Skip to Main Content

It pays to be in the lab. It pays way less to be at the patient’s bedside.

People who work at biotechs, life sciences firms, and pharmaceutical companies pull in the largest salaries of anyone in health care — usually more than $100,000 per year, and frequently above $250,000, according to a STAT analysis of the median pay for employees at more than 200 publicly traded health care companies. These workers usually have advanced degrees and are steeped in knowledge of science and drug development. They are testing new therapies and conducting clinical trials.


But Americans who work at health care providers — especially those who care for vulnerable patients in nursing homes, hospices, assisted-living centers, and home care — continue to make the industry’s lowest wages. They help bathe and dress patients, clean linens and bedpans, and make sure patients take their medications. Most of these workers are women, a sizable percentage are Black and Hispanic, and most only get part-time hours. They’re lucky if their annual pay tops $40,000.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!


Create a display name to comment

This name will appear with your comment

There was an error saving your display name. Please check and try again.