Careers in Healthcare – Career Paths & Earning Potential

Find Your Dream Career or Job in Healthcare

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry needs an additional 1.1 million nurses plus additional healthcare professionals to meet current demands, and the labor force is expected to grow up to 15% by 2026. These figures are significantly higher than that for most careers, making healthcare one of the most in-demand and secure jobs in the US at this time. This demand is driven by a few critical factors. Baby boomers are aging rapidly and in need of more medical assistance than the rest of the population, generally speaking. Nurses, such as nurse practitioners and physician assistants, are taking over many doctor responsibilities in various medical situations as a way to improve doctor visit experiences, ease the burden of doctor shortages, and reduce costs. You can pursue healthcare jobs in nearly every industry as businesses are now offering many medical services to their employees. Today, various types of healthcare professionals are even available at pharmacies so that patients do not have to take the time and spend the money to go to the doctor for non-emergency or non-critical medical scenarios. Today is a very good to be a healthcare professional.

Healthcare Career Paths


Healthcare Career Options and Paths


A healthcare degree opens the door to nearly unlimited opportunities. To begin, you can start your career as an LPN, medical assistant, or physical therapy assistant with very little post secondary education. You can actually start a career in medicine with a high school diploma and a certificate in some cases. As you work to gain essential medical experience, you can continue your path to more advanced degrees as a way to move up the healthcare career ladder. These career advancements lead to more responsibility and greater pay. You can even work your way to becoming a doctor as you gain practical experience in the healthcare industry.

Another tremendous benefit is that you can live nearly anywhere and find a healthcare position. If you have to move for any reason, such as the job transfer of a partner or to care for a family member, you can relatively easily find employment in any town or city in the US. In addition to being able to live anywhere, you can work for nearly any type of employer. Today, many types of organizations hire on-site medical staff such as hotels, corporations, and pharmacies. You could even choose to work in the home of patients as in-home care is a rapidly-growing trend.

It is important to note that the type of degree you complete will greatly affect your career trajectory. The higher the degree you earn, the more money you can earn annually. You can receive promotions and work more independently with each degree. With a bachelor’s degree, you can become an RN and specialize by earning certifications and work experience. If you complete a master’s degree, you can reach the top of the healthcare field, take on managerial roles, and pursue other administration positions if you so choose.

You can also pursue careers outside of medicine and work in healthcare in a more indirect manner with a healthcare degree. Many professions require the expertise of healthcare professionals without requiring you to administer medical care. You could become a legal medical consultant and work with attorneys on court cases. You could help to solve crimes as a forensic medical consultant. You could even become an informatics medical specialist to assist with industry trends and overall needs by analyzing data. Many people are choosing a hands-off approach with telemedicine, or you could become a medical educator in a variety of capacities, such as a post secondary instructor at a community college or as a community health representative to educate local communities about health concerns and preventative steps.

Skills Gained and Learned


To become an effective healthcare professional, you will require more than medical know-how. You will be working with human beings and, as such, you must take into account the human element of this profession. You will also be working for businesses or the government. This requires that you follow specific rules put in place to protect patients and keep the liability of all employees and the employer to a minimum. To accomplish these necessities, you will require a skillset of both hard and soft skills. Some such skills will not come naturally to some; therefore, you’ll have to work just as hard to master these skills as you will mastering your specialty.

Communication
The ability to effectively communicate is essentially a life or death skill. You have to be able to make notes exactly as stated by both patients and direct reports. You must be able to follow the directions given to you by superiors. And, you must be able to speak clearly with and build a rapport with patients.

Adaptability and Flexibility
In healthcare, there is no set schedule as to when someone is going to become ill or need medical assistance. You must be able to adapt to your environment and be flexible at all times, as you never know when an emergency will strike or whether or not the week will be full of patients.

Technologically Capable
Technology is becoming increasingly important in healthcare. It is essential that you are comfortable with at least basic technology skills. Keep in mind that you might be using technology in far more ways than data entry, such as maintaining appointments, taking notes, administering medications, managing equipment, and much more.

