Written by: Rachel Schneider
Last updated: May 2020
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects healthcare employment to grow by 14% from 2018-28, much faster than the average for all occupations. BLS attributes this projection to an aging population that calls for a greater demand for healthcare services. Median annual wages for technical occupations and healthcare practitioners, including registered nurses and physicians, reached $68,190 in May 2019, which was much higher than the median annual wage for all occupations ($39,810).
Recommended Online Master's Degrees
Individuals interested in pursuing the highest-paying jobs for those with a master's degree in the medical field can refer to this page to learn more about lucrative opportunities. This page explores the types of master's degrees in healthcare, the responsibilities of healthcare occupations, educational requirements, and associated salary information.
The 25 Best-Paying Jobs With a Master's Degree in Healthcare
CRNAs communicate with patients and other medical professionals to ensure the safe administration of anesthesia. Before administering, these nurses perform thorough patient evaluations to determine the type and quantity of anesthesia needed. A candidate for a nurse anesthetist position must hold a master of science in nursing (MSN).
Median Salary: $151,570
These professionals direct nursing activities and adhere to hospital procedures. They follow safety policies and promote quality patient care by working with hospital leaders to design effective and innovative strategies. Chief nursing officers also provide feedback to healthcare facility administration about procedures and policies. To become a chief nursing officer, a candidate must hold an MSN.
Median Salary: $128,030
Cardiovascular perfusionists help surgeons focus on their procedures by performing associated crucial tasks. These nurses monitor heart and lung machines for patients during surgical procedures and perform maintenance on the machines. Each candidate should earn a master's degree.
Median Salary: $123,780
Nurses in this discipline work with patients to help them heal from and manage various psychiatric disorders. These nurses evaluate and monitor their patients before and during care. Psychiatric nurse practitioners often collaborate with psychiatrists and other medical providers. Before they can practice professionally, each candidate must earn a master's degree in nursing.
Median Salary: $106,790
These managers track progress and respond appropriately to daily operations, along with overseeing enrollment strategies and managing budgets during clinical trials. These managers write reports, study documents, and create summaries of employees, progress, and adverse events. Employers prefer, but do not require, candidates to possess an MSN.
Median Salary: $98,670
As licensed medical professionals who work in hospitals, physician's offices, or clinics, physician assistants can perform much of the routine work otherwise performed by doctors. Their work allows physicians to spend more time with patients and non-routine cases. Before a candidate can become a physician assistant, they often must earn a master's degree.
Median Salary: $96,380
As certified nurse practitioners specializing in caring for elderly patients, gerontological nurse practitioners provide primary care for acute and chronic conditions. These nurses focus on the cognitive, emotional, physical, and social needs of their patients. To become a gerontological nurse practitioner, each candidate should hold an MSN or doctoral degree in nursing.
Median Salary: $96,125
These professionals carry out many of the same responsibilities and tasks as licensed physicians, diagnosing and treating conditions and diseases. NPs usually work in cooperative practice with physicians, using doctors' diagnoses to create effective treatment plans. NPs typically hold an MSN.
Median Salary: $95,350
As skilled nurses who perform a variety of female health services, nurse midwives focus on prenatal care and labor and delivery. These nurses can also provide family planning counseling for patients. Typically, nurse midwives work in independent clinics, hospitals, schools, and public health departments. A candidate for a nurse midwife occupation should hold a master's degree.
Median Salary: $94,890
These advanced practice registered nurses focus on clinical care and nursing practice in specialized clinics or units to manage and improve patient satisfaction within specific clinical departments. These nurses work in oncology, emergency medicine, pediatric departments, and more. Before they become a clinical nurse specialist, each candidate must earn an MSN.
Median Salary: $90,430
Most often working as case managers for companies that provide in-home nursing care services, nurse administrators can also find employment in assisted living facilities. These professionals handle hiring responsibilities, including conducting interviews and ensuring that candidates are qualified for their desired roles. Each candidate must hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), although most employers prefer an applicant with an MSN.
Median Salary: $88,165
12. Nurse Researcher
Responsible for studying various aspects of illnesses and healthcare, nurse researchers find new ways to improve healthcare services and outcomes. These professionals identify research questions, collect and analyze data, conduct scientific studies, and interpret their findings. Many nurse researchers work with scientists in other fields, including pharmacy, nutrition, and engineering. Employers prefer but do not require candidates to possess an MSN.
