In an economy that seems to have as many setbacks as it does gains, it can be hard to find a career that remains steady no matter the state of the economy. Healthcare manages to stand the test of time, always offering steady jobs in any job market.
If you’ve been considering a job in the health field, you have countless options for a lifelong career that is both satisfying and pays well.
Licensed Vocational Nurse
A licensed vocational nurse is an entry-level nurse that’s responsible for basic nursing care. You’ll work directly under the supervision of a doctor or a registered nurse. As an LVN, your job will include:
- Monitoring your patients’ health (like taking their temperature or blood pressure)
- Providing basic care, like inserting catheters or changing their bandages
- Helping provide basic comfort, like bathing or changing clothes
- Educating family members on how to care for their loved one
Educational programs to become an LVN usually take about a year, and you’re awarded a certificate or diploma. You’ll take the National Council Licensure Examination and when you pass it, you can work as an LVN. As of 2012, the median pay for an LVN was about $41,000 per year, or about $19.50 per hour. This is one of the top healthcare jobs that pay well, especially when working in a hospital setting as opposed to private clinics.
Do you love a fast paced job that keeps you on your toes? Do you love everything about surgery? If blood doesn’t make you feel faint, and you require a career that is anything but monotonous, then you’d do well as a surgical technician. Surgical technicians assist in surgeries under the direct supervision of surgeons, anesthesiologists, and registered nurses. You’ll help prepare the operating room by setting up the necessary instruments, surgical drapes, and helping ensure sterility. You’ll work with patients by clipping and cleaning incision sites before wheeling them into the operating room. Once the patient is under anesthesia, you’ll help the surgical team gown and glove, and assist during surgery with the instruments and fetching any additional supplies. Surgical technicians make about $41,970 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you love the medical field but aren’t too sure about working on humans, then perhaps you should consider working in the veterinary field. Veterinary technicians are the registered nurses of the animal world, providing essential medical care to animals of all species. Not only do you take care of hospitalized patients, you assist during surgeries, monitor anesthesia, place IV catheters, and administer a variety of medications. To become a veterinary technician, you’ll attend a program where you’ll earn an Associate’s degree, then take a national board exam to become certified to work in a veterinary practice. On average, technicians earn about $30,290 a year.
Do you love working one-on-one with people? As a dental hygienist, you are the first stop a patient makes when they visit the dentist. You’ll take x-rays and clean the patient’s teeth. A cleaning involves scaling the teeth to remove any plaque and tartar build-up, but it also gives you the opportunity to perform a thorough oral exam and find any potential issues for the dentist. You’ll provide your patients with the necessary education to properly brush and floss their teeth between visits. The job market for dental hygienists is excellent. As of 2013, the average salary for a hygienist was $71,180.
As a dietician, you’ll help educate people how to eat for optimal health or how to eat for their specific medical condition. You’ll also:
- Develop meal plans for patients
- Evaluate each patient’s meal plan over time and adjust it as needed
- Visit patients in hospitals to help develop a proper meal plan with their doctors
- Educate groups about diet and nutrition
The median salary of a registered dietician is $55,240 a year.
The List Is Endless
These are just a very small percentage of the jobs available in the medical field. If you want a job that is guaranteed to challenge and excite you, then the healthcare field is the right place for you especially if you want to work with animals.