Ignore These 44 Healthcare Jobs and You’ll Hate Yourself Later

Are you considering a career in allied health? With the demographic shift in the population, there has never been a better time to enter this emerging field.

By 2050, the age group of 65 or older is expected to reach 22% of the US population. And it’s not just the United States – worldwide, there will be over three million people aged 100 or older by 2050.

A graph showing an increasing share of 65 years and older population in the US

As you might guess, the ageing of society will inevitably skyrocket the demand for healthcare services thereby generating more jobs and raising income in the healthcare sector.

The fact that many jobs in this field only require modest vocational education while offering competitive pay may make you think, “It can’t get any better than this!” – Little school, high pay!

Not quite!

However tempting it may seem to collect a juicy paycheck at the end of each month, it only gets you so far. You need more than that.

Job security, holiday and sick pay are important, but job satisfaction plays a significant role as well. You need something that gives you joy and a feeling of meaningfulness, as trivial as it sounds.

If money is your sole motivation, you may be financially better off, but getting out of bed every morning will become a challenge. Even the mere thought of leaving for work will cause you pain. And once you have made it there, putting in the hours will feel like a heroic feat of willpower and struggle, day after day.

What amount of money could make up for that? An amount that no employer is willing to pay.

It would be better to choose a career path that you love above all else. Ask yourself if the chosen career resonates with your inner self. Only after finding the answer to this fundamental question can you begin to consider the financial aspect.

Anesthesia Technician

Anesthesia technician sitting in front of a medical device

An anesthesia technician is responsible for giving technical support to anesthesiologists. You’ll be working with complex equipment, assisting in administering anesthetic, providing airway management assistance and monitoring the patient. You need to be comfortable following directions, because you’ll be working directly under the supervision of the anesthesiologist. If you can keep calm in tense situations, and make quick decisions, this is the job for you.

  • Median pay: $45,117 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma

Anesthesiologist Assistant

Anesthesiologist and Anesthesiologist Assistant sedating a patient before surgery

An anesthesiologist assistant needs to be happy working as part of a team. Your main job will be to make sure that the patient is properly put under sedation before surgery. You’ll be busy cleaning, maintaining and preparing  different types of anesthetic equipment. So you’ll need to multitask and have an eye for detail. You’ll get to work in a lot of different areas like acute care, outpatient surgery, trauma and transplant. You’ll be working in shifts including evening, weekends and holidays.

  • Median pay: $169,962 per year
  • Minimum education: Master’s degree

Recreational Therapist

A recreational therapist entertaining an elderly person

Recreational therapists are compassionate medical professionals who plan, direct and coordinate treatment options for patients with disabilities, injuries or illnesses with a focus on recreation. You’ll tap into your creativity by using arts and crafts, drama, music, dance, sports and more to help your patients. You may work with a physician or surgeon, psychologists, social workers and more.

  • Median pay: $47,940 per year
  • Minimum education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 4% in the next 10 years

Athletic Trainer

Athletic trainer instructing an athlete

An athletic trainer is an important part of a team of coaches, doctors and other professionals who make sure that athletes are in tip-top shape. If you’ve got extensive knowledge of biology and sports, you’ll enjoy overseeing athletes’ diets, treatment of illness and injury, and fitness plans. You’ll need specialized knowledge of sports-related injuries. It’ll be up to you to make sure that the athletes are fighting fit, so you need to be comfortable calling the shots.

  • Median pay: $48,420 per year
  • Minimum education:  Master’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 17% in the next 10 years

Audiologist

An audiologist sitting behind a desk examining a patient

If you are compassionate and have strong interpersonal skills, you’ll enjoy working as an audiologist. You’ll be helping people with ear-related issues by assessing and treating different hearing problems. You’ll be working with people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities, and also with other medical staff, so you’ll need to be an expert collaborator.

  • Median pay: $78,950 per year
  • Minimum education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 10% in the next 10 years

Autotransfusionist/Perioperative blood management technologist

Autotransfusionist operating cell saver machine

An autotransfusionist is a highly skilled technician who uses cell saver machines to clean and filter blood from patients so it can be given back to them in the form of transfusions. If you’re not squeamish and are highly technical, you’ll enjoy setting up, operating and managing the equipment and working under physicians and surgeons, taking care to meet the important standards that make the process safe and hygienic.

  • Median pay: $45,970 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma

Cardiovascular technologist/Electrocardiogram technician (EKG)

A cardiovascular technologist examining a lying patient

A cardiovascular technologist tests patients’ pulmonary system in order to diagnose them. They administer electrocardiograms, cardiac catheterizations and pulmonary functions and lung capacity tests. You’ll need to have a technical mind and a compassionate personality to calm patients’ anxieties and fears. You might even have the opportunity to train other cardiovascular technologists once you gain experience, so it helps if you enjoy working with others.

