Despite the slow economic outlook for some job markets, healthcare careers have a bright future. If you are passionate about helping others, detailed oriented and have the social skills to positively interact with people, a job in healthcare may be worth investigating. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics 2010 data, there are 10 healthcare careers ahead of the curve when it comes to expected job growth and in some cases, median salary. All 10 careers offer hospital-based employment opportunities.
Audiologists diagnose and treat hearing problems. You will need a doctoral degree for this profession and in most cases a state license. Fast job growth is expected, but this is a small career field. The average 2010 salary was $66,660.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Diagnostic medical sonographers perform ultrasounds, sonograms and echocardiograms. In this career, you must learn to use special imaging equipment. You will need a two- or four-year college degree and professional certification. The average 2010 salary was $64,380.
Occupational therapists help people regain basic daily living skills. Patients include those with disabilities, those recovering from injuries and those dealing with physical or cognitive changes. For this career, you will need a master’s degree in occupational therapy and a state license. The average 2010 salary was $72,320.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational therapy assistants work with occupational therapists to help patients. They also set up equipment needed for therapies. An associate degree from an accredited program and a state license is needed for this career. The average 2010 salary was $51,010.
Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medicines. You will need a high school education, formal training and you need to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam. The average 2010 salary was $28,400.
Physical therapists help people regain physical functions such as walking, flexibility, balance and coordination. Job demand is expected to increase as baby boomers age. You will need a doctoral in physical therapy and a state license to become a physical therapist. The average 2010 salary was $76,310.
Physical Therapist Assistant
Physical therapist assistants work with patients under the direction of physical therapists. You will need a two-year degree from an accredited program, a passing score on the national physical therapy exam and a state license. Some states may have additional exam and continuing education requirements. The average 2010 salary was $49,690.
Physician assistants care for patients under the direction of doctors and surgeons. Training to examine patients, diagnose them and provide treatment is required. You will need a four-year college degree, completion of a two-year accredited physician assistant program and a state license for this career. The average 2010 salary was $86,410.
Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic X-rays. You will need an associate degree from an approved program for this career. Licensing or certification is required in most states. The average 2010 salary was $54,340.
Respiratory therapists treat chronic respiratory illnesses like asthma or emphysema, and provide emergency care to heart attack and stroke victims. You will need an associate or bachelor’s degree and a state license to become a respiratory therapist. The average salary in 2010 was $54,280.