Highest paying jobs in Blacksburg that require a graduate degree

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March 8, 2022
Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

Highest paying jobs in Blacksburg that require a graduate degree

Those with graduate degrees earn more on average than those without them—but not all jobs are equal. And while rising tuition costs are enough to turn people away from the prospect of a master’s or doctoral degree, many high-paying professions still require such degrees to get in the door. Stacker compiled a list of the highest- paying jobs that require a graduate degree in Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Jobs are ranked by 2020 annual mean wage.

The best way to guarantee a high return on investment in a graduate degree is to be aware of professions that pay top-dollar for that added educational investment. Keep reading to see where a graduate degree is required—and can earn you the most.

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VH-studio // Shutterstock

#32. Educational, guidance, and career counselors and advisors

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $53,910 (#249 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $62,320 (292,230 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($91,420)
--- El Centro, CA ($91,110)
--- Fresno, CA ($90,860)

Job description: Advise and assist students and provide educational and vocational guidance services.

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Simon Fraser Universtiy // flickr

#31. Instructional coordinators

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $58,740 (#247 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $70,160 (174,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- New Haven, CT ($111,440)
--- Warner Robins, GA ($110,800)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($104,000)

Job description: Develop instructional material, coordinate educational content, and incorporate current technology into instruction in order to provide guidelines to educators and instructors for developing curricula and conducting courses. May train and coach teachers. Includes educational consultants and specialists, and instructional material directors.

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Pressmaster // Shutterstock

#30. Art, drama, and music teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $64,380 (#82 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 180

National
- Annual mean salary: $84,780 (91,170 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($122,920)
--- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI ($115,740)
--- Rochester, NY ($115,080)

Job description: Teach courses in drama, music, and the arts including fine and applied art, such as painting and sculpture, or design and crafts. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Kenny Holston // flickr

#29. Recreation and fitness studies teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $65,380 (#26 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $75,430 (14,730 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($135,560)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($108,140)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($100,260)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to recreation, leisure, and fitness studies, including exercise physiology and facilities management. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Austin Community College // Flickr

#28. Veterinarians

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $66,690 (#270 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $108,350 (73,710 employed)
- 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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Shane Global // flickr

#27. Foreign language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $67,540 (#52 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $80,410 (22,790 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($129,500)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($122,220)
--- Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA ($118,390)

Job description: Teach languages and literature courses in languages other than English. Includes teachers of American Sign Language (ASL). Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Fabrice Florin // flickr

#26. Education teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $69,240 (#57 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $75,010 (57,560 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($104,950)
--- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA ($103,700)
--- Stockton-Lodi, CA ($100,980)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to education, such as counseling, curriculum, guidance, instruction, teacher education, and teaching English as a second language. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife // flickr

#25. Criminal justice and law enforcement teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $70,210 (#22 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $74,740 (14,030 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fresno, CA ($143,000)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($127,110)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($109,240)

Job description: Teach courses in criminal justice, corrections, and law enforcement administration. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Suzannekweiss // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Nursing instructors and teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $73,870 (#77 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $84,060 (61,100 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL ($145,990)
--- Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($120,040)
--- Savannah, GA ($117,610)

Job description: Demonstrate and teach patient care in classroom and clinical units to nursing students. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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COD Newsroom // Flickr

#23. English language and literature teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $73,950 (#51 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 140

National
- Annual mean salary: $81,340 (64,800 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($141,420)
--- Fresno, CA ($130,580)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($121,510)

Job description: Teach courses in English language and literature, including linguistics and comparative literature. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Fae // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Psychology teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $74,150 (#80 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $89,960 (36,520 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Santa Rosa, CA ($199,070)
--- Bakersfield, CA ($131,290)
--- Fresno, CA ($129,550)

Job description: Teach courses in psychology, such as child, clinical, and developmental psychology, and psychological counseling. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Canva

#21. Speech-language pathologists

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $74,730 (#218 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $83,240 (148,450 employed)
- 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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University of the Fraser Valley // flickr

#20. Philosophy and religion teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $74,800 (#48 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 60

National
- Annual mean salary: $90,160 (22,900 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($140,300)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($119,520)
--- Charlottesville, VA ($112,640)

Job description: Teach courses in philosophy, religion, and theology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Irina.stelea // Wikimedia Commons

#19. History teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $78,370 (#48 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $85,630 (20,450 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Fresno, CA ($146,320)
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($141,390)
--- Rochester, NY ($128,550)

Job description: Teach courses in human history and historiography. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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David Bibo // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Education administrators, kindergarten through secondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $80,450 (#304 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 110

National
- Annual mean salary: $103,010 (262,480 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Modesto, CA ($154,970)
--- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA ($146,070)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($145,590)

Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate the academic, administrative, or auxiliary activities of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary schools.