Problem Solver
Healthcare professionals are constantly problem solving. You must be able to objectively look at a situation and consider the facts to find a solution rather than making assumptions. Your feedback can help doctors find the right treatment plan for patients to improve their quality of life and even save lives.

Interpersonal Skills
Interpersonal skills have always been important in healthcare positions. You have to be able to build effective relationships with co-workers and patients alike. It is essential to be able to read both verbal and non-verbal cues, as well as being aware of and understanding cultural differences in order to be a top healthcare employee.

Careers as a Medical Assistant


Medical assistance jobs make for great careers or starting positions for continuing your education and advancing your career ambitions. These positions require less education, spend more time with patients, and often manage less intricate daily responsibilities such as basic patient care, paperwork, and patient health education. Regardless of the type of medical assistance position you seek, you will still require additional education and certification in most states.

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant spends a significant portion of their time with patients and completing office work. You will also be responsible for managing various laboratory tasks. You will act as an assistant with dental procedures and treatments, develop dental radiographs if your state permits you to do so, provide instructions to patients after surgery, and prepare and sterilize essential equipment and instruments. You must have exceptional interpersonal skills and you may be required to provide some basic procedures such as administering non-injectable medications. To become a dental assistant, you must complete a program that has been accredited and pass an exam. You can choose a program at a community college, technical, or vocational school. These typically last one year and end with a diploma or certificate. If your state does not require higher education, you should pursue chemistry, biology, and anatomy in high school to improve your employability.

Medical Assistant

A medical assistant is a great choice for people who have not yet completed any formal medical training. Many states do not require higher learning to become a medical assistant, however top employers prefer a medical assistant to complete a certificate program from a technical school, vocational school, or community college. During your formal education, you will become familiar with medical terminology and basic anatomy and complete both laboratory and classroom education. Once you begin a medical assistant position, you will quickly become familiar with the daily ins and outs of a healthcare facility. As a medical assistant, your responsibilities will vary from day to day and will include working with computers and data entry, answering phones, greeting patients, completing insurance forms, making appointments, and arranging for laboratory services. You might also be responsible for taking detailed medical histories, explaining medical procedures, providing assistance during exams, taking blood, changing dressings, and collecting lab specimens.

Physician Assistant

The duties of a physician assistant (PA) will vary greatly based on the relationship between the physician and the physician assistant. While a physician assistant does not work directly under a physician or require a physician to remain on-site at all times, they must collaborate together. PAs can make diagnoses, provide physical examinations, treat illnesses, discuss preventative healthcare, assist during surgeries and interpret test results. As a PA, you can work directly with patients, in administration, or conduct research. A physician assistant (PA) is as close to becoming a doctor as you can get without being a doctor. To become a physician assistant, you must complete a two-year graduate program after completing a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in science. Many people who pursue advanced education to become a PA are already practicing RNs, EMTs, or paramedics. Most programs require previous healthcare experience prior to being accepted. This hands-on experience often makes an advanced medical degree slightly easier. It will also be required that you complete additional clinical rotations whilst being supervised by a physician. You must be licensed with the state in which you intend to work and become a certified physician assistant by passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.

Physical Therapy Assistant

A physical therapy assistant is a hands-on medical position working directly with patients to improve their condition and mobility after an accident, disease, or illness. You might be responsible for patient observation, assist with exercises and stretching, provide massages, and/or offer treatment education. You might also be required to assist with electrical stimulation, ice and heat treatments, ultrasound therapy, and training to improve balance and coordination. The overall goal of physical therapy is to improve the physical condition of the human body as a way to improve a patient’s quality of life. Daily tasks will be assigned by the physical therapist. As such, it is essential to establish a strong rapport with your patients and your physical therapist so that you can continue to learn and acquire more responsibility for career advancement. To become a physical therapist assistant, you will require an associate degree from a program that is accredited. You can find such degrees at many community colleges. During your education, which can last up to two years, you will be required to complete both classroom and clinical training. And, you will have to acquire state licensure from all states except Hawaii and Colorado, at this time.