Median Salary: $81,500
Tasked with analyzing information within organizations' nursing departments, a nursing informatics analyst works as part of a team to support better decision-making within healthcare environments. These analysts report their progress and provide maintenance for specialized nursing equipment. These professionals need a minimum of a bachelor's degree, but earning a master's offers more employment opportunities.
Median Salary: $80,760
14. Nurse Educator
Responsible for monitoring the continuing education and evaluation of nursing staff and caregivers, nurse educators work with hospital administrators to create and implement continuing education programs for staff members. These professionals set policies and create systems for quality patient care. Nurse educators should be bachelor's degree-holders, although earning a master's degree can help broaden their opportunities.
Median Salary: $75,400
Industrial-organizational psychologists interview workers and write reports on their research findings. These psychologists collaborate with management to reorganize work settings and improve worker productivity. They also administer competency tests, psychological tests, and rating scales. Earning a master's degree in nursing prepares learners to become industrial-organizational psychologists.
Median Salary: $74,240
Focused on helping patients recover from a wide variety of medical conditions, physical therapists sometimes work odd hours, including weekends and holidays, to accommodate their patients' schedules. These professionals help patients regain their ability to perform basic daily tasks. A bachelor's degree in physical therapy and certification is required to practice as a physical therapist, although many employers prefer candidates with a master's degree.
Median Salary: $71,580
This occupation focuses on clerical tasks, including accounting, devising rate plans, creating and dispensing budgets, and creating reports. These managers develop new health programs and determine specific training needs. Earning a bachelor's degree can qualify candidates for these roles, although some employers prefer applicants with a master's degree.
Median Salary: $68,210
In this occupation, professionals help their patients gain better functioning of their bodies, allowing them to perform day-to-day tasks with ease. Occupational therapists evaluate their patients' abilities to set goals and treatment plans. A bachelor's degree is the minimum educational requirement to become an occupational therapist, although some employers prefer a master's degree.
Median Salary: $66,050
Biomedical engineering focuses on finding new ways to help treat diseases and injuries. These engineers improve and develop new machinery, including robotic surgery equipment. A professional should hold a minimum of a bachelor's degree, although most employers prefer a candidate with a master's degree.
Median Salary: $65,940
Pediatric endocrinology nurses work alongside endocrinologists to create, implement, and assess treatment plans to manage pathologies within their patients' endocrine systems. Nurses in this discipline perform physical assessments, draw blood, administer medication, and insert catheters. To become a pediatric endocrinology nurse, each candidate must hold a minimum education of a BSN, although most employers prefer an applicant with an MSN.
Median Salary: $63,950
Healthcare administrators supervise, direct, and plan medical treatment to patients. Professionals in the discipline focus on business administration and government regulation alongside healthcare management. Although many employers prefer candidates who hold a master's degree, some hire candidates who hold a bachelor's degree.
Median Salary: $62,010
In this profession, individuals work with adults and children with speech or language challenges. Speech-language pathologists focus on helping patients with problems related to physical, motor, and cognitive skills. To practice as a speech-language pathologist, each applicant should earn a bachelor's degree in a relevant field, although most employers prefer those with a master's degree.
Median Salary: $60,740
23. Forensics Nurse
Responsible for caring for victims or perpetrators of violence, forensic nurses provide specialized healthcare services and forensic services. These nurses collect evidence, provide detailed reports from victims, and take photographs of injuries. Before candidates can pursue careers as forensic nurses, they must earn a minimum education of a bachelor's degree, although most employers suggest that candidates earn a master's degree.
Median Salary: $58,980
Marriage and family therapists help clients manage problems within their marriage or family. These therapists encourage their clients to share and discuss their experiences and emotions while helping them process their reactions and deal with the difficulties they face in their lives. To become a marriage and family therapist, each candidate must hold a master's degree in marriage and family therapy, psychology, or a related field.
Median Salary: $49,610
In charge of interacting with patients and providing them therapy, mental health therapists suggest specific services to benefit their patients. These professionals intervene during crisis situations and monitor their patients to prevent crises from occurring. Mental health therapists also write progress notes and collaborate with other care providers. Each candidate should hold a master's degree.
Median Salary: $44,700