The booming health-care industry is expected to continue growing at a rate far exceeding that of most other fields in the coming decade. A growing population, especially the rising number of seniors, is creating additional demand for the services of many kinds of medical providers.
Students interested in a career in health care may find the educational requirements daunting. Surgeons and other doctors, as well as some other medical professionals, must complete four years of undergraduate studies, resulting in a bachelor’s degree in a life science; four years of medical school; and several more years of internships and residencies. The academic challenges posed by this lengthy process, not to mention the high cost of graduate study, are prohibitive for many students.
Fortunately, there are health-care occupations that do not entail such an intense commitment. To get some of these jobs, all that is needed is a certificate. For others, a two-year associate’s degree or four-year bachelor’s degree is sufficient. High school students planning to enter medical careers are advised to take science and math classes like biology, chemistry, physics, and algebra.
Here is a look at just 10 of the numerous health careers that do not require medical degrees.
These professionals perform diagnostic tests to detect illnesses, diseases, and disorders of the heart, blood vesssels, and lungs. Procedures in which they are trained include ultrasound, pulmonary-function and lung-capacity tests, electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations, and balloon angioplasties. Cardiovascular technologists help doctors analyze test results and determine the necessary treatments.
To get this job, an associate’s degree is a typical requirement. Many students obtain bachelor’s degrees to enhance their employment opportunities.
Clinical Laboratory Technologists
This type of technologist is a scientist who conducts and analyzes diagnostic tests of bodily fluids and tissues. The tests reveal the cause of patients’ diseases and disorders, and aid doctors in making diagnoses. Clinical laboratory technologists work exclusively in labs, without contact with patients.
A bachelor’s degree in clinical laboratory science, allied health technologies, or a related field is generally needed. Master’s degree programs are necessary only for those seeking lab-management positions.
Medical Laboratory Technicians
These professionals rank just below clinical laboratory technologists. They assist in conducting diagnostic tests of patients’ samples. This involves the use of computers, microscopes, and other sophisticated medical equipment.
Most employers require technicians to have associate’s degrees in clinical laboratory science. Those with degrees in related fields, such as nursing, may become lab technicians by completing one-year programs in general laboratory knowledge. Some employers hire technicians who have earned certificates, rather than degrees, from hospitals or vocational schools.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
This technologist uses ultrasound equipment to create images of patients’ organs and other internal parts to detect diseases, illnesses, infections, and disorders. Sonography is a particulary fast-growing field, as the procedure is less intrusive than x-rays and increasingly preferred by patients.
To work in this occupation, a two-year allied-health degree and completion of a one-year ultrasound-technology program are required. Two-year associate’s degree programs in sonography also are available. Professionals with other medical degrees may qualify as ultrasound specialists by completing one-year certificate programs.
Health Care Social Workers
This position involves assisting people in dealing with diseases, illnesses, and disabilities. Health-care social workers educate patients about their conditions, teach coping methods, provide mental-health counseling, and refer patients to medical specialists. The families also receive counseling, while the patient is hospitalized and after returning home.
To get an entry-level job, a two-year bachelor’s degree in social work, psychology, or sociology is often required. Some employers call for master’s degrees in social work, which takes an additional two to four years, followed by residency training. Some universities offer doctorate degrees. These social workers must complete a training program featuring hundreds of hours of field work.
Health Information Technicians
Managing patients’ records and other data in a medical facility is the main responsibility of this professional. Paper and computer files pertaining to financial information, treatments, diagnoses, medications, and exam results must be accurate and up-to-date. Technicians work with insurance companies and other third-party payers, and code medical information for security and billing purposes.
There are several ways to become a registered health information technician (RHIT). Students may take a six-month certificate program in medical technology, or a two-year associate’s degree program in health information management. Four-year bachelor’s degrees in health information technology also are offered by accredited colleges and universities.
Licensed Vocational Nurses
Supervised by registered nurses and doctors, LVNs provide direct health-care services to patients. They monitor vital signs like pulse, blood pressure, respiration rate, and body temperature; collect blood and tissue samples for diagnostic testing; dress wounds and replace bandages; treat bedsores and administer enemas; and help patients stand, walk, eat, bathe, and change clothes.
One-year certificate programs, at community colleges and technical schools (and some hospitals), provide the necessary education to get this job. The programs provide on-the-job training, as well as classwork. Many LVNs obtain two-year associate’s degrees.
