30 High Paying Career Changes For Nurses in 2023

Nurses have to cope with a lot on the job, including night shifts, long hours, and a variety of emotional ups and downs. Some nurses find it necessary to take a professional break from nursing to pursue less demanding work. This article explores the high paying career changes for nurses.

The nursing industry is expanding and according to previous occupational employment forecasts, as of the year 2018, at least 1 million nurses were needed in the United States alone.

It was observed that although 95% of nurses indicated they were glad to become nurses, 20% wanted to pursue a different career if they had a chance as most students choose to nurse because they want to help others. 

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Other than Nursing, what else Can You Do with a Nursing Degree?

Nursing graduates and professionals with relevant experience can find rewarding work in a wide range of healthcare-related fields.

Our list of 30 high-paying nursing jobs includes positions in a variety of industries, including health and nutritional services, social work, and public health.

We also include nursing-related occupations in education, counseling, research, and government services.

Assume you’ve become a nurse after pursuing your dream of becoming one, treated patients with compassion, and amassed some valuable experience. After that, what else?

It’s time to put your professional skills to use in a new endeavor. Most likely, it’s time for a new job! As a licensed nurse, you have a wide range of career opportunities.

Check Also: How to Write a Career Change Cover Letter in 2023 | Sample PDF

1. Physical Therapist:

As a physical therapist, you will help people who have been injured or unwell by controlling their pain and improving their range of motion.

Whether in a hospital or a private clinic, this is a rapidly expanding area of the healthcare sector.

And if you’re looking for a new career where you can engage with patients, this could be it.

However, while you will probably need some sort of degree or certification to work as a Physical Therapy Assistant, you can still work as an Aide without having completed a four-year college program.

Physical therapy assistants can work in a variety of settings including clinics, offices, and hospitals across the country, giving them access to many job prospects. 

They have an average annual salary of $89,349 and a per-hour rate of $43.

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2. Clinical Social Worker:

Patients with addiction, abuse, or mental disease are treated by Clinical Social Workers, who can work in a variety of settings including mental health clinics and government agencies.

They diagnose and treat these conditions. In most cases, a certified Clinical Social Worker has a master’s degree in social work and has completed the appropriate state examination to become certified. 

They can expect to make around $56,750 a year, or about $26.09 an hour.

Urban locations have the most opportunity for clinical social workers, who work in a range of settings including public, private, and non-governmental organizations (NGO).

They can work in administration, research, and public planning, as well as mental health, public health, or school social work.

3. Educator on Health:

As a health educator, your job is to inform the public on how to enhance their overall well-being and health. This includes giving them advice on things like nutrition, exercise, and making lifestyle changes.

In addition, Health Educators work with community health specialists and civic organizations to identify health needs and ways to satisfy those needs.

They will help create and perform public health surveys as well as conduct assessments and tests to determine the efficiency of health education programs.

Additionally, they must use press releases, media campaigns, and websites to provide information to the general public. Education and training, geographic area, and the employer all play a role in how much a Health Educator makes.

This area is anticipated to develop by 19% by 2023, as they can work in NGOs, hospitals, government colleges, and clinics, among other places. 

It is estimated that they earn an average of $55,220 per year and $32 per hour.

4. Consultant for Corporate Wellness:

Corporate Wellness Consultants work with employees and help them make dietary and lifestyle adjustments to improve their health.

This is comparable to the function of a Health Educator, but in a more formal or corporate context. Incorporating healthy exercises and behaviors into their work schedules will also be a part of this.

The consultant will survey and interview customers to learn about their health needs, then counsel them on nutrition and exercise, all while developing health promotion programs to help them cope with stress and exhaustion.

There are numerous locations a Corporate Wellness Consultant can work, including spas, gyms, and other organizations dedicated to helping their customers better their health. They have an annual salary of $72,261 and an hourly wage of $37.

5. Sales of medical/pharmaceutical products:

Medical/Pharmaceutical Sales representatives address medical questions about the products they are promoting, which may include pharmaceuticals or medical gadgets.

Medical practitioners will prescribe and/or use these products.

One of the perks, but not the only one, is the excellent pay scale, an this work gives you a lot of freedom, which is a plus. Medical/Pharmaceutical Salespeople spend the day with a predetermined list of doctors and hospitals rather than being limited to an office.

