Healthcare is a rewarding and satisfying profession, especially in terms of the ability to care for others and make a difference. Careers in this industry also command larger salaries and flexibility, meaning that they are often popular and sought after.
Jobs in the healthcare industry are also currently in high demand, particularly in light of the coronavirus pandemic that has swept across the world. Nursing jobs, in particular, are growing in demand and are set to be one of the most vacantly filled in the next couple of years.
If you’re interested in working in healthcare but are not sure about which area to focus on, we cover the top jobs in this industry and what benefits they provide.
The first thing to say about a career in dentistry is that you must either have a passion for working on teeth or be completely willing to deal with people’s mouths all the time. If that suits you fine, dentistry is a highly paid and highly rewarding career to get into.
A dentist’s primary role is to treat problems in the mouth and gums, often performing duties such as tooth extractions, cavity fillings, and denture fittings. Dentists also perform more invasive procedures such as root canals and dental surgeries. If this kind of work appeals to you, expect to earn around $150,000 or more per year.
Physicians come in a range of different types and specialisms. The ones we’re most accustomed to seeing are general physicians in local clinics who treat patients for acute illnesses and injuries. However, physicians also include the following roles:
- ER Doctors
- Primary Care Providers
Whatever industry you choose, physicians are highly paid, with median salaries reaching upwards of $190,000 per annum. While the life of a physician can be stressful and demanding with long hours, the rewards can be great due to the impact they have on people’s lives.
Nurse practitioners have one of the highest levels of job satisfaction, and for good reason. Not only do they command excellent salaries, but the flexible hours, abundant opportunities for growth, and excellent training available make it one of the more rewarding jobs within the healthcare industry. Nurses also deal with patients most often, so the benefits of caring for people are also significant with this role.
While nursing practitioner roles vary across the demographic and specialism, the higher skilled nurses are often able to prescribe medicines, diagnose and treat patients, analyze lab results, and perform examinations. As a nurse practitioner, you also have a variety of settings to choose from which include hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and more.
Training to become a nurse practitioner is relatively easy and can also be done online via ABSN programs by state. Once qualified, you can expect to earn an average of $100,000 as a nurse practitioner.
Not to be confused with dentists, orthodontists specialize in treating jaw structure and function, often performing procedures to help with improper bites or crooked teeth. Orthodontists work with braces, retainers, and other medical appliances to help aid tooth positioning and jaw function. The long-term relationships that orthodontists build with their patients through their ‘before and after’ years — in the case of braces, for example — can make it a very rewarding profession.
In terms of salary, orthodontists beat out dentists, often making upwards of around $200,000 per year.
A physician assistant is similar to a regular doctor; however, by law they are expected to collaborate with a licensed physician or surgeon. Physician assistants can diagnose and treat illnesses, assist with surgeries, and guide patients. While their remit is not as wide as a regular physician, these health care providers play a vital role in delivering health care. Training to be a physician assistant requires a master’s degree and is often quicker than that of a regular physician.
Those entering the profession can earn a median salary of around $100,000 per year.
Therapists and mental health professionals help patients overcome emotional and mental health issues in their lives. Some therapists choose to specialize in a particular area of mental health like depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, or eating disorders. Therapists play an integral role in listening, counseling, and guiding patients towards recovery. In order to train as a therapist, you will usually be required to get a master’s or doctorate degree in psychology.
Once trained, therapists can earn around $71,000 per year on average.
Medical sonographers operate diagnostic machines in hospitals and clinics. These usually involve imaging machines such as MRIs, ultrasound, echocardiogram, and sonograms. While the imaging practice is the responsibility of the sonographer, they are not permitted to diagnose or treat patients. Training involves a degree in diagnostic medical sonography or equivalent, with people earning an average of around $65,000 per year.
If humans aren’t your thing, a career as a veterinarian can be equally, if not more, rewarding. Veterinarians are also medically trained as they are required to diagnose, assess, and treat various animal illnesses and injuries. They are also qualified to euthanize animals should the need arise.
Advancements in technology and the attitudes of pet owners who are expecting higher levels of care mean that vets must be highly qualified and trained. Therefore, veterinarians can earn decent salaries of around $90,000 per year.
Physical therapists are often called upon when a patient has suffered an injury or trauma that has resulted in reduced motor function. This can include joint or bone fractures, muscle strains, ligament tears, or neurological damage such as a stroke. Physical therapists’ primary role is to provide a rehabilitation plan for the patient to improve mobility and blood flow, increase strength, or reduce pain. Treatment often comes in the form of hands-on therapy such as massage, or exercises and stretches to help get the patient back to their normal levels of movement.
Training for physical therapy roles involves obtaining a bachelor’s degree, followed by a doctorate in physical therapy. Students are also expected to complete clinical residencies and obtain a state-specific National Physical Therapy license. Once qualified, physical therapists can earn around $85,000 per year.