Medical Healthcare Jobs and Their Salaries

by Digby_Adams

Learn how to choose a career in one of the many healthcare support occupations based on wages and where you'll find jobs.

If you're looking for a career in a growth industry that won't be shipped overseas, then I'm sure you've been intrigued by all of the television ads for training in many of the medical healthcare jobs. But what do these jobs really pay? To get an honest overview of these careers, the best place to look is the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Here's a guide to this information and what it means for the job hunter. The medical healthcare sector includes the following jobs. Average annual salaries are in parenthesis. Home Health Aides ($21,760), Nursing Aides ($25,140), Psychiatric Aides ($26,710), Occupational Therapy Assistants ($51,300), Occupational Therapy Aides ($31,090), Physical Therapist Assistants ($49,810), Physical Therapist Aides ($25,000), Massage Therapists ($39,770), Dental Assistants ($34,140), Medical Assistants $29,760), Medical Equipment Preparers ($30,350), Medical Transcriptionists ($33,530), Pharmacy Aides ($22,830), and Veterinary Assistants ($23,660).

How Many Medical Healthcare Jobs are There?

....And what do they pay?

In May 2010 the BLS reported that there were almost 4 million jobs in Healthcare Support Occupations job sector. As a whole it paid an average hourly wage of $12.94. That's only  60% of the average hourly wage of $21.35 of all US jobs. So not all of these jobs are high-paying or competitive.

Nursing Aides, Orderlies and Attendants make up the largest segment of this sector. The BLS reported approximately 1.5 million jobs existed in this category. That's about 37% of all jobs in the Healthcare Support Occupations. The average hourly wage for these jobs is $12.09.

Home Health Aides jobs account for 25% of the jobs, with the BLS reporting that were about 1 million jobs in this sector paying an average hourly salary of $10.46. That's the lowest salary of all the Healthcare Support Occupations. Wages vary by geographic area. New York has the highest number of Home Health Aides (137,830), and they earn $11.22 an hour. Texas (86,350) ranks second with a significantly lower hourly wage of $9.53.

Medical Assistants (523,260) comprise 13% of the Healthcare Support Jobs. Overall they earn an average $14.31 per hour. Dental Assistants (294,030) comprise 7% of these jobs. They earn significantly more per hour at $16.41.

What does it cost to become a Medical Assistant

Before you sign up for any technical training or education program, you want to find out about the costs. You also want to find out how successful students are at finding jobs. The most reliable place to find this information is on a form usually called Gainful Employment Disclosure. It will disclose what it costs to attend the program. Then it will tell you how many students complete the program. It will also evaluate how many students quickly find jobs in their field.

The Sawyer School in New England is probably the most advertized Medical Assistant programs on television in the region. It has 4 campuses and offers day and night programs. So for many, it does seem to be the road to a new career.

Tuition and fees (including books and materials) is $20,800. This includes $100 for the cost of a required externship. Only 58% of the students complete the program within the normal timeframe. Please not the tuition cost assumes you complete the program on time. Of those completing the program 67% had success in finding timely employment in the medical assistant field.

So compare the $20,800 in tuition costs to the average annual salary for a medical assistant of $29,760.

Highest Paying Jobs in the Healthcare Support Sector

Occupational Therapy Assistants and Physical Therapists Assistants

Only two of the 14 jobs listed in the Healthcare Support Sector make more than the average hour wage of $21.35. Occupational Therapy Assistants (27,720 jobs) make an average of $24.66 an hour or $51,300. Physical Therapists Assistants (65,960) make an average of $23.95 an hour or $49,810.

What an Occupational Therapist Assistant Does

Where Occupational Therapist Assistants Make the Most Money

Texas occupational therapist assistants (4,250) earn an average annual wage of $62,440. To the west, in California occupational therapist assistants (4,460) earn a bit less with an average annual wage of $57,760. Across the country in Connecticut, the 440 occupational therapist assistants working there earn $56,180.

In the south and southwest, two popular retirement states also pay occupational therapist assistants well. The average annual salary for an occupational therapist in Florida (3,740) is $55,280. Nevada occupational therapists (320) earn $54,800

Highest Paying States for Massage Therapists

A very popular and cool career, Massage Therapists, enjoy the possibility of self-employment as well as working for a hotel, health club or medical office or facility. Alaska employs few massage therapists (240), But pays them the highest average annual salary ($86,250).

Tiny Delaware has only 100 Massage Therapist jobs, but they pay well at an average annual salary of $57,830. Washington State has a much higher level of employment with 2,810 Massage Therapist Jobs paying on average $54,770. Mostly rural Vermont has only 250 Massage Therapist positions that average $50,850. Not suprisingly New York has a large number of Massage Therapist Jobs (1970) that pay $50,060

Updated: 03/25/2012, Digby_Adams
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terrilorah on 04/06/2012

This is interesting and good to know. Seems like nurses aides should make more money. They do alot of hard work and much of it is back breaking even with today's lifts and devices.

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