If you are looking to find a profession in the healthcare industry, the amount of choice can feel initially overwhelming. With so many options to pick from, you may struggle with where to start. Therefore, here is a list of some of the most popular healthcare jobs today, helping you to gain a better insight into the professions and what is required of you in order to flourish in the role.
If you have an eye for detail, you may be interested in becoming an optometrist. The main roles of an optometrist include checking a patient’s vision, prescribing lenses, as well as prescribing medications for those with minor eye disorders. If you like the idea of helping people to see better but you aren’t so keen on doing surgery or treating those with major diseases, optometry may be the perfect option for you. The role is incredibly rewarding in the respect that you can help give patients a new lease of life when it comes to their vision, not to mention the income you will receive. To practice as an optometrist, you will need to have a doctorate degree and with a median salary currently standing at $97,000, so it’s easy to see why an optometrist is one of the most popular jobs in healthcare.
Once you have obtained your associate degree, as well as a license, you can become registered as a nurse. The duration of the degree only lasts for two or three years, as well as an attractive salary for such a low level of teaching. As a registered nurse, your main responsibilities will include spending time with patients, assessing their needs, making sure they are comfortable, and ensuring that each task is completed accordingly to plan. What’s more, you can specialize in a particular field such as emergency, pediatric, or labor/delivery.
If you like the idea of helping those with asthma, emphysema, or other various disorders, a respiratory therapist may be the right profession for you. While respiratory therapists must continue with their education and training during their career, RT is one of the most sought-after and best-paid roles to go into if you only have an associate degree. What’s more, many respiratory therapists deal with premature births, adults who have chronic lung disorders, as well as the elderly. Getting to work with people from all walks of life can be hugely beneficial, helping you to develop your communication skills.
With a hung demand for hospital administrators, this may be the perfect role for you. Some of the main responsibilities of a hospital administrator are to keep the hospital financially stable, as well as complying with regulations. While they may not be in direct contact with patients, hospital administrators ensure that the hospital is run efficiently, ensuring that qualified people are on hand to take care of those who are sick and injured. If you are interested in going down this route, you should complete an MBA (A Master of Business Administration).
One of the reasons why people go into medicine is to be able to work with all the tools, machines, and gadgets that are being created each day to help make a difference to people’s lives. Understandably, these incredible inventions cannot be designed on their own, which is where biomedical engineers come into the equation. If you like the sound of working in a lab and designing machinery that will improve and potentially save people’s lives, you may want to consider becoming a biomedical engineer. What’s more, you only need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in order to get started.
The main role of a dental hygienist is to keep your teeth and gums clean. You will also examine for oral diseases such as gingivitis, as well as assisting with fillings and sealant work. A dental hygienist works alongside dentists and dental assistants, so it’s vital that you have excellent communication skills. If you are interested in this profession, you will need to complete a two-year associate degree. With a median salary currently standing at over $70,000 per year, not to forget a project employment growth of 33% between 2012 – 2022, there is a huge demand for dental hygienists, guaranteeing you job security and stability.
When we think of a dermatologist, many of us think of smoothing wrinkles and getting rid of unsightly moles. However, that’s not just what a dermatologist does. They are responsible for treating life-threatening skin cancers, as well as correcting disfiguring scars and damage. Other duties include soothing painful skin conditions as well as giving advice to patients to ensure they are maintaining their skin, helping to keep it healthy and glowing. You will need to complete a doctorate degree before you can qualify as a dermatologist. With a medium income nearing $300,000 per year, you will have no issue with paying back any student loans you take out.
A chiropractor is responsible for diagnosing and treating spine disorders, as well as all the nerves and muscles that go with it. The day to day roles of a chiropractor can vary significantly. One session you may be required to work with computer imaging, the next you may be giving a therapeutic massage. It’s important that you are confident with your abilities in this role, especially as you may have to try out some unconventional treatments. If you don’t like the idea of working with others, you will be happy to know that most chiropractors practice in private clinics.
A podiatrist is trained to diagnose and treat those with abnormal conditions of the feet. They are also able to treat people with day-to-day foot problems such as thickened toenails, ingrown toenails, fungal nail infections, and more. Podiatrists treat people from all walks of life and ages, meaning that no two days will be the same. With a median salary currently standing at $116,000, you will need to complete a doctorate degree before you can qualify as a podiatrist.
