Continuing our theme from the previous article "3 Well-Paying (Non-Physician) Careers in the Healthcare Field", we take a look at 4 more non-physician careers that may interest you if you are not keen on pursing a M.D.
Diagnostic Imaging Professionals
This group includes Diagnostic Medical Sonographers, Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists. These professionals use specialized equipment to create images of the heart and vascular system so that doctors may analyze the severity of the condition and make informed patient care decisions. Most of these professionals work in hospital settings, laboratories and private doctor offices.
BLS Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm
Median Salary: $67,080
Growth of the field: The BLS predicts a 14% increase in the need for these professionals between 2018 and 2028. This represents a much faster than average rates of growth, with an estimated 18,000 new positions available nationwide by 2028.
Required Education: Graduation from a two year program in Sonography from an accredited school While graduation from an approved program will lead to certification, you will need to pass exams administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Sonographers (ARDMS) to become a credentialed Sonographer.
Radiologic and MRI Technicians
Radiologists and MRI Technicians are both well-paying jobs within the healthcare field. Radiographers, perform imaging services such as x-rays and CAT scans while MRI technologists provide patients with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to assist doctors in making diagnoses.
BLS Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm
Median Salary: $61,240
Growth in Employment: Anticipated growth of 9% between 2018 and 2028. This represents a faster than average rate of growth with employment of radiologic or MRI technologists is expected to increase to 23,300 jobs through 2028.
Required Education: Minimum of Associate's Degree or graduation form an accredited training program.
Respiratory therapists treat patients with a range of breathing problems such as asthma, emphysema and chronic respiratory distress. They work with patients who range in age from the newborn with underdeveloped lungs to the elderly suffering from lung disease.
BLS Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/respiratory-therapists.htm
Median Salary: $60,280
Growth in Employment: Predicted growth of field is 21% between 2018 and 2028. This represents a much faster than average rate of growth due to the aging of the population, who are more susceptible to respiratory disorders. Anticipated new jobs added 2028 is 27,900. Employment is expected to rise at a rate much faster than average due to growth in the middle-aged and elderly population, who are more susceptible to respiratory conditions.
Education Requirement: Minimum of Associate’s Degree, along with licensure in every state except Alaska. Licensure requires the passing of state exam and, to renew, you will need to complete continuing education coursework.
Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in hospitals, offices of physicians, and other healthcare facilities. Most medical assistants work in physicians’ offices, hospitals, outpatient clinics, and other healthcare facilities. Medical assistants are a sort of “Jack of all trades” within the healthcare professions assisting physicians with recording patient histories, taking vital signs, performing blood draws and sending samples to laboratories.
BLS Statistics: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm
Median Salary: $33,610
Growth in Employment: It’s anticipated that employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 23 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth stems from the aging of the population with the accompanying need for preventative medical care. As a result, physicians will need to hire an additional number of assistants to perform routine administrative and clerical tasks so they may see more patients. It’s anticipated that the 154,900 new jobs will be added by 2028.
Education Requirement: Most medical assistants have post-secondary education such as a one year Medical Assistant certificate program. However, there are others who enter the field after high school graduation and learn on the job.
You may not want the time commitment required to become a doctor or nurse but the allied health field offers a wide range of opportunity. For example, if your heart is set on working in the field of cardiology (pun intended!) consider becoming a cardiovascular technician as the training can be completed in two years. Within each medical specialty, there are plentiful jobs available for any level of education or experience.