Why choose a medical career?
We can help you make the right career decision if you are considering joining the health care industry. The medical field offers meaningful career opportunities for people at all educational levels even as the US health care system seems to be on the brink of unprecedented change due to health care reform, economic uncertainty, consumer activism and public scrutiny. Our web site was created to help you explore your options by answering some of the important questions that apply to each career path in this volatile and uncertain environment for all health care providers:
- What are my career options and how much will I earn?
- Which degree should I pursue?
- Will I need to be certified, licensed or registered?
- What schools do offer training programs for my career choice?
- What are my job prospects after I graduate?
You can start working in your new profession with as little as a diploma, or a certificate. There are many employment opportunities offering good wages to certified professionals without the hassle of wasting weeks or months searching for a job or having to relocate. Over time you may take advantage of various educational opportunities and earn your associate or bachelor's degree. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement, flexible schedules and part-time job opportunities to health care workers looking to further their education. The health care industry is the right environment for those looking to be part of a professional team using the latest technology as well as those with a strong desire to help others.
Those employed in the health care sector may or may not provide clinical services, depending on which career path they choose to follow. Some health care workers do provide clinical services such as nurses, dentists, and physical therapists, while others are employed in training and administrative occupations. If you are seeking a professional occupation, such as physician, social worker, or physical therapist, be prepared to devote at least four years to specialized education in order to achieve your career dreams.
Other fast-growing occupations require less education and training. These include medical records and health information technicians as well as dental hygienists. If you are considering one of these careers, then you need to enroll and graduate from a specialized training program lasting from one to two years. For some individuals a two-year formal education program is not an option, but there are still plenty of health care occupations for those with minimal education and training. A few examples to consider are careers such as nurse aide, home health aide, dental assistant, medical assistant, and personal care aide. You may choose to start working in the medical field as a nurse aide and later, with additional training and education, become a nurse or a different health care provider.
Regardless of which career path you choose, your job will yield a large number of benefits. Some of the most most common and valued benefits offered to health care workers are the following:
- having a flexible schedule and being able to choose full-time or part-time employment
- being able to work only three days a week
- job security and numerous employment opportunities
- great wages and benefits
- a challenging work environment
- numerous opportunities for career advancement
- respect and appreciation for helping people in need
- tuition reimbursement
- making a difference in people’s lives
Health care workers are skilled at combining medical technology with the human touch to provide care while ensuring that the medical needs of their clients are addressed in a professional and efficient manner. As you explore the many different career options in the medical field, you should keep in mind the following important facts outlined by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics:
- the health care sector has been the largest industry since 2006, and accounts for over 14 million jobs in the United States
- seven of the twenty fastest growing occupations are related to the medical sector
- over three million new jobs will be created in the health care field between 2006 and 2016
- most health care positions require less than four years of college education
Some career categories in this field are:
- providing direct care for patients or clients in various settings
- research or laboratory work
- selling medical supplies
- manufacturing or designing medical equipment
- healthcare administration or other managerial roles
- teaching within health care fields, graduate or professional school
In terms of the working environment once you do become employed in the health care sector, options are numerous and regardless of what career path you choose you will have a variety of opportunities to find your niche. The industry includes a wide array of establishments ranging from small private practices to large inner-city hospitals. Following are some of the facilities which employ health care workers: physician offices, home health care providers, offices of dentists, outpatient care centers, medical and diagnostic laboratories, medical and surgical hospitals, psychiatric and substance abuse centers, nursing care facilities, community care facilities for senior citizens, long-term care settings and rehabilitation centers.