March 13, 2017

The 25 best-paid jobs: See where health care ranks on Glassdoor's list

Daily Briefing

    Four of the five highest-paying jobs in the United States are in health care, with "physician" coming in at No. 1, according to Glassdoor's annual rankings of the best-paying jobs in the country.

    Glassdoor's methodology

    The list ranks the 25 best-paid jobs in the United States. It does not include C-suite positions.

    To create the list, Glassdoor assessed salary reports submitted by users between February 2016 and January 2017. Glassdoor considered only job titles that have at least 100 salary reports, and the list only looks at base pay. This year, Glassdoor developed an algorithm designed to control for factors such as location and length of job experience.

    Allison Berry, a spokesperson for Glassdoor, said the list is supposed to be more of a guide rather than a comprehensive examination.  "It is certainly not a perfect science," she said.

    Health care takes top spots

    Health care jobs snagged a total of six spots on Glassdoor's list this year—up from three spots last year—including four spots in the top five:

    • Physician, at No. 1, with a median annual salary of $187,876;
    • Pharmacy manager, at No. 2, with a median annual salary of $149,064;
    • Medical science liaison, at No. 4, with a median annual salary of $132,842;
    • Pharmacist, at No. 5, with a median annual salary of $125,847;
    • Physician assistant, at No. 7, with a median annual salary of $112,529; and
    • Nurse practitioner, at No. 14, with a median annual salary of $104,144.

    According to the Washington Post, this is the third year in a row that physician has ranked as the highest-paid job on the list. Jobs in technology and finance earned several top spots as well.

    Nurse salaries are on the decline, Medscape finds

    Andrew Chamberlain, chief economist at Glassdoor, said, "High pay continues to be tied to [in-demand] skills, higher education, and working in jobs that are protected from competition or automation." He added, "That is why we see several jobs within the technology and health care industries" (McGregor, Washington Post, 3/8; Mosendz, Bloomberg, 3/8).

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    Physician alignment is more essential now than ever. A flood of practice acquisitions and a growing level of physician employment have hospitals trying to find the right balance for physician compensation in an effort to address rising investments. As health systems look for ways to achieve meaningful change, physician compensation—through the process of redesigning and implementing a new model—is often the perfect catalyst.

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