With a vast and rapidly aging boomer population, careers in the medical field are expected to be increasing in demand over the course of the next decade. Various health care professions require different sets of skills and levels of education, so learning about the various pathways medical professionals take to achieve their career goals can be helpful as you think about the future. If you are hoping to take advantage of the projected job growth and pursue a career helping people, then take a look at the below medical occupations.
Audiologists help patients with hearing loss. These medical professionals assess the type of hearing loss patients may be experiencing by administering hearing tests and providing medical devices to help improve hearing and sound quality in noisy environments. These hearing devices are typically cochlear implants or hearing aids. A hearing aid is a medical accessory that fits around the outer ear or inside it. A cochlear implant is a small device divided into two parts: one portion goes behind the ear and the other is surgically implanted under the skin. Hearing aids are usually for people with moderate hearing loss and cochlear implants are best for individuals with severe hearing loss or patients who are deaf. Audiologists don’t need a medical degree to pursue this work, however most hold a master’s degree. The median annual income for audiologists is $77,600 and the job is expected to grow by 16%.
Paramedics thrive in adrenaline-filled, high-pressure work environments. These medical professionals provide emergency medicine and support to patients in immediate need. This job doesn’t require a lot of higher education beyond high school, although you’ll need to fulfill certain training requirements. Paramedics work in crisis and emergency response teams and should be certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) in order to assist in the urgent treatment of cardiac arrest, strokes and other cardiovascular conditions. You can get certified through an ACLS online course and go at your own pace. The online class adheres to the American Heart Association standards and works for initial certification and recertification.
Medical laser technicians can either operate or repair laser systems for medical procedures. Laser operators often perform cosmetic procedures and work in spas or dermatologists’ offices. A vocational degree and some certification can suffice for this job. Technicians who operate the laser systems can expect to earn a salary of $36,350 while technicians who maintain and repair laser systems can expect a salary of around $52,710. You can find medical laser equipment online at
https://cosmeticlaserwarehouse.com/ if you’d like to open your own practice, or you can join an existing practice.
Physician assistants are different than medical assistants. They hold advanced medical degrees (such as a master’s) and work alongside physicians in diagnosing and treating diseases and medical conditions. Duties include taking patient’s medical histories and prescribing medication. The median annual salary for this career is $112,260, and it’s an rapidly growing field.
Pharmacists work with doctors and health insurance providers to dispense prescriptions to patients. Tasks include counseling patients on medications and administering vaccinations like flu shots. In order to become licensed, pharmacists must earn a bachelor’s degree, a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree and complete two exams. This field is not expected to grow but the median salary remains high at $128,090.
Becoming a Registered Nurse is an extremely popular career path. This is often attributed to the stability and security of this profession. Nurses work directly with patients and doctors to provide care, administer medication and perform tests. Individuals wishing to pursue this career should be incredibly compassionate, great communicators, physically and mentally strong and able to endure long working hours. Nurses can earn varying levels of degrees—a diploma as well as an associate or bachelor’s degree. All nurses must be licensed by the state they are located in. The median annual salary for a registered nurse is $73,300.
Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Yahoo Small Business.