MedicalFieldCareers.com

Find out how you can begin a rewarding career in healthcare!

Welcome to MedicalFieldCareers.com

Start Your Career in the Medical Field!

Careers in the medical field are projected to make-up the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. labor market over the next decade. As a matter of fact, according to the latest Occupational Outlook Handbook issued by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare careers should grow by an estimated 19% nationally through 2024. This translates into approximately 2.3 million new medical field jobs being created in the coming years.

Best of all, this rapid growth in healthcare is not limited to opportunities for those with college degrees. Demand is just as high for Allied Health and other high-paying medical jobs which require little schooling.

Types of careers in the medical field

To say that the medical field is vast would be an understatement, as there are literally hundreds of different professional and support positions in healthcare. These career fields are filled by individuals with all levels of education and different skill sets. In short, if you’re interested in working in healthcare, there’s probably a position that fits you – regardless of your background and interests.

Before diving into specific jobs, let’s take a quick look at the main fields that make up the healthcare industry.

Allied Health

Allied Health is the largest segment of the medical workforce, accounting for nearly 60% of all healthcare workers in the U.S. The group is classified as non-nurse, non-physician care providers who focus on the identification, diagnostic evaluation, and treatment of acute and chronic diseases and disorders.

This field is particularly popular with those who are looking for relatively-short certificate programs that pay well. Some Allied Health certificate programs can be completed in as little as six months.

Examples of this group include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Medical billers and coders
  • Dental hygienists
  • Emergency medical technicians (EMT)
  • Medical assistants
  • Occupational therapists
  • Phlebotomists
  • Physical therapists
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Sonographers
  • Surgical technologists

Diagnostic and Laboratory Technology

Also known as medical laboratory technology, professionals who work in this field collect samples and perform tests on tissue and body fluid samples. The majority of technologists and technicians are employed at hospitals where they play a crucial role in the detection and prevention of illnesses.

All techs are required to specialize in a specific field of medicine, the most-popular of which include:

  • Phlebotomy (the drawing and testing of blood)
  • Radiology (use of MRI and x-ray technology to analyze internal tissues)

Health Administration

Healthcare administration is a field consisting of professionals who lead and manage the administration of healthcare facilities and public health systems. They work closely with doctors, nurses and other professionals to ensure that they are developing and implementing policies and procedures that best serve patients’ needs.

Through their education and training, administrators generally specialize in a specific area of healthcare. Some examples include:

  • Hospital administration
  • General healthcare administration
  • Social and community service management
  • Management analysis and consulting

Nursing

Traditionally one of the most-popular fields in healthcare, nursing deals with providing and coordinating focused care for individual patients, families and communities. As of 2014, there were more than 2.7 million nursing professionals working in the United States, making it one of the largest professions in medicine.

The nursing field is quite large, ranging from general nursing personnel to highly-trained specialists. Some of the professions that make up this sector of healthcare include:

  • Registered Nurses (RN)
  • Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Certified Nurse Midwives (CNM)
  • Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNA)
  • Doctors of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Physicians and Surgeons

Physicians and surgeons are highly-trained, highly-educated professionals who help promote, maintain and restore their patient’s health and well-being. Their responsibilities include studying, diagnosing, and treating diseases, injuries and other impairments.

They generally specialize in a specific field of medicine. Some examples of popular medical specialties include:

  • Anesthesiology
  • Cardiology
  • Dermatology
  • Endocrinology
  • Gynecology
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Pathology
  • Radiology
  • Urology

What are the highest-paying healthcare jobs with no degree?

If you’re interested in a healthcare job, but don’t have the time, money or desire to attend college, don’t be discouraged. There are many careers in the medical field that don’t require a college degree.

The list below features 10 of the most-popular entry-level jobs that pay well.

