorders that cause breathing problems. A respiratory therapist is certified to treat various breathing disorders, such as chronic breathing disorders like emphysema or asthma.

As a respiratory therapist, you will need to handle patients of all ages – right from neonatal to middle-aged and even seniors and retirees as they are more susceptible to respiratory problems.

  • Median Salary – Around $70,540 per year
  • Job Outlook 2022-32 – 13%
  • Educational Requirements – Minimum of Associate’s Degree

Although you do need to have an associate’s degree to become a respiratory therapist, you will also need state licensure to practice in the US (except in Alaska).

As increasing pollution puts more people at risk of respiratory problems in the future, the job prospects for respiratory therapists are set to increase substantially.

2 – Optometrist

Optometrists are responsible for diagnosing, treating and preventing eye diseases and injuries.

They are certified to prescribe medications, suggest therapeutic procedures, etc. Optometrists also implant eye lenses to treat weakening eyesight.

  • Median Salary – Around $125,590 per year
  • Job Outlook 2022-32 – 9%
  • Educational Requirements – Doctoral or professional degree

Studies by the US Bureau of Labor show that the job prospects for optometrists are expected to increase by nearly 33,300 jobs by 2026. Apart from acquiring an associate’s degree, you will also need to acquire state licensure to become a practicing optometrist.

3 – Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists

These are also well-paying lab technician jobs for healthcare professionals. Diagnostic imaging professionals include cardiovascular technologists and technicians, such as vascular technologists.

They are also known as diagnostic imagery workers.

These professionals use special imaging equipment to conduct tests.

The results of these tests are incredibly crucial for physicians and surgeons to make an accurate diagnosis and provide effective healthcare.

Most sonographers and cardiovascular technicians work in hospitals, clinics and even private diagnostic labs.

  • Median Salary – Around $78,210 per year
  • Job Outlook 2022-32 – 10%
  • Educational Requirements – Minimum of Associate’s Degree

This field in the healthcare industry is expected to grow much faster than normal. It is predicted that there would be more than 21,100 new job opportunities for these technicians in the next 5 years.

4 – Orthopedic and Prosthetics Professionals

Prosthetic and orthopedic professionals also earn a high salary in the healthcare industry. These professionals are responsible for measuring, designing, fabricating and fitting orthopedic and prosthetic devices on patients of all ages.

These professionals work with artificial limbs, braces and similar medical equipment and prosthetic devices. As a prosthetic professional you can work in various positions within the healthcare industry, including:

  • Manufacturing prosthetics
  • Hospital and personal care
  • Healthcare settings

Let’s take a look at the average salary and prospects for this job profile:

  • Median Salary – Around $77.070 per year
  • Job Outlook 2022-32 – 15%
  • Educational Requirements – Minimum of Master’s Degree

As the baby boomers enter old age shortly, there is an incredible scope for a career as an orthotic and prosthetic professional in the healthcare industry.

5 – Chiropractors

Chiropractors rank quite high on the list of well-paid non-clinical jobs for doctors. They treat patients using spinal adjustments and manipulation, along with other medical intervention methods.

As a Chiropractor, you are responsible for alleviating health problems relating to the neuromusculoskeletal system.

Most of the time a chiropractor works independently. However, some choose to work in group chiropractor settings.

To be a certified and trained chiropractor, you must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, which is a four-year course after you complete your undergraduate studies.

  • Median Salary – Around $75,380 per year
  • Job Prospects – 9%
  • Educational Requirements – Professional or Doctoral degree

Studies show that around 5,900 new jobs will open for chiropractors by 2026. The use of non-surgical and non-medicinal techniques to alleviate pain is becoming extremely popular with patients all over.

6 – Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat injuries or illnesses. They examine patients, take medical histories, prescribe medications, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They also counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive healthcare. Surgeons operate on patients to treat injuries, such as broken bones, diseases, such as cancerous tumors, and deformities, such as cleft palates.

  • Median Salary – Around $190,350 per year
  • Job Outlook 2022-32 – Expected to increase by 15% by 2026
  • Educational Requirements – Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree

These doctors are certified to evaluate patients’ health, give advice on treatment methods, and suggest preventive options to keep children safe from the disease in the future.

Pediatricians are also trained to vaccinate children and infants and are qualified to answer any questions about children’s nutrition.

Pediatricians can also refer their patients to specialists for the best treatment option.


These are only the top six best-paying jobs in the healthcare industry today.

In addition to these, you can choose to become a dental hygienist, occupational health and safety specialist, nuclear medicine technologist, speech-language pathologist, or genetic counselor to get a high-paying and satisfying job in the healthcare industry.

See Also

Surgeon Salary

How to Become a Neurosurgeon

How to Become a Dermatologist

Nurse Practitioner Salary in the US

Current Version
December 9, 2021
Written By
Shubham Grover
March 31, 2024
Updated By
Andrea Morales G.

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