Did you just get out of the military recently and are looking for a rewarding career that doesn’t require four years of education? If so, these six healthcare degrees might interest you. Why the healthcare field? Because as the U.S. population ages, there will be an ever increasing need for healthcare professionals.
If you were in healthcare while in the military, then getting one of these associate’s degrees could be a practical approach to pursuing your career goals. Did I peak your interest? Let’s read on about six practical healthcare options, most paying over $50,000 per year.
Respiratory therapists work with patients who have trouble breathing due to a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. Most respiratory therapists work in a hospital environment, however, other opportunities do exist, such as working in a nursing home or in-home care.
Median Salary: $54,280
Projected Growth: 28%
Projected Number of Job Openings: 31,200
Radiologic technologists prepare patients and perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x-rays, MRIs and Cat Scans. While most in this field work in a hospital environment, some work in physicians’ offices or private imaging clinics.
Median Salary: $54,340
Projected Growth: 28%
Projected Number of Job Openings: 68,000
Cardiovascular technologists (CTs) also use imaging technology, but specifically to help physicians diagnose cardiac (heart) and vascular (blood vessel) ailments and conditions. Typically, work is performed in hospitals, however, some CTs work in physician’s offices and medical labs.
Median Salary: $49,410
Projected Growth: 29%
Projected Number of Job Openings: 14,500
Dental hygienists routinely clean teeth, examine patients for oral diseases and provide preventative dental care. Another big part of their job is educating patients on how to improve and maintain good oral health. Almost all work is performed in dentists’ offices.
Median Salary: $68,250
Projected Growth: 38%
Projected Number of Job Openings: 68,500
Nuclear Medicine Technologists
Nuclear medicine technologists is another field using imaging technology to create scans of various areas of a patient’s body after they have prepared and administered radioactive drugs to patients. Most work is performed in hospitals, however, opportunities do exist to work in physicians’ offices or private imaging clinics.
Median Salary: $68,560
Projected Growth: 19%
Projected Number of Job Openings: 4,100
Radiation therapists (RTs) primarily treat cancer patients by administering various radiation treatments. Most RTs work in hospitals or cancer treatment centers.
Median Salary: $74,980
Projected Growth: 20%
Projected Number of Job Openings: 3,400
Registered nurses (RNs) generally provide and coordinate patient care. However, another big part of their job is to educate patients and the public in health care issues. Most RNs work in hospitals, physicians’ offices, nursing facilities or provide home healthcare. But also, many work in prisons, schools and at summer camps.
Median Salary: $64,690
Projected Growth: 26%
Projected Number of Job Openings: 711,900
Note: All projected growth and number of job openings are for the period of 2010 – 2020.
These six healthcare careers are all in high demand and will continue to be so out through 2020. In two years, you could be working in one of these great healthcare fields and your GI Bill will pay most , if not all, of your education expenses.
Photo courtesy Army Medicine