Highest and lowest paying health care jobs in Columbia, Missouri

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August 10, 2022
Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

Highest and lowest paying health care jobs in Columbia, Missouri

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 Columbia 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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Maria Sbytova // Shutterstock

#28. Veterinary technologists and technicians

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $29,000
- #281 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,860
- Employment: 109,490
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA ($56,020)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($53,580)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($53,440)
- Job description: Perform medical tests in a laboratory environment for use in the treatment and diagnosis of diseases in animals. Prepare vaccines and serums for prevention of diseases. Prepare tissue samples, take blood samples, and execute laboratory tests, such as urinalysis and blood counts. Clean and sterilize instruments and materials and maintain equipment and machines. May assist a veterinarian during surgery.
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GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#27. Nursing assistants

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $29,730
- #216 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,060

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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Milkovasa // Shutterstock

#26. Medical assistants

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $31,500
- #309 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 280

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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Tyler Olson // Shutterstock

#25. Phlebotomists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $32,770
- #220 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 220

National
- Annual mean salary: $37,280
- Employment: 128,020
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Redding, CA ($52,770)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($51,920)
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($51,620)
- Job description: Draw blood for tests, transfusions, donations, or research. May explain the procedure to patients and assist in the recovery of patients with adverse reactions.
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Canva

#24. Ophthalmic medical technicians

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $33,250
- #186 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $40,010
- Employment: 59,960
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($67,300)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($57,190)
--- Duluth, MN-WI ($56,200)
- Job description: Assist ophthalmologists by performing ophthalmic clinical functions. May administer eye exams, administer eye medications, and instruct the patient in care and use of corrective lenses.

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Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#23. Pharmacy technicians

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $34,470
- #205 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 370

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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#22. Medical equipment preparers

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $35,870
- #111 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $41,070
- Employment: 56,870
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($65,400)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($65,280)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($64,970)
- Job description: Prepare, sterilize, install, or clean laboratory or healthcare equipment. May perform routine laboratory tasks and operate or inspect equipment.
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NDAB Creativity // Shutterstock

#21. Massage therapists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $38,420
- #163 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $47,350
- Employment: 85,040
- Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Port St. Lucie, FL ($81,640)
--- Anchorage, AK ($77,530)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($72,730)
- Job description: Perform therapeutic massages of soft tissues and joints. May assist in the assessment of range of motion and muscle strength, or propose client therapy plans.
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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#20. Dental assistants

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $41,920
- #158 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

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

#19. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $44,640
- #277 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 600

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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#18. Physical therapist assistants

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $44,920
- #296 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $59,440
- Employment: 92,740
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($81,510)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($78,370)
--- Visalia-Porterville, CA ($78,240)
- Job description: Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with state laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.
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Halfpoint // Shutterstock

#17. Cardiovascular technologists and technicians

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $54,050
- #110 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $60,940
- Employment: 55,980
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA ($104,430)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($89,930)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($88,450)
- Job description: Conduct tests on pulmonary or cardiovascular systems of patients for diagnostic, therapeutic, or research purposes. May conduct or assist in electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, pulmonary functions, lung capacity, and similar tests.
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lenetstan // Shutterstock

#16. Radiologic technologists and technicians

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $54,810
- #257 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 150

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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Dmytro Zinkevych // Shutterstock

#15. Respiratory therapists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $58,990
- #155 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $65,640
- Employment: 131,890
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($104,200)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($100,710)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($100,080)
- Job description: Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.
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#14. Dietitians and nutritionists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $60,020
- #161 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $64,150
- Employment: 66,330
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($95,140)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($95,060)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($93,640)
- Job description: Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

