Health care workers have more student loan debt than workers in any other industry, holding approximately $9,700 more in debt per person than those who work in higher education, who are the second-highest debt holders on the list. Private health care workers and social workers hold an average of $72,800 in student debt, which is more than double the national average. It’s worth noting that more than half of health care workers employed in direct-contact, home and community-based service positions are people of color. Average debt for nurses ranges from $19,928 for an associate’s degree to $47,321 for a master’s degree. Average debt from medical school is a staggering $215,900.
The entire health care industry is stitched to higher education and thus to student debt. So instead of offering a free coffee or a yard sign thanking health care workers, how about we cancel all student debt and dramatically improve their lives, and millions of others, immediately.