You’ve been thinking about going into a new line of work. You’re tired of doing the same things every day. You want a job that can give you some actual career progression. And after sleeping on it for a while and doing a lot of Googling, choosing a healthy career just makes sense.
Or maybe that’s not you. Maybe you’re still planning your future and you’re exploring a career in health as a part of that. But it all begs the question:
Does it make sense to be looking at health career options right now? Should degrees in health be on your list of majors to pursue?
We’ve put together a list of five factors to consider when you’re thinking about a career in the healthcare field.
All you have to do is keep reading.
1. The Level of Education Needed
For better or for worse, we’ve decided as a society that we want the sharpest and the most well-trained minds treating, diagnosing, and operating on the human body. What this means in practice, is that pursuing a career in medicine or nursing can take several years.
And during that time, you’ll still have to shoulder the cost of tuition as well as the cost of student loans after graduation.
However, even if you’re not looking at becoming a doctor, there are still lots of additional roles that you can play in a healthcare setting. Information management, medical billing, and medical assistant qualifications are just a few of the credentials that you can pursue in healthcare school.
As you think about what specifically you’d like to do while working in healthcare, the cost and the amount of education required is something that you’ll want to weigh carefully.
2. The Long-Term Career Prospects
Imagine becoming certified in VHS repair right before Netflix took the movie-watching world by storm. That doesn’t sound like the makings of a solid career, does it?
For the medical industry at large, it’s safe to say that as long as human beings are alive and getting sick there will always be a need for certain professions within healthcare. But as you narrow down your list of potential jobs in the medical field, you may want to consider the potential impact that technology might have later on down the line. With AI becoming more and more prevalent in fields like healthcare, the truth is that many careers might not exist in a few years from now.
3. The Hours
If you’re looking for a calming 9 to 5 that allows you to come in, work your shift, and hit the golf course at noon, a healthcare career might not be a great fit for you. Many doctors and surgeons are always on call and it’s not unusual for nurses to be on their feet for hours at a time during a shift.
That being said, it is possible to find work in places that are less busy or are otherwise more rural. And if you’re working on the administrative side, you might not be dealing with the long hours and the heavy workloads that have often characterized certain medical professions. But either way, if you’re planning to pursue a career in health you should be prepared for the reality that finding a solid work-life balance can sometimes be a challenge.
4. The Potential Workplace
Entire shows have been written about the personal and professional drama that can occur in hospital settings. Before you start applying to medical or nursing school, it’s important to think about the kind of workplace environment that you’re best suited for.
Although the term “bedside manner” was coined specifically with the medical profession in mind, working in hospitals isn’t your only option when you’re in healthcare. You can do administrative work, research, or even tech work depending on the campus.
If you’re the type of person who’s squeamish about injuries and blood, however, chances are that the trauma wing of a hospital may not be a good fit for your personality. Similarly, if you’re not really into public-facing work, a lab might be a better choice for you.
You can’t control what types of job openings will be available to you when you graduate. But if you have a general idea of the type of setting you’re more open to working in, mapping out your career options becomes a lot more straightforward.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary earned by healthcare workers in the U.S. is $56,303.
It’s a well-known fact that doctors, surgeons, and specialists will often take home over six figures even as recent grads. However, even if you’re not looking at outright going into medical school, there are still lots of additional jobs that need to be done in order to keep a clinic or a hospital going.
In addition, while doctors may be able to claim high salaries, they’re often shouldering the cost of higher tuition rates and longer educational requirements. Whether you’re interested in the high-flying salary expectations of a trained surgeon or you’re just hoping for a steady career that allows you to live comfortably, health career salaries can accommodate a full range of people.
Here’s What You Should Know About Choosing a Health Career
The healthcare field is all about promoting health and driving positive patient outcomes. To work in this industry, you have to be committed to the wellbeing of others and you have to be willing to work hard.
Qualifying for a job in healthcare can take anywhere from a few months to a few years. But it’s important to know that if you’re choosing a healthy career, the job satisfaction will be well worth it and you’ll be able to see yourself making a difference in people’s lives every day.
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