JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (Stacker.com) — 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 Jacksonville 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.

1 / 20GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#20. Nursing assistants

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $24,930
– #363 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 380

National
– Annual mean salary: $32,050
– Employment: 1,371,050
– Entry level education requirements: Postsecondary nondegree award
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($48,420)
— Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA ($43,960)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($42,200)
– Job description: Provide or assist with basic care or support under the direction of onsite licensed nursing staff. Perform duties such as monitoring of health status, feeding, bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, or ambulation of patients in a health or nursing facility. May include medication administration and other health-related tasks. Includes nursing care attendants, nursing aides, and nursing attendants.

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#19. Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $28,650
– #154 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $30,980
– Employment: 98,810
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($45,950)
— New Haven, CT ($45,360)
— Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH ($41,210)
– Job description: Feed, water, and examine pets and other nonfarm animals for signs of illness, disease, or injury in laboratories and animal hospitals and clinics. Clean and disinfect cages and work areas, and sterilize laboratory and surgical equipment. May provide routine postoperative care, administer medication orally or topically, or prepare samples for laboratory examination under the supervision of veterinary or laboratory animal technologists or technicians, veterinarians, or scientists.

3 / 20Milkovasa // Shutterstock

#18. Medical assistants

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $30,290
– #349 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 180

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.

4 / 20Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#17. Pharmacy technicians

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $31,450
– #321 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 140

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.

5 / 20Tyler Olson // Shutterstock

#16. Phlebotomists

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $36,070
– #107 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

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.

6 / 20Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#15. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $43,920
– #299 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 130

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.

7 / 20Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#14. Dental assistants

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $44,350
– #95 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 190

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.

8 / 20Rido // Shutterstock

#13. Opticians, dispensing

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $46,750
– #52 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.

9 / 20Dmytro Zinkevych // Shutterstock

#12. Respiratory therapists

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $49,420
– #251 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

National
– Annual mean salary: $65,640
– Employment: 131,890
– Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
– Metros with highest average pay:
— San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA ($104,200)
— San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA ($100,710)
— Vallejo-Fairfield, CA ($100,080)
– Job description: Assess, treat, and care for patients with breathing disorders. Assume primary responsibility for all respiratory care modalities, including the supervision of respiratory therapy technicians. Initiate and conduct therapeutic procedures; maintain patient records; and select, assemble, check, and operate equipment.

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#11. Physical therapist assistants

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $50,960
– #273 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

National
– Annual mean salary: $59,440
– Employment: 92,740
– Entry level education requirements: Associate’s degree
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX ($81,510)
— Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, CA ($78,370)
— Visalia-Porterville, CA ($78,240)
– Job description: Assist physical therapists in providing physical therapy treatments and procedures. May, in accordance with state laws, assist in the development of treatment plans, carry out routine functions, document the progress of treatment, and modify specific treatments in accordance with patient status and within the scope of treatment plans established by a physical therapist. Generally requires formal training.

11 / 20lenetstan // Shutterstock

#10. Radiologic technologists and technicians

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $58,820
– #177 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

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.

12 / 20Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#9. Registered nurses

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $65,640
– #275 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 720

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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#8. Speech-language pathologists

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $68,810
– #295 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

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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#7. Dental hygienists

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $72,590
– #183 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

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.

15 / 20Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#6. Physical therapists

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $87,220
– #227 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.

16 / 20Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#5. Nurse practitioners

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $94,440
– #351 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 30

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.

17 / 20Austin Community College // Flickr

#4. Veterinarians

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $109,120
– #95 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

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.

18 / 20Ohiodominican // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Physician assistants

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $110,780
– #179 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 60

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.

19 / 20Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#2. Pharmacists

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $128,180
– #141 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

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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#1. Dentists, general

Jacksonville, NC
– Annual mean salary: $225,060
– #38 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $180,830
– Employment: 95,920
– 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.