Healthcare is one of the most rapidly growing service industries in the US, and there is a constant need for healthcare professionals because of the rising health needs of older adults. So if you are compassionate and want to help people, a healthcare career might be ideal for you.
There are many reasons why a healthcare career can be incredibly beneficial for you. It is financially rewarding and offers many opportunities and room for growth. You can choose from numerous career paths. Quality healthcare is a universal need, so you can work as a healthcare professional anywhere and put your skills to good use.
Here are some options you can consider if you are passionate about pursuing a career in healthcare.
1. Healthcare social worker
When you think of a healthcare career, you might not think of social work. But, social workers role in healthcare is unique and important. Social workers help people make the right decisions and offer psychosocial support when dealing with health issues.
Apart from connecting patients with the right services, you will counsel patients, make arrangements or help your patient get financial assistance to cover medical costs.
To become a healthcare social worker, you must earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social work. Then, you must do supervised clinical work for a specific amount of time before getting licensed. It is important to note that a healthcare social worker’s role is not limited to hospitals only.
Instead, you can also work in nursing facilities, family services, or outpatient care centers. In addition, you can earn $63,078 to $76,329 per year working as a healthcare social worker.
2. Nurse practitioner
A nurse practitioner’s role is similar to that of a doctor. Nurse practitioners can examine, diagnose and treat patients and prescribe medications. Although a nurse practitioner can provide advanced care, your role will be decided by your state.
In some states, nurse practitioners can work independently without a doctor’s supervision. In such cases, a nurse practitioner is the primary care provider. However, some states require them to work under the supervision of doctors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nurse practitioners earned an average salary of $124,680 in 2022, and the demand for this profession may increase by 45% by 2030.
If you want to become a nurse practitioner, you must become a registered nurse, followed by a graduate degree such as MSN or DNP. You will also need relevant experience if you want to specialize in a particular niche.
A pharmacist’s job is to provide prescribed medication to people. You will also be responsible for describing the side effects of the medication, what it is used for, and how to take it. Apart from that, you can also sell over-the-counter medications to people according to their health issues. As a pharmacist, you can work in a hospital or a separate pharmacy.
The annual income of a pharmacist can range from $14,000 to $158,000. If you want to become a pharmacist, you must acquire a doctoral degree and pass several exams to get licensed.
Being a surgeon is not an easy job. As a surgeon, you will be responsible for diagnosing your patient’s problem, performing surgeries, and providing appropriate post-surgical care as well. You will also need years of education and a specialization too.
To become a surgeon, you will need a related health-related undergraduate degree, attend medical school and complete a residency program. You will also have to work and study further to earn your specialization.
Although being a surgeon requires years of hard work and dedication, your salary will make all the efforts worthwhile once you’ve established yourself. A surgeon can expect a median salary of $232,105 per year.
Physicians are in very high demand in healthcare. A physician is a medical doctor responsible for identifying and treating illnesses and injuries. You can also practice surgery as a physician, but it is up to you.
Although this job pays well, you will need at least 10 years of education which can also lead to many student loans. You will have to complete an undergraduate degree in healthcare, go to medical school, complete a residency and program, and may also have to study more. You can also specialize in a specific area of your choice. As a doctor, you can earn around $165,347 every year.
An anesthesiologist’s main role is to deliver anesthesia and supervise patient care during all stages of surgery. Although the job growth is not a lot for this role, its salary alone, a whopping $421,300, makes it one of the top health careers you can consider. To become an anesthesiologist, you must complete an undergraduate degree, medical school, and a residency program.
If you’re compassionate and get along well with children, pursuing a career in pediatrics might be the right choice for you. As a pediatrician, you will work with infants, children, and pre-teens. Your job will be to identify and manage your patients’ health, behavioral, or developmental issues.
To become a pediatrician, you will need at least nine years of education. This includes an undergraduate degree in healthcare, four years of medical school, and a residency program. You can also study further if you want to specialize in a certain area. However, your salary will make all this hard work worthwhile, as the average salary of a pediatrician is $219,260.
Pursuing a healthcare career can be quite rewarding financially as well as mentally. You can choose from various professions and work with different organizations. Although a career in healthcare sounds amazing, it comes with a price.
For instance, you will have to study a lot and have a drive to keep learning as this industry is constantly evolving. Similarly, you will need to work long shifts, work in challenging situations, and deal with many responsibilities. But, in the end, once you’ve established yourself, all the hard work will seem worth it.