Careers in the healthcare field are booming. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected an 18 percent growth rate from 2016 to 2026, and they attribute this growth to an aging population. This means there has never been a better time to become a professional in the field. If a healthcare career sounds like your dream job, there are some things you should consider first.
What type of health care career would you like to pursue?
There is a role for almost everyone in the health care field. You don’t have to be a physician or a nurse. There are support jobs that include nurse’s aides and physical therapy assistants.
There are administrative jobs like office managers and CFOs. And there are also many other positions within each organization that lend to either the business or the medical care side. If you’re not sure where your passion is, you can take a career assessment test that might help you decide.
In addition to finding out what you’re good at, you will likely want to consider other factors about the job you choose. Some of those factors might include potential income, length of training, and job demand in the area you wish to work.
Where will you get your education?
There are plenty of accredited online and continuing education degree programs to choose from, so you can gain the skills for some health care jobs without leaving home. You may want to factor this into your final decision as well. You might also need to factor in the cost of attending the program and the amount of financial assistance you’re able to receive.
Where do you want to live?
When considering your field of health care, it’s also important to consider where you will live. Do you have a specific area you’re tied to? Are you open to relocation, but prefer small rural areas? These questions might be a concern when you’re choosing a field because of the number of jobs that may or may not be available. For example, if you want to be a dietician and live in New Jersey, you might talk to someone at a health center in Haskell, NJ or other communities to find out how many dieticians they regularly employ.
What type of lifestyle do you want?
Don’t forget to consider the type of family and home life you hope to have when making the decision about which health care job you will choose. For example, if you wish to be married and have children in the next few years, how much are you willing to be away from them while working? As an administrative professional in the field, your hours will probably be much like most people’s — 8am through 5pm, Monday through Friday. However, if you choose to become a nurse or allied health professional, such as a radiology technician, you need to keep in mind that you will likely be working varied shifts, including some weekends, holidays, nights, and evenings. And as a physician, you could be working very long hours for a very long time. For people whose passion is medicine, this is usually an acceptable trade off, but it is definitely something to consider.
Along with that consideration is the type of financial lifestyle you’re aspiring to. Of course, physicians usually receive the highest salaries within that category, and surgeons specifically are at the top of the list. If financial security is your main objective, check out average salaries for each profession and find something you can live with.