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The healthcare industry is the largest employer in the U.S. with more than 20 million workers. While that’s already more than 15% of the working population, the industry is only expected to grow over the next decade.
Working in healthcare can be a fulfilling, rewarding, lucrative, and sometimes stressful career path. Plus, many people enjoy the satisfaction of helping others.
The trouble is, with so many different jobs to choose from, which healthcare job is the best fit for your personality and lifestyle?
Luckily, there’s a wide range of career options for those interested in medicine. Read on to see which path might be right for you.
Healthcare Careers with Hands-On Patient Care
Do you enjoy interacting with people? Are you good at building relationships with others and putting them at ease? Are you comfortable with direct contact with patients?
If you said yes to those questions, you might enjoy a hands-on career in medicine. These jobs include becoming a nurse, physician, x-ray technician, occupational therapist, and more.
Education Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree or Higher
With a four-year degree, you could become a registered nurse, an athletic trainer, a dietician or nutritionist, or a recreational therapist. These careers will all give you close interaction with patients.
If you’re willing to attend more schooling and get an advanced degree, there’s more high-level positions to choose from. You can become a physician, a chiropractor or a nurse anesthetist. Midwife, an optometrist or ophthalmologist, and a podiatrist are also options.
Many of these advanced careers require at least a master’s degree and formal hands-on clinical experience. That said, these careers come with both a higher reward and more stress.
Education Requirements: Associate’s Degree or Less
If you’d rather get a certificate, an award, an Associate’s degree, or do caregiver training, there are plenty of hands-on career options for you. In a few months or years, you can start working in these jobs.
Some career examples include becoming a paramedic, a dental assistant or hygienist, a home healthcare aide, a medical assistant, or even a respiratory therapist. These are all vital jobs that give you hands-on interaction with patients and a chance to make a difference.
Hands-Off Careers in Medicine
If you enjoy math and science but you’d prefer less hands-on interaction with patients, there are plenty of careers open to you.
Medical coders and billers manage patient files and handle insurance billing. This is a great path for those that enjoy office work and staying organized.
If typing is your strong suit, consider medical transcription. In this job, you convert doctors’ voice notes into written reports.
Another option is becoming a lab technician who analyzes samples and writes reports on their findings. Working in a pharmacy is also a relatively hands-off career path. Pharmacists must go to medical school while pharmacy techs need a certificate.
Healthcare Technology Jobs
Hospitals and other healthcare networks require robust technologies to function. Medical records and other communication systems need constant monitoring and upgrades to work.
That’s why healthcare technology is another career option. Consider jobs in IT support, network management, and IT security as other paths to working in the medical field. You’ll still know that you’re making a difference.
Start the Journey to the Right Healthcare Job Today
A healthcare job doesn’t just mean being a doctor or a nurse. Whether you prefer something with hands-on patient care or not, there’s still a job for you in the medical field.
For more career advice and inspiration, keep scrolling through our blog.