No. 1 – Ultrasound Technician

Ultrasound technicians use special imaging equipment to take images of unborn babies, but also use the technology to create images of various types of deep tissue. The images they take help physicians monitor, diagnose and treat a variety of conditions. They work everywhere from hospitals to physicians’ offices, and diagnostic laboratories.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become an ultrasound technician!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $69,650

Education Requirements: One year certificate program

No. 2 – Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurse

Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses (LPNs and LVNs) work under physicians and registered nurses to provide basic care to their patients. They work in a variety of settings, including hospitals and nursing homes, and are required to complete a state-approved licensing program.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become an LPN!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $44,090

Education Requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award

No. 3 – Dental Assistant

Holding a wide range of responsibilities at dentists’ offices, dental assistants often assist with patient care, scheduling appointments and record keeping. Education requirements vary from state-to-state, but nearly all require some formal training.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become a dental assistant!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $36,940

Education Requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award

No. 4 – Medical Billing & Coding Specialist

Primarily working in the field of medical billing and coding, medical records and health information technicians are responsible for organizing and managing patient data. The majority are employed in either hospitals or physicians’ offices, and all must complete a certification training program.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become a medical billing and coding specialist!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $38,040

Education Requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award

No. 5 – Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists are specialists in the drawing of blood. They work in a variety of healthcare settings and, due to the sensitive nature of their work, are required to hold a certification and have completed a formal phlebotomy training program.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become a phlebotomist!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $32,710

Education Requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award

No. 6 – EMTs and Paramedics

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are first responders who provide emergency care to the sick and injured. They are employed in hospitals and fire stations, and are often on the move as they respond to emergency situations.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become an EMT!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $32,670

Education Requirements: One year certification program

No. 7 – Medical Assistants

Medical assistants work in both administrative and clinical settings where they handle a wide range of support duties. They are employed in most healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices and assisted living facilities.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become a medical assistant!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $31,540

Education Requirements: One year certification program

No. 8 – Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians are responsible for dispensing prescriptions to patients and providing a variety of other support functions to pharmacists. They are always employed at pharmacies, although the locations can vary considerably.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become a pharmacy technician!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $30,920

Education Requirements: One year certification program

No. 9 – Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

Certified Nursing Assistants provide basic care to patients at a variety of healthcare facilities. They work under the supervision of an LPN or RN, and are often employed in home care settings as well.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become a CNA!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $26,590

Education Requirements: Certification program (usually 6 months or less)

No. 10 – Home Health Aide (HHA)

Home Health Aides (HHAs) are sometimes referred to as Personal Care Aides. Regardless of their title, their responsibilities involve direct patient care to sick, elderly or disabled patients in home care settings. These settings typically include patients’ homes, long-term care facilities, and clinics.

Want to learn more? Check out our guide on how to become an HHA!

2016 Median Annual Salary: $22,600

Education Requirements: High school diploma or G.E.D., and short-term certification program

Medical careers in demand

Many of the careers in the medical field that are expected to experience the fastest growth rates are also among the fastest-growing jobs in the entire labor market.

Per the latest official government projections from the BLS released in December, 2015, no fewer than 12 of the 30 fastest-growing jobs in America through 2024 are in healthcare.

A brief summary of each of these appears below.

No. 1 – Physical Therapist Assistant

Working under the supervision of a physical therapist, the physical therapist assistant (or PTA) assists patients with rehabilitation from illness and injury. They typically work in physical therapists’ offices or hospitals.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $45,290

Education Requirements: Associate’s degree

Growth Rate through 2024: 40%

New Jobs by 2024: 51,400

No. 2 – Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy assistants (OTAs) are directly involved in helping patients develop, recover and improve their skills for daily work and living. The work under the direct supervision of occupational therapists and are employed the private practices, hospitals and nursing care facilities.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $56,070

Education Requirements: Associate’s degree

Growth Rate through 2024: 40%

New Jobs by 2024: 16,800

No. 3 – Home Health Aide

As the name implies, home health aides (HHAs) visit patients with chronic illnesses, disabilities and cognitive impairments in their homes and assist them with daily living. Some states allow HHAs to also dispense medications and monitor patient vital signs while working under the supervision of a licensed healthcare provider.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $22,600

Education Requirements: No formal education credential

Growth Rate through 2024: 38%

New Jobs by 2024: 348,400

No. 4 – Physical Therapist

Physical therapists assist patients with their rehabilitation from illness or injuries. They usually work with their patients to improve their mobility and manage their pain. They may be employed at hospitals, nursing homes, clinics or private practices.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $85,400

