A lot of people think that the only way to get into health care is to go through years and year of grueling medical school. But that’s just not the case.
Yes, if you want to be a doctor, you’ve got to do the training. But there are plenty of other positions that aren’t anything like as onerous. Most roles require no more than an associate’s degree. For some, you’ll even get trained on the job.
Doctors, surgeons, and dentists all rely on a legion of support staff to do their jobs. And, more importantly, patients need a bunch of people working hard behind the scenes to give treatment and aid recovery.
That means that there’s a whole host of jobs for people wanting to make a difference. But which healthcare jobs are the best in 2016? Let’s find out.
If you’ve always wanted be to a surgeon, but don’t have the time to go to medical school, a surgical technologist might be the next best thing. Surgical technologists assist surgeons in the operating theater. They lay out all the tools that surgeons might need to use. And they help sterilize equipment and perform other tasks.
Being a surgical technologist is just about as close as you can get to being a surgeon without actually being one. Salaries average around $43,000 a year right now. And there are plenty of vacancies. The last count saw over 14,000 job openings.
If you’ve ever wanted to work in a pharmacy, a pharmacy technician might be just the job for you. You’ll get to work in a team of people, under a head pharmacist. And your role will be to manage medicines and drugs for patients.
If you take a pharmacy technician job in a hospital, you’ll also be tasked with preparing mixtures of drugs.
How long does it take to become a pharmacy tech? Not as long as you might think. And at the end of it, you get stable job prospects and engaging work. It’s no surprise that a lot of people are choosing to go into the field.
Dental hygienists are responsible for the cleanliness of patient’s teeth. As a hygienist, you’ll be cleaning patients’ teeth yourself. And you’ll also be charged with educating patients about how to keep their teeth in the best condition.
You’ll advise on brushing techniques. And you’ll talk about the importance of interdental brushes. Hygienists average salary is currently $71,500. The unemployment rate is rock-bottom, at 3.1 percent. So there are plenty of opportunities and vacancies to be filled in the field.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Medical Sonographers are health specialists who use sound imaging for medical purposes.
Usually, this means doing ultrasounds on pregnant women. But they can also be involved in things like detecting tumors or abscesses.
This year there are expected to be around 16,000 new medical sonographer positions that will need filling. Medical sonographers get paid around $67,000 on average, with some getting paid over $80,000.
This post has been contributed by Ryan Gatt, it may contain affiliate links.