Five Fast-Growing, High-Paying Medical Careers

No industry is truly recession proof. But in this lackluster economy, jobs in the medical field are among the best paying and fastest growing. In a recent 24/7 Wall St. review of 10 high-paying, high-growth positions, six of them were in the medical field.

Here, we’ll take a look at five of those professions, how much they’re making, and what it takes to break in to these lucrative fields.

1. Biomedical engineers
The demand for biomedical engineers, who design and maintain medical equipment, is forecasted to be a whopping 61.7 percent higher in 2020 than it was in 2010. These folks make good money, with a median income of $81,540, and a bachelor’s degree in engineering is usually sufficient to land the position. The states with the most biomedical engineering jobs per capita are Massachusetts, Utah and Minnesota.

2.  Diagnostic medical sonographers
These are the people who conduct ultrasounds on patients and analyze the results. Demand for the position is expected to grow 43.5 percent by 2020. The profession’s median income is $64,380, and the states with the most jobs per capita are Florida, Rhode Island and South Dakota. An associate’s degree and professional certification are the only prerequisites to entering the field.

As a side note, if you’re considering this – or any other medical profession, really – it’s crucial to be tech savvy. With the advances in technology and the advent of electronic medical records, tech knowledge is a must.

3.  Physical therapists
Physical therapists have a median income of $76,310, and by 2020 the number of positions is expected to have grown 39 percent, fueled in large part by aging of baby boomers. However, physical therapists are usually required to have a postgraduate degree, often a doctorate. The states with the greatest demand for physical therapists are Maine, Vermont and Rhode Island.

4.  Dental hygienists
Dental hygienists, the nice folks who clean your teeth and take X-rays, only have to spend two years in college earning an associate’s degree, but they make good money, with a median income of $68,250. Demand for the profession is expected to grow 37.7 percent by 2020, particularly in Utah, Idaho and Michigan.

5.  Occupational therapists
Occupational therapists teach daily living skills to people with a variety of injuries, illnesses or disabilities. The position usually requires a master’s degree. The median income is $72,320 and the expected growth by 2020 is 35.9 percent. The states most in need of occupational therapists? Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.

Written by Angela Carley