If you have ever had to go to an urgent care center, you will have been seen and treated by a physician assistant. You may be surprised to learn that a PA is not technically a doctor. Although they are trained to do practically everything that a doctor does (such as performing exams and diagnosing illnesses), there are some limitations in place. Physician assistants are only allowed to assist in surgery. When you qualify as a PA, you can work in a range of specialties, such as geriatric or neonatal. While you will have to answer to a medical doctor, the responsibility will be all yours. What’s more, you will only need to complete a master’s degree, meaning that there won’t be as much student debt to pay back.
While you may initially think that a speech pathologist only deals with people who stutter, they can treat a wide selection of disorders, such as children who are born with a cleft palate, and adults who have had a stroke. What’s more surprising is speech pathologists are also able to treat problems such as infant feeding. If you like the idea of working as part of a team, this may be the perfect role for you. Speech pathologists tend to be employed in senior facilities and schools, and you need to obtain a master’s degree before getting started. While the role has its difficulties, it can be hugely rewarding helping patients to communicate again.
As a highly technical profession, a pharmacist is responsible for people’s health and well-being. With lives in your hands, a pharmacist must put together a prescription that’s correct and accurate, giving instructions to patients on how to use it. As the role is incredibly important, pharmacists must obtain a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Throughout your degree, you will spend a large amount of time working in a pharmacy to give you some much-needed hands-on experience. While you may not have the pressure of working in a stressful emergency room, you will need to be accurate with how you dispense medication.
A radiation therapist is responsible for giving radiation treatments (usually for patients who have cancer). This means that you will work alongside oncologists to create a treatment plan, as well as using specialist equipment to administer treatments, examining results, and advising patients on side effects and how to treat them. You will have huge responsibilities as a radiation therapist, especially as you will be saving lives. If you are interested in this field, you will need to complete an associate degree. In as little as two to three years, you could be saving lives and making a real difference.
Nuclear Medicine Technician
Another position that only requires an associate degree is a nuclear medicine technician. The main duties of this profession are to give patients a radioactive drug, work with specialist imaging equipment to perform scans, as well as identifying and analyzing results on a computer to examine any abnormalities. This also includes tests for disorders of the heart, brain, and blood vessels. This role will see you most likely work in a hospital, however, you may have the option to work in a clinic too. With nuclear medicine growing at a rapid pace, there is a constant need for nuclear medicine technologists.
Audiologists are experts who help to diagnose, treat, and prevent hearing and balance disorders. Day to day duties include evaluating and treating those with hearing and balance disorders, selecting and fitting custom-fit hearing aids, evaluating, treating and giving advice for those with tinnitus, and more. The profession is growing at a rapid pace, and thanks to technology, there have been major advances in hearing recovery, helping patients with hearing problems. To become an audiologist, you will need to complete a doctorate degree.
A physical therapist is responsible for treating all kinds of people. Whether it be a child who has been injured in a car accident, a grandmother who has had a hip replacement, or a young sports player who has torn a ligament, they all need help with their recovery, which is where a physical therapist comes in. There are various specialties that a physical therapist can go down, such as sports medicine or orthopedics. PTs use various techniques to help patients with their mobility, giving them a better quality of life. You will need to complete a doctorate degree and while it won’t be an easy feat, physical therapy is a fantastic option for those who would like to work directly with patients, helping them to see visible improvements.
Whether you have already obtained your BSN, or you are just beginning a nursing program, you may want to consider becoming a nurse practitioner. To qualify in this field, you will have to complete a master-level program, which can give you the basic tasks and skills of nursing. There are many responsibilities that a nurse practitioner and doctor have in common, such as diagnosing and prescribing treatment, however, you will need to be supervised by a doctor. Many nurse practitioners work in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, and urgent care centers. Because you will have further education to complete, you can expect to see an increase in your salary too. If you are interested in advancing to become a family nurse practitioner, there are DNP nurse practitioner online programs that can help you advance in your healthcare career.
If you are looking for a career in healthcare, knowing where to start can be challenging. With a plethora of options to pick from, you will need to match your education and skills with any of the roles listed to see if you’re well matched. Regardless of whether you wish to spend 10 plus years in college or even less than one year, you are still able to find a role in the medical sector. To get the most out of your occupation, it’s important that you have a desire and passion to help those in need, giving you a rewarding and profitable career.