11 Highest Paying Healthcare Jobs for 2012

Learn about the top paying healthcare jobs and how much it will cost you to be trained to get one.

By Christopher Geno

The highest paying healthcare jobs make up nine of the 10 highest paying jobs in 2012 according to the latest information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Healthcare is a fast-growing, lucrative field but there are also many important things to know before deciding if any of these jobs are right for you.

Some of the highest paying healthcare jobs make over $200,000 per year on average.

First, all of the jobs listed below require medical degrees, which you will need to earn on top of your bachelor’s degree. These degrees makes up eight years of schooling that will then be supplemented by another three to eight years of medical residency.

In 2010, the average medical degree cost about $145,000, and this number is only rising. Still, some of the highest paying healthcare jobs make over $200,000 per year on average, making it well worth the investment.

1. Anesthesiologist

Anesthesiologist is the top paying healthcare job and the highest paying job in 2012 for any profession. Anesthesiologists administer anesthetics prior to and during surgery and other important medical procedures.

These medical professionals earn an average salary of $235,000 per year but require a great deal of experience and medical know-how.

2. Surgeon

Surgeons make about $232,000 per year on average and can include a wide variety of medical specialties. Surgeons perform surgery to treat disease and injury in patients.

3. Obstetrician and Gynecologist

Otherwise known as OB/GYN, these medical professionals provide healthcare to women, usually related to reproductive health and childbirth. OB/GYNs earn about $219,000 mean annual salary for their duties.

4. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

In the United States, these surgeons are actually specialists in the field of dentistry who perform surgery on the hard and soft tissue of the mouth, jaw, face and neck. They may also perform elective surgery to improve the appearance of these areas.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons earn about $217,000 per year on average, which is quite a mouthful.

5. Orthodontist

Orthodontists are the fifth highest paying healthcare jobs in 2012 at about $205,000 for a year’s work. Orthodontics is another specialty of dentistry that focuses on fixing problems that occur from how the mouth is held, e.g. an “overbite” or “underbite.”

Orthodontists must go through additional graduate study on top of their dentistry work to become licensed.

6. Internist

The general internist diagnoses and treats problems with internal organs non-surgically. They earn about $189,000 on average per year. Internists can further specialize to the treatment of specific internal organs.

7. Other Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons specialize in many different ways. The rest of these specializations typically earn about $185,000 a year in salary.

8. Family and General Practitioner

A general practitioner is the physician who diagnoses, treats and prescribes medicine to members of the general public. They are your “family doctor” who help with common medical issues, and typically earn about $177,000 per year on average.

9. Psychiatrist

Psychiatrists are different from the other highest paying healthcare jobs in that they diagnose, treat and prescribe medicine solely for mental disorders and disruptions in the same way physicians treat patients with physical illness.

They can also provide therapy for patients, and earn an average of $174,000 per year.

10. Pediatrician

Pediatricians diagnose, treat and prescribe medicine specifically for children’s disease and injury. They must understand the difference in how medicine and prognosis affects children differently from adults, and earn about $169,000 per year on average.

11. Dentist

A dentist diagnoses and treats injury and illness of the teeth and gums, and works to prevent these illnesses and maintain proper oral hygiene. They earn an average of $162,000 per year for their time and effort.

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