Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs. Healthcare occupations are projected to add more jobs than any of the other occupational groups. This projected growth is mainly due to an aging population, leading to greater demand for healthcare services.

The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations (such as registered nurses, physicians and surgeons, and dental hygienists) was $64,770 in May 2017, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy of $37,690.

Healthcare support occupations (such as home health aides, occupational therapy assistants, and medical transcriptionists) had a median annual wage of $28,710 in May 2017, lower than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy.

OccupationEntry-Level Education2017 MEDIAN PAY
Athletic TrainersBachelor's degree$46,630
AudiologistsDoctoral or professional degree$75,920
ChiropractorsDoctoral or professional degree$68,640
Dental AssistantsPostsecondary nondegree award$37,630
Dental HygienistsAssociate's degree$74,070
DentistsDoctoral or professional degree$158,120
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular TechnologistsAssociate's degree$65,620
Dietitians and NutritionistsBachelor's degree$59,410
EMTs and ParamedicsPostsecondary nondegree award$33,380
Exercise PhysiologistsBachelor's degree$49,090
Genetic CounselorsMaster's degree$77,480
Home Health Aides and Personal Care AidesHigh school diploma or equivalent$23,130
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational NursesPostsecondary nondegree award$45,030
Massage TherapistsPostsecondary nondegree award$39,990
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians$51,770
Medical AssistantsPostsecondary nondegree award$32,480
Medical Records and Health Information TechniciansPostsecondary nondegree award$39,180
Medical TranscriptionistsPostsecondary nondegree award$35,250
Nuclear Medicine TechnologistsAssociate's degree$75,660
Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse PractitionersMaster's degree$110,930
Nursing Assistants and Orderlies$27,510
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists and Technicians$67,720
Occupational TherapistsMaster's degree$83,200
Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides$56,690
OpticiansHigh school diploma or equivalent$36,250
OptometristsDoctoral or professional degree$110,300
Orthotists and ProsthetistsMaster's degree$66,240
PharmacistsDoctoral or professional degree$124,170
Pharmacy TechniciansHigh school diploma or equivalent$31,750
PhlebotomistsPostsecondary nondegree award$33,670
Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides$46,920
Physical TherapistsDoctoral or professional degree$86,850
Physician AssistantsMaster's degree$104,860
Physicians and SurgeonsDoctoral or professional degreeThis wage is equal to or greater than $208,000 per year.
PodiatristsDoctoral or professional degree$127,740
Psychiatric Technicians and Aides$29,330
Radiation TherapistsAssociate's degree$80,570
Radiologic and MRI TechnologistsAssociate's degree$60,070
Recreational TherapistsBachelor's degree$47,680
Registered NursesBachelor's degree$70,000
Respiratory TherapistsAssociate's degree$59,710
Speech-Language PathologistsMaster's degree$76,610
Surgical TechnologistsPostsecondary nondegree award$46,310
VeterinariansDoctoral or professional degree$90,420
Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal CaretakersHigh school diploma or equivalent$26,140
Veterinary Technologists and TechniciansAssociate's degree$33,400
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Healthcare Occupations, on the Internet at