Want to pull in a nice salary in the fast-growing medical field — but do it without medical school student loans?
Some good options were tucked inside new employment projections the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday.
Between an aging population and rising demand to treat people with chronic conditions, the health care field will keep growing, the agency said in its job market outlook for 2018 to 2028. In fact, 18 of the 30 fastest-growing jobs from 2018 to 2028 are expected to be in the medical field, it said.
While the average growth rate for all occupations will be an estimated 5.2% through 2028, health care support occupations are expected to grow at 18.2% and health care practitioner jobs could expand almost 12%.
Here are four medical jobs that don’t require an M.D., but still make a six-figure median annual salary.
• Physician assistants made $108,610 in median annual wages in 2018 and have a 11.5% growth projection.
• Nurse anesthetists made $167,950, with a 17% growth rate.
• Nurse midwives made $103,770, with a 15.7% growth rate.
• Nurse practitioners made $107,030 with a 28.2% growth rate.
All four jobs require master’s degrees, the agency noted. And, to be clear, a master’s degree definitely doesn’t come cheap. One estimate says nurse practitioners emerge with an average of $149,000 in student loans.
But medical school bills can be even heftier.
Three-quarters of aspiring doctors take on debt to go to medical school, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. Students graduate with a $200,000 median debt load, the organization said.
Renewable energy and computers are two other fast-growing fields, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics’ biennial projections. Solar panel installers and wind turbine service technicians are jobs with the biggest projected growth rates from 2018 to 2028, expanding at 63.3% and 56.9% respectively.
The median 2018 pay for a solar panel installer was $42,680, while a turbine service technician made $54,370. Neither position requires a college degree, the agency said. But the occupations are relatively small now and will only add an estimated 9,900 jobs in the coming 10 years.
Jobs for computer and IT managers will grow at 11% over the next 10 years. The median annual wage for the job was $142,530 in 2018 and requires a college degree.