It’s no wonder if you’re planning to pursue a job in healthcare—a career in healthcare comes with many benefits including good pay, job security, many available positions, and a rewarding experience. There are many ways to get a job in this field depending on your interest, education, and skills. Here are some things you should know before getting a healthcare job.
1. Required Education
What’s good about getting a job in this field is that there are positions for almost every level of education because of the huge variety of jobs available. Some of these jobs, such as pharmacy technicians or medical transcriptionists, only require a high school diploma and even provide on-the-job training. Usually, certifications and workshops are given through the company or encouraged for their employees to take on their own.
Some positions, such as occupational therapy aides, dental hygienists, or aEMTs, usually require a certificate from a technical or trade college. These positions are specialized and usually take around 12–18 months to finish.
The next level of education for entering a healthcare job position is an Associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) from a technical or a community college. It will usually take around two years to complete. This education level is needed for positions such as physical therapy assistants, clinical lab technicians, or medical technicians.
Many healthcare jobs don’t require a university or four-year college education. However, you would need one if you’re planning to land a position as a registered nurse. Many registered nurses enroll in a Bachelor’s of Nursing (BSN) program to further their knowledge in the nursing field especially if they’ve just completed an associate degree in nursing. RNtoBSNProgram.com provides helpful information for those planning to pursue a nursing career including different nursing programs, college rankings, and other resources.
More specialized jobs in healthcare such as physicians need post-graduate education. Like other fields, the higher education level you have, the more options and the higher pay you could have. However, higher education does also mean higher tuition costs, so you’ll have to consider the benefits of a higher degree versus what is needed for your planned healthcare career, and decide if you need to spend more money on additional education.
2. Your Motivation
Before taking on a career in healthcare, determine your motivation for going into this field. Many people want to pursue a career in this field because they want to help other people. Others love science and math while others still are after the money they’ll make. All these reasons are good and should be helpful in making you successful in getting a job in this industry.
However, you also need to know that, although a medical position can be lucrative and rewarding, such a career path also involves a high level of stress and requires endurance, commitment, and hard work.
If you’re considering a job in healthcare because of someone else—like your parents, or your family, or friends—you should know that you’re the one who’ll live with this decision. Thus, it’s important to know your motives, which will help you stay focused on your goals.
3. Suitable Skills and Strengths
Each job in healthcare needs a different set of skills and personality traits, but there are some common traits that any healthcare position requires. These skills and traits include excellent communication and interpersonal skills, strong work ethic, and some mathematical or technical capacity. Most of these medical positions also need a high level of maturity and responsibility as the patients’ lives and well-being depends on the quality of your work.
If you’re someone who likes to learn new things, then landing a job in this field may also benefit you. This is because the healthcare industry is always changing together with technological development. The industry is also constantly developing more advanced procedures, studying new diseases, and creating new treatments.
4. Specific Healthcare Field
To determine the healthcare specialty that is best suited for you, you must know your passion. Regardless of your motivations, there’s a perfect role for you somewhere in the healthcare industry. While you may have considered becoming a doctor or a nurse, allied health care positions also provides many opportunities.
For example, if you like working with kids, you can pursue a career in pediatrics. You can either be a pediatrician, a pediatric nurse, or a pediatric clinic technician. For every specialty, there are various jobs available for different levels of experience or education.
5. Relevant Experience
A great way to stand out from other job applicants in the healthcare field is having healthcare-related experience. This includes anything from extracurricular activities that involve working with patients or doctors to volunteering at healthcare facilities.
Getting an internship may also give you precious experience. Even if most healthcare internships don’t provide payment, these will provide you hands-on experience and enable you to have a feel of what it’s like to have a career in the healthcare industry. Since healthcare is constantly getting bigger, there’s always a demand for employees, which is a good thing.
You can check with your school’s career guidance center or talk to local medical clinics and hospitals to find out if there are internship positions you can participate in. Other internships may also lead to full-time jobs. Even if they don’t, you’ll still have that relevant experience and boost your resume.
Like in other fields, knowing people within the industry can also make it possible to land a job. You can join groups for future healthcare specialists in your location, or you can also contact acquaintances who may help you establish connections. Making the right connections can potentially help you land a suitable position with a reasonable offer soon.
7. Getting Your Training and Education
Before you land a healthcare job, you need to learn more about the diplomas, degrees, and training needed for your choice of specialty. Becoming a doctor or nurse entails a significant investment of money and time. Ensure that you’ve already planned how to finance your needed education and determine how you can balance the time you have with completing the coursework required.
