There are several excellent healthcare careers that do not require medical training. Here are three of the fastest growing alternative career paths in healthcare.
A doula is a trained companion who is not a healthcare professional and who supports another individual through a significant health-related experience, such as childbirth, miscarriage, induced abortion or stillbirth, or non-reproductive experiences such as dying. Unlike obstetricians or midwives, doulas do not give medical advice but lend critical support by discussing postures, delivery options, and natural childbirth preferences. Generally, a birth doula assists in breathing during contractions, and combines postpartum services like newborn care and household assistance.
There is no professional degree required to work as a doula. Some of the major organizations that train and certify people to become doulas include Dona International, Childbirth and Postpartum Association (CAPPA), and International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA).
The salary of a birth doula varies depending on births/month, but a reasonable yearly salary could be $86,400, while a postpartum doula could earn as much as $135,200 a year.
- Healthcare Lobbyist
A healthcare lobbyist is someone who promotes healthcare issues and aims to make them legal by influencing public officials. While healthcare advocates publicize a medical concern, lobbyists are involved in a constant dialogue about the concern with government bodies, politicians, and regulatory agencies that can bring about legislation. In an ever-expanding horizon of medical innovation and patient care, healthcare lobbying is the desired medium to address advocacy campaigns.
To make a career in healthcare lobbying, you must have an undergraduate (and preferably a master’s) degree in public relations, public health, sociology, or healthcare administration, as well as familiarity with the law. This is followed by interning with healthcare agencies or enrolling in certificate programs like the American League of Lobbyists. Then, you must register with the government to earn professional credentials to work independently or with a lobbying firm.
It is has been reported that some lobbyists make an upwards of $300,000 or more a year. However, the average lobbyist probably would not make this much. The average lobbyist with at least four to five years of experience will probably make anywhere between $75,000 to over $100,000 a year.
- Rehabilitation Counselor
Rehabilitation counselors are mental health professionals, who work with disabled individuals to build skills, cope with feelings of anxiety and depression, and find solutions to problems such as employment, chronic pain, mobility, transportation, basic care, and more. The goals and practice of rehabilitation counseling are similar to many other professions that fall under the categories of psychology, counseling and mental health - a rehabilitation counselor will use tests and other assessment tools to assess and understand a client's problem, develop a treatment plan, and utilize therapeutic techniques to foster a better quality of life for the client.
Aspiring rehab counselors should ideally have an undergraduate degree in Disability and Developmental Education or in social work or health science. This may be followed by pursuing a postgraduate specialization in Rehabilitation Counseling. To become a certified rehabilitation counselor, you must pass the CRC examination and then go on to earn additional counseling certifications. To earn a license, a counselor must complete 2,000 to 4,000 hours of clinical service and pass a state-recognized exam.
Rehabilitation counselors can expect to earn an annual salary of as much as $72,000.