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#13. Magnetic resonance imaging technologists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $64,190
- #134 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $75,960
- Employment: 39,270
- Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($140,980)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($126,590)
--- Modesto, CA ($112,080)
- Job description: Operate Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanners. Monitor patient safety and comfort, and view images of area being scanned to ensure quality of pictures. May administer gadolinium contrast dosage intravenously. May interview patient, explain MRI procedures, and position patient on examining table. May enter into the computer data such as patient history, anatomical area to be scanned, orientation specified, and position of entry.
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Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#12. Registered nurses

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $65,270
- #281 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 3,360

National
- Annual mean salary: $80,010
- Employment: 2,986,500
- Entry level education requirements: Bachelor’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($149,200)
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($146,870)
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($142,140)
- Job description: Assess patient health problems and needs, develop and implement nursing care plans, and maintain medical records. Administer nursing care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. May advise patients on health maintenance and disease prevention or provide case management. Licensing or registration required.
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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#11. Occupational therapists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $75,720
- #274 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $87,480
- Employment: 126,610
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- The Villages, FL ($115,920)
--- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV ($115,060)
--- Modesto, CA ($112,870)
- Job description: Assess, plan, and organize rehabilitative programs that help build or restore vocational, homemaking, and daily living skills, as well as general independence, to persons with disabilities or developmental delays. Use therapeutic techniques, adapt the individual's environment, teach skills, and modify specific tasks that present barriers to the individual.
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#10. Speech-language pathologists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $75,870
- #205 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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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#9. Physical therapists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $77,290
- #359 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 210

National
- Annual mean salary: $91,680
- Employment: 220,870
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- El Centro, CA ($143,500)
--- Modesto, CA ($123,370)
--- Visalia-Porterville, CA ($119,510)
- Job description: Assess, plan, organize, and participate in rehabilitative programs that improve mobility, relieve pain, increase strength, and improve or correct disabling conditions resulting from disease or injury.
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Austin Community College // Flickr

#8. Veterinarians

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $85,210
- #234 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $108,350
- Employment: 73,710
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($169,220)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($150,370)
--- Akron, OH ($150,330)
- Job description: Diagnose, treat, or research diseases and injuries of animals. Includes veterinarians who conduct research and development, inspect livestock, or care for pets and companion animals.
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#7. Dental hygienists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $87,100
- #57 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 130

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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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#6. Nurse practitioners

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $95,620
- #347 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,510
- Employment: 211,280
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($188,070)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($177,800)
--- Salinas, CA ($155,310)
- Job description: Diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, independently or as part of a healthcare team. May focus on health promotion and disease prevention. May order, perform, or interpret diagnostic tests such as lab work and x rays. May prescribe medication. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.
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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Physician assistants

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $102,850
- #252 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $116,080
- Employment: 125,280
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salinas, CA ($168,220)
--- Waterbury, CT ($165,230)
--- Portsmouth, NH-ME ($158,020)
- Job description: Provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, under the supervision of a physician. Conduct complete physicals, provide treatment, and counsel patients. May, in some cases, prescribe medication. Must graduate from an accredited educational program for physician assistants.
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#4. Family medicine physicians

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $122,260
- #251 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 670

National
- Annual mean salary: $214,370
- Employment: 98,590
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Bloomsburg-Berwick, PA ($309,800)
--- Napa, CA ($302,040)
--- Gadsden, AL ($292,110)
- Job description: Diagnose, treat, and provide preventive care to individuals and families across the lifespan. May refer patients to specialists when needed for further diagnosis or treatment.
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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#3. Pharmacists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $132,260
- #86 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 240

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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#2. Nurse anesthetists

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $194,660
- #33 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

National
- Annual mean salary: $189,190
- Employment: 41,960
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Duluth, MN-WI ($271,940)
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($262,890)
--- Green Bay, WI ($239,140)
- Job description: Administer anesthesia, monitor patient's vital signs, and oversee patient recovery from anesthesia. May assist anesthesiologists, surgeons, other physicians, or dentists. Must be registered nurses who have specialized graduate education.
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#1. Dentists, general

Columbia, MO
- Annual mean salary: $199,450
- #91 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

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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