Healthcare industry dominates highest-paying jobs list

Healthcare IndustryIt is no secret that the medical industry offers professionals competitive compensation, but a recent study from Career Cast revealed just how lucrative the health care sector can be. The employment research firm’s annual “Highest Paying Jobs” list was dominated by medical positions for 2015, with five of the top nine spaces going to this evolving, dynamic industry.

Surgery trade boasts high median salary
Topping the list was surgeon, a position that rakes in a median salary of $352,220 per year. CBS News explained that surgeons make about $300,000 more than the national median household income, with the potential to make far more depending on their areas of expertise. For example, surgical professionals that focus on neurological issues typically make over $500,000 during their first year of work post-residency. Notably, however, surgeons acquire high rates of debt, as most medical students graduate owing around $170,000, reported the source.

Psychiatrists earned second place, earning a median annual salary of nearly $182,000. The study noted that while many of these mental health professionals practice in typical office settings, higher numbers are choosing to work in non-traditional outpatient care centers, which could provide some flexibility in terms of earning potential. CBS reported that in addition to competitive wages, psychiatrists tend to report  feeling emotionally rewarded through their roles as well.

Physicians working in general practices rounded out the top three, making a median income of just over $180,000 per year. Although this position currently has a potential growth rate of 18 percent, the study explained that this will likely increase as more Americans gain access to health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will likely drive up demand for primary care physicians, which will increase earning potential and professional development opportunities.

Dental positions offer competitive wages
Other healthcare-related positions named by Career Cast include dentists, who make median salaries of over $146,000. However, high wages are paired with high rates of stress and a competitive job market for this position, noted CBS. Orthodontist took the No. 7 spot, raking in just under $130,000 as their median annual income. The source explained that this position requires almost a decade of training, however, which can cause people to accumulate large amounts of debt.

Outside of the healthcare field, some jobs that topped Career Cast’s list were air traffic controllers, data scientists, petroleum engineers and corporate executives. All these positions had median annual salaries of between $120,000 and $175,000.

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