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Top Ten Highest Paying Jobs in the Medical Field

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

The healthcare industry dominates the job market in terms of career growth and pay. According to a 2009 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) survey, health care and technical occupation practitioners earn an average of $69,690, but top paying jobs in the healthcare industry are much higher than the average. Health-related occupations require relatively expensive training and education which justifies the high salaries. The 2004 American Medical Association data shows that a four-year medical school education may cost about $110,000.


Male surgeon standing beside tray of surgical equipment, profile
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Surgeons receive the highest salary among all health practitioners. The 2009 BLS survey shows that surgeons reap an average annual salary of $219,770. Surgeons, however, are required to work long hours--often up to 60 or more hours per week.


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Next to surgeons, anesthesiologists receive the highest pay among medical practitioners with an average pay of $211,750 in 2009. Anesthesiologists work side by side with surgeons in the operating room to administer care and pain relief to patients.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons

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Surgeons specializing in the jaw and teeth receive an average annual pay of $210,710. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons administer care for patients’ wisdom tooth problems, facial pain and misaligned jaws and also provide treatment for patients suffering from facial injuries and oral cancer.


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Orthodontists get paid an average of $206,190 per year. Their job is to examine, diagnose and treat dental disorders and oral cavities. They also design and fabricate appliances--such as braces--to realign teeth and jaws.


Gynecologist with Patient
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Obstetricians/Gynecologists (OB/GYN) earn an annual salary of $204,470 for administering care and treatment for women and their offspring. An OB/GYN can provide general medical care for women, but they usually focus on pregnancy and the reproductive system.


female doctor examining the belly of an elderly man
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General internists who diagnose and provide treatment for diseases and injuries related to the internal organs receive an average annual salary of $183,990. They usually provide care for adults who suffer from kidney, stomach, and liver diseases.

Family and General Practitioners

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Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine often choose a career as family or general practitioners who get paid $168,550 annually for providing primary health care to patients, accordign to the 2009 BLS survey.


Pediatrician with patient
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Doctors who specialize in infant, child and teenage health care earn an average annual salary of $142,360. Their job includes assessing and treating various ailments that are common among children, such as injuries and infectious diseases.


young woman lying on a sofa with a male psychiatrist taking notes
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Psychiatrists assess and provide primary treatment on patients with mental health illnesses through psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, institutionalization and medication. On the average, they receive an annual salary of $135,220.


Dentist performing procedure on patient
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General dentists who are in private practices earn an average of $133,350. Dentists may seek specialization trainings as orthodontists or oral and maxillofacial surgeons for further career growth and salary increases.