It’s a career with a lot of potential for growth and higher pay if you’re between the ages of 20 and 40.

The job may be stressful, but on the other hand, it is quite extraordinary, and it causes a wide range of tasks from the professionals, from talking to surgeons to running a training session with doctors. 

They are paid an average of $74,748 per year and 15.49 dollars per hour, respectively.

6. Nutritionist:

When it comes to jobs that let you combine your passion for food with your career, this is one of the best options available, and as a Nutritionist, you’d use food to help people live healthier lives by giving them the correct kind of nutrition in the proper amount.

This would necessitate a bachelor’s degree, internship experience, and license in some states.

Along with them, you’ll need to be an effective communicator, can motivate others, and be able to report and evaluate data quickly and the ability to manage your time and stay organized will be necessary as well.

Schools, clinics, and nursing homes are all possible places for you to work. They are paid an average of $62,330 per year and 29.97 dollars per hour, respectively.

7. Medical Journalist:

Technical writing is a part of this, as are articles for medical publications, focusing particularly on patient education, and you’ll be expected to write about scientific or governmental topics as part of your responsibilities in this position.

Applicants who enjoy writing and have an eye for detail should apply.

As a medical writer, you have the option of working for yourself and setting your hours, as you’ll be tasked with a variety of things.

Your job will range from writing abstracts and marketing materials to prepare regulatory documents, and you can expect a wide range of assignments as all of these contribute to diversifying your portfolio. 

They make an annual salary of $91,301 and an hourly wage of $44 on average.

8. Consultant Forensic Nurse:

Working with law enforcement as a Forensic Nurse means you’ll have a job that straddles the legal system and the medical sector.

Victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child maltreatment would be the focus of your work. You would also gather evidence throughout therapy and follow a certain method so that the evidence could be presented to a court of law.

Nursing or Forensic Nursing is a must for this position. Your degree will offer you an advantage when it comes time to apply for jobs.

The benefits of joining a professional organization as the IAFN go far beyond continuing your education.

You’ll gain access to publications online, have networking opportunities, and have your name published in professional directories. Their annual salary is $65,047 and their hourly rate is $31.

9. Diagnostician:

These men and women spend their days doing tests on behalf of the diagnostician, and diagnostic technicians help diagnosticians collect the data they need to make diagnoses.

People in this profession frequently draw on their previous training and experience to improve their education in medicine.

Quite a few of them go on to work in the medical field as surgeons or doctors and they earn an average salary of $59,750 per year – $28.73 per hour.

10. Dental Assistant

They treat patients much like nurses do, although they are more like administrative assistants than caregivers. Dental assistants are the clerical workers of the dental profession.

Maintaining patient records, getting patients ready for dental cleanings, and scheduling appointments are all responsibilities of a dental assistant.

In the coming decade, employment opportunities for dental assistants are predicted to expand at a greater rate than the average for all occupations, they earn an average salary of $35,640 per year – $17.13 per hour.

11. Emergency Medical Technician:

When injured, EMTs provide care in emergency rooms, ambulances, and any other fast-paced medical environment. They are also called EMS.

They are frequently the first responders on the scene, and the decisions they make can make the difference between life and death for someone else.

A rudimentary understanding of medical diseases and injuries is required of EMTs for them to diagnose patients on the spot.

Although some EMTs work for fire departments, hospitals, and emergency medical clinics that employ the majority of the profession’s workforce, they earn an average annual salary is $34,870, or $16.77 per hour.

12. Radiologic Technologist:

Imaging tests, such as x-rays and CT scans, are administered by radiologic technicians (also known as radiology techs).

Though they work closely with radiologists and the doctors who order these tests, radiologic technicians lack the knowledge to interpret the images they collect.

This field is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years, so you should have no trouble finding work once you’ve completed your training, they earn an average yearly salary of $56,760 per year – $27.29 per hour, making it one of the high paying career changes for nurses.

13.  Dental Hygienist

Hygienists clean patients’ teeth before, during, and after dental operations, and these professionals work closely with dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and others in the dental field to ensure that patients have clean teeth when they leave the office.

