Earning a master’s degree is often a smart career choice for professionals in many fields. With a more advanced degree, it often is possible to earn a higher salary and work in many higher level positions than with just a bachelor’s degree.
There also are some jobs that require you to have your master’s degree to qualify for consideration. Some of these jobs that are seeing strong demand today include the following:
#1 Nurse Practitioner
A nurse practitioner or NP is a type of advanced nursing practice professional that provides primary and speciality care to healthcare patients of all ages. NPs perform many of the same duties as physicians, and consequently are experiencing a high level demand for their services, now and for the foreseeable future. Jump to Guide to MSN Nurse Practitioner Degree.
Some of the duties of these advanced practice nurses include:
- Perform routine physical examinations on patients across the lifespan
- Create plans for patients care, or create new plans
- Order, perform and interpret many diagnostic tests.
- Provide treatments and medications to patients
- Prescribe medications, including controlled substances
- Evaluate what the patient’s response is to various treatments and medicines
Nurse practitioners usually work under the guidance of a licensed physicians, but almost half of US states today allow NPs to work independently and in private practice.
NPs must earn a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), with a focus on the field of nurse practitioner. This program takes approximately two years to complete, and requires several hundred clinical hours to be completed in a nursing setting. Jump to MSN Degree.
NP jobs are booming, and there will be 35% more of them available for MSN graduates by 2024. The median salary in this growing profession is a healthy $100,000 per year.
#2 Physician Assistant
A physician assistant or PA practices primary and speciality medicine in cooperation with doctors, surgeons and many other healthcare workers. They examine, diagnose and treatment many different types of patients at various ages. They perform most of the same roles as doctors, usually under their supervision.
The most common duties of PAs are:
- Review the medical history for a variety of primary care patients
- Perform medical examinations of patients across the lifespan
- Order and interpret many diagnostic tests, such as X-rays and blood tests
- Diagnose the injury or illness of various patients
- Provide both education and counseling to patients and families regarding health conditions and illnesses
- Prescribe most drugs
PAs usually work with a team of medical and healthcare professionals to provide quality care to patients. PA’s may work in most areas of medicine with the most common being primary and family care; ER and critical care, surgery and mental health.
The exact nature of one’s duties depends upon the specialty, and/or the type of facility in which they work. For instance, a PA working in a surgical ward may help surgeons to close incisions, and provided skilled care after the operation.
A PA is required to earn a Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies, which takes two years, and requires several hundred clinical hours supervised.
Job demand also is strong for PAs, with 30% more jobs expected by 2024. The median salary is $101,400 per year.
#3 Postsecondary Education Administrator
Postsecondary education administrators are responsible for the oversight of student services, academics, and research at universities in the US. The scope of their duties depend upon the area of the college in which they work, such as the registrar’s office, admissions or student affairs.
A common type of postsecondary education administrator work’s as the head of the admissions department. In that case, common duties include:
- Make a determination about how many students can be admitted to the school
- Meet with students and encourage those who qualify to apply
- Review applications to see of each student deserves admission.
- Conduct data analysis regarding which students were admitted and for what reasons
Admissions professionals often work in concert with financial aid, which can help students to decide if that university is affordable for them.
Postsecondary administrators may also work at the registrar’s office, which is in charge of maintaining student and class records.
Most if not all postsecondary education administrators must earn a master’s degree to be considered for the position. Jobs will increase by 9% by 2024, and the median salary is $90,700.
Statisticians are experts in statistical methods to collect and analyze different types of data in different fields, including business, healthcare, and engineering. The purpose of a statistician’s work is to help to solve real world problems of various kinds.
Some of their duties include:
- Determining what type of data is needed to address and solve a certain question or problem
- Determine the most effective ways to find and collect needed data
- Design statistical surveys, opinion polls and experiments to collect the necessary data
- Perform advanced analysis and interpretation of collected data
- Report conclusions to a variety of stakeholders
Statisticians have to be very familiar with statistical software to perform the necessary analysis of data to draw conclusions. They also need to do tests of the validity of the data sets and to account for any sampling errors.
Statisticians can find work in many fields, including research and development, healthcare, education, government, psychology and even sports.
One of the most common areas in which these professionals work is in government. Statisticians are needed by local, state and federal governments to develop and analyze surveys that collect many types of data. Some projects at the government level could include unemployment rates, wages and other estimates that are needed regarding workers and jobs.
Also, statisticians frequently are relied upon in healthcare. In that field, they are known as either bimetricians or biostatisticians. They are commonly employed by public health agencies, drug companies and hospitals. Statisticians in healthcare may devise clinical studies to determine if a drug can successfully treat a medical problem.
There are a limited number of entry-level statistician jobs available with a bachelor’s. But most statisticians eventually must earn their master’s degree.