Occupational Therapy Assistant

An occupational therapy assistant helps patients return to their previous ability, at work and at home. This is a growing field and these positions are widely available in all states. As an occupational therapy assistant, your responsibilities and duties will vary depending on the occupational therapist for whom you work. Your tasks could also be limited or expanded by your employer. Most occupational therapy assistants help provide support to patients to regain control over lives in countless ways; through stretches, exercises, patient encouragement, socialization, equipment education, and more. The overall goal of occupational therapy is to improve the ability of the client to perform daily tasks. You will likely also be required to complete various administrative tasks including billing, insurance forms, and inventory. To become an occupational therapy assistant, you will be required to complete an associate’s degree from a program with accreditation. These degrees can be completed at many community colleges. The profession of occupational therapy assistant is regulated by all states and, as such, you might be required to complete state licensure. Again, this will vary by state.

Professional Organizations

American Physical Therapy Association
The American Physical Therapy Association provides a strong community for physical therapy professionals and focuses on the advancement and improvement of the industry and the overall health of society.

American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
The American Occupational Therapy Association is a staunch advocate for the advancement and integration of occupational therapy in all facets of healthcare.

American Academy of Physician Assistants
The American Academy of Physician Assistants has members representing all 50 states, uniformed services, and US territories all working toward the same goal of encouraging PA recognition, personal growth, and professional advancement.

Careers in Nursing


Nurses are the foundation of the medical field. These healthcare professionals spend the most time with patients and are directly responsible for making patients feel comfortable with any process, procedure, treatment, diagnosis, etc. As a nurse, you will also be responsible for basic healthcare services, communicating vital information to doctors, and educating patients and their families. A nursing career can be whatever you want to make it; you will get out of it what you put into it. Some people are perfectly happy in assistant positions. It is important to note that many nursing positions can become repetitive and they are often highly emotionally demanding. As such, many nurses continue their education and complete additional degrees and certifications to receive promotions and more pay. Your options for advancement in this profession are nearly endless.

Registered Nurse

A registered nurse is one of the most common types of nurses. Once you become a registered nurse, you can pursue any type of medical specialization such as pediatrics, emergency room, or general care nursing. Most registered nurses will have similar responsibilities, including recording medical histories, detailing symptoms, observing patients, assessing patient conditions, collaborating with other medical professionals, operating and overseeing equipment, administering medication, performing diagnostic tests, analyzing test results, and educating patients on at-home care. Your responsibilities will vary greatly based on your employer and years of experience. To become a registered nurse, you can choose one of several paths such as completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Some states may only require registered nurses to complete an associate degree in nursing or receive a diploma from a pre-approved nursing program. You will also have to become licensed in your state, pass a criminal background check, and possibly complete certifications to work in certain healthcare specialties. Each state will be different, so be sure to check with your state’s nursing board to determine the exact requirements.

Pediatric Nurse

A pediatric nurse is a registered nurse specialized in working exclusively with children. These young patients often require different care than adults and many of the most common illnesses, injuries, and diseases in children vary from those in adults. As such, it is important to have specialized pediatric nurses. You will be required to develop a positive rapport with both the patient and their parents or guardians. In some cases, you will be caring for the families as much as the children, and you’ll have to work with a child’s caregiver. You will be responsible for the same tasks as a registered nurse such as collecting samples of blood and urine and educating kids and parents on treatment plans. If you have a higher degree, you can interpret test results, develop treatment plans, and perform diagnoses. To become a pediatric nurse, most states require you to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, though some states may only require an associate degree in nursing. You will also be required to obtain state licensure and pass the pediatric nurse certification board process. If you do not pass the first time, you can try again several more times. Because pediatric nursing is a specialized field, you will likely earn more money than a general registered nurse.

