Highest Paying Medical Jobs in 2024

Highest Paying Medical Jobs in 2024. If you’re considering a career in the medical field but are uncertain about the specific path to choose, a crucial consideration is likely the potential income in each medical profession.

To assist you in navigating your healthcare career decisions, we have compiled a list of the most lucrative medical jobs in 2024.

Read this article to gain insights into the 10 highest-paying healthcare positions, including their responsibilities and educational prerequisites. 

 Highest Paying Medical Jobs in 2024

1. Anesthesiologists

Anesthesiologists are medical doctors who administer pain-management anaesthesia and analgesics to patients during surgery or other medical procedures.

Anesthesiologist Salary

The field of anesthesiology stands as the most lucrative within the medical profession. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), anesthesiologists earn an annual income of $302,970, equivalent to $145.66 per hour. Colorado, the District of Columbia, and Hawaii are among the highest-paying states for professionals in this medical specialization.


If pursuing a career as an anesthesiologist is on your agenda, be prepared for an extensive educational journey. Aspiring anesthesiologists must undergo a 4-year undergraduate program and four years of medical school to obtain an MD or DO credential. Post-graduation, a minimum of 4 years of residency in anesthesia is mandatory.

To practice as an anesthesiologist in the U.S., licensure is a prerequisite, and each state has unique requirements. However, a common thread includes graduation from an accredited medical university, completing a residency program, and successfully passing all licensing examinations.

Where can you work as an anesthesiologist?

Anesthesiologists can be found in hospitals, surgical suites, outpatient surgery centres, private medical practices, and academic institutions.

2. Physician/Surgeon

Medical professionals, known as physicians and surgeons, specialise in evaluating, diagnosing, and addressing patients’ illnesses and injuries. Their responsibilities encompass prescribing medications, providing patient counseling, interpreting diagnostic tests, and conducting surgical procedures as part of their comprehensive medical duties.

Physician/Surgeon Salary

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the median salary for physicians and surgeons in the U.S. is $208,00 annually or $110.24 per hour. 


Physicians and surgeons undergo an extensive educational journey before practising, including a four-year bachelor’s degree and four years of medical school. Post-graduation, they complete a 4 to 9-year internship and residency program.

To practice, obtaining a license is imperative, with varying state criteria mandating accreditation, residency completion, and licensing exam success.

Where can you work as a physician or surgeon?

Physicians and surgeons can practice in various medical environments, such as hospitals, surgical theatres, outpatient surgery centres, private medical offices, or fulfilling educational roles as professors.

3. Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, known as Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), administer anesthesia to patients undergoing surgery or other medical procedures.

CRNA Salary

Due to the precision and high demand for their responsibilities, nurse anesthetists rank among the nation’s highest-paying medical positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for CRNAs in 2022 was $203,090, equivalent to $97.64 per hour.


Interested in becoming a CRNA? Start by obtaining a nursing degree from an accredited university. Eligibility for CRNA programs mandates a minimum of two years of experience in intensive care or emergency room nursing.

Subsequently, complete a master’s or doctorate (mandatory from 2025) in a nursing anaesthesia program, lasting 2 to 4 years. After graduation, pass the CRNA certification exam for licensure.

Where can you work as a CRNA?

CRNAs operate in diverse medical environments, such as surgical suites, delivery wards, outpatient surgery centres, pain management clinics, and critical care units.

5. Dentist

As we enter 2024, dentists will continue to have among the highest-paid medical positions in the U.S. These professionals focus on teeth treatment and diagnosing oral conditions, including general practitioners, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, orthodontists, and prosthodontists.

Dentist Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for dentists is $159,530 per year or $76.70 per hour.  


To pursue dentistry, start with a 4-year bachelor’s degree, then proceed to a 4-year accredited dental school program, earning a DDS or DMD degree. After graduation, fulfil state-specific written and clinical exams for licensure.

Where can you work as a dentist?

Dentists commonly operate within private practices or group offices, but they can also be found in hospitals and research institutions, serving as educators and contributing to public health dentistry.

6. Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a medical professional, either a physician or surgeon, who addresses health issues concerning the foot, ankle and, occasionally, related areas of the lower leg.

Podiatrist Salary

As per 2022 BLS data, podiatrists reported a median yearly income of $148,720 or an hourly rate of $71.50.


Aspiring podiatrists should start with an undergraduate degree in a medical-related field. Follow this by attending a four-year accredited medical school focused on podiatric medicine to earn a Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) degree. Subsequently, complete a three-year podiatric residency and pass state licensure exams.

Where can you work as a podiatrist?

Podiatrists operate autonomously or collaboratively with fellow podiatrists in diverse settings such as hospitals, operating rooms, outpatient centres, and private practice offices.

7. Chief Nursing Officer

The highest-ranking registered nurse management role in a hospital or medical institution is the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO). Responsible for supervising nursing staff processes, safety protocols, and overall patient safety while managing the nursing team.

Chief Nursing Officer Salary

Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) hold one of the most lucrative positions in the medical field, with salaries influenced by location and experience. Payscale reports an annual income of $140,763 or an hourly rate of $63.43 for CNOs in the United States.