  • Median pay: $75,380 per year
  • Minimum education: Associate’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 10% in the next 10 years

Chiropractor

A chiropractor kneading patient's back muscles

If you’re medically minded and have a good eye for detail, a career as a chiropractor might be a good fit for you. You’ll most likely be self-employed or work for a private practice, and you’ll need excellent interpersonal and communication skills. On a day-to-day basis, you’ll be helping people recover from musculoskeletal problems via consultations and treatment. There are lots of opportunities for training and further education in this field.

  • Median pay: $75,000 per year
  • Minimum education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 10% in the next 10 years

Clinical Laboratory Technician

A clinical lab scientist working

As a clinical laboratory technician, you’ll be using lab equipment to analyze samples from human patients to search for any abnormalities and their underlying causes. You’ll need to pay close attention to lab safety standards while you work in a full-time laboratory. You’ll be potentially working with dangerous elements, so safety training is a must. You’ll get to do exciting, cutting-edge work, but you’ll rarely leave the lab.

  • Median pay: $57,800  per year
  • Minimum education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 7% in the next 10 years

Speech and Language Pathologist

Speech and Language Pathologist helping a girl with speech disorder

Speech and language pathologists work in a variety of environments, from schools, hospitals and clinics, and get to work with many different people every day. You’ll be helping people with speech, language and swallowing disorders. You’ll also help people whose speech is affected by emotional issues, so compassion and good communication is a must. You’ll spend your time conducting tests and providing therapy for clients.

  • Median pay: $79,060 per year
  • Minimum education: Master’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 21% in the next 10 years

Dental Hygienist

A dental hygienist cleaning patients teeth

Dental hygienists (Dental therapists in some states) work in busy environments and encounter many different people throughout the day, working under the supervision of dentists. You’ll be responsible for conducting initial patient screenings. After that, you’ll clean the patients’ teeth and recommend proper oral hygiene habits. You’ll need a positive, upbeat attitude and good people skills. It’s also important to stay up-to-date on all things related to oral health.

  • Median pay: $77,810 per year
  • Minimum education: Associate’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 9% in the next 10 years

Dental Assistant

Two dental assistants assisting a dentist

As a dental assistant, you’ll be working closely with a dentist performing tasks before and after the dentist works with the patient and assisting the dentist during dental procedures. You’ll be the one who takes and develops dental x-rays, documents patients’ medical history, helping keep patients comfortable and calm and much more. It’ll be up to you to provide patients with instructions for oral care after dental procedures.

  • Median pay: $38,660  per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 8% in the next 10 years

Denturist/Clinical dental technician

A denturist working on choppers

Denturists are directly responsible for bringing people’s smiles back. You’ll be part of a dynamic oral health team. Your responsibilities will be to provide oral health examinations, forming treatment plans, taking impressions of oral tissue and constructing and delivering dentures and partial dentures. You’ll be working closely with dentists in the public and private sector, and may also eventually work in your own private practice.

  • Median pay:  $39,090 per year
  • Minimum education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 2% in the next 10 years

Dietician/Nutritionist

A young female nutritionist holding fruits in her hands

Dieticians play an important role in keeping people healthy and educating them about proper eating habits. You’ll need to have a passion for nutrition and a strong desire to help people. Compassion will be key as you explain nutrition to clients, assess their dietary and health needs and develop nutrition plans. You’ll need to be encouraging and understanding and keep yourself up to date with the latest food sciences advancements.

  • Median pay: $61,650 per year
  • Minimum education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 7% in the next 10 years

Emergency Medical Technician/Paramedic

Two paramedics loading a patient on a stretcher into an ambulance coach

You’ll need energy, stamina and the ability to be a real team player to flourish as an EMT. You’ll need to thrive under pressure and deal with traumatic situations as you respond to medical emergencies and provide patient care, support and evaluation in a pre-hospital setting. You’ll be working in a variety of locations and en route to the hospital.

  • Median pay: $36,930 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 7% in the next 10 years

Environmental Health Officer

A female environmental health officer inspecting a restaurant kitchen

An Environmental Health Officer works in many different places in various communities, from consultancies, commercial organizations, local health authorities and more. You’ll be responsible for monitoring and enforcing the health and hygiene legislation of your area, and will conduct investigations when there’s a breach of the legislation, such as pollution, toxic contamination or foodborne illness outbreak. You’ll need to be exact, disciplined and strict.

