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Registered nurses have highest employment in healthcare occupations; anesthesiologists earn the most

July 13, 2015

In May 2014, there were 11.8 million workers employed in healthcare practitioner, technical, and support occupations. Among those, 2.7 million were registered nurses, the largest occupation. Anesthesiologists earned the most, with an average annual wage of $246,320.

Employment and average annual wages for selected healthcare occupations, May 2014
Occupation Employment Annual mean wages

Registered nurses

2,687,310 $69,790

Nursing assistants

1,427,740 $26,250

Home health aides

799,080 $22,400

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

695,610 $43,420


290,780 $118,470

Emergency medical technicians and paramedics

235,760 $35,110

Physical therapists

200,670 $83,940

Dental hygienists

196,520 $71,970

Radiologic technologists

193,400 $57,510

Speech-language pathologists

126,500 $74,900

Family and general practitioners

124,810 $186,320

Occupational therapists

110,520 $80,000

Dentists, general

97,990 $166,810

Physician assistants

91,670 $97,280

Internists, general

48,390 $190,530


41,070 $240,440


33,340 $113,010

Pediatricians, general

31,010 $175,400


30,060 $246,320


25,080 $182,700

Obstetricians and gynecologists

21,740 $214,750


6,190 $201,030

Oral and maxillofacial surgeons

5,120 $219,600

Among healthcare support occupations in May 2014, there were 1.4 million nursing assistants. The average annual wage for nursing assistants was $26,250. Also in this group, home health aides had 799,080 workers.

Healthcare practitioners were among the highest paid healthcare occupations. In addition to anesthesiologists, those earning an average annual wage over $200,000 included surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists, oral and maxillofacial surgeons, and orthodontists.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more about healthcare occupations, see profiles in Healthcare Practitioners and Technical and Healthcare Support.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Registered nurses have highest employment in healthcare occupations; anesthesiologists earn the most at (visited May 23, 2024).

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