Education Requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

Growth Rate through 2024: 34%

New Jobs by 2024: 71,800

No. 5 – Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist and Nurse Midwife

Cumulatively referred to as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), nurse practitioners, anesthetists and midwives provide primary and specialty healthcare to patients. They work in settings ranging from hospitals and clinics to physicians’ offices and clinics.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $107,460

Education Requirements: Master’s degree

Growth Rate through 2024: 31%

New Jobs by 2024: 53,400

No. 6 – Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants (or PAs, as they’re often called) work alongside physicians, surgeons and other professionals in teams that examine, diagnose and treat patients. They work in private offices, hospitals, and clinics.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $101,480

Education Requirements: Master’s degree

Growth Rate through 2024: 30%

New Jobs by 2024: 28,700

No. 7 – Occupational Therapist

Specializing in the treatment of disabled, injured and ill patients, occupational therapists help people regain, improve and develop the skills needed for daily work and living. These professionals work in hospitals, nursing homes, home healthcare settings, schools and private offices.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $81,910

Education Requirements: Master’s degree

Growth Rate through 2024: 27%

New Jobs by 2024: 30,400

No. 8 – Optometrist

The optometrist examines, diagnoses and treats conditions affecting the eyes, including: injuries, diseases and disorders. Of course, one of their primary tasks is prescribing eyeglasses and contact lenses to patients. They usually work in their own private offices, but some are employed in physicians’ offices and optical goods stores.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $106,140

Education Requirements: Doctor or professional degree

Growth Rate through 2024: 27%

New Jobs by 2024: 11,000

No. 9 – Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists are responsible for drawing blood from patients for tests, donations, transfusions and research. The majority are employed in hospitals, physicians’ offices, laboratories, and blood donor centers.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $32,710

Education Requirements: Postsecondary non-degree certificate

Growth Rate through 2024: 25%

New Jobs by 2024: 28,100

No. 10 – Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Diagnostic medical sonographers use special imaging equipment to create images and conduct tests for patients. The uses of these images range from ultrasound on expecting mothers to assisting doctors during surgical procedures. They tend to be employed in hospitals, laboratories and physicians’ offices.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $64,280

Education Requirements: Associate’s degree

Growth Rate through 2024: 24%

New Jobs by 2024: 27,600

No. 11 – EMTs and Paramedics

Emergency medical technicians, commonly referred to as EMTs, and paramedics are first responders who care for injured or sick patients in emergency settings. Their work requires them to be available to respond quickly to emergency calls.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $32,670

Education Requirements: Postsecondary non-degree award

Growth Rate through 2024: 24%

New Jobs by 2024: 58,500

No. 12 – Medical Assistant

Performing a variety of administrative and clinical duties, medical assistants are valuable team members at most healthcare facilities. Their work environment ranges from doctor’s private practices, to hospitals and outpatient clinics.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $31,540

Education Requirements: Postsecondary non-degree certificate

Growth Rate through 2024: 23%

New Jobs by 2024: 138,900

What are the highest-paying jobs in the medical field?

It is not at all uncommon for some healthcare professionals to earn more than $100,000 per year. However, the career fields that pay these types of salaries all require years of advanced education (i.e. a master’s degree or higher). Nonetheless, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics’, the following seven healthcare careers all had a 2016 median pay in the six figure range.

No. 1 – Physician and Surgeon

Physicians and surgeons diagnose and treat illnesses in their patients, and also serve as the head of the medical teams at most healthcare facilities. Due to their professional expertise and great responsibility, they are also well compensated, regularly earning more than $200,000 per year.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $208,000

Education Requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

No. 2 – Dentist

The dentist diagnoses and treats patients’ teeth and gums, while overseeing and coordinating the activities of other dental care providers in the facility. Acquiring the skills and education necessary to become one usually requires a PhD, but the years of study do reward the dentist with a median annual salary over $150,000.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $159,770

Education Requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

No. 3 – Podiatrist

Specializing in diagnosing, treating and performing surgeries on feet, the podiatrist is a highly-specialized medical professional. Like other professions on this list, the podiatrist usually must have a doctoral degree in order to practice medicine.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $124,830

