When it comes to jobs, it's hard to beat the opportunities offered by health care. Thanks to our aging population and advanced medicine, there is a need for qualified professionals in the field. So much so that health care covers five of the ten fastest growing industries in the country for 2016-2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Not only is health care a fast-growing field, but it can be relatively easy to enter too. There's no need to spend years in medical school to become a physician. Medical trade schools can have students ready for in-demand careers in two years or less.
What's more, these jobs can appeal to students with diverse interests. While some are focused on providing hands-on patient assistance, others involve administrative tasks such as maintaining records and billing insurance.
If you're ready for a new career, start exploring all the options available in this dynamic field. There are even online health care programs that can make it easy for busy adults to study for some specializations.
What are health care specializations?
Most health care professions require postsecondary training, and medical training schools offer programs designed for specific occupations. Here are a few examples of specializations you'll find at medical trade schools.
Nursing (LPN): Depending on your state, entry-level nurses may be called licensed practical nurses (LPN) or licensed vocational nurses (LVN). These workers are often on the front lines of care. They may monitor vital signs, change bandages and record patient concerns. Many programs that prepare LPNs and LVNs can be completed in one year. Read more about nursing degree programs, and specifically LPN degree programs.
- Massage Therapy: Massage therapists provide therapeutic services that reduce tension, improve circulation and increase the overall wellness of their patients. While you don't need a degree to work in this specialization, you will need some postsecondary training. A medical technician school can teach techniques to safely and effectively manipulate muscles and soft tissue. Explore massage therapy programs for more insight.
- Medical Transcriptionist: On the administrative side of the health care industry are medical transcriptionists. These workers are sometimes called health care documentation specialists, and they are responsible for typing up reports from recordings made by physicians and other medical professionals. It takes about one year to become a medical transcriptionist; explore medical transcriptionist degree programs for more insight.
- Medical Billing and Coding: Medical billers and coders often go by the more formal title of medical records and health information technicians. These professionals review patient data and assign appropriate diagnosis and procedure codes in order to ensure insurance companies are properly billed. You could earn a certificate or an associate degree in health care to prepare for this career. Also, learn about medical billing and coding degree programs.
- Medical Assisting: If you'd like a job that includes both clinical and administrative duties, medical assisting might be a good choice. On the administrative side, medical assistants schedule appointments and update patient records. Their clinical duties may include measuring vital signs, assisting physicians with examinations and preparing blood samples for analysis. Many medical training schools have one-year programs that prepare medical assistants for their jobs; explore medical assistant degree programs for more insight.
What are the educational requirements for health care jobs?
Everyone knows doctors have to spend years in school to prepare for their jobs. But did you know you can be ready for some health care jobs in as little as a year? health care degrees aren't even required for some careers. Instead, you may only have to complete a short-term training program.
Medical trade schools may award the following:
- Diplomas: Medical coders and medical assistants are among those who may earn diplomas to prepare for their jobs. Offered by medical technician schools and similar institutions, you can earn a diploma in a year. Many online health care programs result in diplomas.
- Certificates: A certificate is similar to a diploma. As a non-degree award, it typically prepares students for a new job in less time than it would take to earn a degree. In one to two years, a certificate can have you ready for a job as a licensed practical nurse, medical transcriptionist or phlebotomist.
- Associate Degrees: An associate degree in health care takes two years to complete, but it also opens up many job opportunities. A two-year degree is required for a number of in-demand careers such as that of diagnostic medical sonographers, radiation therapists and respiratory therapists. You can earn an associate degree in health care at a technical school or community college.
- Projections of industry employment, 2016-2026, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed October 2018, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2017/article/projections-industry.htm
- health care Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Accessed October 2018, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/health care/home.htm
- Online Medical Transcription School, U.S. Career Institute, Accessed October 2018, https://www.uscareerinstitute.edu/certificates/health-care-programs/medical-transcription