9 Allied Health Workers Who Earn a Good Salary

dietitian working with patient
Written by
Miranda Kay, RN
April 26, 2023

Table of Contents

Allied health positions are important links in the chain of healthcare delivery! Do you know what allied health occupations are? There are many allied health roles in the industry, and we've put together a list of 9 that might earn more than you think. 

1. Dietitians

Registered dietitians (RDs) are often confused with nutritionists. While both professions share their expertise on the relationship between our diet and our health, their educational backgrounds are different, and the profession of dietetics is more highly regulated. The entry-level education required for dietitians is a bachelor's degree from a program accredited by the ACEND (Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics), but in 2024 that requirement will change to a graduate degree.

As of May 2022, the average national annual salary for dietitians is $69,350, with the bottom 10% of the industry earning $44,140 and the top 10% earning $95,130.

2. Medical Secretaries

Medical secretaries perform administrative support duties in a medical setting, which means industry-specific knowledge of terminology and procedures is necessary. A high school diploma or GED equivalent is the minimum-level education typically required, but most settings prefer prior work experience, and almost all will require on-the-job training. There are medical secretary certification programs available that may increase job competitiveness and/or compensation.

As of May 2022, the average national annual salary for medical secretaries and administrative assistants is $41,260, with the bottom 10% earning 30,230 and the top 10% earning $55,620.

3. Phlebotomists

Phlebotomists are trained technicians who draw patient blood for diagnostics and testing or donation. They typically work in hospitals or lab clinics, and in addition to drawing the blood samples, they prepare the samples for testing. Most states require phlebotomists to complete an accredited program which is usually a year long. These programs are often offered at vocational schools or community colleges. 

As of May 2022, the average national annual salary for phlebotomists is $40,580, with the bottom 10% earning $30,250 and the top 10% earning $51,610.

4. Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs)

EMTs work on emergency response teams, typically with a paramedic. EMTs assist paramedics with patient stabilization en route to a hospital; they are CPR certified, trained for patient safety and restraint during a transfer, and responsible for communicating the patient's condition to the waiting hospital. EMT positions require a high school diploma or GED equivalent and the completion of an EMT training program (requirements and certifications vary by state).

As of May 2022, the average national annual salary for EMTs is $40,120, with the bottom 10% earning $28,270 and the top 10% earning $56,890.

5. Medical Records Specialists

To become a medical records specialist, a high school diploma or GED equivalent and a postsecondary certification are required. These jobs are usually in the Health Information Management sector, as their work is to validate and maintain all the data of the healthcare facility.

As of May 2022, the average national annual salary for medical records specialists is $51,090, with the bottom 10% earning $31,710 and the top 10% earning $75,460.

6. Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy technician is a position that works under the supervision of a pharmacist. They are often considered the bridge between patients and pharmacists, and their job duties include consulting with patients about medicines and supplying medicines. Pharmacy technician programs are often offered at community colleges or vocational schools.

As of May 2022, the average national annual salary for pharmacy technicians is $40,260, with the bottom 10% earning $29,640 and the top 10% earning $50,640.

7. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic medical sonographers use specialized medical equipment (ultrasounds or sonograms) that create images of the body's interior and help clinicians with patient assessment and diagnostics. Completion of a 2-year accredited sonography training program is required.

As of May 2022, the average national salary for diagnostic medical sonographers is $84,410, with the bottom 10% earning $61,430 and the top 10% earning $107,730.

8. Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists work with patients who have medical conditions (illness or chronic conditions) that impair or diminish their ability to breathe. An associate's degree in respiratory care is the minimum entry-level education for this profession, but requirements among states vary.

As of May 2022, the average national annual salary for respiratory therapists is $74,310, with the bottom 10% earning $51,970 and the top 10% earning $100,520.

9. Radiologists

As of May 2022, the average national annual salary for radiologists is $329,080, which is $158.21 per hour. The lowest 10% of radiologists earned $77,570, and the median annual salary (most radiologists earning this number) was greater than $239,000 ($115 per hour).

As you might imagine from the salary data shown, this allied health position requires the most advanced education on this list. To become a radiologist, you must first graduate medical school and then complete a four-year residency in Diagnostic Radiology. Various exams and certifications are required along the path, but it is important to note that internships and residency programs are paid positions. Overall from high school to the end, the path to becoming a radiologist generally takes at least 13 years.

Miranda Kay, RN
Blog published on:
April 26, 2023

Miranda is a Registered Nurse, Medical Fact Checker, and Publishing Editor at Nursa. Her work has been featured in publications including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Healthcare IT Outcomes, International Living, and more.

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