Dental hygiene Between 2012 and 2023, work opportunities in this field are predicted to expand by 33%, putting 64,200 new jobs at your disposal.

You could be able to get a job in this rewarding industry soon if you get the correct training. They earn an hourly wage of $34.39 and  an annual salary of $71,530.

14. Coder/Biller in the Medical Field

Patients and insurance companies depend on medical billing and coding specialists to make sure hospitals have the money they need to function.

As health information technicians, some of these individuals are responsible for a much larger range of duties, such as checking medical records to ensure they are accessible, accurate, and easy to understand.

Workers in the medical area are being forced to learn new software packages as the industry transitions to electronic record keeping, $37,710 per year – $18.13 per hour is the annual salary-hourly wage.

15. Respiratory Therapist:

Patients who have trouble breathing are treated by respiratory therapists. Most of these patients are suffering from chronic lung diseases like asthma or emphysema, which affect their ability to breathe.

Respiratory therapists may see the same patients every month or be called upon to be on call in case of an emergency.

This is a well-paying job that requires no education and allows you to work closely with patients all day. They earn an average yearly salary of $55,870, or $26.86 an hourly wage, for a full-time worker

16. Nurse Practitioner:

A nurse practitioner is a highly trained nurse who takes on many of the responsibilities of a physician and can diagnose patients, prescribing medication, and even performing minor surgery in some situations.

They authorize nurse practitioners to practice independently in some places with no supervising physician. They have to sign a contract with a doctor who will supervise their practice in other states.

State-by-state qualifications for this profession vary, however, all NPs have at least a master’s degree. (BLS) A nurse practitioner degree can help you develop in the nursing field.

They earn an average yearly salary of $95,070 – an hourly wage of $45.71.

17. Phlebotomist:

When it comes to drawing blood for transfusions, tests, donations, and research, phlebotomists have to know how to use several types of blood-drawing equipment depending on the purpose for which the blood is being collected.

While still in school, many LVNs, nursing assistants, and registered nurses (RNs) work as phlebotomists to get experience in the medical profession.

Phlebotomists spend a lot of time with patients, thus they need to be good communicators.

Many people do not do well when their blood is drawn, therefore they must know how to react in emergence, and they earn an average yearly salary of $31,410 – an hourly wage of $15.10, making it one of the high paying career changes for nurses.

18. Counselor for Rehabilitation:

People with physical or emotional difficulties that make it difficult for them to live independently work with rehabilitation counselors, who provide counseling to help the patients learn to manage chores on their own.

Nurses who desire to do more for their patients will make up a large portion of this new group.

Eventually, they’ll leave hospitals and clinics to work in a variety of other settings, including rehabilitation organizations, schools, and prisons, they earn an average yearly salary of $37,660 equates to $18.10 an hour.

19. Surgical Technologist:

Oral surgery technologists (OSTs) support surgeons and other surgical team members during an operation to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Surgeons rely on surgical technologists for a variety of services, including setting up equipment, setting up operating rooms, and supplying surgical instruments to surgeons.

Surgical assistant employment is comparable to that of a nurse’s aide, but the emphasis is on surgical care, they earn an average yearly salary of $44,420 – an hourly wage of $21.36

20. Technologist in Veterinary Medicine:

Veterinary technicians, often known as vet techs, assist veterinarians by assisting with animal care. They are the veterinary equivalent of nurses, and demand for them is at an all-time high.

You must love animals and want to help them stay healthy if you want to work in this industry.

Many veterinary technicians go on to work as veterinarians in the future and use their work as working experience as they finish their doctorate.

They earn an average salary of $31,760 per year or $15.27 per hour.

21. Counselor for Substance Abuse:

Those who work with drug and alcohol addicts closely as substance abuse counselors accomplish many of the same activities as rehab counselors, but they are more focused on the recovery of substance abuse.

Patients with behavioral or eating issues may also benefit from their services.

This work discovers what causes a patient’s addiction and then come up with a plan to overcome it.

They make an average of $41,090 a year in salary and $19.75 an hour in wages.

22. Physician assistants are medical doctors’ assistants:

While under the supervision of a doctor or surgeon, a physician assistant practices medicine. Most typically, a doctorate student serves as the physician assistant.