Job demand is expected to be strong for statisticians. Jobs will increase at a rapid 34% pace by 2024. The median salary is $80,500.
Psychologists study emotional, cognitive, and social processes, as well as behavior. They observe, interpret, and record how individuals relate to each other and their environment. The strive to understand people’s thoughts, feelings, emotions, and behavior. Jump to Different Types of Psychology Degrees.
Psychologists may use advanced skills in the field such as observation, experimentation and assessment to develop theories about the feelings and the beliefs that influence people.
There are many types of psychologist, and all of them require at least a master’s degree to practice. Common subspecialties of psychologist are:
- Health psychologist: Studies how behavior and psychology interact with illness and health
- Counseling psychologist: Assists patients in working with and understanding their problems at home, on the job and in the community
- Forensic psychologist: Uses principles of psychology in the criminal and legal realms to assist attorneys, judges and other legal professionals to understand the psychological areas of a case
- Clinical psychologist: Responsible for assessing, diagnosing, treating various emotional and behavioral disorders. This type of psychologist tends to work with diagnosed mental health disorders, whereas counseling psychologists work with less serious case
- Industrial/organizational psychologist: Apply principles of psychology to the job and workplace to assist in solving workplace problems and to enhance work life quality
- School psychologist: Apply techniques of psychology to younger and older children in school. May address problems that affect student learning and behavior.
Psychologists will see a 19% increase in demand by 2024, and the median pay in the field overall is $75,200.
#6 Marriage and Family Therapist
Marriage and family therapists are also referred to as MFTs. They assist people in overcoming problems with their partners and other family relationships. Jump to MFT Degree Salary & Career Outlook.
MFTs listen to clients and ask questions to help them to better understand problems and to devise new strategies to improve their lives. MFTs may work with individuals, couples and families. They offer more of a family centered perspective to treatment, even when an individual is being treated. They help the person by treating the relationship of the person and just just the client.
MFTs must earn a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy, and some may have a doctoral degree. The median salary is $49,170.
#7 Clinical Social Worker
A clinical social worker is licensed to both diagnose and treat many mental, emotional and behavioral problems. Some of the most common types of conditions they work with is anxiety and depression. Jump to Get a Masters in Social Work + 3 No GRE Options.
Clinical social workers must have at least a master’s degree, and provide individual, group and family therapy. These types of social workers are some of the most common types of mental health professionals in the country. They often refer clients to other vital community resources, including support groups or to other mental health professionals.
Many clinical social workers work in their own practice, but also may work in a social services agency with other healthcare and social work professionals.
The median salary for clinical social workers is $60,230.
#8 Healthcare Social Worker
Healthcare social workers assist patients to understand what their health problem or diagnosis is, and works with them to make needed lifestyle, healthcare and housing adjustments.
A common situation for healthcare social workers is to help people to transition from the hospital back to their community or home. Healthcare social workers also help physicians and various healthcare professionals to understand disease and illness effects on the mental and emotional health of their patients.
Healthcare social workers earn a median salary of $53,700 per year.
#9 School Social Worker
A school social worker works with school administrators, teachers and parents to devise innovative ways to boost the social development and academic performance of students. Students and families often are sent to school social workers to handle problems related to bullying, aggressive behavior, or being absent from school. Jump to MSW Degree.
School social workers also require you to have a master’s degree in social work to qualify for work. The median salary is approximately $45,000 per year.
#10 School Counselor
A school counselor helps students in elementary, middle and high school to better develop their academic and social skills. The purpose for school counselors is to help the student enjoy a higher level of success, and to prepare for later education.
School counselors help students to evaluate their interests and abilities via aptitude assessments, individual planning and interview. Help students to determine the issues that affect school performance, such as poor attendance.
Elementary and middle school counselors work with students, parents and teachers to help young students to develop important academic and behavioral skills to improve academic and personal performance. High school counselors often advise students on making career and academic plans.
The median salary for school counselors is $54,560.
#11 Occupational Therapist
These workers help people who have a variety of disabling mental or physical conditions to recover and to be able to live and function on their own. They also assist patients who have been recently disabled or have an amputated limb to effectively compensate for the function they have lost. Jump to Get a Masters in Occupational Therapy
OTs help their patients also to work through permanent disabilities, including cerebral palsy, to be able to accomplish necessary daily tasks. For example, occupational therapists show their patients how to utilize adaptive equipment to function better at work and home, such as leg braces, eating aids and wheelchairs.
At least a master’s degree is required to work in occupational therapy, and some today have a doctorate. The median salary in this field is $81,900.
#12 Forensic Psychologist
These specialized psychologists use their psychological knowledge in the criminal justice and legal systems to assist judges, attorneys and others in the legal field to understand the psychological underpinnings of a case. Jump to 30+ Best Online Masters in Psychology No GRE
Forensic psychologists may be called upon to testify as expert witnesses in some legal cases. You may specialize in certain types of cases, such as criminal, family or civil.