Travel Nurse

A travel nurse is essential to a properly operating healthcare industry as they are required, as part of their job description, to travel to various medical facilities to fill staffing needs wherever necessary. These positions might become available due to seasonal demands when more people are likely to become ill, such as during the winter, or to temporarily fill a nursing role when someone is out for maternity or paternity leave or for an extended disability leave. These nurses perform the exact same responsibilities as any other nurse. The only difference is that they may travel around a city, state, or country to fill gaps in staffing requirements. To become a travel nurse, you must be a registered nurse and meet the requirements of the state including licensure, certifications, and background checks. You may require a bachelor’s degree or simply an associate degree; this may vary by state and employer. You will also often require a minimum of two years’ experience in a specialty before you can accept a travel position.

CNA

A certified nursing assistant provides basic care to patients. These nursing roles are often the first person with whom a patient comes into contact. As such, interpersonal skills are critical. This is also a great entry-level nursing position for individuals who wish to gain critical healthcare experience straight away before completing a degree. You will likely report to a licensed practical or vocational nurse or a registered nurse. This is a highly supervised position during clinical work as these positions are often filled by healthcare professionals who are new to the field. This is a great opportunity to gain work experience while you work to complete an associate or bachelor’s degree. To become a CNA, you may require some coursework or a diploma in nursing from a community college, technical school, or vocational school. You will also have to pass a state exam and a background check.

LPN

A licensed practical nurse is essentially an assistant to registered nurses and physicians. LPNs require less supervision than CNAs; however, they still only provide basic care such as managing patient records, taking vitals, administering oral or topical medications, assisting patients with minor tasks, updating nurses and doctors on patient statuses, and participating in tests and procedures. You might find employment at nursing homes, in-home care, long-term care facilities, or hospitals. The level of responsibility you hold will often be directly related to your work experience and education. To become an LPN, you must complete an LPN program. These might last between seven months to two years. You can also select an LPN to RN program if you have aspirations to become a registered nurse in the end. These dual programs reduce the amount of time and money it takes to complete both programs. During your LPN program, you will learn about various types of general health education and specialized medical areas, such as pediatric nursing, geriatric nursing, nutrition, and nursing fundamentals. After you complete the program, you will require state licensure and need to pass a background check.

MSN

A master's of science in nursing provides you with far more freedom and independence than any other type of degree previously mentioned. With an MSN, you can pursue advanced career options without direct supervision, such as most nurse practitioner and physician assistant roles. You will be able to achieve a leadership role, become a mentor and have decision-making power. These degrees also provide you with a more diverse and specialized skillset that makes you a healthcare expert. You might even be responsible for managing other nurses and entire departments in some cases. With such responsibilities comes greater operational requirements such as the need for you to be able to establish goals, improve the patient experience, and encourage patient loyalty from a business perspective. Nursing leadership roles bring more administrative tasks and you may spend significantly less time with patients. Most programs take up to two years to complete and you will be required to complete rotations, as well as clinical and lab work. Once you complete your MSN, you can become a nurse practitioner, researcher, consultant, or nurse ethicist.

Professional Organizations

American Nurses Association
The American Nurses Association focuses on uniting registered nurses to transform healthcare and to empower nurses to achieve greatness.

American Travel Health Nurses Association
The American Travel Health Nurses Association is dedicated to the advocacy, professional development, research, and practice in travel health nursing.

National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners
The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners consists of thousands of exceptional pediatric nurse practitioners focused on the advancement of pediatric nursing.

Technician Careers


Technician careers are just as essential to overall healthcare as any other medical professional. These individuals specialize in various types of medical equipment and technology that allows nurses and doctors to diagnose more serious health conditions in a timely manner. Healthcare technician professionals are often responsible for multi-million dollar machines, tools, and sophisticated equipment. All of these resources require specialized training to ensure the safety of the patient and the device. And each technician will require higher education to some extent before they can begin working in their respective fields.