Physical Therapy Aides
This job is an entry-level health-care position. PTAs support, move, and lift patients. They educate and train people in rehabilitation methods, help them use orthopedic devices, and provide therapeutic treatments. Aides also have clerical and janitorial responsibilities in the rehab clinics, therapists’ offices, and nursing homes where most of them they are employed.
In many cases, the only educational requirement is a high school diploma or general-equivalency degree. The chances of getting a good job may be improved by taking classes in physical therapy and fitness. Community colleges and technical schools offer certificate programs for aides. Online certificate courses also are available.
Also called x-ray techs, these people obtain x-ray images of patients’ organs and other body parts. Doctors interpret the images to determine the cause and extent of illnesses, diseases, disorders, and injuries. Technicians explain diagnostic procedures and position patients on examining tables.
Successful completion of a certificate program in radiology technology qualifies a student for this position. Such programs are offered by colleges, universities, community colleges, technical schools, and hospitals. Online study is another option. Associate’s degrees at community colleges give students additional credentials, as do bachelor’s degree programs in radiologic technology at larger institutions.
These professionals work under the supervision of doctors to treat patients who have breathing problems and cardiopulmonary ailments. They order diagnostic tests, then provide therapy to relieve patients’ symptoms and restore their functions.
To practice respiratory therapy, the minimum education requirement is an associate’s degree. To work at a hospital or in emergency medical services, a bachelor’s degree may be necessary.
Exciting & Happening Careers in Medicine
Medical careers are among the most financially lucrative professions. They also offer rewards in the form of job satisfaction, because health-care providers are in a position to help patients live healthier, fuller lives.
High school students interested in becoming medical professionals are advised to take multiple science and math classes. They include anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and algebra.
Most medical careers require bachelor’s degrees in some type of science, with a pre-med concentration. Students are advised to make sure they attend accredited four-year colleges or universities. Courses include biology, chemistry, English, math, physics, the humanities, and social sciences. On-the-job experience may be gained by volunteering at medical facilities during undergraduate school.
Students studying to become doctors also must obtain degrees from four-year medical schools. Internships, residencies, or fellowships also may be mandatory. State-issued licenses and board certification are required for many health-care jobs.
Getting high grades, and performing well on tests, as an undergraduate student make it easier to get accepted by an accredited medical school. Competition for spaces in their programs can be intense.
These 12 positions are among the rewarding careers in medicine that students may want to consider.
Anesthesiologists are doctors who sedate patients and monitor them during medical procedures. They are trained to administer the proper doses of drugs, to minimize a patient’s pain and discomfort. Postoperative care includes prescribing medication, and assessing patients to detect complications or reactions to drugs. Anesthesiologists help create and implement pain-management plans.
The first step to becoming an anesthesiologist is obtaining a bachelor’s degree. That must be followed by four years of medical school, which involves two years of classwork and two years of clinical training. In addition, a one-year fellowship and a three-year residency program are mandatory.
Audiologists help people suffering from hearing disorders and related balance and coordination difficulties. They conduct examinations and diagnostic tests, then provide the appropriate treatment.
A bachelor’s degree in a life science and a doctorate degree in audiology are mandatory to practice in this field. Training is provided while in medical school, and during internships following graduation.
Operating on the nervous system, including the brain, to correct disorders or extract diseased tissues is the challenging task of a brain surgeon. These doctors, also called neurosurgeons, conduct complex operations like removing tumors and transplanting organs. They also make minor nerve repairs and perform elective surgery.
After undergraduate college and medical school, the next educational requirements are an internship and residency of three to eight years (depending upon the medical speciality).
Cardiology is a specialty in the field of internal medicine. Cardiologists are doctors who treat diseases, disorders, and injuries involving the heart and blood vessels. They examine patients and perform diagnostic tests to identify the nature of ailments. The next steps are determining, and conducting, the appropriate surgery or other medical procedure.
Educational requirements include a bachelor’s degree in a science like biology or chemistry, completion of a four-year program to become a doctor of medicine, and as many as eight more years of internships and residencies. This entails a significant investment of time and money, but cardiologists are among the highest-paid doctors.
General practitioners, also called family doctors, are often the first medical professionals patients see when symptoms of illness appear. These doctors must be familiar with a wide range of ailments, diseases, and disorders. They also treat patients who have suffered injuries. General practioners conduct examinations, make diagnoses, provide a variety of treatments and therapy, and refer patients to specialists.