They prepare PAs to conduct examinations, make diagnoses, and treat patients in the same way as doctors do. Medical offices, hospitals, clinics, and other facilities hire them.

Because the training for nurse practitioners and physician assistants is so comparable, several nurse practitioners also practice as physician assistants.

They’re paid an average of $90,930 a year in salary and $43.72 an hourly wage.

23. Specialist in Occupational Safety and Health:

Specialists in occupational health and safety examine workplaces to ensure that companies adhere to current safety regulations and are to ensure the safety of both employees and customers.

Even though this profession does not seem like it has anything to do with nursing, many nurses leave patient care and move into this role. So they can help individuals all the time without having to treat them medically.

Not much demand at the moment, but the construction and recreation industries have plenty of work to perform.

They may expect to make $65,710 per year, or $31.59 per hour, on average.

24. Psychiatrist’s Assistant:

Patients with mental and emotional difficulties benefit from the help of psychiatric assistants who serve as confidants and consultants to them both before and after their appointments.

Psychiatric assistants are on hand to help psychiatrists restrain violent patients.

This is a rare occurrence, though, and most assistants are made aware of it well in advance.

They earn an average yearly salary and an hourly wage of $26,990 and $12.98, respectively, making it one of the high paying career changes for nurses.

25. Physical Therapy Assistant:

These individuals work with injured patients to help them regain their strength and physical skills.

They aid physical therapists in treating them. PTAs don’t always work directly with patients, but they can help them be ready for a therapy session or consultation before they go in to see a therapist.

Between 2012 and 2023, we expect the number of available employment in this field to expand at a rate of 41%, which is substantially faster than the average for all occupations in the United States.

They make an average of $53,320 a year in salary and $25.63 an hour in wages.

26. Caretakers of Laboratory Animals:

Many of the responsibilities that laboratory animal caregivers perform are like those of vet assistants, but they work primarily behind the scenes.

They may draw blood, perform tests, run x-rays, and perform other tasks that don’t take place in a consultation room. In the field, lab technicians are sometimes tasked with unpleasant tasks like cleaning up animal waste and bathing the animals they handle.

They make an average of $25,110 a year in salary and $12.07 an hour in wages.

27. Dispensing Optician:

In an eye clinic or eye doctor’s office, a dispensing optician is someone who fits eyeglasses and contacts for clients after their appointments are over.

There isn’t a lot of education required for optometrists, but they do have to learn about the eye care products now on the market.

They must also be able to communicate well with patients to provide them with the best possible eyewear.

Opticians who also work as optometry assistants get an average yearly salary and an hourly wage of $35,710 and $17.17 on rare occasions.

28. Orderly:

Medical orderlies perform a wide range of duties not performed by other staff members, including everything from filling out paperwork to driving patients to the emergency room.

Most orderlies begin their careers as nursing assistants before advancing to the position of registered nurse. Orderlies can also work as EMTs, nursing managers, and other positions as a result of their education and training.

There are many entry-level nursing jobs out there, and you should be able to find one that you are interested in quickly. These jobs pay an average annual salary and an hourly wage of $26,340 and $12.66, respectively.

29. Medical Equipment Preparer:

Those who work in the medical equipment preparation industry set up oxygen machines, respirators, safety rails, and other equipment for patients’ homes, disinfect, clean, and install the equipment before the patient may use it.

They may work in hospitals, although medical equipment businesses hire the majority of them.

Their knowledge of how this equipment works, as well as the safety risks associated with each device they are in charge of, is necessary for them to earn an average yearly salary and an hourly wage of $33,320, and $16.02, respectively, in this position.

30. Technologist in Cardiology:

Cardiovascular technologists, who are in charge of the imaging equipment used to examine heart and blood vessel abnormalities can not diagnose patients.

However, they collaborate closely with cardiologists who do make diagnoses for their patients. This is a well-paying job that requires little formal education and is in high demand around the country.

Because of their education and experience, some cardiovascular technicians move on to work as cardiology nurses, earning an average yearly salary and an hourly wage of $53,990 and $25.95, respectively.


If you want to spend more time with your family while still working as a nurse, consider one of the above career options for nurses.

These options still let you practice nursing, but they are less time-consuming than a hospital or clinical nursing.



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