Highest and lowest paying health care jobs in California, Maryland

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August 10, 2022
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Highest and lowest paying health care jobs in California, Maryland

Anybody who has taken a course in marketing, psychology or sociology is likely familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. First detailed by psychologist Andrew Maslow in his 1943 work “A Theory of Human Motivation,” the hierarchy breaks down the complex network of human thoughts into a categorical triage, placing self-development at the top and security and physical health at the bottom. In setting up this pyramid, Maslow framed self-recognition and creative development as ultimate goals, while also prioritizing personal safety and strong physical health.

As such, it has never been more important to recognize the health care professionals who work tirelessly to keep the population healthy. In 2020, the United States spent 19.7% of its GDP on health. While it’s encouraging to know that the country is investing in those responsible for maintaining the nation’s well-being, not all health care professionals receive equal compensation.

Stacker compiled a list of the highest and lowest paying health care jobs in California using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage. Job descriptions are from O*NET. Keep reading to see which health care jobs make the most and least in your city.

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#10. Medical assistants

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $32,010
- #283 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,930
- Employment: 710,200
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($53,960)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($53,660)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($52,520)
- Job description: Perform administrative and certain clinical duties under the direction of a physician. Administrative duties may include scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes. Clinical duties may include taking and recording vital signs and medical histories, preparing patients for examination, drawing blood, and administering medications as directed by physician.
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Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#9. Pharmacy technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $32,890
- #272 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $36,450
- Employment: 415,310
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($56,620)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($56,020)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($52,810)
- Job description: Prepare medications under the direction of a pharmacist. May measure, mix, count out, label, and record amounts and dosages of medications according to prescription orders.
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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#8. Nursing assistants

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $34,600
- #62 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 410

National
- Annual mean salary: $32,050
- Employment: 1,371,050
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($48,420)
--- Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($43,960)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($42,200)
- Job description: Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of onsite licensed nursing staff. Perform duties such as monitoring of health status, feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of patients in a health or nursing facility. May include medication administration and other health-related tasks. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.
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#7. Dental assistants

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $41,730
- #164 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $42,310
- Employment: 312,140
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($58,570)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($56,240)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($54,550)
- Job description: Perform limited clinical duties under the direction of a dentist. Clinical duties may include equipment preparation and sterilization, preparing patients for treatment, assisting the dentist during treatment, and providing patients with instructions for oral healthcare procedures. May perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing, and coding information for insurance purposes.
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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#6. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $58,360
- #43 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $50,090
- Employment: 676,440
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($75,950)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($74,820)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($74,520)
- Job description: Care for ill, injured, or convalescing patients or persons with disabilities in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, private homes, group homes, and similar institutions. May work under the supervision of a registered nurse. Licensing required.

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lenetstan // Shutterstock

#5. Radiologic technologists and technicians

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $61,920
- #120 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $64,840
- Employment: 206,720
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($120,270)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($116,250)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($114,850)
- Job description: Take x-rays and CAT scans or administer nonradioactive materials into patient's bloodstream for diagnostic or research purposes. Includes radiologic technologists and technicians who specialize in other scanning modalities.
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Canva

#4. Speech-language pathologists

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $72,720
- #253 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $83,240
- Employment: 148,450
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Modesto, CA ($128,540)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($120,920)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($115,480)
- Job description: Assess and treat persons with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders. May select alternative communication systems and teach their use. May perform research related to speech and language problems.
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Canva

#3. Dental hygienists

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $89,800
- #42 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $78,050
- Employment: 194,830
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($133,730)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($120,340)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($118,980)
- Job description: Administer oral hygiene care to patients. Assess patient oral hygiene problems or needs and maintain health records. Advise patients on oral health maintenance and disease prevention. May provide advanced care such as providing fluoride treatment or administering topical anesthesia.
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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#2. Pharmacists

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $119,650
- #282 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,460
- Employment: 315,470
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Madera, CA ($165,350)
--- Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA ($162,540)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($161,120)
- Job description: Dispense drugs prescribed by physicians and other health practitioners and provide information to patients about medications and their use. May advise physicians and other health practitioners on the selection, dosage, interactions, and side effects of medications.
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Canva

#1. Dentists, general

California-Lexington Park, MD
- Annual mean salary: $126,500
- #245 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $180,830
- Employment: 95,920
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Dover-Durham, NH-ME ($286,540)
--- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL ($278,790)
--- Portland-South Portland, ME ($278,390)
- Job description: Examine, diagnose, and treat diseases, injuries, and malformations of teeth and gums. May treat diseases of nerve, pulp, and other dental tissues affecting oral hygiene and retention of teeth. May fit dental appliances or provide preventive care.

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