A bachelor’s degree and completion of medical school are required. Some medical schools have programs that take six or seven years to complete, combining a bachelor’s degree with a doctorate in medicine. GPs also must complete residency programs lasting three to seven years (depending upon whether a medical specialty is being pursued).
Obstetricians and gynecologists, also called ob/gyns, are doctors who provide medical care to women. They perform surgery and prescribe treatments for diseases and illnesses. The position entails attending to women’s reproductive health, from counseling them about pregnancy to delivering their babies.
A bachelor’s degree in science, completion of medical school, an internship, and a residency program are required. This education and training lasts 11 to 16 years, depending upon the speciality.
Neurologists are concerned with the health of the central, peripheral, and automomous nervous systems. They diagnose and treat disorders and diseases of the brain, head, spinal cord, and associated muscles and blood vessels. Some of these doctors specialize in performing surgery.
After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, including a pre-med program, students studying to be neurologists must pass the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination and complete a one-year internship. That is followed by a residency program, which lasts three or four years.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dental specialists who perform operations on various parts of the head and neck. Oral surgeons treat diseases, deformities, and injuries of the mouth, including teeth and gums. Maxillofacial procedures involve the head, face, jaw, neck, and sinuses.
Becoming an oral or maxillofacial surgeon requires two years of predental education in undergraduate college, completion of a four-year program at an accredited dental school, and four to six years of residency training.
Plastic surgeons perform operations to repair and alter various parts of the human body. Most conduct either cosmetic surgery, to change a person’s appearance; or reconstructive surgery, to correct damaged or malformed features. Specialties include burn treatment, microsurgery, laser surgery, pediatrics, tissue transfers, and body contouring.
A bachelor’s degree, a doctorate in medicine, and completion of a five- to seven-year residency program are mandatory. Surgeons may then undergo fellowship training to become more skilled in their specialties.
Respiratory therapists work under the supervision of doctors to treat patients who have breathing problems and cardiopulmonary ailments like asthma, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, pneumonia, and cystic fibrosis. They conduct tests to diagnose ailments, then provide therapy to relieve patients’ symptoms and restore their functions.
To practice respiratory therapy, the minimum education requirement is an associate’s degree. It is mandated by nearly all states and employers. This degree is provided by universities, community colleges, technical schools, and vocational institutions. To work at a hospital or in emergency medical services, a bachelor’s degree is usually needed. Master’s degrees may be necessary for those who wish to become administrators or independent respiratory therapists.
Trauma surgeons perform operations and other procedures to help people with severe injuries and illnesses. Many of these doctors work in hospital emergency rooms. Special training is needed to be able to cope with high-pressure situations.
A bachelor’s degree in science, following by four years of studies at an accredited medical school, are the preliminary educational requirements of this position. Residency training of three to five years, as well as a fellowship program lasting one or two years, also must be completed.
Urologists specialize in diagnosing and treating diseases, disorders, injuries, and deformities of male reproductive organs, as well as both genders’ urinary tracts. A urologist is a surgeon who conducts operations, and performs various other treatments, on the bladder, kidneys, prostate, uterus, urethra, and adrenal glands.
Following undergraduate and medical school, a prospective urologist must complete a residency program of at least five years.
These are just a few of the numerous rewarding careers in medicine. The duties involved, and the amount of education and training required, vary widely.
A number of skills are needed in these positions. Manual dexterity and attention to detail are crucial for doctors and other medical specialists. Physical stamina is needed to stand through lengthy operations. Doctors should have a good bedside manner with patients, providing reassurance while projecting confidence and strength. They must be good listeners who can show empathy and provide support. Good communication skills are need for dealing with medical and administrative staff, as well.
The stress can be severe. Surgeons are under a lot of pressure to not make any mistakes, as they literally hold patients’ lives in their hands. They must be able to perform efficiently under these conditions. The working hours can be long, and doctors may be on call to respond to emergencies.
Those who feel they can handle the pressure and requirements of a job in medicine have many choices of fields in which they can specialize.
It is a good thing to have flexibility in today’s job market. So it’s a good idea to look for degrees that will give you the option of different careers. Some job sectors are continuing to show growth, so it is wise to think about these when you decide to go to college. Any degree can improve your job prospects, but if you really want to boost your chances you should think about degrees in these fields:
This field usually has the largest number of students and graduates. It is also worth knowing that many graduates in this field find jobs within a year of graduating from college. Almost every type of company needs people who have skills to help them to be effective. Employers like to hire these individuals because they already have the training to make a business successful. This degree is useful in every industry including manufacturing, design, marketing and healthcare. With these skills you could even go on to start your own business.
