Recently, we’ve mentioned in this blog that healthcare is one of the most in-demand employment sectors in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that 2.6 million new jobs will be added to the healthcare sector between 2020 and 2030.
The Advantages of a Healthcare Career
If you are searching for a new career path or just finishing school, the healthcare field offers many benefits aside from in-demand job opportunities. In a healthcare job, you’ll also enjoy:
- Solid job security because we will always need healthcare
- Extensive advancement and training opportunities
- Above-average earning potential
- Exciting and fast-paced work environments
- Flexible schedules
- The ability to work anywhere, even travel.
- The benefit of knowing that you are helping people every day
It’s no wonder healthcare is recognized as one of the best fields to join today. You don’t need a medical degree or even a bachelor’s degree to work in the healthcare sector. There are plenty of well-paying jobs that are just as interesting and fulfilling and don’t require anything more than a high school diploma, certification, or an associate’s degree.
What Jobs Should I Look For if I Don’t Have a Degree?
If you are just starting your job search in the healthcare field, set some parameters for yourself. For example, do you want a job that deals with patients directly or a job that is more “backstage”? Also, are you willing to do some intense training or study for a certification? Finally, are you planning to stay in the healthcare field? Your answers to these questions will help you to focus your job search.
To get you started, here are eight starting healthcare positions that don’t require a bachelor’s degree. Some are patient-facing, and some are not. Some require training or certification. All these positions are great places to start learning about the healthcare industry and the careers it offers.
We’ve mentioned in several blogs that nurses are desperately needed in many healthcare settings. While it is true that you will need more education to advance in the nursing profession, you do not need a bachelor’s degree to start working in the nursing field.
If you are interested in working with patients, becoming a nursing assistant is the perfect start. You will work under the supervision of registered and licensed nurses to provide primary patient care in various settings. These tasks are usually things that are considered activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, bathing, etc. They are not always clinical activities. However, this job is a great way to learn about nursing before you start the education needed to become an RN or LPN. This job typically requires a 2 to 4 week training program. There is also a certification program you can complete to make yourself more marketable. Since nurses are in high demand right now, nursing assistants are as well. The projected employment growth for this position through 2030 is 8%. The 2021 median annual salary for a nursing assistant is $30,290.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
LPNs assist doctors and nurses with clinical patient care, including administering medications, collecting vital signs, and talking to the patient’s medical team about their condition and symptoms. However, an LPN does not decide on a plan of care. LPNs must complete 12 months of schooling and clinical training and are required to pass the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-P). An associate’s degree may be required to work in some clinical settings. The BLS estimates the job growth for LPNs through 2030 is 9%. The median annual salary for an LPN in 2021 was $48,070.
Another excellent teaching position, pharmacy technicians act as assistants to pharmacists. Job duties include disbursing medications, taking new orders from doctors, refilling patient requests, and counting medication. Pharmacy techs can also process billing and insurance claims and maintain patient confidentiality. This position requires good communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to follow orders closely and accurately. To do this job, you will need to earn a pharmacy technician certification, which can take anywhere from four months to two years. The BLS estimates a 4% growth for this position through 2030, and the annual median salary in 2021 was $36,740.
Anyone working in the medical revenue cycle is in high demand right now. Medical coders function in one critical part of the cycle, transcribing medical notes into International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10-CM) codes for patient diagnoses and Current Procedure Terminology (CPT) codes for tests and other medical procedures for billing and insurance purposes. Medical coders do not typically work with patients, but training is involved. Many employers want their coders to have a Certified Professional Coder (CPC) credential from the AAPC or a Certified Coding Specialist (CCS) credential from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). In general, medical records professionals earn about $45,000 per year. Job growth is estimated to be about 9% through 2030.
Medical offices need secretaries and assistants just like every other office. And the tasks are very much the same, except that you may need a little more knowledge of healthcare processes. Medical secretaries and assistants handle insurance and billing, manage and file patient charts, prepare medical reports, answer phones, make appointments, and perform other office tasks. Most secretarial positions do not require a college degree unless it is a managerial position. However, there is a Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) certification for those who plan to advance. In 2021, the mean wage estimate for Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants was $39,740.
What Jobs Can I Get With an Associate’s Degree?
With the commitment of two years of education, your choices in the healthcare field expand quite a bit. Here are some entry-level jobs you can land with an associate’s degree.
Medical assistants are sometimes considered medical secretaries because the two jobs share similar administrative duties such as scheduling appointments and updating health records. However, medical assistants also perform patient-care duties like taking vital signs, drawing blood, preparing patients for tests and treatments, and giving out medications. An associate’s degree is not always required to land a job as a medical assistant. However, it will significantly increase your job opportunities and can increase your starting pay level. The 2021 median annual salary was $37,190, and job growth is estimated to be about 18% through 2030.
Lab techs assist with processing, analyzing, recording, and reporting patient tests (like blood tests) in a laboratory setting. If you were that student who loved science lab classes, you might enjoy the work of a lab tech. Of course, this position also requires a person who can follow strict guidelines and regulations so that each test is accurate, and workflows are efficient and organized. They must also be mindful of safety when using potentially hazardous chemicals and other substances. An Associate’s Degree in Laboratory Science or another healthcare specialty is usually required to be a lab tech. According to the BLS, the projected employment growth through 2030 is 11%. The 2021 median annual salary for Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians was $57,800.
Radiologic technicians work with doctors to perform diagnostic imaging on patients using X-ray or CAT scan procedures. This is a patient-facing position where techs interact with patients during the test, educate them about the procedure, and work with physicians to read results and determine a suitable course of treatment. Radiologic techs typically need an Associate’s Degree in Radiologic Technology. In addition, some states require radiologic technicians to be licensed by The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT). Projected employment growth through 2030 is 9%, and the median annual salary in 2021 was $61,980.
These are just eight of the jobs in the healthcare sector that are available for applicants entering the field. As our population ages, the need for professionals who specialize in healthcare and wellness and those who keep the industry running will only grow.
So, if you are searching for a new opportunity or just getting out of school, now is the time to explore the possibility of a healthcare career. Our highly experienced employment experts can help.
Call us today at (602) 468-6300 or fill out the form below for more information. With 25 years of experience, DMC is an expert at matching healthcare workers with their ideal work environment.
These are just eight of the jobs in the healthcare sector that are available for applicants entering the field. As our population ages, the need for professionals who specialize in healthcare and wellness and those who keep the industry running will only grow. So, if you are searching for a new opportunity or just getting out of school, now is the time to explore the possibility of a healthcare career. Our highly experienced employment experts can help. Call us today or fill out the form below for more information.