Healthcare is an industry that offers a wide range of career opportunities for individuals with varying skill sets and interests. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in healthcare, here are six different pathways you can consider.
Nursing is a career that is in high demand and offers a wide range of opportunities. Nurses work in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities. They play a critical role in patient care, administering medications, monitoring vital signs, and assisting with procedures.
There are different types of nursing specialties, such as pediatric nursing, emergency nursing, and oncology nursing, among others. Becoming a registered nurse typically requires completing an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing and passing a licensure exam and critical care board review.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for registered nurses was $75,330 as of May 2020. This means that half of all registered nurses earned more than this amount, while the other half earned less. The lowest 10 percent of nurses earned less than $53,410 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $116,230 per year.
Medical assistants collaborate with physicians and other healthcare professionals, fulfilling both administrative and clinical responsibilities. They may take patient histories, measure vital signs, and prepare patients for exams. They may also be responsible for maintaining medical records, scheduling appointments, and answering phones. Medical assistants typically complete a certificate or diploma program and may also become certified through an accrediting organization.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for medical assistants is roughly $36,000. The lowest 10 percent of medical assistants earned less than $26,950 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $50,580 per year.
Physician assistants work under the supervision of physicians, providing medical care to patients. They can perform a wide range of tasks, such as diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medications, and ordering tests. They may also assist with surgeries and other medical procedures. Physician assistants typically complete a master’s degree program and must be licensed in the state in which they work.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for physician assistants was $115,390 as of May 2020. This means that half of all physician assistants earned more than this amount, while the other half earned less. The lowest 10 percent of physician assistants earned less than $76,090 per year, while the highest 10 percent earned more than $164,210 per year.
Health Information Management
Health information management (HIM) professionals work with medical records and other healthcare data. They may be responsible for organizing and maintaining patient records, ensuring their accuracy and completeness. They may also analyze data to identify trends and patterns that can inform healthcare decisions. HIM professionals typically complete a bachelor’s degree in health information management or a related field.
It’s important to note that salaries for health information managers can vary depending on several factors, such as experience, education, and location. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for health information managers was $102,280 as of May 2020.
Medical Laboratory Technologist
Medical laboratory technologists, also known as clinical laboratory scientists, work in medical laboratories, analyzing samples of body fluids, tissues, and other substances. They use a variety of techniques and instruments to perform tests and interpret the results.
They may also be responsible for maintaining laboratory equipment and ensuring that it is operating properly. Medical laboratory technologists typically complete a bachelor’s degree program in medical laboratory science or a related field.
The median annual wage for medical laboratory technologists was $56,180, based on reports from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Medical laboratory technologists who work in urban areas or specialized fields, such as molecular biology or cytotechnology, may earn higher salaries than those who work in rural areas or general medical laboratories.
Healthcare administrators work behind the scenes, managing healthcare facilities and organizations. They may be responsible for overseeing budgets, managing staff, and ensuring that their organization is complying with relevant laws and regulations. Healthcare administrators may work in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, or other healthcare settings. They typically have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in healthcare administration or a related field.
The BLS projects that the employment of healthcare administrators will grow 32 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Currently, the median annual wage for healthcare administrators was $104,280 as of May 2020, as taken from BLS’ report.
The healthcare industry offers a wide range of career opportunities for individuals with diverse backgrounds and interests. Whether you are interested in patient care, data analysis, or healthcare management, there is likely a career pathway that can align with your goals. Consider researching the education and training requirements, job outlook, and potential salaries for each of these career pathways to determine which one may be the best fit for you.