To attain the role of a Chief Nursing Officer (CNO), a solid educational foundation and nursing experience are essential. Start by obtaining a BSN degree and RN licensure, followed by three to six years of advanced education and managerial experience.

This additional education can be in the form of an MSN or DNP, with many employers favouring DNP candidates for CNO roles. While an MSN and substantial experience are sufficient, earning a DNP enhances candidacy for the position.

Where can you work as a chief nursing officer?

While the majority of Chief Nursing Officers (CNOs) are employed by hospitals or medical institutions, a considerable number also hold positions in nursing homes or oversee operations within extensive healthcare systems.

8. Pharmacist

Pharmacists are healthcare experts specializing in the preparation and management of medications. Their role is crucial in guaranteeing patients receive accurate medications in proper dosages, while also ensuring a comprehensive understanding of the safe and appropriate use of pharmaceuticals to effectively address their health conditions.

Pharmacist Salary

In the United States, the median annual salary for pharmacists is $132,750, equating to an hourly rate of $63.82.


Becoming a pharmacist entails obtaining an undergraduate degree in a medical-related field, followed by enrollment in an accredited Doctor of Pharmacy program, which includes an on-site internship.

After graduation, successful completion of licensure exams and adherence to state-specific requirements for licensing are necessary steps in the process.

Where can you work as a pharmacist?

The majority of pharmacists are employed in pharmacies situated within local drugstores or grocery stores. Alternatively, pharmacists can also be found working in hospital pharmacies or within the offices of physicians.

9. Physician Assistant

A licensed medical practitioner, known as a physician assistant (PA), collaborates under the guidance of a physician. PAs adhere to the same medical model as doctors, providing care to patients with various illnesses, injuries, and medical conditions.

Their responsibilities encompass evaluating patients, prescribing medications, ordering diagnostic tests, participating in surgeries, and formulating and overseeing treatment plans.

Physician Assistant Salary

In 2022, the median yearly salary for physician assistants stood at $126,010 or $60.58 per hour, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). PAs receive the highest compensation when employed at outpatient care centres, hospitals, and physician offices.


To become a Physician Assistant (PA), you must earn a bachelor’s degree in a medical-related field, fulfil prerequisite courses, and gain a few years of healthcare experience. PA school typically spans 24 to 28 months, involving classroom education and clinical rotations.

PAs receive a general medical education and specialize through practical experience after graduation. Certification is achieved by passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Where can you work as a physician assistant?

Physician Assistants (PAs) are qualified to practice in various settings, mirroring the range of environments where physicians work, such as doctor’s offices, hospitals, surgery centres, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities.

10. Optometrist

An optometrist is a healthcare specialist with expertise in eye health. They prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses as needed, in addition to diagnosing and treating visual injuries, disorders, diseases, and various other eye-related concerns.

Optometrist Salary

In 2022, optometrists had a median annual salary of $125,590, equivalent to $60.38 per hour (BLS). While the lowest 10% earned around $62,150, top earners in the field could command up to $191,430.


To pursue a career as an optometrist, it is necessary to finish an undergraduate degree, and then undertake a four-year optometry school program leading to the attainment of a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree.

Where can you work as an optometrist?

While private optometry offices are the primary workplaces for optometrists, they can also be found practicing in outpatient clinics, retail establishments, and doctor’s offices.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which medical field will be most in demand in the future?

The healthcare sector is expanding at a rate surpassing that of our overall economy, and its employment opportunities are evolving accordingly. Prominent future roles in healthcare encompass direct care, administrative and managerial positions, as well as roles in healthcare technology.

The following are the future In-demand health job roles:

  • medical assistants.
  • nurse anesthetists.
  • physician assistants.
  • home health aides.
  • vocational nurses.
  • nurse midwives.
  • medical assistant.
  • medical and surgical care.

Which doctor is most in demand?

Top 7 In-Demand Physician Specialists

  • Primary care physicians specialize in family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics, and pediatrics, serving as the initial point of contact for patients in various age groups. They are typically the first healthcare professionals individuals consult for their medical needs.
  • Internal medicine
  • Emergency medicine
  • Psychiatry. 
  • Gynecology. 
  • Neurology. 
  • Radiology.

What is the lowest-paid type of doctor?

As of May 2022, a report from USAFacts reveals that there are slightly less than 817,000 Americans employed as physicians or surgeons. Cardiologists earn the highest annual wage among them, whereas paediatricians receive the lowest compensation.

What is the easiest doctor to become with a high salary?

The 10 Least Competitive Specialties in Medicine

  • Psychiatry.
  • Emergency Medicine.
  • Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.
  • Neurology.
  • Child Neurology.
  • Pathology.
  • Internal Medicine.
  • Anesthesiology.

In conclusion,

for those contemplating a career in healthcare, this article provides insights into the 10 highest-paying medical jobs in 2024, including anesthesiologists, physicians/surgeons, and certified registered nurse anesthetists. Each profession’s salary, educational requirements, and potential work settings are outlined, offering a comprehensive guide for informed career decisions.

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