If you dream to be a physician but can’t devote several years to schooling and training, you can try other options such as becoming a nurse practitioner or a physician’s assistant.
If you’re determined to pursue a career that requires an expensive degree, then you must determine how to finance your tuition. One strong option is to apply for financial assistance.
8. Where You Plan to Work
Before getting a job in healthcare, consider the type of environment that you’d be most comfortable working in. You can choose from clinics, centers, or hospitals. If you find hospitals to be intimidating and cold, then you may not be suited to becoming a hospital nurse or surgeon. If you get easily depressed, you may want to avoid working in hospices.
If you prefer a more friendly and light environment, you can consider working in a school clinic or a pediatric office. If you’re not comfortable interacting with people, you would be more suited to working in a lab. Or, you can consider finding a job on cruise ships or military bases.
9. How Your Career Will Impact Your Family and Life
One of the most important things to consider if you’re planning to become a healthcare professional is its effect to your personal life and family. Becoming a nurse or a doctor, for example, will require you to work weekends or night shifts, especially when you’re on call.
Also consider if there are residences and jobs available in your location or if you will need to relocate. If you have to relocate, think if this would be a reasonable option for your family. You may also need to reflect how pursuing a career in this field will affect your family financially. It’s vital to give time to consider these things before you start investing time, energy, and money towards getting a career in healthcare.
10. Top Healthcare Jobs to Consider
Although most healthcare job positions are in high demand, there are some jobs that have more vacancies than others. Here are the five most in-demand healthcare jobs:
- Medical Transcriptionist
This healthcare job plays an important role in clinics and offices. A transcriptionist’s job involves typing out recordings from doctors and adding these notes to a patient’s file so that the information is accessible by other healthcare workers. Although no formal training is necessary, it’s beneficial to have a medical transcription training either at a technical college or trade school. A medical transcriptionist usually earns approximately $35,000 per year on the average.
- Medical Assistants
Medical assistant positions are among the most in-demand jobs in the United States. It is estimated that there will be 31% more positions available in 2020 compared to ten years ago. A medical assistant does various administrative tasks in a doctor’s office or hospital and can usually apply for work even without much training. But employees who have had medical assistant classes, those with an associate degree in medical assisting, and those who have successfully passed their Certified Medical Administrative Assistant test will have higher pay. Medical assistants earn on the average a salary of $30,000 per year.
- Certified Nursing Assistant
This healthcare position plays a great role in retirement homes, where they help nurses with different tasks such as preparing medical equipment, taking and monitoring vital signs, and caring for elderly patients who can’t do tasks such as going to the bathroom or taking a bath on their own. Although you can find positions that don’t require training, having an ADN and passing the CNA exam are greatly preferred. On the average, nursing assistants earn around $26,000 per year.
- Home Health Aides
This healthcare job usually helps homebound patients who are disabled, chronic ill, or elderly. Home health aides assist patients in their everyday tasks such as basic housekeeping, bathing, or dressing. Depending on the needs and schedules of the patients, these workers can go either work full time with one patient or travel between different patients. Some health aides may also need to live in their patient’s home as part of their job. This healthcare career doesn’t need any formal education and can earn around $22,000 per year.
11. Benefits of Having a Healthcare Job
Generally speaking, you can find most healthcare jobs just about anywhere, so it shouldn’t be difficult to land a suitable job. Whatever role you plan on getting, you should find something that will fit your skills and needs, and will offer a stimulating environment. You can be sure that whatever healthcare job you land, you’ll find something that will enrich your life. There are roles that allow you to work flexible hours, too, which may suit you if you have children and your partner’s schedule is more rigid. Ultimately, probably the best benefit to working in the healthcare field is the chance to help people who are in need. Thus, if you’re someone who truly wants to provide care to others, then you’re suited to find a position in the industry.
12. Challenges Involved in a Healthcare Career
People who can’t handle stress well may find work-related pressure to be overwhelming. Pursuing a healthcare career involves working in a fast-paced atmosphere, where the welfare of others is dependent on your skills as a worker, can be daunting.
Depending on the role you choose in the healthcare industry, there can be a series of educational requirements required. But if you love learning and you’re eager to make this investment, you will find the process to be rewarding.
Once you start a job in healthcare, you may also feel that it’s difficult to predict the challenges you may encounter each day. This is quite normal because of the unpredictable nature of most healthcare jobs.
The healthcare industry plays a significant role in any community. The industry provides a wide variety of experiences for all kinds of roles as well as room for growth and improvement. It’s easy to find a healthcare job that fits your skills and interest because of its growing demand worldwide. But, it’s best to prepare your education and experiences according to your dream role in this industry.