The US healthcare industry will expand by roughly 5% between the years 2019 and 2023.
2020 has been a difficult year to track in healthcare. Some institutions are working harder while others are suffering due to people’s unwillingness to get preventative/elective treatments.
Overall, though, we’d say the outlook on healthcare is good. If you’re considering a healthcare career, that assessment should validate your ambitions.
For those of you that are unsure where best to start to wade into the healthcare pool (or which job title you should claim), you’re in the right place. This post shares key considerations to help you form thoughts around which positions might best suit you.
Read on for your guide to choosing the best healthcare career for you.
Start With Your Sensibilities
A lot of people dip their toe into the healthcare industry with the idea that they’re going to be a medical doctor or a nurse. Those initial ambitions usually are prompted by familiarity with those roles and the promise of high pay.
If you don’t love what you do, no amount of money you receive to do that job is going to feel like enough. Because of that, we always advocate that new entrants into healthcare take time to meditate. Before chasing down a particular career path, make sure you have a clear idea of what you like and don’t like.
Willingness to work with kids, tolerance for blood, comfort talking to people, technical skills, and other factors should all weigh into the viability of a particular healthcare job.
A healthcare career means you’re involved in improving well-being and saving lives. Given that responsibility, several healthcare careers require extensive schooling. That schooling could set you back tens of thousands of dollars, or more.
Consider a medical doctor. Doctors will need to get their bachelor’s degree and their doctoral degree Then they need to complete a residency, and they may be subject to additional education demands depending on their state.
All of that schooling could easily take a decade or longer to complete.
What if you’re more interested in getting to work than spending a lot of time and money on schooling? Carefully assess the scholastic requirements for each job you’re considering and dive into a position accordingly.
Talk to Working Professionals
Still not sure which healthcare career is right for you? Talk to professionals across multiple niches and get their experiences.
After all, nothing is more telling of how your time in a job might be than picking the brain of someone that can tell you firsthand what to expect.
Getting perspectives on positions can be as easy as sending out a few emails asking questions. You might also decide to talk to professionals on the phone or in person.
Know Your Options
You now have context on how to filter through different healthcare positions. But what positions are there to choose from?
Below, we’ll quickly introduce you to a handful of the most popular positions that exist in the healthcare field.
Medical doctors/physicians are often regarded as the top-tier healthcare role. They’re highly compensated and perform everything from routine checkups to complex surgeries.
If you can put up with the grueling educational requirements, this may be a role to consider.
Registered nurses are quickly becoming the most popular healthcare role given their respectable pay and moderate education requirements.
In addition to performing basic yet rewarding duties in medical offices, nurses also have the unique opportunity to travel. Hospitals can have emergency nursing shortages and often move personnel around to provide coverage.
Nurses tend to work 12-hour shifts, three to four days per week. They are also union protected.
Nurse requirements have evolved in 2020 due to COVID shortages. A Google search of “how to become a nurse” should help you find the most up-to-date information.
Dentists do very well for themselves financially. They also represent a niche in the healthcare field that has high market demand and comparatively low practitioners.
As a dental professional, you’ll be subjected to less schooling than traditional doctors. If opening a private practice is something you’re interested in, the dental profession is particularly suited to that model.
Similar to the relationship doctors have to their nurses, dental assistants support their dentists with a variety of tasks. These range from keeping track of patients to noting problems that arise during check-ups.
Dental assistant training isn’t particularly rigorous. The pay is also good relative to the time investment.
Being an X-Ray technician allows you to focus on a small niche within the medical field. That’s great news in the sense that schooling is quick and you can really put your energy into becoming a master at what you do.
Technicians conduct X-Ray sessions and help with the analysis of images that are produced.
Medical Biller or Coder
Medical billers and coders learn complex sets of numbers that allow medical offices to accurately bill insurers and patients. This position rarely puts you in direct contact with patients, which professionals who prefer fewer consumer connections love.
Training to become a biller can also be extremely fast, with many training and finding full-time jobs in less than 6 months.
Which Healthcare Career Is Right for You?
Our hope is that as you went through this post, you got a better idea of how to assess medical career options. In addition, we hope you gained more exposure to what your options are.
If we can leave you with one piece of advice, we suggest that you take your time assessing different jobs before moving towards one. We’ve seen too many people waste time and money chasing down medical careers they end up disliking.
Through research and talking to people, you can successfully avoid that fate.
Are you curious to know more about the healthcare career that interests you? If you are, we invite you to dive deeper into the guidance on our blog!