10 Best Careers in Healthcare

Many professional jobs in healthcare don't require a bachelor's degree. While offering competitive wages, they call only for a postsecondary nondegree certification or license. For some people, these top-ranking jobs become lifelong careers. For others, they serve as strategic steppingstones en route to the dream job.

Would you like to work in hospital or a physician office? Check out these in-demand healthcare jobs.

  1. Medical Assistant
  2. Medical Biller
  3. Medical Coder
  4. Medical Record Auditor
  5. Medical Scribe or Transcriptionist
  6. Medical Administrative Assistants
  7. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)
  8. Pharmacy Technician
  9. Ultrasound Technician
  10. Phlebotomist

1. Medical Assistant

Medical assistants support physicians with administrative and clinical help to provide basic care for patients. They may perform administrative tasks such as scheduling appointments, updating medical records, bookkeeping, and preparing patients for exams. Their clinical tasks may include taking patients' vital signs, preparing blood samples for lab work, administering injections, etc. Medical assistants are a great entry level position, which can provide both clinical and administrative experience.

There are no formal education requirements to be a medical assistant, but most employers require certification. Most medical assistants undergo on-the-job training and earn a medical assisting diploma that can be completed in 12 months. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary is $36,850.

Occupational Title Medical assistant
Job Outlook Growth Rate 18% (Much faster than average)
Average Annual Salary $36,850
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential program

2. Medical Biller

Even though medical billing and coding are often thought to be the same career, they are distinct jobs. A medical biller must understand coding language to know how to read medical invoices and ensure accuracy. A medical biller submits and follows up on claims with health insurance companies to receive payment for services rendered by a healthcare provider. A knowledgeable biller can optimize revenue performance for the practice or hospital they bill for.

Many hospitals and physician practices require medical billers to be certified. Average pay is $55,078, depending on credentials and experience of the biller.

Occupational Title Medical biller
Job Outlook Growth Rate 9% (As fast as average)
Average Annual Salary $55,078
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential program

3. Medical Coder

Medical coders transform healthcare diagnoses, procedures, medical services, and equipment into universal medical alphanumeric codes. The diagnoses and procedure codes are taken from medical record documentation, such as physician's notes, laboratory and radiologic results, etc., and are then submitted to insurance carriers for physician reimbursement.

Many hospitals and physician practices require medical coders to obtain certification. Average pay for medical coders is as high as $65,028, depending on credentials and experience.

Occupational Title Medical coder
Job Outlook Growth Rate 9% (As fast as average)
Average Annual Salary $65,028
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential program

4. Medical Record Auditor

Medical record auditors must understand coding guidelines, physician documentation, and federal laws governing fraud and abuse, Auditors perform quality assurance and coding risk analysis, then communicate their findings to physicians, coding staff, and management. As such, medical record auditors are critical to compliant and profitable healthcare facilities and physician practices.

To ensure auditors possess reliable proficiency in medical chart review, hospitals and physician practices require certification. The average salary for certified auditors is $71,000 annually.

Occupational Title Medical record auditor
Job Outlook Growth Rate 9% (As fast as average)
Average Annual Salary $71,000
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, coding certification, and auditing credential program

5. Medical Scribe or Transcriptionist

A medical scribe is a great occupation for those interested in medical terminology and who can think and type quickly. Scribes shadow physicians, documenting each patient encounter, and then enter them in the respective electronic health records (EHR).

A transcriptionist completes the patient chart by listening to and transcribing a physician's audio dictation. This allows the physician to focus on patient care, instead of the computer.

Most medical scribes and transcriptionists work for hospitals, physicians' offices, and third-party transcription service companies. Some are self-employed and work on a contract basis.

The annual salary for certified medical scribes and transcriptionists is $35,270 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational Title Medical scribe and medical transcriptionist
Job Outlook Growth Rate -7% (Decline)
Average Annual Salary $35,270
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential program

6. Medical Administrative Assistants

Medical administrative assistants work in office settings or hospitals, and perform tasks such as answering phones, collecting patient information, scheduling appointments, verifying insurance information, and greeting patients in the waiting room. They must be good at multi-tasking and customer service. This is a great introductory job on the business-side of medicine.

While qualifying as a medical administrative assistant has no formal requirement, most assistants enter the job market with certification. The average annual wage for medical administrative assistants working a physician office is $40,000 per year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Occupational Title Medical administrative assistant
Job Outlook Growth Rate 18% (Much faster than average)
Average Annual Salary $40,000
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential program

7. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs)

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) work under both registered nurses and physicians to provide basic nursing care, such as changing bandages, checking blood pressure, helping patients with self-care tasks such as bathing or dressing, etc. The work varies depending on the setting and state. If you're considering a career in nursing but aren't ready to commit to a higher degree, becoming an LPN is the way to go. You can always advance your education, down the line.

LPNs must complete an accredited program to earn LPN designation. These programs take about a year to complete and combine classroom and supervised clinical experience. If you want to get into nursing, but don't want to obtain a higher degree, becoming an LPN is a good option. The average annual wage for an LPN is $48,820.

Occupational Title Licensed practical nurse
Job Outlook Growth Rate 9% (As fast as average)
Average Annual Salary $48,820
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential program

8. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians work in pharmacies located in drug stores, grocery stores, department stores, and hospitals. Career-wise, the job is a great steppingstone to becoming a pharmacist. In the current role, techs work under the pharmacist — helping to fill prescriptions, take in patient information, organize inventory, accept payment, process insurance, etc.

Though most employers require pharmacy technicians to have certification, a pharmacy technician program can be completed in as little as nine months. The median wage for pharmacy technicians is $35,950 per year, according to BLS.

Occupational Title Pharmacy technician
Job Outlook Growth Rate 4% (Slower than average)
Average Annual Salary $35,950
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential program

9. Ultrasound Technician

Ultrasound techs, also called medical sonographers, perform ultrasounds on patients to aid in diagnosing tumors, determining organ health, evaluating heart conditions, detecting blood clots, finding the cause of pain, etc. The role ultrasound technicians perform is critical for clinicians to diagnose and effectively treat their patients.

Depending on the employer, ultrasound technicians may require a two-year associate degree, as well as certification. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for ultrasound technicians is $70,380.

Occupational Title Ultrasound technician
Job Outlook Growth Rate 14% (Faster than average)
Average Annual Salary $70,380
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential program

10. Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists draw blood from patients for purposes that include routine lab work (diagnostic tests), blood transfusions, blood donations, and medical research. Hospitals are the most common workplace, but phlebotomists are also employed by laboratories, physician practices, and blood donor organizations. Employers require phlebotomists to have a professional certification from a phlebotomy training program.

Occupational Title Phlebotomist
Job Outlook Growth Rate 22% (Much faster than average)
Average Annual Salary $37,320 per year
Minimum Education Required High school diploma, credential

Resources

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Assistants, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-assistants.htm (visited 10/18/2021).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Records and Health Information Specialists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm (visited 10/18/2021).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Transcriptionists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-transcriptionists.htm (visited 10/18/2021).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/licensed-practical-and-licensed-vocational-nurses.htm (visited 10/18/2021).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Pharmacy Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/pharmacy-technicians.htm (visited 10/18/2021).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/diagnostic-medical-sonographers.htm (visited 10/18/2021).

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Phlebotomists, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/phlebotomists.htm (visited 10/20/2021).

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