The healthcare industry is ever-growing and ever-evolving. The need for it will never go away, and nowadays the demand for quality healthcare is greater than ever, with longer life expectancies and expanded insurance coverage for the population under Obamacare. Of course, healthcare is an attractive profession to work in because not only can it be extremely interesting and rewarding, but most of the jobs pay very well. The drawback often is that years of medical school is required for many of these careers. But there is a loophole for those who would rather have less school and begin working sooner. There are numerous good paying jobs in healthcare that you can pursue without a medical degree, yet still get many of the perks and exposure that you would get as a doctor. Below are four of the best jobs in healthcare that are very popular and in high demand:
A pharmacist prepares and dispenses medication for patients, and advises them on the amount that should be taken, how to take them and possible side effects. Many pharmacists have numerous patients whose drug therapies they monitor. Pharmacists are also responsible for providing information to the pharmacy staff and healthcare professionals. This career requires great knowledge of the elements that make up the medications that you administer, and the federal and state drug laws. There is about 6 years of schooling required total to become a pharmacist (including undergraduate). According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for pharmacists as of 2012 was $116,670, and jobs were expected to grow 14% from 2012 to 2022. The high salary makes this profession one of the most popular jobs in healthcare without a medical degree.
2) Dental Hygienist
Dental hygienists perform detailed teeth cleanings on dental patients, and instruct them on how to maintain good dental hygiene. They keep an eye out for signs of disease and infection, and consult with dentists on the patient’s oral health. Ideally, dental hygienists are friendly and enjoy working with people, particularly children. The educational requirement for dental hygiene is a 2-year associate’s degree, and to be licensed by the state. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for dental hygienists as of 2012 was $70,210, and jobs were expected to grow 33% from 2012 to 2022. If you are looking for a good-paying profession with little schooling required, this is one of the best jobs to pursue in healthcare.
3) Physician Assistant
Under the direction of a medical doctor, physician assistants carry out many of the same duties that a doctor would, such as examining patients, prescribing medication and running blood tests and X-rays. But the schooling required is way more minimal than that of a doctor. Typically, someone pursuing a career as a physician assistant would first complete a bachelor’s degree program with pre-medical/healthcare undergraduate prerequisites. Then they would enter a master’s degree program which usually takes about 2 years, after which they can become certified (once they pass a national exam). Most physician assistants get experience in the medical field prior to becoming certified. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for physician assistants as of 2012 was $90,930, and jobs were expected to grow 38% from 2012 to 2022. This healthcare job allows you to come the closest you can to being the doctor without earning a medical degree.
4) Physical Therapist
Physical therapists help people with physical injuries or illnesses recover, regain use and control of their bodies, and manage pain. These healthcare professionals must pay close attention to each patient’s specific physical situation and create a rehabilitation plan for them so they can return to a happy, useful life as soon as possible. Most physical therapists first obtain a bachelor’s degree with science prerequisites, and then get a master’s degree. Nowadays, physical therapists have the option to go on and get a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree, which usually takes about 3 years. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for physician assistants as of 2012 was $79,860, and jobs were expected to grow 36% from 2012 to 2022. If you want a job in healthcare but are undecided on whether you would be willing to pursue a medical degree in the future, this is an excellent profession to consider.
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