3 Well-Paying (Non-Physician) Careers in the Healthcare Field

Written by: Lisa A. Burke
Published on: Aug 20, 2020

3 Well Paying Non-Physician Jobs

You don’t need to be a physician to establish a high paying career within the healthcare field. With the dramatic and continuing rise in the need for nurses and allied health professionals, higher and higher salaries are being offered, many with sign-on bonuses. Healthcare organizations recognize that these professionals are valued members of the healthcare team whose mission is to provide exceptional patient care in the treatment and prevention of disease.  This article explores the 7 well-paying non-physician jobs in healthcare, according to the 2019 edition of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Handbook.  We’ll outline the:

  • Summary of the position
  • BLS statistics, to include:
    • Median salary
    • the predicted growth of the field
    • Education requirement

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear Medicine Technologists use advanced scanning equipment to create images of various areas of a patient’s body to help doctor’s diagnose and treat medical conditions. The procedure involves preparing radioactive drugs and administering orally them to patients undergoing the scans. The radioactive drugs (radiopharmaceuticals) result in the abnormal areas of the body showing higher or lower levels of radioactivity than normal. Physicians use these scans to diagnose metabolic molecular, anatomic, metabolic and pathologic disorders.

BLS Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nuclear-medicine-technologists.htm

Median Salary: $76,820

Growth in Employment: Anticipated growth is 7% between 2018 and 2028. The predicted increase is due to the aging of the population and the variety of medical conditions that arise as a consequence.


Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists are responsible for teeth cleaning, examining a patient for signs of oral disease and preventative care, such as fluoride treatment or x-rays. Their role includes educating patients on how to maintain optimal dental health through nutrition and regular check-ups.

BLS Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dental-hygienists.htm

Median Salary: $74,820

Growth in Employment: Anticipated growth in the field is 11% between 2018 and 2028. This represents a much faster than average rate of growth primarily due to increasing public awareness of the relationship between dental health and overall medical well-being.

Required Education: Minimum of Associate’s Degree or graduation from an approved training. All states require dental hygienists to be licensed which is obtained by passing a state-based exam. 

Dental Hygienist

Registered Nurse

A registered nurse, or RN, is a skilled nursing professional with a primary focus on patient care. RNs provide and coordinate patient care and are an important source of support and guidance to patients and their families. Registered Nurses may also supervise the work of Licensed Practical Nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). RNs can be found in a variety of healthcare settings including:

  • Hospitalions and rehabilitation centers
  • Private physician offices
  • Long term care facilities
  • Home health agencies.

BLS Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

Median Salary: $71,730

Growth in Employment: Anticipated growth in this career is 12% between 2018 and 2028. This is much faster than average growth as compared to all occupations categories nationwide. The BLS predicts that there will be 371,500 new registered nursing jobs added by 2028. The field will continue to grow for three primary reasons reasons:

  • A growing focus on preventative medical care
  • An increase in chronic conditions due to the aging of the population
  • Retirement of current nurses

Required Education: Minimum of Bachelor’s Degree from an accredited nursing program. Nurses will also need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NLEX-RN) exam. This is a standardized test that every state nursing board uses to determine a candidate's preparedness to begin a nursing career. There is also the NLEX-LP for those who seek careers as Licensed Practical Nurses.

No matter your career interest, there is a role for you within the burgeoning healthcare field. Whether you have an associate degree, certificate from vocational program or graduate degree, you will find a great job within your reach.