The sector of computing and information technology continues to grow and the starting salary for recent graduates is increasing. Almost every industry relies on technology to function properly. Many people with information technology degrees earn large salaries not only as workers, but also as consultants for various companies. Other jobs in this field include IT forensic specialist, software developer, network administrator, programmers and web developer.
People with this degree work in the healthcare sector and use their skills in various parts of the healthcare sector. They are very much in demand and this is demand is expected to grow by 30 percent by 2030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A medical assistant can work in both the private and public sectors and in different types of healthcare facilities.
Engineers are constantly in demand and according to labor experts, this demand will continue to grow. People with engineering degrees take on roles in management consulting, business managers, patent work, technical work and training and teaching. Engineering graduates usually find jobs quickly after they leave school.
A Physics degree can give you the flexibility to choose a number of different career options. It is a very challenging course, but the majority of students find it highly rewarding. The number of job prospects continues to attract students to this field, and they are in high demand when they graduate. Some of the jobs available to people with Physics degrees are teaching, research scientist and telecommunications. They can also find jobs in the oil and gas industry, space exploration and in the defense industry.
Any new college student should be careful in exploring their courses and career options. Talking to a campus counselor or family members can be helpful in pointing them in the right direction. However, the degrees listed above offer many career options. Other degrees worth looking at that offers more than one career path include Mathematics, Library and information Science and Languages.
Top careers for 2014
With 2013 ending right around the corner, there are many predictions for careers which see a growing trend. The changing industry trends have led experts to predict the following top careers for 2014, which will see a growing trend and provide stable income:
Public Relations Specialist
Public relations officers are seen to be in high demand, in the next year and carrying forward. This is so, because of changing marketing trends. With the social buzz, companies are in an ever increasing need to hire PR Specialist to maintain their public image.
Projected growth rate: 23%
Companies are forever in the process to collect data, regarding consumer buying habits, product trends etc. The large of amount that it collects which basically drives their companies forwards will be the focus for the coming years. Companies need computer specialists who are skilled at managing, organizing and securing the data. This also calls for analyzing and extracting relevant content from the data. Database Administrators are believed to be in high demand in 2014
Projected growth rate: 31%
The focus of the world doesn’t seem to be moving anywhere from oil and gas in 2014 or coming years. To utilize and dig other cleaner sources of use doesn’t seem to be near. So, petroleum engineers will be in high demand for quite some time. With the increase in population and depleting sources of fossil fuel; petroleum engineers will be needed by companies to locate and extract diminishing sources.
Projected growth rate: 17%
Computer software’s and technology is changing the world. How we live and operate our lives is being shaped everyday with new technologies. The advancement in cell phones to smart phones and the various applications being made every day is making this profession one of the hottest to set foot in. software developers analyze the need and then design, test and develop programs and computer applications.
Projected growth rate: 30%
Medical and Health Services Manager
The health care industry is flourishing and it requires people for its management. The need for hospitals to hire health care managers is increasing with the increasing work load of patients, accidents and breakthroughs in medicine sciences. Health care administrators work to improve the quality of health services and may also specialize in a certain area.
Projected growth rate: 22%
Personal Financial Advisor
A big part of the day, week or life of many people is spent managing their money. So for the big financial decisions of, kid’s college education, insurance needs, retirement, the majority turns to financial advisors. The managing of their finances is going to increasingly drive the need for able financial advisors high. The advisors are required to explain all the options for saving and investing and managing their clients portfolio; helping them plan for retirement or students education funds.
Projected growth rate: 32%
Counselors for Substance Abuse
It is a growing as well as rewarding profession. It requires patience and some amount of empathy to treat patients with alcohol, drug problems or eating disorders. But, knowing you will make a difference to someone’s life is an uplifting feeling.
The outlook for salaries of vets looks promising, going up to $100,000. The education requirement is quite strenuous requiring passing a state exam. The business that vets get is ever increasing with people willing to go the vet for diseases faced by their pets.
Projected growth rate: 25%
Theater and Performance Arts makeup Artists
This field is much underrated and undervalued by many people but it’s going to be a fast growing career in 2014. It is solely for people looking for creativity in their chosen field of work and requires nothing more than some natural talent and makeup courses.
Projected growth rate: 39%