Many people miss their calling when it comes to a career in medicine thinking that there are just two main jobs: a nurse and a doctor. While those two positions are essential in the medical profession they are not the only two jobs that provide great earning potential in the field of medicine.
In fact, you don’t have to go to grad school in order to initiate a high-paying career in the field. Med school is expensive and takes a long time to complete even after earning a bachelor’s degree. What people don’t often tell you is that medical doctors usually spend the first half of their career paying off medical school and the second half paying off malpractice insurance.
Did you know there is a way to engage with a meaningful job in the medical field that doesn’t require 12 years of graduate school? Jobs like dental hygienists, radiation therapists, physician assistants, and registered nurses? There are many fantastic options for individuals looking to earn a great salary working in healthcare facilities or other healthcare settings with a bachelor’s degree. You don’t need to be in a world of debt to get a great job in medicine. In fact, it often doesn’t take much more than a bachelor’s degree.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at our list of the top 20 highest-earning medical bachelor’s degrees.
Pharmaceutical Data Scientist
A data scientist engages with statistical analysis to inform decisions about the next steps for businesses. Pharmaceutical data scientists therefore build models to inform pharmaceutical companies about ways to shift problems within the industry. A pharmaceutical data scientist will need to be able to build models and create data visualizations to clearly present this information to other professionals within the company. The pharmaceutical data scientist’s core responsibilities are therefore three-fold: interpret data, plan changes, present the data and plan for changes.
Soft skills: oral and written communication, problem-solving, teaching
Average Salary: $117,000
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Data Science / Computer Science / Statistics / Health Informatics
Medical and Health Services Manager
Medical and health services managers are also called healthcare managers who will plan, manage and organize medical and health care services. A health services manager works as an administrator and has to be able to improve the efficiency of the department, create goals and a plan to achieve them, recruit staff, manage and oversee staff as a mentor and create work schedules. The major areas of focus for a health services manager are budget and staff. Medical and health services managers may work for a department or an entire facility.
Soft Skills: leadership, organization, written and oral communication
Average Salary: $99,730
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Health Administration
Health administrators are also called healthcare managers who will plan, manage and organize medical and health care services just like health services managers. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not make a big distinction between the two. A health administrator oversees the staff as well as the facilities of a healthcare organization or a facility. The health administrator is also responsible for the healthcare data and ensuring its safety typically along with another IT professional. The major areas of focus for a health administrator are budget, data, and staff. Just like medical and health services managers, a health administrator may work for a department or an entire facility.
Soft skills: leadership, oral and written communication
Average Salary: $99,730
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Health Administration
HealthCare IT Professional
HealthCare IT Professionals work to prepare and manage medical records for a hospital or other medical facility such as a clinic. The Health IT professional will manage all of the medical records submitted by doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals as well as patients. The responsibilities lie around the handling of healthcare information and data. These individuals must receive the documents including patient forms and medical histories and ensure that these documents are accurate. The data must comply with confidentiality laws and all data should be organized according to an effective system.
Soft Skills required: organization, written communication
Average Salary: $89,899
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Information Technology
A biomedical engineer applies biology and engineering principles to medicine. The biomedical engineer will typically design equipment and devices including things like artificial internal organs and replacement body parts. Biomedical engineers also design equipment that help to streamline the diagnostic process. Basically, a healthcare facility determines its needs and the biomedical engineer designs and creates those solutions. The biomedical engineer will then need to train other personnel on how to use the equipment that has been designed for the task. Research is often part of the job as we learn new things about biology all the time. Biomedical engineers should present their research.
Soft Skills: Problem solving, oral and written communication, teaching
Average Salary: $88,550
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Biomedical Engineering
A radiation therapist or a therapeutic radiographer is a health professional who uses ionising radiation to treat a disease that is oftentimes cancer. The radiation therapist collects a patient’s information and will use that information to develop a treatment plan. The radiation therapist typically works under an oncologist along with a team of healthcare professionals who seek to treat cancer patients. There are three steps to radiation therapy: gathering data, planning the treatment plan, and then carrying out the treatment plan. There is a simulation of the treatment as part of the gathering data portion of the therapy. A radiation therapist assists the patients as they work through the process- usually, the patient is instructed to lie in place as the therapist simulates a procedure. From this simulation, a treatment plan is created.
