Healthcare Careers: Explore the Career Paths in Healthcare

In recent years, the medical field has become the hottest industry to work in. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that it’s expected to grow at least 18 percent in the next few years. In case you’d rather not do the math, that comes to more than two million new jobs added to the US workforce. This could be due to the fact that the baby boomers are aging out of the workforce and needing more medical attention. But whoever is to blame, people in the workforce aren’t complaining. What this means for people just starting to explore career paths or considering a change is that healthcare could be viable field. The exact course you choose is up to you, but here are a few to think about. 


Radiologic technologists, or X-ray techs, perform diagnostic testing on patients for physicians. These tests usually include X-rays, mammograms, MRIs and CT scans, but they can also specialize in other areas. Someone working in radiology in New Jersey might be assisting with cardiac prevention testing. Or they might specialize in something that requires further training, such as sonography. Most radilogic technologists make between $45,000 and $65,000 a year, but many specialists make a lot more. 


Nursing is possibly the most obvious career in healthcare, and it’s worth exploring because of its high job availability and competitive pay. In order to become a nurse, there are several paths you can take. Most people choose to attend trade school first to receive their LVN (licensed vocational nurse) certificate, which usually takes a year. They can then either continue in trade school or vocational school for another year to get their RN (registered nurse) certification. At that point, you can attend a four-year university or online RN-BSN program. Or some people choose to go straight to a university and go straight through the bachelor’s degree program rather than take the steps in between. RN-BSN nurses typically make the most money, but any credentials in this field will earn you a decent living.


EMTs, or emergency medical technicians have one of the most exciting jobs in the industry. They are trained to administer emergency care to patients in any situation. In addition to working regular hours, most EMTs are on call at designated times as well. It’s not at all uncommon to receive a call in the middle of the night and have to get to the scene as quickly as possible. Becoming an EMT is a relatively short process. Many emergency medical facilities even offer their own programs, which take around six months to complete. Most vocational colleges also offer EMT programs, but these might take one to two years, depending on the level of training you’re pursuing. In other words, if you want to advance after that to become a paramedic, a vocational education is probably the best choice. The pay for EMTs varies by state, but is usually close to $17 an hour. However, you’ll likely get raises throughout your career. Paramedics can make up to $30 or more an hour, so the willingness to advance is always the best option. 

Nurse’s aide

Nurse’s aides assist nurses in performing duties like taking vitals, patient hygiene, and other tasks. This career is appealing to many because of its short training program requirements. Most can be completed in four to six weeks, and many even offer on-the-job training so you can get paid while you learn. Nurse’s aides work in a number of facilities, including hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. You might even find them in a place like Merlo Station school-based health center, where they’ll help with patient care and records.