Education Requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

No. 4 – Pharmacist

The pharmacist is a specialist in the field of medications, responsible for their prescription and dispensation. The pharmacist typically earns a six figure annual salary, but must first complete a PhD or equivalent professional degree prior to beginning his or her career.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $122,230

Education Requirements: Doctoral or professional degree

No. 5 – Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist and Nurse Midwife

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) are among the most-highly specialized nursing professionals. They are also among the most-educated, requiring a master’s degree in nursing, and best paid. Most APRNs earn in excess of $100,000 annually.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $107,460

Education Requirements: Master’s degree

No. 6 – Optometrist

An optometrist is a PhD who specializes in diagnosing and treating conditions in the eyes, as well as prescribing glasses and contact lenses. The annual median salary for optometrists in the United States was over $100,000 in 2016.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $106,140

Education Requirements: Doctor or professional degree

No. 7 – Physician Assistant

Physician Assistants are usually the most-advanced assisting personnel on the healthcare team. They work alongside doctors and surgeons to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

2016 Median Annual Salary: $101,480

Education Requirements: Master’s degree

Which health career is right for you?

Many people know that they are interested in working in healthcare, but aren’t sure which medical professions best fit their personalities and interests. If this sounds like you, there are a few ways you can narrow down your choices.

Let’s start off by asking you a few questions about yourself and your motivations for working in healthcare. If you give yourself honest answers, you’ll be able to create an accurate self profile to compare against the different career fields.

Why do you want to work in healthcare?

The first thing you should ask yourself is, “Why do I want to work in the medical field?” In order to provide an honest answer to this question, you should first have a good idea of what a career in healthcare would be like. This may sound ridiculous, but you’d be surprised by how many people begin training for a career in medicine without knowing what the job will entail.

Some good reasons to get into healthcare include:

  • Helping others and making a positive impact on your community
  • Working in an environment that challenges you to grow personally
  • Good job security and having lots of opportunity for advancement

Which type of personality are you?

Because working in healthcare is often demanding, you should also be aware of how your personality will mesh with the work you do. For instance, if things like patience and staying cool under pressure aren’t your strong suit, you probably shouldn’t pursue a stressful job. Of course, it’s difficult for most of us to accurately assess our own personality type. So, where to begin?

Personality tests for healthcare workers

The use of personality tests for prospective healthcare professionals is becoming more and more common. A quick search of the internet will likely produce dozens of results or more for “personality tests for healthcare workers”.

The majority of these tests are based on what is known as the “Big Five Personality Theory“. Under this psychological theory, all of have five traits that make up our personalities. Understanding the overall makeup of our personality requires giving ourselves a score of 1-to-5 (one is lowest, five is highest) under each category.

The categories are Extraversion (how comfortable we are in social settings), Agreeableness (how well we get along with different personality types), Conscientiousness (who persistent we are in completing goals, and how well we plan), Neuroticism (how well we deal with and manage our emotions), and Openness (how open are we to new experiences?).

After coming up with a profile of yourself using one of these tests, you’ll be able to better determine whether or not the demands and environment of a specific job would be a good fit.

What kind of work environment do you like?

Do you see yourself working in a busy hospital or a doctor’s office? Would you rather be in an office setting or a clinical setting? Do you want to work at the same location everyday, or move around? These are the types of questions you should also be able to answer before choosing a medical profession.

Many healthcare positions are available at different types of facilities, but you should make sure that you’re most-likely destination is to your liking before embarking on a career.

How much education and training will you need?

Preparing for any medical field career will require you to first complete some level of training and education. You should consider much time, money and effort will be involved in completing this crucial step before deciding on a career path. You should also be realistic about things like:

  • How you will pay for school if a formal education is required
  • Whether or not you’re willing to commit to the amount of time required for training
  • How the required period of schooling and training will affect other parts of your life

Again, you’d be surprised by how many people set out to pursue a specific career in healthcare without realizing how long the road will be before they start working. Take the time to think this through, and you’ll not only avoid unnecessary frustration, but greatly improve your chances of being successful!