Best Medical Careers You've Never Heard Of

When people think of healthcare professions, often the first professionals that come to mind are doctors and nurses. However, there are many other exciting medical careers to consider in addition to working as a physician or a nurse.

Below are a few of the best medical careers that often are overlooked when considering a health career. Like many healthcare careers, these medical careers are very rewarding and exciting in a number of ways. Many offer competitive salaries and many other perks.

Cardiac Perfusionist

Nurse monitoring vital signs on extra corporeal circulation machine in heart operation.
Thierry Dosogne/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Cardiac perfusionists assist surgeons with open heart surgery. Perfusionists operate the machine that pumps the patient's blood while the heart is stopped for surgery. The career offers excellent pay (about $65,000-$135,000) and requires a bachelor's degree plus completion of an accredited training program in clinical cardiac perfusion.

The job openings for perfusionists in the United States are increasing due to the growing number of people age 65 and older who are more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and require open-heart surgery.

In addition, new procedures for many types of heart disease, defects, and disorders are increasing the need for cardiovascular perfusion services.

Dance Therapist

Fitness dance
Dragan Trifunovic / Getty Images

Yes, the practice of dance therapy does exist, and if you love to dance, and want to make an impact on the health and well-being of others, a career as a dance movement therapist may be a great option for you. Dance therapy requires a master's degree, and the pay is not as high as some other masters-level health careers. However, the career is so unique and rewarding for people who love dance, that it warrants inclusion on this list.

Music Therapist

A music therapist and her pupil drum together
Tina Stallard / Getty Images

Like dance therapy, many musicians are not aware that there is a way to apply their skills and talents to the healthcare industry. Music can help heal in a number of ways, and music therapists are trained to treat a variety of types of patients and help them with cognitive skills, speech, mobility, depression, and more.


Nurse checking bag of blood while patient gives donation
Steve Debenport / Getty Images

Phlebotomy in and of itself is not often a career per se, but more of a skill. There are some people who solely work as phlebotomists (they draw blood from patients, for use in lab testing, etc.). However, most people start out learning phlebotomy and then parlay that into other careers, as phlebotomists only earn about or slightly above minimum wage. Therefore, many phlebotomists will later become nurses or medical assistants who also are phlebotomists.

Dental Technician

Dental prosthesis
GARO/PHANIE / Getty Images

They don't clean teeth or take X-rays. Dental technicians work behind the scenes, never seen by patients. Someone has to make the crowns, bridges, and caps that are put on patients' teeth, and dental technicians are the professionals toiling away in a dental lab, manufacturing the pieces and parts that are used to repair or replace natural teeth.


Chemical research

Although they obtain the same doctorate-level degree as pharmacists (PharmD), pharmacologists have a different role as researchers and developers of pharmaceutical drugs.

Medical Science Liaison

Doctors Talking to Hospital Administrator
LWA / Getty Images

According to, Medical Science Liaisons "help ensure products are used effectively, serve as scientific resources and experts, advise on upcoming advances in treatments, and provide input about relevant scientific and clinical data." Their average salary is $169,541.


Man Receiving Radiation Therapy for Cancer
Mark Kostich / Getty Images

Dosimetrists work with the radiation oncology team to help treat cancer patients via radiation therapy. Medical dosimetrists are employed in hospitals or cancer treatment centers and usually work a 40-hour week. They use computers to design and test radiation treatments; spend a lot of time documenting treatment plans; and consult with physicians, patients and the radiation oncology team.

Their work can put them in proximity to radioactive materials, so proper safety precautions must be taken to minimize exposure.

Dosimetrists earn between $108,006 and $128,572.

Was this page helpful?

Article Sources

Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Perfusionist. 2019.

  2. American Dance Therapy Association. What is dance/movement therapy? November 8, 2014.

  3. American Music Therapy Association. What is music therapy?

  4. Phlebotomist.

  5. American Dental Association. Dental laboratory technician. 2019.

  6. What is a pharmacologist?

  7. Medical science liaison.

  8. American Association of Medical Dosimetrists. What is a medical dosimetrist? 2019.

  9. Radiation therapy dosimetrist salary. 2019.