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you can prepare for several of the country's fastest-growing healthcare careers by earning just one associate's degree in medical specialties. Consider studying in one of the nation's healthcare hotspots: Utah.

An AOS in Medical Specialties in Utah

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, some of the next decade's fastest-growing careers will be in healthcare: medical assistants, pharmacy technicians, laboratory technicians, medical coding and billing specialists, and physical therapy assistants. Now you can prepare for any of them with just one degree from any number of online schools.

Because of the nation's shortage of healthcare workers, and the projected demand that will result from the aging of the baby boomer generation, there are millions of healthcare jobs available in a variety of fields. If you're interested in a healthcare career, but you're not sure where to start, consider this: many schools now offer programs that let students explore where their healthcare interests lie while earning their degree. One of these programs is the associate of occupational studies (AOS) in medical specialties.

An AOS in medical specialties provides an excellent opportunity to glimpse many healthcare specialties at once. The program provides training in medical assisting and medical office administration, as well as specialized fields like pharmacy technology, physical therapy, laboratory assisting, phlebotomy, massage therapy, and even radiology.

According to the BLS, job prospects for many of these healthcare specialties are expected to be excellent. Median earnings for medical assistants in 2004 were $24,610. Employment of pharmacy technicians is expected to grow much faster than average through 2014. Clinical laboratory technicians, who help perform and analyze tests that help to detect, diagnose, and treat disease, will enjoy excellent prospects and median annual earnings that were more than $30,000 in 2004.

As for where to begin your AOS in medical specialties, look no further than Utah.

Utah's Healthy Reputation
The United Health Foundation ranks Utah as the fourth healthiest state in the country. Utah not only has the fewest smokers per capita, but heart disease risks in this state are 19 percent below the national average. And the University of Utah Hospital has been ranked 13 times by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best hospitals. Clearly, the state's commitment to healthcare is unparalleled, and with an AOS degree in medical specialties, your career prospects in Utah will be unparalleled as well.

Sources

Vocational & Technical Schools by State

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