These front-line professionals are obviously essential to the work of healthcare, but without the leadership and support of many other healthcare professionals, they wouldn’t be able to do their job.
Whether it’s the medical office assistants who keep doctor’s offices humming on a day-to-day basis, or public health experts who create contingency plans for the next epidemic, there are an almost limitless variety of opportunities in the field.
And this exciting variation has led us to create exciting Healthcare rankings, like the Best Online Medical Sonography Programs!
By the way, if you’re looking to find out more about Nursing professions and degrees, we created a separate page for that. Check it out in the menu above.
- What Is Healthcare?
- How Much Can I Earn with a Healthcare Degree?
- What Kinds of Degrees Are Available in Healthcare?
- What Kinds of Healthcare Specializations Are Available?
- What Are the Requirements for a Career in Healthcare?
What Does Someone Who Works in Healthcare Do?
Healthcare involves the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of illnesses, diseases, and injuries. Some professionals treat the mind, others operate within the body, and many focus on one specific body function (hearing, reproduction, sight, etc.).
But beyond that, the field includes everybody who’s working to keep the healthcare system running and in place.
This means that you can do everything from running an MRI machine to helping to treat and care for patients with dementia. As a healthcare professional you will be one of the greatest assets that a hospital has to prevent pain and save lives.
And your involvement can start whenever you’d like! Those anxious to jump right in can have a healthcare certificate and start work within the field in a year.
Those looking to gain more specialized training can pursue undergraduate and graduate work, in pursuit of professions like speech and physical therapy.
How Much Money Can You Make If You Study Healthcare?
Every career on this page will expand with 3 to 38 percent more job openings in the next seven years. Healthcare will always be necessary. Especially as the population ages, more opportunities and more specializations will open up.
A small number of jobs can be secured with a high school diploma. In general, careers paying less than $35,000 require a certificate, training program, or Associate’s degree.
Bachelor’s degrees open doors in limited medical fields. Master’s degrees usually prepare students for more specialized careers. And every physician has graduated from a Doctoral program.
One great example of a healthcare career is Athletic Training! This profession has a wealth of job openings, specifically in states like Hawaii, Delaware, and South Dakota.
But it’s not just job openings! You can also find salaries of almost $60,000 in states like Nevada, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia.
And if you’re worried about the cost of moving to a new place, the states of Texas, Nevada, and Michigan offer the best balance between physical therapy salaries and cost-of-living!
What Kind of Healthcare Degrees Are Available?
Certificates are earned through short-term programs, which focus on specific technical aspects of the healthcare field.
Classwork will focus on the specialty of the certificate, and prepare students with the skills needed to enter these fields immediately upon completion.
Those who complete these programs are eligible for positions such as Surgical Technicians, who earn a median salary of just over $45,000, or as Cardiac Care Technicians, who earn an average of around $55,000.
Associate’s Degree programs typically last around two years and lead to entry-level work in the healthcare.
Coursework depends on specialization, but will typically focus on coursework solely related to the student’s specific focus. Students will get hands-on experiences in their field, and interact with real patients before even starting their careers.
Example careers include Pharmacy Technicians, who earn around $31,000, or Psychiatric Assistants, who earn around $27,000.
Bachelor’s Degree programs will cover a broader range of knowledge than certificate or associate programs.
Students will engage in coursework inside and outside of their specialization, though the bulk of their coursework will be in their chosen field. Students graduating with a bachelor’s may pursue a career as a radiologic technologist, who help doctors to take X-Rays and CAT scans, and earn a median salary of around $57,450.
Graduate Degree programs will build on the knowledge that students gained in their undergraduate programs. Coursework will once again focus on the student’s specialty field, but will go far more in-depth than previous stages.
Once completed, this degree entitles students to enter fields such as healthcare administration. Those in this field earn a median of just under $100,000.
What Kind of Healthcare Specialties Are Available?
Since there are so many different illnesses and injuries that healthcare professionals have to respond to, there are a number of different specialties that you can choose to pursue.
For example, you can become a medical assistant. These professionals complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of hospitals, physicians, and other healthcare facilities.
To enter the field some students choose to complete a certificate program, while others simply enter with a high school degree and receive on the job training. The median salary for a medical assistant is around $31,500.
You may also want to consider becoming a dietician/nutritionist, who are food experts that promote health and manage disease through personalized advising.
Most of these advisors enter the field with a bachelor’s degree, and many states also require supplemental licenses. The median salary for this field is around $59,000.
Another exciting field is that of speech-language pathology. Professionals in this field help to assess, diagnose, and treat communication and swallowing disorders in patients.