Soft skills: oral and written communication, interpersonal, compassionate
Average Salary: $82,330
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Radiation Therapy
A genetic counselor is a member of a healthcare team whose primary job is to support individuals with inherited health conditions. The genetic counselor usually meets with the individual and the individual’s family to discuss what to do about the diagnosis. During these meetings, a genetic counselor typically discusses medical risks with individuals and their families. Some of this information includes how the disease may impact the person as well as their offspring. The genetic counselor typically interprets the genetic test results and informs the patient on the best approaches. The genetic counselor may focus on a specialty area.
Soft skills: excellent oral and written communication, interpersonal skills, compassion
Average Salary: $80,370
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Biology or related
A bioinformatics scientist designs computer systems that analyze and organize a large amount of pharmacological, biologica, and genomic data. Bioinformatics scientists will build the software and share this with other scientists. This software observes biological data. The bioinformatics scientist creates the tools that will track the patterns of viral outbreaks such as the Coronavirus. This job heavily involves writing software. In fact, many bioinformatics scientists spend more time writing software than other computer science related jobs. Much of the job requires research as the pharmaceutical industry often employs bioinformatics scientists. The position does include research on the potential for new drugs.
Average Salary: $79,590
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Bioinformatics, Statistics
Nuclear Medicine Technologist
A nuclear medicine technologist is a lab technician who mixes up radioactive drugs and administers them to individuals who are receiving radioactive testing. Nuclear medicine technologists then operate the equipment that makes the imagery. This is a technical job that merges with a care position. Much of what a nuclear medicine technologist does is answers questions and explains the procedures to the patients. Soft skills are essential for this job in addition to the highly technical skills. After the tests, the nuclear medicine technician must follow safety procedures to dispose of the radioactive waste.
Soft skills: good listener, excellent verbal and written communication skills, interpersonal skills
Average Salary: $76,820
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Nuclear Medicine
A dental hygienist is responsible for the nitty gritty of a tooth cleaning at the dentist. This position requires training as this is a skilled health care position. The dental hygienist may run exams, meet the oral health needs of their patients, take and develop radiographs, make impressions of a patient’s teeth for a cast and prepare documents for the office. This is a great position if you enjoy working with people as you are literally up close and personal with people all day.
Soft Skills: Oral and Written Communication, Interpersonal Skills
Average Salary: $74,820
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Dental Therapy / Hygiene
A registered nurse is responsible for treating people. Typically the nurse takes the following steps when providing that treatment: A registered nurse will need to evaluate the wellbeing of a patient and assess their needs. The registered nurse then orders and evaluates diagnostic tests and of course creates the plan of care for patients. While a registered nurse can’t write prescriptions for patients they typically administer drugs to patients while under their care. The registered nurse has a wide array of skills and in addition to technical skills must hone some crucial soft skills.
By moving on to a master’s degree, nurses can become advanced practice registered nurses
Soft skills: interpersonal, oral and written communication, problem solving, detail orientated
Average Salary: $71,730
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
An occupational health and safety specialist must analyze a wide variety of work settings for their adherence to a safe working environment. They ensure that work settings are up to standard and regulations. Occupational Health and Safety specialists (not to be confused with occupational therapists) prepare written reports on their findings, design workplace procedures that help to protect works in their places of work. The safety specialist typically evaluates the performance of the workplace and in many ways is like an inspector but one who is responsible for educating the employers and their staff on the best ways to remain safe at work including demonstrating how to use protective equipment. There may be environmental or physical factors that affect a worker’s safety and so an occupational health and safety specialist must understand all variables involved.
Soft skills: teaching, oral and written communication
Average Salary: $69,370
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Occupational Health and Safety
Orthotic and Prosthetics Professional
The orthotic and prosthetics professionals design and fit assistive medical devices to any individual who may need one. This includes medical devices as well as prosthetics devices such as prosthetic limbs, hands, feet and more. The professional may be required to not only build and fit the device but also repair and maintain the device. The designs are typically based on a physician’s description and measurements and initially the orthotic and prosthetics professional works highly collaboratively with physicians and other medical professionals. There is a component of the job where the orthotic and prosthetic professional is required to train the support staff on the best ways to use and implement these prosthetic devices.
