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Top 10 Healthcare Degree Programs

Top 10 Healthcare Degree Programs

Do you intend on pursuing a career in medicine? Many people assume they have to spend several years in school in order to get a good job. However, that is not entirely true. There are many jobs in the medical field that do not require advanced degrees. Apart from job satisfaction, most of these jobs are projected to have a larger number of openings in the future and are likely to present a number of opportunities for you.


top healthcare degrees

1. Occupational Therapist
Occupational Therapists treat injured, disabled or sick patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. These professionals are specifically trained to help patients adapt to their new living or working environment after the injury or illness. They may work with patients on activities, such as operating a computer, improving memory, and transferring to bed. By becoming an occupational therapist, you will have the satisfaction of providing your patients an improved quality of life. Additionally, you may also recommend and teach patients with special needs to use medical equipment.

Median Salary: $80,150
Minimum Required Education: Master’s Degree in most states
Candidates are required to have a license in most states. A CPR or BCLS, Basic Cardiac Life Support certification may always be necessary. Additionally, one can opt for optional certifications, according to areas of specialization.

2. Dental Hygienist
Dental Hygienists are primarily responsible for cleaning the patient’s teeth, conducting mouth examinations, examining for signs of oral decay diseases and taking preventive dental care measures. Dental Hygienists are also responsible for advising patients on how they can improve or retain good oral health. These professionals can be found in dental offices and work with dentists to promote dental health. Besides the dentist’s office, these individuals also help in developing new oral health care products by designing and testing them.

You can become a dental hygienist with as little as two years of schooling. The job is perfect for candidates who are aiming for a low-stress job that pays well. In addition, you will get the chance to educate several patients every day and make a difference in their lives.

Median Salary: $70,210
Minimum Required Education: Associate’s Degree
Dental hygienists must be licensed in all states and must at least hold an Associate’s Degree in Dental Hygiene. You can opt for a Bachelor’s degree to increase your chances of getting a better job. The industry is likely to continue to grow 30% over the next 10 years. States such as Arizona, Florida and Texas have the most available positions for dental hygienists.

3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Ultrasound technology and Sonography are the forefront of prenatal healthcare. If you wish to become sonographer, you will have to use ultrasound high frequencies to produce images of the internal body. It will be your responsibility to aid doctors in diagnosing patients and monitoring conditions such as cancer, heart disease and pregnancy. By becoming a sonographer, you will have the satisfaction of directly working with patients and helping them treat their illnesses.

However, the job requires dedication hence you may have to work evening ships, overnight or perhaps during the weekends as well. Most hospitals and employers are interested in hiring sonographers who have professional certification. Employments are expected to grow by a whopping 24% by 2024. If you particularly enjoy your job, you can advance in the field by pursuing a career as a clinical laboratory technologist.

Median Salary: $67,530
Minimum Required Education: Associate’s Degree

4. Nutritionists
If you are passionate about healthy living, you should consider becoming a nutritionist. Unlike dietitians who have to face stringent regulations, the title nutritionist is not regulated while on the other hand dietitians must complete an approved program, resulting in a bachelor’s degree. By becoming a nutritionist, you can pursue your passion for wellness and health. You will have the opportunity to work with a number of establishments ranging from medical facilities to retail businesses. You may also avail entrepreneurial opportunities in the field including giving lectures, offering classes and writing books.

Median Salary: $57,910
Minimum Required Education: Bachelor’s Degree

Working as a nutritionist is indeed a promising career especially as the whole world is slowly becoming obsessed with healthy eating. Nutritionists are needed in all areas of health care industries however, their main role is related to the food industry, cafeterias and gyms.

5. Respiratory Therapists
Respiratory therapists treat patients who face difficulty in breathing. You may be required to work with more serious cases such as chronic respiratory diseases or milder conditions such as emphysema or asthma. Additionally, you may also be required to treat young patients with undeveloped lungs or elderly patients with lung cancer. As a respiratory therapist, it will also be your responsibility to care for patients who have suffered from cardiac attack, shock, drowning or any other emergency.

Median Salary: $56,730
Minimum Required Education: Associate’s Degree

Once you have obtained an Associate’s degree, you can opt for advancement in your career once you have gained some experience. You may choose to become a manager or a supervisor within the department or seek employment in a home health organization.

6. Radiologic Technologist
A radiologic technologist works with doctors, patients and pieces of equipment, aiding every body’s medical experience. These professionals are required to work certain specialized medical equipment to help diagnose patients. You may have to work with MRI, X-rays and computed tomography. Your primary role would be to play a supportive role while using this equipment to produce images, which might help radiologists determine illnesses and aid in finding solutions according to the patient’s medical needs.

As a radiologic technologist, you responsibilities would be to maintain and adjust medical equipment, work with patients, know how to operate different medical equipment. Career opportunities in the field are on the rise. Once you have achieved your Associate’s Degree, you will be able to deliver essential frontline imaging services to several patients.

Median Salary: $55,870
Minimum Required Education: Associate’s Degree

7. Physical Therapist Assistant
You can make a significant difference in somebody’s life by becoming a physical therapist assistant. PTAs aid physical therapists regain mobility and movement after an illness or an injury. On a daily basis, you may be asked to help patients get accustomed to crutches, assist patients in exercising or gathering therapy equipment. Additionally, you may also be in charge of filling our insurance forms, answering telephone calls and filling out insurance forms. There are numerous work settings you could find job opportunities in including fitness facilities, nursing homes, home care agencies, private clinics and hospitals.

Median Salary: $52,160
Minimum Required Education: Associate’s Degree

In most states, candidates must pass a state administrated nation exam to obtain a license. Other requirements may vary depending on the state you live in.

8. Vocational Nurse
Nursing is one of the most rapidly growing industries in the US. A licensed vocational nurse (LVN) is a professional who assists other doctors and nurses within medical institutions. LVN offers a number of services for doctors, surgeons, patients and other nurses. For example, you might be responsible for recording vital signs, providing bedside care to patients and monitoring vital signs. As an LVN, you may also be responsible for addressing wounds, providing proper personnel hygiene to patients and updating patient’s charts on a regular basis.

As an LVN, you get the satisfaction of caring and making a difference in one’s life.
Median Salary: $42,490

Minimum Required Education: Associate’s Degree

9. Massage Therapist
As the industry is gaining more popularity in the world of health care, it is integral candidates expand their choices and consider the opportunities that lie within the industry. As a massage therapist, you can spend you day speaking to clients and provide them advice on how to improve their physical wellbeing. Massage therapists have the ability to work small miracles on their client’s muscles and are qualified to provide them knowledge on how to live a comfortable life.

Once you have received your Associate’s degree, you can work on fining a full time job in a company that hired massage therapists.
Median Salary: $37,180
Minimum Required Education: Associate’s Degree, NCBTMB

10. Home Health Aide
Home health aides assist patients in managing their day-to-day tasks. By becoming a home health aide, you can start every morning knowing that you are making a significant impact in one’s life. These professionals are growing in demands as the baby boomers continue to age. Your job would be to assist the elderly in helping them perform daily tasks such as bathing, shaving, making beds, feeding the patient, cleaning living spaces etc.

The job is incredibly fulfilling and is sure to help you become a better person. You will also be responsible for preparing documentation and making observations. It is recommended you opt for a campus based Associate’s degree
Median Salary: $21,920
Minimum Required Education:

None mandatory, you may opt for certificate programs

According to the BLS, the appointment of home health aides depends on the employer. Usually on the job training is provided by experienced nursing assistants and aides.