Medical careers are in demand. With new technologies leading the way for better imaging and more accurate diagnosis of illnesses and medical conditions, the need for medical professionals with skills in both science and technology is booming. Couple this with the aging of the nation’s Baby Boomer generation, which represents roughly 20 percent of the U.S. population, and you’ve got an industry thriving with job opportunities and high-paying salaries. If you like technology and the idea of helping to care for people, jobs that combine technology and medicine can be an exciting and rewarding career path.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
A diagnostic medical sonographer uses special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient’s body to produce images of internal organs. A sonographer examines these body parts to diagnose a wide variety of medical conditions. They are trained to recognize the difference between normal and abnormal findings, and they analyze images for physicians. They also maintain records of examinations and their findings. The average median salary for a diagnostic medical sonographer was $64,300 in 2010, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS. The top 10 percent of diagnostic medical sonographers earned more than $88,400 annually.
A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse who works under the supervision of a physician. A nurse practitioner conducts exams, orders diagnostic tests, diagnoses illnesses, refers patients to specialists and prescribes medication. Some even assist in minor surgical procedures. A nurse practitioner can work in a wide range of specialty areas, including family medicine, pediatrics, and adult or geriatric medicine. The BLS stated in May 2012, nurse practitioners made an average median salary of $89,900. The top 10 percent of which made more than $120,000 a year.
A nurse anesthetist works alongside surgeons, anesthesiologists and dentists to administer anesthesia to patients during in- or outpatient surgery. They monitor a patient's vital signs during medical procedures, adjust anesthetics as necessary and oversee a patient’s recovery once they are brought out of anesthesia. A nurse anesthetist makes an average median salary of $148,100, according to the BLS. Those in the top of the profession can earn more than $176,000 annually.
Radiation therapists administer radiation treatments to patients suffering from cancer and other diseases. They explain the treatment process to patients, ensure the right dosage of radiation is given to the correct area of the body and monitor patients for reactions to treatments. They also keep detailed records of treatments and procedures. Radiation therapists work with dosimetrists, or those who calculate the correct dose of radiation to use in the treatment, as well as medical staff that can include radiation oncologists, physicians, oncology nurses and others members of a patient’s treatment team. According to the BLS, radiation therapists made an average median salary of $74,900 in 2010 with the top 10 percent in the profession making more than $110,000 a year.