Land One of these In-Demand Healthcare Jobs with the Right Degree
Career demand can really vary in the field of healthcare. For some positions, there aren’t enough available jobs (even for those with degrees!), while other companies are so eager to fill the role, they’ll offer on-the-job training to interested candidates.
But no matter what industry you’re in, one thing doesn’t change: higher education is preferred, even when not required. Get an edge over your competition by getting the right degree for these in-demand medical positions:
1. Registered Nurses
Registered nurses (RN) are projected to be 22% more in-demand by 2019, making this role a smart choice for job security within the healthcare field. RNs typically administer medications, monitor patient recovery, and educate patients on disease prevention and post-hospital treatment.
With most positions only requiring an Associate's degree, this career doesn’t require high levels of schooling— like some doctors. However, many RNs actually enter the field with a Bachelor’s to get an edge over other candidates. Nurses must simply complete an accredited nursing program and receive a license before getting registered to begin practicing. Many certified nursing assistants can advance even higher up the career ladder, eventually taking positions as administrators and care managers.
Salary varies depending on the state you live in. The highest paying state, California, sees an annual average salary of around $102K a year for those with an Associate’s degree,—while in 2017, the lowest paying state, South Dakota, had about a $57K salary. Nurses who continue onto their Bachelors earn even more, earning nearly $23k a year more in California and $8K more in South Dakota.
RECOMMENDED DEGREE: Bachelor’s preferred, Associate’s required.
2. Medical Administrative Assistants
Medical administrative assistants have been in high demand for a number of years now, likely because of a few consistent needs. For example, chronic illness are more common than ever, requiring more caretakers. By contrast, people are living longer thanks to modern medicine, which also heightens the need for medical assistants.
Those in this role typically assist the front office, serving as a medical secretary, performing clerical tasks and helping to file paperwork.
Becoming a medical administrative assistant requires a high school diploma, but oftentimes candidates with a postsecondary award, like a certification are preferred— with programs generally lasting from six to nine months. For example, here at ABTU, our Certified Medical Administrative Assistant track is only an 18-credit program, and can even be transferred for those looking to receive an Associate of Applied Science in Health Information Technology down the road.
The median annual wage for a medical administrative assistant with a certificate was around $32K, country-wide, in 2017.
RECOMMENDED DEGREE: Post Secondary award (certificate degree) preferred
3. Medical Billing and Coding Specialists
Billing and coding professionals are needed in nearly every type of healthcare environment, from physicians’ offices to large hospitals, making their knowledge valuable and flexible in various medical settings. These specialists ensure patient records are properly coded and the information is accurate, as well as create invoices for patients and insurance companies.
Specialist positions often require a training program, comparable to that of medical administrative assistant, such as ABTU’s vocational certificate. However, most medical billers and coders entering the profession hold a two-year Associate’s degree, according to AAHS. Some medical professionals with degrees in health information management and healthcare administration have more options for job availability within the field with a Bachelor’s degree as well.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median salary for medical billing and coding specialists was roughly $39K in 2017, however, the American Academy of Professional Coders attributed the number as closer to $46K for that same year. Ranges varied from as low as $24K to up to $64K, depending on your state of employment. It’s important to note, higher degrees in this field typically correspond with higher salaries, those with Bachelor’s degrees on the upper salary range. Even mastery level certifications are available.
RECOMMENDED DEGREE: Post Secondary award (certificate degree) often required, Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree preferred
Opportunities in Healthcare Don’t Stop There!
In addition to these in-demand healthcare roles, there’s other positions sought after in the medical field. For example, some experts estimate that as many as one out of every ten physician openings go unfilled. With a medical doctorate as a requirement, these professionals are some of the highest paid in this industry.
Let’s not forget this recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that indicated a 6.4% shortage in filled psychiatrist roles. Some of these doctors see salaries around $260K, according to Forbes.
Ready to continue your education? Start on the path to your new career today with an online degree. Check to see if we offer your program or desired courses or request some additional information today.