Millions of Americans currently work in the healthcare field. In fact, over the last few years, the healthcare industry has become the country’s largest employer.
If you’re interested in a medical career but don’t necessarily want to spend eight-plus years in medical school to become a doctor, you’re in luck!
Listed below are six types of medical jobs that only require one to two years (or less) of schooling.
Reasons to Work in the Medical Field
There are lots of reasons to consider working in the medical field, including the following:
Job Growth and Security
The health care industry is growing rapidly. In fact, it’s expected to grow 26 percent by the year 2022. That works out to be an increase of approximately 4.1 million jobs!
Job opportunities in hospitals, nursing homes, and other facilities are all expected to continue opening up as more and more people in the country age and require additional medical care.
As a medical professional, you can also enjoy a great deal of job security. Because of the constant demand for medical care, you’re unlikely to lose your job due to budget cuts.
Because there’s a lot of competition among medical facilities for qualified workers, most employers also offer competitive benefits packages to attract and retain employees.
As a healthcare professional, you can expect great health insurance, dental insurance, vision care, life insurance, paid sick leave, and vacation time.
Many healthcare professionals also receive training and reimbursement if they want to take additional classes to advance their careers.
Make a Difference
Of course, working in the medical field means you have opportunities every single day to change people’s lives and help them be healthier and happier. If you are service-oriented and love to help others, you’ll find a career in the medical field very fulfilling.
Six Types of Medical Jobs You Can Start Right Away
If you want to get into the medical field fast, these six medical jobs are all great options to consider. You’ll be able to complete your education quickly and start reaping the benefits of a medical career right away.
1. Phlebotomy Technician
A phlebotomy technician is in charge of drawing blood from patients and then sending those blood samples to labs in order to be processed.
You can work as a phlebotomy technician in a medical clinic, hospital, nursing home, or plasma donation center.
It’s very easy to become a phlebotomy technician. In fact, you can complete a phlebotomy course in just a few weeks.
Training for this career is very hands-on, so it’s great for people who prefer to learn by doing. Many people use a career as a phlebotomy technician as a stepping stone to other careers in the medical field.
2. Pharmacy Technician
If you want to start working in the healthcare field right away but prefer not to deal with blood on a daily basis, you might want to consider working as a pharmacy technician instead.
As a pharmacy technician, you will assist patients face-to-face and over the phone so they can obtain their medications. You’ll also assist licensed pharmacists with tasks like sorting, counting, and labeling medications.
The course required to become a pharmacy technician typically takes between three and four months to complete.
3. Certified Nursing Assistant
Certified nursing assistants often work in hospitals, medical clinics, and nursing homes. They assist registered nurses and physicians with a variety of tasks, including:
- Taking vital signs
- Assisting patients with personal care (bathing, changing, toileting, etc.)
- Controlling infections
- Performing emergency procedures
It typically takes about three months to become a certified nursing assistant.
Once your coursework is completed, you’ll also have to take a final exam and complete a certain number of hands-on clinical hours. You’ll need to take a brief recertification course every couple of years, too.
If you’re nervous about these courses, you can always reach out to the school from which you got your certification to learn more about their specific requirements.
4. Medical Assistant
If you want a job that comes with a bit more variety, you might want to consider working as a medical assistant.
Medical assistants perform both clinical tasks (taking vital signs, administering injections, etc.) and administrative tasks (managing files, keeping patient records organized, etc.).
They are different from medical secretaries, who exclusively handle record keeping and administrative work.
Most medical assistants complete their training within 9-12 months.
5. Medical Coding and Billing Specialist
You can become a medical coding and billing specialist within 4-12 months.
Medical coding and billing specialists are in charge of making sure bills and insurance information is processed properly.
This is a great career option for people who want the job security and benefits that come with working in the medical field but don’t necessarily want to do hands-on work.
Medical coding and billing specialists must be sticklers for detail. If they miss a mistake on a form, that could lead a major fine for the medical facility in which they work.
Medical coding and billing specialists also make sure that medical filing and billing systems work efficiently and can withstand various disruptions.
6. Dental Assistant
Remember, you don’t have to work in a doctor’s office to work in the medical field. You might also want to consider working as a dental assistant.
Dental assistants perform administrative tasks (scheduling appointments, managing bills and payments, etc.) and laboratory tasks (passing devices to the dentist, organizing equipment, etc.).
After just one year of training, you’ll have the skills you need to start working under a qualified dentist.
Not Sure What to Do After High School?
As you can see, there are tons of benefits that come with pursuing one of these types of medical jobs after you finish high school. Are you still on the fence about jumping into the medical field, though?
If you’re looking for more advice when it comes to choosing a post-high school path, check out the career guidance section of our site today.
You’ll find lots of tips and information here that will help you decide what you should do when your secondary education is over.