5 Life-Changing Healthcare Careers

Updated on August 30, 2013

massagetherapistThe healthcare industry offers many rewarding opportunities for students who want both security and the chance to help others. One of the most important decisions of your lifetime is committing to a career. It’s not hard to break into this industry. You might be surprised at some of the options you have and how quick training can be.

1. Fitness Trainer

The Aerobics and Fitness Association of America identifies fitness training as one of the fastest growing industries. Variety is one reason this job option is so promising. Fitness/personal trainers can work at resorts, gyms, hospitals, corporations or run a private practice.

Many professional trainers have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in exercise science or another health-related field, but that is not a requirement for certification. You can start with some basic classes, become certified and then work while continuing your education to further enhance your salary options. PayScale lists the median annual salary in this field at just over $32,000.

2. Dietician

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a statement saying the rate of childhood obesity is dropping. Part of the reason for this improvement is parents making an effort to learn how to eat right. That is the role of a dietician — to educate clients on what diet most suits their health status.

Like a fitness trainer, a dietician has a wide variety of employment options. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook in this field is growing faster than average. By 2020, the agency estimates there will be 12,700 more jobs available. A job as a registered dietician requires at least a bachelor’s degree. The average median salary is around $40,300 per year.

3. Medical Transcriptionist

Not all careers require extensive years of education. Penn Foster allows you to complete training as a medical transcriptionist in just four months. This is an appealing option for the individual who wants the freedom to work at home while raising a family. A medical transcriptionist produces documents that become part of a medical history such as a discharge report. The average medical transcriptionist makes around $33,000 a year.

4. Vet Assistant

Becoming a veterinarian assistant allows you to turn your love for animals into a rewarding career. BLS states job opportunities in the veterinary industry will go up by 52 percent over the next few years — that means an additional 41,700 jobs.

A veterinary technologist completes a two or four-year program before qualifying for registration. Students can opt for a veterinary assistant role instead and study for under a year. A vet assistant will make around $21,620 a year, while PayScale lists the median salary for a vet tech at $28,553.

5. Massage Therapist

A massage therapist is a career choice that opens many doors. You could work at a spa or with a chiropractor. Some employers are actually staffing massage therapists to improve employee performance. Certification as a massage therapist requires 500 hours of postsecondary education. You could complete your training in under a year. The average hourly rate ranges anywhere from $11.15 to $60.46.

Photo: Aberdeen Proving Ground via Flickr

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