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National Eye Institute // Flickr

#17. Medical scientists, except epidemiologists

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $81,600 (#97 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $101,800 (126,110 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($143,800)
--- New Haven, CT ($142,330)
--- Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT ($136,230)

Job description: Conduct research dealing with the understanding of human diseases and the improvement of human health. Engage in clinical investigation, research and development, or other related activities.

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Tulane Public Relations // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Sociology teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $86,960 (#24 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $85,180 (13,420 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($130,150)
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($123,960)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($117,690)

Job description: Teach courses in sociology. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Lucky Business // Shutterstock

#15. Chemistry teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $88,280 (#42 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $94,630 (21,530 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($140,380)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($136,630)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($136,080)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to the chemical and physical properties and compositional changes of substances. Work may include providing instruction in the methods of qualitative and quantitative chemical analysis. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching, and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#14. Nurse practitioners

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $89,480 (#360 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $114,510 (211,280 employed)
- 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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ABO PHOTOGRAPHY // Shutterstock

#13. Occupational therapists

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $91,640 (#76 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $87,480 (126,610 employed)
- 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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Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#12. Physical therapists

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $92,440 (#119 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $91,680 (220,870 employed)
- 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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Gorodenkoff // Shutterstock

#11. Mathematical science teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $99,630 (#17 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 130

National
- Annual mean salary: $86,760 (49,550 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA ($147,770)
--- Fresno, CA ($129,330)
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($126,580)

Job description: Teach courses pertaining to mathematical concepts, statistics, and actuarial science and to the application of original and standardized mathematical techniques in solving specific problems and situations. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#10. Biological science teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $101,530 (#34 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $101,320 (51,500 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR ($195,730)
--- San Diego-Carlsbad, CA ($161,980)
--- Salt Lake City, UT ($147,290)

Job description: Teach courses in biological sciences. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Matej Kastelic // Shutterstock

#9. Business teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $109,950 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 340

National
- Annual mean salary: $107,270 (79,810 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ann Arbor, MI ($174,050)
--- College Station-Bryan, TX ($172,650)
--- Durham-Chapel Hill, NC ($149,740)

Job description: Teach courses in business administration and management, such as accounting, finance, human resources, labor and industrial relations, marketing, and operations research. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Physician assistants

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $110,100 (#189 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 30

National
- Annual mean salary: $116,080 (125,280 employed)
- 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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Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#7. Economics teachers, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $115,930 (#26 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 40

National
- Annual mean salary: $123,720 (13,080 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Providence-Warwick, RI-MA ($180,450)
--- Rochester, NY ($175,010)
--- Pittsburgh, PA ($171,450)

Job description: Teach courses in economics. Includes both teachers primarily engaged in teaching and those who do a combination of teaching and research.

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Rappaport Center // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Lawyers

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $116,940 (#148 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 120

National
- Annual mean salary: $148,910 (658,120 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($231,610)
--- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($201,920)
--- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV ($186,070)

Job description: Represent clients in criminal and civil litigation and other legal proceedings, draw up legal documents, or manage or advise clients on legal transactions. May specialize in a single area or may practice broadly in many areas of law.

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Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#5. Education administrators, postsecondary

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $128,870 (#38 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 220

National
- Annual mean salary: $115,200 (140,880 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Master’s degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Ithaca, NY ($205,810)
--- Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC ($178,210)
--- Charlottesville, VA ($176,040)

Job description: Plan, direct, or coordinate student instruction, administration, and services, as well as other research and educational activities, at postsecondary institutions, including universities, colleges, and junior and community colleges.

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Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#4. Pharmacists

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $134,150 (#70 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 80

National
- Annual mean salary: $125,460 (315,470 employed)
- 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

#3. General internal medicine physicians

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $218,670 (#59 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 50

National
- Annual mean salary: $210,960 (50,600 employed)
- Entry level education requirements: Doctoral or professional degree
- Metros with highest average pay:
--- Rochester, MN ($315,830)
--- Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC ($314,080)
--- Wichita Falls, TX ($311,260)

Job description: Diagnose and provide nonsurgical treatment for a wide range of diseases and injuries of internal organ systems. Provide care mainly for adults and adolescents, and are based primarily in an outpatient care setting.

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Canva

#2. Dentists, general

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $243,280 (#17 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: 70

National
- Annual mean salary: $180,830 (95,920 employed)
- 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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Canva

#1. Family medicine physicians

Blacksburg-Christiansburg-Radford, VA
- Annual mean salary: $251,130 (#51 highest pay among all metros)
- Employment: data not available

National
- Annual mean salary: $214,370 (98,590 employed)
- 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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