Demand for jobs in forensic psychology will be approximately 18% by 2024, and the median salary is $75,200. All psychologists must have a master’s degree and state licensure, at minimum. Many possess a doctorate so that they can practice without supervision of another psychologist.
#13 Physical Therapist
Physical therapists or PTs assist injured and ill people to enhance their ability to move and to manage pain. PTs are a very important part of the rehabilitation process. They also help patients to treat and prevent pain with a variety of chronic health problems, including various arthritis.
PTs offer specialized care to people in all age groups who have movement problems from injuries and health conditions. They are educated to use many techniques to care for patients. Some of these techniques include exercises, training in functional movement, and how to use certain types of assistive equipment, such as canes, crutches and wheelchairs.
The pay for PTs is $85,400 per year, according to BLS.
Audiologists manage, diagnose and treat the hearing, balance and related ear problems of their patients.
Audiologists use computers, audiometers and other advanced technology devices to test the hearing ability and balance of patients. They try to determine what the extent of a patient’s hearing damage is, and to identify the underlying cause. They also measure the loudness at which the patient can start to hear sounds, and the ability to distinguish between sound and speech.
Job growth is anticipated to be robust in the coming years, with 29% growth expected. The median salary is $75,980.
Chiropractors provide care for patients who have back and musculoskeletal problems. These issues can include problems with the nerves, bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Chiropractors use spinal adjustments and manipulation to manage the back pain and health concerns of their patients.
Chiropractors think that misalignment of the spine can interfere with the neuromuscular system, which can lead to poor health.
Median pay for chiropractors in May 2016 was $67,520.
#16 Speech Language Pathologist
A speech language pathologist is also referred to as a speech therapist. They assess, diagnose, treat and help various swallowing and communication disorders in patients. Speech and language disorders can come from many causes, including stroke, brain injury, hearing loss, Parkinson’s and more.
Speech language pathologists work with patients with issues with language and speech. These can include cognitive and social communication issues. Patients may not be able to speak at all, or they may have difficulty speaking.
A master’s degree is required to work in this field, and there will be strong job growth of 21% by 2024. The median salary is $74,680.
Optometrists perform examinations of the eyes and other aspects of the visual system. They also diagnose and treat many vision problems and manage many injuries and diseases of the eye. Optometrists also prescribe contact lenses and eyeglasses if needed. These vision professionals do not however perform eye surgery; that is done by ophthalmologists.
Some optometrists spend their time doing specialized care for certain types of patients. Some for example may treat patients who have partial sight, which is also called low vision.
Job demand in this field will be high in the coming years with 27% increase in jobs expected. The median pay in the field is $106,000 per year.
Podiatrists offer medical and surgical care to those with foot, ankle and lower leg issues. They may diagnose illnesses, treat foot injuries, and perform surgery that involves the lower leg.
Some of the most common foot conditions they treat are calluses, heel spurs, ingrown toenails, arthritis and foot and ankle deformities. They also often treat leg and foot problems that are related to diabetes.
The median salary for podiatrists in 2016 was $124,000.
#19 Orthotists and Prosthetists
These healthcare professionals design medical supportive devices, and measure and fit patients so that they can move freely. These devices usually include various artificial limbs, such as hands, arms, legs and feet.
Orthotists and prosthetists may work in prosthetics and orthotics, or they might want to specialize in a single area. Orthotists have been trained to work with most medical supportive devices, such as knee and spinal braces. Prosthetists have been trained to work with artificial limbs and body parts.
Median pay in this healthcare field is $65,600 per year.
#20 Accountant (CPA)
Accountants prepare and examine tax forms and financial records. They make sure that financial records are completely accurate and that taxes have been paid on time. Accountants assess the financial operations of companies and individuals, and help to ensure that everything is run with financial efficiency. Jump to Master’s in Accounting Degree + Online Options!.
Some accountants have bachelor’s degrees, but to become a Certified Public Accountant, a master’s degree is generally required.
Median pay for accountants was $68,100 in 2016, but the top 10% earned $120,900 per year. Many CPAs will earn at the top of the pay scale.
- 50 Best Careers to Get with a Master’s Degree
- How to Choose the Best Graduate Degree Online
- Reasons to Earn a Master’s Degree Online
- What are the Best Types of Graduate Degrees?
- Graduate Certificate vs Masters Degree
- MSN Masters in Nursing vs Masters in Public Health MPH
- Nurse Practitioner Degrees with No GRE
- Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/nurse-anesthetists-nurse-midwives-and-nurse-practitioners.htm
- Statisticians. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/math/statisticians.htm#tab-2
- Secondary Education Administrators. (2015, Dec. 17). Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/postsecondary-education-administrators.htm#tab-6