Radiologist

A radiologist is a medical doctor with a specialization in the diagnosis and treatment of disease and injury through the utilization of medical imaging practices. Some of the procedures that a radiologist might conduct include nuclear medicine, MRIs, CT scans, x-rays, ultrasounds, and PETs. Radiologists often work behind the scenes without much recognition or patient interaction. They will determine the right type of test to be conducted based on the symptoms, condition, and existing diagnoses of those receiving care. Interventional radiologists even perform procedures with minimal invasiveness to substitute the need for surgery. To become a radiologist, you will be required to complete a medical degree, complete an internship, pass the state licensure, complete a residency, and pass the board-certified exams. Some will even complete a fellowship so they can specialize, however this is optional. If you are a medical doctor in the military, you might qualify for scholarships that will allow you to receive specialized training in radiology.

Pharmacy Technician

A pharmacy technician assists pharmacists in a number of ways including gathering prescription information, measuring medication amounts, packaging prescriptions, arranging inventory, taking customer payment, answering the phone, and coordinating meetings between pharmacists and patients. You will work under extensive supervision of a pharmacist. They will review your work, particularly prescriptions, prior to passing them over to a patient. You will also work with other medical professionals to refill and authorize various prescriptions. And you might also be required to work with various technical equipment. If you work in a hospital, you might have more interaction with patients. To become a pharmacy technician in most states, you will require at least some postsecondary education; this might include a certificate or diploma in pharmacy technology. You may also have to complete state licensure to legally work as a pharmacy technician. Again, this will depend on the state. If you do pursue higher education, the program may last up to one year. If you complete an associate degree, you will have greater job opportunities and higher pay. All programs will include classroom and clinical education, and remember that you will be required to complete a background check.

Sonographer

A sonographer is responsible for projecting sound waves through the body of a patient to generate tissue images to help a doctor make a proper diagnoses. Sonographers come in many forms and specializations including abdominal, breast, cardiovascular, vascular, musculoskeletal, neurological, obstetric, and gynecological. As a diagnostic medical sonographer, no matter your specialty, you will have similar, common responsibilities such as patient preparation, imaging equipment management, operating equipment, applying lubricant, analyzing images, and recording findings. You might find employment in labs, doctor’s offices, hospitals, and more. To become a sonographer, you will require either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree. This will depend on the state in which you will perform sonographer duties. It is also possible to complete a health degree of some sort followed by a certificate program in diagnostic medical sonography. The state may require licensure and most employers will require basic life support and CPR certifications.

Professional Organizations

American Society of Radiologic Technologists
The American Society of Radiologic Technologists focuses on the elevation and advancement of professionals in radiation therapy and medical imaging.

Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
The Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography centers around the improvement of the skills, education, and career advancement of all sonographers.

American Association of Pharmacy Technicians
The American Association of Pharmacy Technicians is a community that provides continuing education, leadership, and networking for all pharmacy technician professionals.

Other Careers in Healthcare


Additional careers in healthcare are nearly unlimited. You can choose jobs that are action-packed with emergency responses. You can choose professions that care for the health of animals. Many people choose oral health professions. A growing trend is holistic and preventative care, which includes professionals that help people create individualized diets and fitness routines to foster a daily healthy lifestyle as a way to improve health and ward off disease and illness. You do not have to become a medical physician or a nurse to work in the healthcare industry; you can change lives for the better in countless ways in a variety of healthcare professions.

