Top 10 Careers in the Health Field

top 10 careers in the health fieldWe’re in a time of great changes in the American work force.  Jobs that seemed to have a secure future even 10 years ago are becoming obsolete, or at least losing full-time-with-benefits status.  On the other hand, some fields are booming, even in a weak economy, and there’s no end in sight to the growth.

One of those growing fields in health care.  Whether or not Obamacare is implemented or repealed, as long as people have bodies, they will need medical care for them.  It is true that the medical field is changing, like everything else, but the basics can’t change.  People will pay what they can to feel better.

Here are 10 careers in the medical field that are guaranteed to provide jobs long into the future.

1. Nurse

There is a huge shortage of nurses in the US, and starting salaries for nurses is on the rise.  Add a BNS, MNS, or PhD, and nursing becomes one of the best ways to combine care for people with making a good living.

2. Nurse Practitioner

NPs work with doctors, and are allowed to diagnose and prescribe medications for their patients.  They can be considered primary health care providers, and are invaluable as health workers in underserved areas where doctors are hard to come by.  You have to have a Master of Nursing, but you also get the bump in salary that accompanies the higher degree.

3. Licensed Practical Nurse/Certified Nurse’s Assistant

LPNs and CNAs are like assistant nurses.  They can’t do everything an RN can do, but they are trained to give specific care to patients, freeing nurses to do the things only they are certified to do.  LPNs and CNAs are often the ones with the most patient interaction.

4. Dentist

Just like with other doctors, as long as people have teeth, they will need dentists.  Dentistry is experiencing a shortfall of practitioners, so new dentists can be sure they will be well-paid and valued.

5. Dental Hygienist

With a shortage of dentists, any work that can be done by others is done by others.  Patient prep, teeth cleaning, and x-rays are often done by the hygienist before the patient ever sees the dentist.  It helps dental offices run smoothly and helps the dentist maximize his or her time.

6. Medical Transcriptionist

Almost every doctor’s office outsources medical transcription.  These work-at-home employees take a doctor’s recordings of his or her notes and convert them into written documents, which then go into patient files.

7. Pharmacist

There seems to be a pill for everything these days, but we wouldn’t have access to those pills and other medications without well-trained pharmacists.  We will always need medicines, and as medical science gets more advanced, we will be in more need of competent scientists making our medicines for us.

8. X-ray Technician

The simple act of x-raying someone requires training, compassion, and a gentle touch.  Whole courses of treatment depend on the competence of the x-ray tech and the information they send on to doctors and physical therapists.

9. Physical Therapists

As the population ages, more and more people will need access to ongoing exercises and treatment programs a physical therapist can provide.  Sports, also, are getting rougher and more competitive, and athletes need physical therapy at younger ages.  At both ends of the age spectrum, the need for PT is growing.

10. Physician

There have always been doctors and there always will be.  However, the role of the physician is on the verge of major changes in the US.  Some of the things affecting these changes will be changes in insurance, changes in education, and increased specialization in the medical field.  In addition, many tasks once reserved to physicians are now being done by nurses, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers.

The health care scene in the US is changing, but it’s one of the fastest-growing and most secure job fields in the country.  People need health care, and they are willing to pay for you to provide it to them.

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One Comment

  1. Sarah
    Posted February 28, 2011 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Medical transcription can be a difficult field to break into. Very few companies will hire a candidate with less than two years of experience. Go to any online MT forum and you’ll find the horror stories; graduates of expensive training programs who are still looking for work after two years, experienced MTs who make a third of what they once did (some of that outsourcing is going overseas). Research your school, and find out what your job prospects are before you hand over your money.

    I was trained through a program with guaranteed placement into a work-at-home job, and it’s worked well for me, though the hours are less flexible than I thought they would be, and I do not make enough money to live off of; if I did not have my husband to support me, I would need a second job.

    Be careful! Good luck.

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