In-Demand Allied Health Jobs

Top 5 In-Demand Allied Health Jobs

If you’re considering a career in healthcare, one thing you won’t lack is the number of options. Even if you don’t want to go the traditional doctor/ nurse route, you can still be an integral part of the medical community. There are numerous other professionals whose efforts keep the healthcare sector running like a well-oiled machine. With these allied health jobs, they provide a wide range of support services, like diagnostics, technical expertise, and therapeutic care.

And the workforce shortage plaguing the healthcare industry isn’t just limited to nurses. The Bureau of Health Workforce notes that the combined demand for allied health workers will go up by 23% by 2036. Opting for an allied health career right now is a smart move. And to help you weigh your options well, here’s an overview of five of the fastest growing allied health careers that you can consider:

1. Medical assistant

Medical assistants work with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals in a variety of settings like hospitals, outpatient clinics and medical facilities. Their responsibilities can include both administrative and clinical duties. They often interact with patients, maintain records, schedule appointments, and even assist with medical procedures.

The path to become a medical assistant is simple and straightforward. For starters, you need to have a GED or an equivalent of a high school diploma. This will make sure you qualify for enrolling into an accredited medical assistant program. After completing the program, you can apply for Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) credentials from the American Association of Medical Assistants.

  • Average salary: Medical assistants make an average of $40,362
  • Job outlook: They are one of the fastest-growing allied health jobs as BLS predicts a 14% increase in demand for medical assistants by 2032, with 114,600 job openings each year.

2. Physical therapist

Physical therapists mostly work with patients who have lost their range of mobility due to injuries, neurological disorders, or other chronic conditions like arthritis. They work in hospitals, clinics, long term care facilities and even sports facilities, playing a major part in preventive and curative care.

To become a physical therapist, you must have a bachelor’s degree. This is an essential prerequisite for qualifying for a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) program. Make sure the DPT program you choose is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (CAPTE). After completing your DPT, you must pass the National Physical Therapy Exam which is required for a PT license.

  • Average salary: On an average, physical therapists make $97,720
  • Job outlook: Physical therapist jobs are expected to grow by 15% by 2032, with 13,900 new openings per year.

3. Respiratory therapist

Respiratory therapists are allied health professionals work with physicians to treat patients with critical cardiac and pulmonary disease. They treat patients from all age groups, from premature newborns to the elderly who are suffering from respiratory disorders like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Depending on where they work, their duties can vary from complex procedures like intubation, overseeing patients on a ventilator to outpatient consultations with lung function tests like spirometry.

To become a respiratory therapist, you would need an associate or bachelor’s degree from a Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care (CoARC) accredited respiratory therapy program, along with a state licensure. To qualify for a license, you must have either a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) or Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) certification from the National Board of Respiratory Care (NBRC).

  • Average salary: Respiratory therapists make anywhere between $51,970 to $100,520 annually, with the median salary being $70,540.
  • Job outlook: Demand for respiratory therapists is expected to grow by 13% by 2032. The BLS estimates an average of 8,600 job openings for respiratory therapists each year.

4. Medical technologist

Medical technologists play an important role in diagnosing diseases. They perform diagnostic tests on various bodily specimens like blood, cerebral fluid and even tissues, working under the supervision of a pathologist.

You can become a medical technologist by completing a  National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science (NAA-CLS) accredited post graduate degree in medical technology and earning a certification through either the ASCP Board of Certification or the American Medical Technologists (AMT).

5. Radiology technician

Radiology technicians work under the supervision of radiologists to perform diagnostic imaging exams. They are required to be familiar with various equipment used for X-rays, CT scans and MRIs.

To become a radiology technician, you need an undergraduate degree in radiologic technology. Make sure the program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). After completing your degree, you must for the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists’ (ARRT) radiography exam to earn your certification.

Read more from MyCareers: Are Online Nursing Programs Really the Way to Go?

Final thoughts

With the rapid advancement in medical technology and research, going for allied health jobs can set you on the path to a career that’s promising as well as fulfilling. Unlike other most other medical careers, allied healthcare workers can have a faster entry into the workforce, while also having tons of options available for professional growth. And with the diverse range of roles and specialties available, you certainly have greater chances of finding a career path that aligns with your interests and skills.

References:

  1. Top 10 Highest Paying Allied Health Specialties | Vivian Community Hub
  2. AAMA Official Site – American Association of Medical Assistants (aama-ntl.org)
  3. AAMA – CMA (AAMA) Exam (aama-ntl.org)
  4. Medical Assistant – Certified Salary | Salary.com
  5. Medical Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
  6. Home – CoARC – Commission on Accreditation for Respiratory Care
  7. Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) – The National Board for Respiratory Care (nbrc.org)
  8. Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) – The National Board for Respiratory Care (nbrc.org)
  9. Home – The National Board for Respiratory Care (nbrc.org)
  10. Respiratory Therapists : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
  11. Directory of Programs | Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education (capteonline.org)
  12. National Exam (NPTE) | FSBPT
  13. Physical Therapists : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
  14. JRCERT | Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology
  15. arrt-primary-handbook.pdf (kc-usercontent.com)
  16. Radiologic and MRI Technologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
  17. Get Credentialed (ascp.org)
  18. americanmedtech.org
  19. Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians : Occupational Outlook Handbook: : U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov)
Share:

Related Posts

what to wear to a nursing interview
Tips on What To Wear to a Nursing Interview

Firstly, congratulations on the callback! Now that you’ve got the recruiter’s attention, ...

nursing degree
Tips for Pursuing Advanced Degrees in Nursing

Making big career decisions can be daunting. Some decisions can just test ...