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Success In The Medical Field—Top 5 Ways To Make Your Mark


If you are looking for a career where you can easily find work after graduation, then consider choosing one in the healthcare and medical industry. It has some of the fastest-growing work opportunities around. Typical growth for any career is 5-7 percent, yet plenty of medical careers are seeing double-digit percentages.

In fact, in the coming years, the medical field will have the most added jobs of any industry, according to bls.gov. Two of the major factors causing the jump in employment are the number of aging adults and an increase of people with access to health insurance.

Here are five of the fastest growing positions in the field: Make your mark on the industry with one of these roles that doesn’t require years and years of training. You’ll get into the field fast, earn a fair income, and contribute to humanity.

Physical Therapist Assistant And Aides

Help others regain strength and mobility after injuries or surgeries as a physical therapist assistant (PTA). You’ll walk patients through exercises, help them stretch and use equipment, and teach them how to continue therapy at home. To be a PTA, you’ll need an associate degree. You will have to become licensed or certified, too.

Physical therapist aides have less direct contact with patients, focusing instead on administrative tasks such as cleaning and setting up the treatment space. However, you will help patients move from area to area during their regimens and assist them by scheduling appointments. Physical therapist aides can begin work with a high school diploma and be trained on the job.

By 2026, the employment of physical therapist assistants and aides is projected to grow over 42,000 jobs, a 30 percent increase. PTAs make a median salary of $56K, and physical therapist aides bring in $25K.

Occupational Therapy Assistants And Aides

As an occupational therapy assistant or aide, you’ll help patients with everyday life skills. You may work with patients with developmental issues or help people with debilitating diseases find new ways to do common tasks. Aides have more of a support role, doing clerical work and patient transportation.

To become an assistant, get your associate degree as well as your license. The requirements for aides are lighter—you can work with a high school diploma or GED. The employment growth for both positions is 28 percent: An additional 13,200 jobs are projected to open by 2026. Occupational therapy assistants make a median salary of $56,070, and occupational therapy aides make $28,330.

Home Health Aide

Once people reach an age or situation where they need consistent medical help, home health aides step in to care for them. Home health aide workers are in high demand to check vital signs and give medications, as well as help patients perform light home tasks such as meal planning and cooking.

There are over 2.9 million home health aide workers in the United States currently, and it is projected that by 2026, there will be 4.1 million in this role, an increase of 38 percent. While most aides have at least a high school diploma, no formal postsecondary education is needed. However, some workplaces will have you complete some level of certification. Home health aides make $22,600 on average, with the top 10 percent making $30,610.

Phlebotomist

Work in hospitals, doctors' offices, and blood banks, drawing blood as a phlebotomist. You’ll calm patients, keep a clean environment, and make sure vials are accurately labeled. Most employers look for you to have formal training. Certificate programs usually are completed in less than a year.

Currently, there are over 122,700 phlebotomists in the U.S. By 2026, that number is projected to reach 152,600, an employment increase of 24 percent. Salaries for phlebotomists range from $23,330 to $46,850, with the median income at $32,710.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants are needed to perform all kinds of administrative and clinical work in many different healthcare settings. You’ll do anything from taking vitals and helping with examinations to filling in medical records and scheduling appointments. Students who have completed a certificate program will find the job market in their favor, although you are able to enter the workforce with only a high school diploma.

Currently, there are 634,400 medical assistant positions in the United States, and 184,600 more will be needed through 2026—a job growth rate of 29 percent. The median salary for MAs is $31,540, and salaries of more than $45,310 are possible in this role.

Don’t Wait; Begin Today

You can successfully begin a medical career in two years. Thanks to the huge employment growth numbers happening in healthcare fields, you’ll most likely have your pick of jobs, as well. Find classes near you to get started!

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