With the baby boom generation aging there is more and more demand for healthcare professionals and not just in nursing homes either. Todays seniors are more active (and interested in staying that way) but their bodies aren’t necessarily cooperating. Here are 16 Health Care occupations with good prospects to consider.
1) Audiologists – Audiologists diagnose and treat a patient’s hearing and balance problems using advanced technology and procedures. Their Median Salary in 2010 was $66,660. Becoming an audiologist requires a Doctoral or professional degree. Available jobs are expected to grow much faster than average with an estimated 37% increase during the period from 2010 to 2020. Most audiologists work in healthcare facilities, such as hospitals, physicians’ offices, and audiology clinics.
2) Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians and Vascular Technologists – Cardiovascular technologists and technicians and vascular technologists use imaging technology to help physicians diagnose cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments in patients. They also help physicians treat problems with cardiac and vascular systems, such as blood clots. This position only requires an Associate’s degree and the median salary in 2010 was $49,410. Available jobs are expected to grow much faster than average with an estimated 29% increase during the period from 2010 to 2020. One example of this type of position is an EKG Technician, certifications are available from a variety of different schools including Csinow healthcare career training.
3) Chiropractors- Chiropractors treat patients with health problems of the musculoskeletal system, which is made up of bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. They use spinal manipulation and other techniques to treat patients’ ailments, such as back or neck pain. To become a Chiropractor requires a Doctoral or Professional degree which involves 7 to 8 years of post–high school study: 3 to 4 years of undergraduate education, followed by a 4-year Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree program. Chiropractors also must be licensed by their state. The median salary in 2010 for a Chiropractor was $67,200. Employment of chiropractors is expected to increase by 28 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
4) Dental Assistants and Hygienists- Dental assistants have many tasks, ranging from patient care to record keeping, in a dental office. Dental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventative dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health. The median salary in 2010 for a Dental Assistant was $33,470 while for a Hygienist was $68,250 per year. Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow by 38 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. While Employment of dental assistants is expected to grow by 31 percent. The education required for a Dental Assistant varies from state to state. Dental hygienists typically need an associate’s degree in dental hygiene. Every state requires dental hygienists to be licensed; requirements vary by state.
5) Dentists- Dentists diagnose and treat problems with a patient’s teeth, gums, and other parts of the mouth. They provide advice and instruction on taking care of teeth and gums and on diet choices that affect oral health. Dentists must be licensed in all states; requirements vary by state. To qualify for a license in most states, applicants must graduate from an accredited dental school and pass written and practical exams. Typically this involves 4 years of Post College study and an internship or residency. The median salary in 2010 for a Dentist was $146,920. Employment of dentists is expected to grow by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
6) Diagnostic Medical Sonographers – Diagnostic medical sonographers use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient’s body (in a procedure commonly known as an ultrasound, sonogram, or echocardiogram) to assess and diagnose various medical conditions. The median annual wage of diagnostic medical sonographers was $64,380 in May 2010. This is excellent pay considering that diagnostic medical sonographers only require an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is expected to grow by 44 percent between 2010 and 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. As ultrasound technology evolves, it will become a more common method used to assist in diagnosing medical conditions, favored over more invasive procedures.
7) Dietitians and Nutritionists – Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal. The median annual wage of dietitians and nutritionists was $53,250 in May 2010. Most dietitians and nutritionists have a bachelor’s degree and have participated
in supervised training. Also, many states require dietitians and nutritionists to be licensed. Employment of dietitians and nutritionists is expected to increase 20 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
8) EMTs and Paramedics – Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics care for the sick or injured in emergency medical settings. People’s lives often depend on their quick reaction and competent care. EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency calls, performing medical services and transporting patients to medical facilities. The median annual wage of EMTs and paramedics was $30,360 in May 2010. Although they do not require having a college degree all EMTs and paramedics must complete a formal training program. All states
require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed; requirements vary by state. Employment of EMTs and paramedics is expected to grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
9) Massage Therapists – Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. With their touch, therapists relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation, and aid in the general wellness of clients. Massage therapists typically complete a postsecondary education program that can require 500 hours or more of study and experience, although standards and requirements vary greatly by state and locality. Most states regulate massage therapy and require massage therapists to have a license or certificate. The median annual wage of massage therapists was $34,900 in May 2010. Employment of massage therapists is expected to grow by 20 percent from 2010 to
2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
10) Occupational Therapists – Occupational therapists treat patients with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working. Occupational therapists need a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Additionally, all states require occupational therapists to be licensed. The median annual wage of occupational therapists was $72,320 in May 2010. Employment of occupational therapists is expected to increase 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
11) Opticians – Dispensing opticians help fit eyeglasses and contact lenses, following prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists. They also help customers decide which eyeglass frames or type of contact lenses to buy. Opticians typically have a high school diploma or equivalent and some form of on-the-job training. The median annual wage of opticians was $32,940 in May 2010. Employment of opticians is expected to grow by 29 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average.
12) Optometrists – Optometrists perform eye exams to check for vision problems and diseases. They prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses as needed. Optometrists must complete a Doctor of Optometry program and get a state license. Doctor of Optometry programs take 4 years to complete after earning an undergraduate degree. The median annual wage of optometrists was $94,990 in May 2010. Employment of optometrists is expected to grow by 33 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.
13) Pharmacists – Pharmacists dispense prescription medications to patients and offer advice on their safe use. Pharmacists must have a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.), a 4-year professional degree. They also must be licensed, which requires passing two exams. The median annual wage for pharmacists was $111,570 in May 2010. Employment of pharmacists is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
14) Physical Therapists – Physical therapists help people who have injuries or illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. They are often an important part of rehabilitation and treatment of patients with chronic conditions or injuries. Physical therapists typically need a doctoral degree in physical therapy. All states require physical therapists to be licensed. The median annual wage of physical therapists was $76,310 in May 2010. Employment of physical therapists is expected to increase 39 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average.
15) Radiation Therapists – Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by giving radiation treatments. Radiation therapists need to complete a formal training program. Most programs lead to a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree in radiation therapy. Therapists must be licensed in most states; requirements vary by state. The median annual wage of radiation therapists was $74,980 in May 2010. Employment of radiation therapists is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2010 and 2020, faster than the average for all occupations.
There are a variety of other health related fields that are also growing rapidly and pay well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides a list of Health Related Occupations. All Statistics are based on BLS data from the 2010 census.
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