Healthcare Careers | Online Healthcare Degree Programs
According to the US Bureau of Labor, there are three well distinct segments that are present with in the healthcare industry. These are mainly differentiated between one another by the different levels of specialization and practice required. Successful healthcare careers can be built at any level and in any segment of the healthcare industry as noted in Why Choose a Career in Healthcare?
The three different levels of specialization are detailed below.
The entry-level positions within the healthcare industry are the ones which basically include service occupations. Since these workers will have contact with patients a minimum level of education and training is always required. Within this segment there is a wide range of different healthcare careers that are all extremely interesting and remunerative.
Examples include: home health aides, nursing assistants which provide their personal services to all the people in need at both home and in healthcare facilities. Other examples include dental and medical assistants that aid doctors and dentists in their basic everyday mansions.
For a remunerative point of view, according to the data presented in the US Bureau of Labor 2010-2011 report, personal and home care aides earn an average of $8.54 per hour, home health aides earn an average of $9.34 per hour and nursing aides, orderlies and attendants earn an average of $10.67 per hour.
The Paraprofessional position is the second of three segments of healthcare careers within the healthcare industry. This includes all the people who work directly in close contact and under the supervision of professionals such as doctors and surgeons. These workers are sometimes entitled to use specialized equipment and aid the doctors to formulate diagnosis. This is the fastest growing as well as the largest segment within the healthcare careers. Based on the data provided by the US Bureau of Labor these workers make an average of $12.64 per hour.
The largest group with in this segment is the medical technicians, which include positions such as:
(Online) Medical laboratory technician
Medical record clerk
(American) medical technologists
Behavioral health technologists
Registered health information technician
EMT (Emergency Medical Technicians)
In order to be able to apply for these paraprofessional positions, future workers will have to go through specific training programs, which are usually 1-2 years in length and very hardly exceed the 4 years college level. These positions may be viewed as just the start in the healthcare industry for some. Since after being a paraprofessional people can aim even at doctor position, after obtaining the necessary experience and degrees.
The Professional Segment is the third and final career segment, and is identified by the US Department of Labor as the top healthcare segment. Career paths within this segment include nurses, physicians, dentists and surgeons.
In order to aspire to such positions the minimum education level is a Bachelor’s degree for example to become a registered nurse (RN). As a matter of fact the largest portion of this segment of workers are nurses. In many cases graduate degrees such as master’s and doctorates are an essential requirement to achieve more advancement positions that entitle to high levels of responsibilities.
Regarding the field of nursing there are 3 well distinct levels of nurses within the healthcare industry. This is due to the fact that nurses are basically required everywhere, in all the institutions, home care, etc. The three types of nurses are:
RN’s (Registered Nurses) who need to obtain at least a bachelor’s degree. RN’s obtain an average of $30.03.
LPN’s (Licensed Practical Nurses) who are required to only have an associate’s degree in order to practice. Their average salary is $17.57.
NP’s (Nurse Practitioners) are specializes RN’s who are entitled to perform arduous tasks, and can make diagnosis.
Being a doctor is considered the top occupation within the healthcare industry, since it is an extremely respected, remunerative and gratifying position for someone to hold. In order to become a doctor, after obtaining a bachelor’s degree, the next step is taking the MCAT (Medical School Admissions Test) and enter a valid medical university. After successfully completing 4 years of medical school you will finally be considered a doctor. However than a residency program needs to be completed, which usually lasts for 3 years. This is a professions which it’s pursuing is mandated by a true vocation and passion for medicine.
Source – Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Career Guide to Industries, 2010-11 Edition, Healthcare, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs035.htm.