For many years, healthcare jobs have been notable for their high pay and good benefits, but many of the best job types in the field are contingent on the applicant holding some kind of advanced degree. Obviously, it's important that brain surgeons go to school for an extended time, but there are more than a few great healthcare jobs that aren't quite so demanding. Here are a few healthcare jobs that don't take a four-year degree to get started on.
Medical assistants have been in demand for decades. As the standards and training for nurses have risen, a gap opened up for noncredentialed healthcare professionals who can assist doctors with patients, sterilize equipment, and generally make the medical office run smoothly. Medical assistants are often trained on the job, though programs exist that grant vocational certificates.
One of the best things about certain healthcare jobs is the potential for excitement. Possibly no allied health professional has as exciting a job as the emergency medical technician. EMTs ride along with paramedics in ambulances, assist in rehab facilities, and work as emergency department technicians. To become an EMT, your state probably requires that you learn CPR for the professional rescuer and attend approximately eight weeks of specialized training before joining the National Registry.
Home health aides have all the rewards and challenges of direct patient care without the need for extended training as practitioners. As a home health aide, you'll visit patients in their homes and attend to their routine needs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the demand for home health aides will rise a full 70 percent between 2010 and 2020, which is an astonishing leap in demand even among healthcare jobs.
Dental assistants work almost exclusively in dental offices and get to keep regular hours. They're responsible for maintaining records, getting patients ready for their procedures, and handling equipment in a sterile field. Dental assistant jobs are expected to increase by 31 percent between 2010 and 2020, and the training typically consists of a vocational certificate and some on-the-job experience. The median salary of a dental assistant is $33,470 a year, which puts them near the front of noncredentialed healthcare workers.
Healthcare is a fast-growing, potentially very rewarding field of work that still has plenty of room in it. Given the industry's size and diversity, it isn't surprising that all manner of job types are available to dedicated applicants with less than a professional degree. As long as people require their medical needs addressed by sympathetic professionals, and as long as the experts in the healthcare field need help in treating them, there will be healthcare jobs for allied and less-specialized workers to fill.
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