(STACKER) – 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 Auburn 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.

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1 / 15GagliardiPhotography // Shutterstock

#15. Nursing assistants

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $23,700
– #375 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 520

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.

2 / 15Milkovasa // Shutterstock

#14. Medical assistants

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $30,090
– #356 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 270

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.

3 / 15Dragana Gordic // Shutterstock

#13. Pharmacy technicians

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $31,560
– #311 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 220

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.

4 / 15Canva

#12. Physical therapist aides

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $33,620
– #30 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

National
– Annual mean salary: $30,110
– Employment: 45,790
– Entry level education requirements: High school diploma or equivalent
– Metros with highest average pay:
— Savannah, GA ($53,640)
— Akron, OH ($49,570)
— Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT ($49,470)
– Job description: Under close supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapy assistant, perform only delegated, selected, or routine tasks in specific situations. These duties include preparing the patient and the treatment area.

5 / 15Syda Productions // Shutterstock

#11. Dental assistants

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $34,450
– #356 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 100

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.

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6 / 15Jacob Lund // Shutterstock

#10. Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $39,590
– #364 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 160

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 / 15lenetstan // Shutterstock

#9. Radiologic technologists and technicians

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $49,520
– #315 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 90

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.

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#8. Physical therapist assistants

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $53,940
– #239 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.

9 / 15Canva

#7. Dental hygienists

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $56,630
– #349 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

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.

10 / 15Rawpixel.com // Shutterstock

#6. Registered nurses

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $60,330
– #348 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 1,040

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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#5. Speech-language pathologists

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $71,240
– #269 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 40

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.

12 / 15Austin Community College // Flickr

#4. Veterinarians

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $82,750
– #246 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

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.

13 / 15Aykut Erdogdu // Shutterstock

#3. Physical therapists

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $91,510
– #143 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 50

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.

14 / 15Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

#2. Nurse practitioners

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $93,510
– #353 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: data not available

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.

15 / 15Grace Nichols // U.S. Air Force

#1. Pharmacists

Auburn-Opelika, AL
– Annual mean salary: $102,920
– #380 highest pay among all metros
– Employment: 170

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.