Everyone knows that career opportunities in healthcare are booming. With 15 million healthcare workers, more than one in every ten jobs in the U.S. today are in the healthcare industry and according to the U.S. Department of Labor, hospitals, ambulatory centers and physicians’ offices are leading hiring. From technicians to those on the front line of patient care, opportunities in healthcare abound and many in-demand, well-paying healthcare careers require just two years of college to get started.
The demand for new healthcare professionals is being driven by a generational changing of the guard. The Baby Boomer generation is aging and they need more healthcare services. There are more Americans over the age of 65 than at any other time in U.S. history, and by 2030, about one in five Americans, 69 million people, will be elderly. About 80 percent of this population has at least one chronic condition, according to the National Council on Aging. A huge number of healthcare professionals are also at retirement age themselves, creating enormous demand for replacements.
People are also living longer and leading more active lives, so the kinds of healthcare services offered are also changing. Increased focus on preventing illness and educating the public about healthy living has boosted the importance of some traditional roles at clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
Healthcare offers a wide variety of careers from which to choose, with many requiring a two-year degree or less.
Allied Health Careers
Allied Health careers provide the opportunity for individuals to work directly with patients on a daily basis or provide technical support. These careers include medical assistant, health unit coordinator, medical lab technician, phlebotomist, social workers, social and community service managers and even substance abuse/behavioral counselors. These careers are often a launch pad toward additional future healthcare career goals.
Nursing careers range from Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) to Registered Nurses (RN) to Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN).
Many start out at a career center with the goal of getting their State-tested Nursing Assistant certificate, before moving on to pursue their practical nursing certificate to become an LPN or associate degree to become an RN.
It may be surprising to learn that a two-year associate degree is all that is required to take the RN licensure exam. Some savvy students take a strategic career path – first earning their associate degree, taking (and passing) their RN exam, and then working in the field while pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
Whatever the healthcare path, a community and technical college education can ensure a successful beginning.
ALLIED HEALTH AND NURSING
Always ready to help? Fascinated with the science and technology of healthcare? Whether it’s about promoting health, preventing disease, or supporting the actively dying individual, careers in allied health and nursing require a combination of knowledge, skill, and compassion.
OH median hourly: $12.82
OH median yearly: $26,670
Potential career paths: Medical Assistant or Med. & Clinical Lab Technician*
OH median hourly: $13.44
OH median yearly: $27,960
Potential career paths: Phlebotomist
Office Admin-Medical Support
OH median hourly: $13.19
OH median yearly: $27,440
Potential career paths: Medical Secretary
OH median hourly: $17.40
OH median yearly: $36,200
Potential career paths: Licensed Practical Nurse
OH median hourly: $26.74
OH median yearly: $55,620
Potential career paths: Registered Nurse
*Graduates of the Medical Assisting program can enter that career field after additional education and training.