Soft skills: oral and written communication, teaching/training, problem solving
Average Salary: $69,120
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Orthotic and Prosthetics
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists operate imaging equipment to create images that aid in the assessment and testing process of medical examinations and treatment. These highly skilled medical professionals work closely with patients and require highly attuned soft skills that help to put patients undergoing tests at ease. The diagnostic medical sonographers explain the procedures to patients, prepare and maintain diagnostic equipment . The sonographers must be able to operate the equipment and then review the images noting the difference between normal and abnormal images. Finally the diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists must communicate findings to practitioners. As you can see this position talks to patients as well as other medical professionals. The position requires a significant number of honed soft skills.
Soft skills: interpersonal, oral and written communication, eye for detail
Average Salary: $67,080
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Medical Technology
Medical Billing and Coding Managers
Medical Billing and Coding Managers are highly skilled administrative professionals who work in the medical setting. Medical billing and coding specialists organize health care information according to a highly organized set of codes. The manager is the person in charge of the technicians who carry out coding. These professionals must use classifications software to assign codes to each type of ailment. These codes are then used to accurately bill insurance companies. The medical billing and coding manager ensures that patients medical records are classified and confidential.
Soft skills: leadership, teaching/ training, attention to detail, oral and written communication
Average Salary: $64,623
Bachelor’s Degree Earned:Medical Billing and Coding
Radiologic and MRI Technicians
Radiologic and MRI technicians operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and perform diagnostic examinations on patients. More than half of all MRI technicians and radiologic professionals work in hospitals. These professionals are generally responsible for the maintenance of equipment. In addition to being technically skilled, the radiologic and MRI technician must be able to communicate effectively to patients as this professional educates and prepares patients regarding their procedures. During imaging, technicians ensure patient safety protecting all parts of the body from radioactive activity. Finally the technician analyzes the data both with the patients and with other medical professionals.
Soft skills: excellent oral and written communication, interpersonal, detail oriented
Average Salary: $61,240
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Radiological Technology
Dieticians and Nutritionists
Dietitians and nutritionists help people to learn what to eat in order to achieve their health related goals. Dieticians must remain up-to-date on the latest information regarding health and nutrition and spend a portion of their time researching and investigating best practices with regards to food. Nutritionists consult with clients and create meal plans to help them achieve their goals. The nutritionist works to help the individuals engage with health eating behaviors and may implement behavioral modification protocols along with nutrition plans. Some nutritionists and dietitians work alongside individuals who engage in maladaptive eating patterns or who have eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating. These individuals typically work alongside a therapist to help people overcome these maladaptive behaviors.
Soft skills: interpersonal, compassionate, oral and written communication
Average Salary: $60,370
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Nutrition
A respiratory therapist cares for patients with difficulty breathing typically from respiratory issues like COPD, asthma, and emphysema. The respiratory therapist first evaluates their patients to determine the type of respiratory condition that needs to be treated. Respiratory therapists work closely with physicians to determine the most effective form of treatment. The therapist may use physical therapy or medications to treat patients and then continue to help patients by monitoring their progress and tweaking the procedures to match their current needs. There is an educational component to this position as respiratory therapists teach patients and family members how to use respirators and avoid problems.
Soft skills: oral and written communication, interpersonal, compassion, patience
Average Salary: $60,280
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Respiratory Therapy
Medical Billing and Coding Professional
Medical billing and coding professionals organize and manage healthcare data using coding software. Medical billing and coding is essential for insurance purposes. Coding professionals design and implement coding software to ensure that it organizes patient data. These software also protect patient’s data and must comply with confidentiality codes such as HIPAA. The medical billing and coding professionals also track patient outcomes to determine quality assurance. It is important that coding and treatment are streamlined as well as accurately documented. Data is stored and retrieved. This is primarily a technical position and typically does not interface directly with the public.
Soft skills: attention to detail
Average Salary: $52,441
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Medical Billing and Coding
Medical Office Manager
The medical office manager is responsible for directing and coordinating staff to run the day-to-day business side of a medical facility. The administrative manager will supervise the clerical and technical staff of a medical facility and will set goals for their department. Like most managers, a medical officer manager works to ensure that the organization runs smoothly and is supplied with all of the items and support needed to do so. The medical office manager creates a budget and makes recommendations based on the needs of the organization. Additionally, the office manager works to ensure that all staff comply with the necessary safety requirements and that the building itself is safe and meets health and security standards.
Soft skills: leadership, oral and written communication, organized
Average Salary: $50,312
Bachelor’s Degree Earned: Business Administration