Paramedic

As a paramedic, you will be responsible for the care of injured and ill patients in the field during emergency situations. To be a successful paramedic, you must be able to remain calm during intensely stressful situations and react quickly in life and death situations. While not all paramedic responses will be critical, you will often assist patients during some of the most frightening times of their lives and the lives of their loved ones. As such, you must also have exceptional interpersonal skills. You will respond to 911 calls, rapidly assess medical situations, transport patients, care for patients in unconventional locations, document each case carefully and quickly, and accurately communicate patient status in real-time to additional medical professionals as you transfer the patient to a stationary, traditional medical facility. To become a paramedic, you will require the completion of an associate degree. However, many employers prefer further education. You might choose to complete a healthcare-related degree followed by paramedic or EMT certification. It is also possible to complete an associate degree in emergency medical technology, which includes hands-on specialized instruction. To complete paramedic programs, you will be required to be EMT certified and complete roughly 1,200 instruction hours. These hours are often counted toward associate and bachelor’s degrees. Some states require state or national certification.

Massage Therapist

A massage therapist is a growing position that works to relieve pain and stress, improve relaxation and circulation, heal injuries, and assist in client wellness. Each day in the life of a massage therapist will be unique in the type of treatment administered. You might simply speak with a client regarding their medical history, symptoms, and preferred results; some appointments will require an exhaustive body evaluation to determine the best treatment approach; you might spend some sessions manipulating soft tissues and muscles; and you must always carefully document patient conditions and progress. You’ll also educate the client on at-home care. To become a massage therapist, you must complete a massage therapy program that may require up to 1,000 hours of both hands-on and classroom training to complete. You will learn about kinesiology, massage practices, anatomy, physiology, and more. Most states require massage therapists to have a license or certification. In addition to these requirements, you must have liability insurance, CPR certification, and pass a background check.

Dietician

A dietitian is an expert on nutrition and food who promotes and encourages healthy living and preventative care. As a dietitian, you will work with individuals to create food and exercise strategies to meet specific health-related objectives. Responsibilities will vary from day to day including patient assessment, counseling, educating people on health and fitness initiatives, community advocacy, group speaking and public presentations, research, and documenting patient progress. You will also evaluate client health and make recommendations and follow up to monitor progress. To become a dietician, you will require a bachelor’s degree. Some people select a degree in dietetics, nutrition, or another health-related field. However, more and more people who completed bachelor’s degrees years ago without a relevant subject matter are pursuing dietician certifications or master’s degrees to complement their former degrees. You will require extensive supervised training through an internship. Some states may only require state licensure but most employers prefer their dietitians to be a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN). To maintain an RDN status, dietitians must complete at least 75 continuing education credits every five years.

Social Worker

Social workers are in constant demand. As a social worker, you will work with people to improve the current state of their day-to-day lives. You might work with children, parents, extended families, guardians, or individual adults for any number of reasons such as child abuse, foster care, adoption, and mental health emergencies. You might be responsible for identifying communities and individuals in need, assessing client needs, establishing client goals, helping integrate changes in the lives of clients, maintaining records, research, evaluating services, advocating for assistance, and providing support for managing change. To become a social worker, you will require a bachelor’s degree in nearly all circumstances. Most people choose a degree in social work; however, it is also possible to select a degree in psychology, counseling, or another mental health-related or public service degrees. If you wish to become a clinical social worker, you will require a master’s degree and an additional two years of supervised clinical experience. All social workers must obtain state licensure. To do so, you will have to pass a clinical exam.

Pharmacist

Pharmacists are another healthcare career that continues to grow as pharmacies continue to incorporate more general medical care services in addition to prescriptions and medications. You may be responsible for performing wellness and health screenings, administering immunizations, offering advice, promoting healthy choices and lifestyles, managing patient medications, and filling prescriptions. An area that is of increasing concern is that you must attempt to ascertain whether a patient has been prescribed any medications from other doctors that may cause danger to the patient through accidental overdosing or life-threatening medication combinations. Fortunately, states are beginning to require all prescriptions for each patient to be viewed by all qualified medical professionals to prevent such potential issues. You will also be required to complete insurance documentation, train healthcare practitioners, and instruct patients on the way the medication is meant to be taken. You may also eventually take on managerial and administrative tasks. The type of pharmacist varies but includes community, clinical, consultant, and pharmaceutical pharmacists. To become a pharmacist, you must complete a doctor of pharmacy, pass law and licensure exams, and have some work experience. If you wish to own your own pharmacy, you might pursue an MBA and doctor of pharmacy combined program.

