Highest and lowest paying health care jobs in State College

Written by:
August 10, 2022
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Highest and lowest paying health care jobs in State College

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 State College 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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#21. Pharmacy technicians

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $28,010
- #385 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 110

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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#20. Medical assistants

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $33,570
- #230 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 200

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

#19. Phlebotomists

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $33,800
- #187 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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Maria Sbytova // Shutterstock

#18. Veterinary technologists and technicians

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $34,040
- #189 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 70

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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#17. Dental assistants

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $35,780
- #328 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 170

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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Rido // Shutterstock

#16. Opticians, dispensing

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $35,830
- #181 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $41,380
- Employment: 68,180
- Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Utica-Rome, NY ($71,220)
--- Danbury, CT ($68,590)
--- Norwich-New London-Westerly, CT-RI ($66,900)
- Job description: Design, measure, fit, and adapt lenses and frames for client according to written optical prescription or specification. Assist client with inserting, removing, and caring for contact lenses. Assist client with selecting frames. Measure customer for size of eyeglasses and coordinate frames with facial and eye measurements and optical prescription. Prepare work order for optical laboratory containing instructions for grinding and mounting lenses in frames. Verify exactness of finished lens spectacles. Adjust frame and lens position to fit client. May shape or reshape frames. Includes contact lens opticians.
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#15. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $44,400
- #285 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 300

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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#14. Dietitians and nutritionists

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $55,680
- #216 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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. Dental hygienists

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $56,590
- #350 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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#12. Radiologic technologists and technicians

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $58,930
- #176 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

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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#11. Registered nurses

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $67,440
- #252 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 1,370

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

#10. Occupational therapists

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $72,170
- #301 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 50

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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#9. Optometrists

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $85,410
- #144 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,440
- Employment: 36,690
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Columbia, SC ($228,340)
--- New Haven, CT ($186,950)
--- Evansville, IN-KY ($182,980)
- Job description: Diagnose, manage, and treat conditions and diseases of the human eye and visual system. Examine eyes and visual system, diagnose problems or impairments, prescribe corrective lenses, and provide treatment. May prescribe therapeutic drugs to treat specific eye conditions.
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#8. Physical therapists

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $86,280
- #253 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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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#7. Speech-language pathologists

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $91,180
- #47 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 40

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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#6. Veterinarians

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $100,590
- #148 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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#4 (tie). Nurse practitioners

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $103,070
- #284 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 90

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

#4 (tie). Physician assistants

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $103,070
- #250 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 80

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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#3. Pharmacists

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $126,970
- #163 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 140

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. Family medicine physicians

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $238,520
- #87 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 60

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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#1. Pediatricians, general

State College, PA
- Annual mean salary: $275,730
- #2 highest pay among all metros
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $184,570
- Employment: 27,550
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($280,860)
--- State College, PA ($275,730)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($275,610)
- Job description: Diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases and injuries in children. May refer patients to specialists for further diagnosis or treatment, as needed.

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