Students must complete a graduate level degree program, and extensive clinical training with patients before beginning their careers. Speech-language pathologists earn an average of around $74,000.
Don’t forget to consider Occupational or Recreational Therapy. Orthotics and Prosthetics specialists restore movement and correct foot function. Experts in Healthcare Information Management Systems are also in demand.
And there are also pioneering careers in fields such as genetic counseling, which helps explain the risks of genetic disorders to individuals and couples either currently expecting a child or planning to in the near future.
Healthcare Management and Administration
Normally when people think of hospitals they think of doctors and nurses, but behind the scenes, there are also highly-trained individuals called Healthcare Managers who assist with planning, coordinating, and directing the medical and health services of everyone from individual doctors to entire hospitals.
Looking at the Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, it’s shocking how easily this job tends to fly under the radar. Health Service Managers make almost six-digit salaries, with an average salary of over $96,000 per year.
But the BLS doesn’t expect this secret to stay hidden for long, as they predict a much faster than average growth (17%) in the job market over the next ten years.
Because of the great career opportunities available in this field, CollegeChoice took the opportunity to create five different rankings about different bachelors, associates, and masters programs in the Healthcare Administration field.
For undergraduate students looking to enter the field, there is the Best Online Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees.
Potential masters students can check out the Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Administration Degrees and the Best Online Master’s in Healthcare Management Degrees, or, if their focus is on affordability, there is also the Most Affordable Online Master’s in Health Administration and Management Degrees.
Students who wish to pursue an associate’s degree are encouraged to look at the Best Online Associate’s Degrees in Medical Office Assisting.
For doctors to be able to do their jobs properly, they need to know basic information about their patients: that means both personal information, like height and weight, as well as information about what they’re getting treated for, injury or illness, flu or cold, etc.
An error in transmission could lead to life-threatening mistakes, which is why doctors rely on highly-trained workers called Health Information Technicians to maintain the quality, accessibility and security of this information.
There are almost 200,000 health information technicians in the United States, who earn nearly $20/hour working in hospitals or physicians’ offices.
Because of the high demand for these well-trained individuals, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects to see a much faster than average growth in their job market (15%) over the next decade.
CollegeChoice has put together lists for both undergraduates and postgraduates interested in this exciting field.
Students interested in Bachelors programs can check out our Best Online Bachelor’s in Health Informatics Degrees ranking or the Most Affordable Bachelor’s in Health Informatics Degrees ranking.
Students looking for Master’s programs can find rankings of the Best Online Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees and the Most Affordable Master’s in Health Informatics Degrees.
Ultrasound and Sonography
If you’re familiar with the field of ultrasound and sonography, it’s probably because of the photos or videos you’ve seen of babies in utero. Sonographers get to play one of the most touching and heartwarming roles in the medical system.
But it’s more than fuzzy feelings—sonographers also play a key role in diagnosis of a number of different diseases and conditions, from kidney stones to heart conditions. They also play a role in neurology and oncology.
The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics groups ultrasound and sonography professionals into the title: “Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists.”
At a median annual salary of $64,280, ultrasound technicians are some of the best-paid workers who only need an associate’s degree. So if you’re looking to get quick, two-year degree and jump into the workforce, medical sonography might be your best bet.
Because this is such a prominent and quickly growing field, College Choice has put together quite a handful of rankings related to ultrasound technology and medical sonography.
You can check out our ranking of the very Best Ultrasound Technician Schools, as well as the online counterpart to that ranking, the Best Online Medical Sonography Schools. We’ve also ranked the Best Associate’s in Medical Sonography Degrees, and compiled a list of the Most Affordable Online Medical Sonography Schools.
If you’re interested in learning more about health and safety trends, and what health practices can be implemented for the greater good, a degree in public health can open up doors to a variety of different careers for you to explore.
From health and safety engineers and environmental scientists, to healthcare administrators and epidemiologists, the options are endless.
The salaries are great too for those in the public health field. Epidemiologists (those who study and analyze patterns, causes, and effects of health and disease conditions in defined populations) can make upwards of $70,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
However, a Master’s degree is often required for these types of careers.
College Choice has put together a ranking of the 35 Best Public Health Degrees for your convenience. If you’re looking for an advanced degree in Public Health, we’ve also ranked the Top Master’s degrees in this field.
If flexibility is your top priority, check out our list of the Best Online Public Health Degrees. We have also ranked the Best Online Master’s in Public Health. Ensure employees, communities, and the public have the resources, knowledge and abilities to live healthy, fulfilling lives, by pursuing a degree in Public Health!