Dentist

A dentist is a vital part of the healthcare system. Today, it has been widely accepted that the health of one’s teeth can be directly related to one’s overall health in many circumstances. Dentists are often the first step in diagnosing a health issue. If such an issue is discovered during a dental visit, the dentist will recommend that you meet with a physician. Daily tasks of a dentist will vary but include filling cavities, removing tooth decay, repairing damaged teeth, administering anesthetics, prescribing medications, examining x-rays, and educating patients. You will promote the health of teeth, as well as the overall health and well-being of patients, including diet and dental care. As part of your job, you will also be required to use technical equipment, tools, and machines and you will likely have to perform various administrative duties. You might work for yourself, as part of a practice, or for a company. Dentists are also be responsible for supervising other dental professionals, from receptionists to dental hygienists. It is also possible to become a dental anesthesiologist, dental public health specialist, endodontist, oral and maxillofacial radiologist, oral and maxillofacial surgeon, oral pathologist, orthodontist, pediatric dentist, or periodontist. To become a general practicing dentist, you will require a doctor of dental surgery, doctor of medicine in dentistry or a doctor of dental medicine degree. You will also have to obtain state licensure, complete a residency, and pass various exams. If you wish to specialize, additional certifications may be required.

Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists are critical to a dental practice as they perform much of the basic dental care practices necessary to have completed prior to examinations or procedures administered by dentists. They will look for potential issues, such as gingivitis and other oral diseases. They provide patient education, perform preventive care, remove plaque, apply fluoride, take x-rays, complete status reports to dentists, and assess the overall oral health of patients. Dental hygienists are also required to use sophisticated tools and technology. To become a dental hygienist, you’ll require a minimum of an associate degree. Some employers prefer a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree, although these higher degrees are typically only required by employers involved in research, public school health programs, and teaching. You can complete an associate degree to become a dental hygienist at many community colleges over the course of three years, which includes classroom instruction, clinical work, and laboratory sessions.

Veterinarian

Veterinarians are in high demand. Today, many people treat their pets as well as their children and, as a result, quality veterinarians earn great pay and have tremendous customer loyalty. Exceptional veterinarians are good with pets and people. As a veterinarian, you will be required to examine animals, assess their health, diagnose potential issues, perform surgery, test for disease, administer vaccinations, use sophisticated equipment and tools, educate owners on care and at-home treatment, euthanize pets who cannot be helped, and prescribe medication. Your primary responsibilities will be to provide annual checkups, treat illnesses and injuries, and provide support to the families of your animal patients. There are various types of veterinarians including companion animal veterinarians, food animal veterinarians, and food safety and inspection veterinarians. To become a veterinarian, you will require a doctor of veterinary medicine that takes roughly four years, including hands-on clinical work, classroom instructions, and laboratory sessions. You will also have to pass a national exam and state licensure.

Professional Organizations

National Association of Social Workers
The National Association of Social Workers strives to promote professional development and growth of all social workers and to establish a high level of professional standards.

National Association of Nutrition Professionals
The National Association of Nutrition Professionals is committed to empowering and advocating for nutrition professionals following holistic practices.

American Society of Animal Science
The American Society of Animal Science supports the sharing and discovery of scientific knowledge amongst professionals to improve the health and well-being of both humans and animals.

Healthcare Career Salaries and Job Growth


OccupationEntry-LevelMid-CareerLate-Career
Cardiac Surgeon$250,900$257,000$397,800
General Surgeon$254,368$258,794$284,515
Neurosurgeon$341,250$406,012$486,363
Oral Surgeon$208,300-$221,300
Orthopedic Surgeon$336,205$377,563$408,276
Pediatric Surgeon$199,400$268,700-
Plastic Surgeon$243,900$268,000$308,200