Career Corner: The Top Careers for Healthcare Majors

Physician Assistant with an elderly patient
Image via iStock.

Healthcare is always in high demand, but just planning to become a nurse or a doctor is overly general. There are all manner of specializations that you can go into with your medical degree. That is why it is important to determine your interest area, as well as the salary for that sub-field.

Stacker recently had a post that can assist with this, listing the top 100 fields as far as their salaries. Here are the top 10 from within the medical world.

Pharmaceutical Sciences

If you want to help create the life-saving drugs that patients depend upon, you will need to go through this program that will build your knowledge of chemistry and biology.

Once you have established yourself in this career, the annual salary is typically around $115,000.

Physician Assistant Studies

This role is pretty straightforward in its expectations, which place you in the position of helping to develop a diagnosis of a patient, testing their symptoms, and creating a treatment based on those findings.

Average salary is generally $118,000.


As the name suggests, this side of the medical field is primarily focused on the study of biological systems and how they function and can be changed.

If that is your interest area, the average salary is $121,000.

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

This career path can be used to put you on track to develop new medicines to help patients.

This role is a combination of chemistry, biology, and chemical engineering. Pay is around $121,000.


If you want to get into a role as a researcher or a pharmacist, focusing on pharmacology is a good path to take your medical degree in.

It is also not uncommon for this education to lead to nursing positions, paying on average $122,000.

Biomedical Engineering

If you get into biomedical engineering then you will have a variety of options for how to take your career.

This role can be as simple as handling the medical imaging side of things, but it can also extend to areas like experimenting with genetics. Average mid-career salary is $123,000.

Nuclear Engineering

You might not immediately think of medicine when you think about nuclear energy, but such technology has uses in powering a variety of medical devices.

That can be the machines a hospital utilizes, or even personal devices given to patients for their treatments.

This work generally pays just under $130,000.

Cognitive Science

If you are interested in the psychological side of helping patients, you can get into cognitive science and its focus on how individuals mentally process information.

This provides valuable information about human behaviors, and pays on average $135,000.


It should be noted that entry into this career requires not only a four-year degree, but a doctorate as well.

You will need that education to understand how to create the medicine that is distributed to patients, and such a responsibility often pays over $138,000.

Operations Research and Industrial Engineering

While not specifically focused on medicine, this role does have applications towards healthcare. This role uses data to analyze systems required to regulate the flow of operations, which can mean ensuring traffic is able to move smoothly, but is also applicable to any circumstance that has to do with safety and efficiency amidst congestion.

This work typically pays over $170,000.

Regardless of how you choose to specialize your career in medicine, each of these positions comes with generous pay. Barring a few standouts, most of the roles are quite comparable in pay, allowing you to rest assured of a comfortable salary regardless of your choice.

To see the full list of 100 jobs, make sure to read the original article from Stacker by clicking here.


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