The most in-demand job paying over $200,000 a year, according to new research—and how to get it

The health-care industry has continually added jobs throughout the last year, averaging 58,000 jobs per month in 2023, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In January 2024, the industry added 70,000 jobs in ambulatory health care services, hospitals and nursing and residential care facilities.

It makes sense, then, that when six-figure jobs site Ladders looked into its jobs with the most listings that pay $200,000 or more, many positions were in the health-care field. The job with the most listings altogether: family practitioner.

Here’s what it entails and what anyone interested should consider.

Family practitioners give physical exams and prescribe medication

Family practitioners go by multiple names. They’re also called general practitioners, family doctors and physicians.

These doctors give physical exams, order tests and examine results, update patient charts, prescribe medication, order consultations with other medical specialists, counsel patients on preventative health care and day-to-day habits like diet and more. They work in hospitals as well as nonclinical settings like government agencies and nonprofits

The path to becoming a physician is a long one. Medical doctors must get a bachelor’s degree, attend medical school and do a residency, the latter of which alone can last three to nine years. They must then get licensed by their state.

The path is also expensive: The median cost of attending a four-year medical school in 2024 is $276,006 for public schools and $374,476 for private schools, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Their eventual salaries can help pay back those costs. Family practitioners make a median annual salary of $229,300, according to BLS.

It will be ‘a top high-paying job for decades to come’

One reason family practitioners are so sought after at the moment is the aging baby boomer population. By 2030, the estimated 73 million members of the generation will be 65 or older, according to the Census Bureau.

“As this significant segment of the population grows older, their need for health-care services, particularly those addressing noncommunicable and chronic conditions, escalates,” says John Mullinix, head of growth marketing at Ladders. “This demographic shift necessitates a greater number of compassionate and skilled health-care professionals to provide the comprehensive care required.”

Another factor that plays into this demand could be the general shortage of health-care professionals, in part spurred by an ongoing exodus from the field, according to McKinsey.

“I expect health care will remain a top high paying job for decades to come,” says Mullinix. Other in-demand jobs that pay $200,000 or more include dentist, principal software engineer and psychiatrist, according to Ladders.

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