We launched HealthGrad.com to help students and professionals who are considering a healthcare career to make informed career decisions. The focus of HealthGrad.com is to offer you complete educational and career information about the huge variety of healthcare degrees and career options.
It is our hope that this website becomes the major source of information about the rewarding and fascinating choices available in the healthcare field.
Why Earn a Healthcare Degree?
If you are seeking a personally rewarding career that offer a high level of financial and job security, you are smart to choose healthcare. The employment in all healthcare positions stands to increase by 19% from 2014-2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is a job growth rate that is much faster than all occupations, with more than two million jobs expected to be added nationally in that time.
In fact, all healthcare occupations will add more employment than any other occupation group in the US. The growth is largely the consequence of a US population that is getting grayer and older. Also, recent federal healthcare insurance reform will likely boost the number of people who have health insurance.
Further, many older Americans have much longer life expectancy than just a few decades ago. They expect to live longer and healthier than ever before. This will drive demand for all types of health care services.
The most common types of career options in the healthcare field are in these categories:
Nurses work in the largest sector of the entire healthcare occupation. They are critical healthcare providers and work in doctors’ offices, hospitals, nursing care facilities and home healthcare facilities.
- Registered Nurse (RN): An RN is an extremely important part of the healthcare system and are always in high demand. They are front line workers in caring for patients, educating them and the public about many health conditions, and they also offer advice and support to patients. Vital duties are recording medical histories and administering patient medicines and treatments. Become an RN with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a major stepping stone to other nursing professions, typically accessed by earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). Median pay is $67,400.
Other popular healthcare career choices in nursing include:
- Nurse anesthetist (CRNA)
- Nurse practitioner (NP)
- Certified nurse midwife (CNM)
- Nursing educator
- Neonatal Nurse
- Adult Gerontology
- Nursing Educator
- Clinical Nurse Leader
- Patient Safety
- Nursing Midwifery
- Nursing Leadership
- Family Nurse Practitioner
- Pediatric Nursing
- Acute Care
Mental health professionals have a broad choice of career options. The majority hold advanced degrees and have specialized training in human behavior and brain function.
- Psychologist: A psychologist studies emotional, cognitive and social processes/behavior by conducting observations and interpretations of human behavior. All practicing psychologists hold at least a master’s degree in psychology. Common duties are to do scientific studies of brain function and human behavior; research and identify emotional problems and patterns; and to discuss treatment options with patients. Median salary is $72,500, and job growth is expected to be a healthy 19% by 2024.
There are many subspecialties of psychology to consider as well, depending upon your interests and education:
- Clinical Psychology
- Counseling Psychology
- Forensic Psychology
- Marriage/Family Therapy
- School Psychology
- Human Services
- Social Work
- Addiction Counseling
- Mental Health Counseling
- School Counseling
There are also all sorts of medical-related and health-care related fields that provide essential support services to patients:
- Hospital administrator: A hospital administrator provides vital planning, directing and coordination support services to a hospital or health care facility. They usually will maintain facilities and supervise the essential operations of the organization, such as mail distribution, record keeping and maintaining patient records and patient confidentiality. BLS states that the median salary in this growing healthcare field is $86,000, and requires a master’s degree.
Other exciting medical career options are:
- Medical Assisting
- Medical Billing & Coding
- Pharmacy Tech
- Dental Hygienist
- Ultrasound Technician
- Health Aide
- Pharmacy Technician
- Dental Assistant
- EMT Paramedic
- Veterinary Technician
- Occupational Therapy
The healthcare field has many high-paying career options where you can make a difference in people’s lives, without being a clinical worker:
- Public health specialist: A public health specialist is a type of health educator that has an extensive education in public health, requiring a master’s degree (MPH). They teach people in at risk communities about wellness and behaviors that put the public health at risk. They also develop and implement new strategies to boost the health of people in the community. Further, they collect data and talk about health problems with members of a certain population. Median pay is in the $52,000 range, but those with higher education can earn over $90,000.
Other options in this speciality of health care career are:
- Healthcare Management
- Healthcare Administration
- Health Informatics
- Health Information Management
There also are healthcare professions that focus on simply the overall physical health of the human body:
- Physical therapist (PT): A physical therapist helps people who are injured or ill to improve how they move and manage pain. These therapists are a very important part of being rehabilitated after an injury. They also are instrumental in helping patients who have various chronic physical conditions, such as arthritis. They often help people with back and neck injuries, as well as sprains, strains and fractures. The median salary is approximately $83,000.
Another popular type of physical health professional is a nutritionist.
The bottom line is if you enjoy helping other people, working in an exciting career field with plenty of room for growth and financial security, a healthcare career could be a great choice.