  • Median pay: $76,530 per year
  • Minimum education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 5% in the next 10 years

Exercise Physiologist

An exercise physiologist talking with an elderly woman on stationary bicycle

As an exercise physiologist you will improve people’s health through creating customized fitness programs. You’d get the chance to work in a wide variety of places, including for corporations, in an academic setting and in the medical field. You’ll either work in a clinical or non-clinical setting, and you’ll need to be motivated to work with different people every day, coupled with a vast experience with and knowledge of fitness.

  • Median pay: $47,940 per year
  • Minimum education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 9% in the next 10 years

Massage Therapist

A massage therapist massaging the back of a client

Massage therapists use extensive knowledge and practical ability to provide healing and relief to those suffering from muscle pain or strain. They also practice their skills to help people relieve stress and promote relaxation. Most massage therapists work with personal care services and are self-employed. You’ll be getting up close and personal with patients and will need to know about their medical history.

  • Median pay: $46,910 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 20% in the next 10 years

Medical Assistant

A medical assistant checking in a new patient

Medical Assistants multi-task and are responsible for different services, working at times in technical, clerical and patient care positions for nurses and medical practitioners. You could end up working in a hospital or other medical care facility as part of a team who supports practitioners. Your main duties would be gathering patient medical history, monitoring and recording vital sign information and assisting with small procedures.

  • Median pay: $37,190  per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 16% in the next 10 years

Medical Records Specialist/Medical biller

Medical biller/coder sitting behind a desk with a laptop

Medical record specialists are highly skilled individuals who compile, maintain and process medical records of patients. An extensive knowledge of requirements is necessary, and the job can get a little repetitive. On the other hand, there is opportunity for advancement, and you may even train other technicians and develop in-service materials, so there is room for creativity.

  • Median pay: $46,660 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 7% in the next 10 years

Nurse midwifes

A midwife examining a pregnant woman

Midwives are able to work for a wide variety of employers, such as government health service, general practices and private hospitals. They also sometimes go on to run their own private practices. As a midwife, you’ll be offering support and medical care to pregnant women and their newborns as part of an extensive medical team. You’ll do everything from administering screening tests to delivering babies to postpartum care.

  • Median pay:  $123,780 per year
  • Minimum education: Master’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 40% in the next 10 years

Occupational Therapist

An occupational therapist is caring for a patient with an artificial limb

Occupational therapists assess people’s situations and recommending preventive or corrective action that will improve quality of life for the patient. You need to be a very caring, people-oriented person who is comfortable working in a variety of places such as private homes, private practices, clinics, halfway houses and more. You’ll be helping people with self-care, teaching them how to be productive and helping them with leisure activities.

  • Median pay: $85,570 per year
  • Minimum education: Master’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 14% in the next 10 years

Optometrist

An optometrist examining patient's eyesight with an ophthalmoscope

Optometrists are experts who examine patients’ eyes and visual systems, diagnose and treat vision problems and manage diseases, injuries and disorders of the eyes. They also prescribe glasses and contact lenses and perform minor surgical procedures. There’s room for advancement, particularly in the field of specialty care. You’ll work in an optometrist’s or physician’s office or even in health and personal care stores.

  • Median pay: $124,300 per year
  • Minimum education: Doctor’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 10% in the next 10 years

Orthotist/Prosthetist

An orthotist in his workshop holding a prosthesis

Orthotists provide orthopedic braces, appliances and prostheses like limbs and facial parts for disabled patients. Duties include designing, measuring, fitting and adapting these pieces and working very closely with patients. You’ll need a compassionate, encouraging way about you as you instruct patients on how to use their new devices. You’ll be keeping track of a lot of information, so good documentation skills are a must.

  • Median pay:  $75,440 per year
  • Minimum education: Master’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 17% in the next 10 years

Podiatrists

A pedorthist examining patient's foot

As a podiatrists, you’ll be responsible for alleviating patients’ foot pain and correcting foot problems through the design, manufacture, fit and modification of shoes and other specialist therapeutic footwear prescribed by physicians. You’ll make clay impressions of patients’ feet, choosing correct materials and creating custom footwear. You’ll also evaluate current and future footwear to ensure good fit and performance. You’ll need to be highly technical, and if you’re a perfectionist that’s even better!

  • Median pay: $145,840 per year
  • Minimum education: Doctoral or professional degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 2% in the next 10 years

Cardio-Pulmonary Perfusionist

A male perfusionist operating a heart-lung machine during a surgeon

Perfusionists are right in the middle of the action in the operating room, operating extracorporeal circulation equipment such as heart-lung machines during open-heart surgery and other serious medical procedures. You’ll need to perform well under pressure, as you’ll be artificially supporting or temporarily replacing a patient’s circulatory or respiratory function. You’ll be working directly with cardiac surgeons, anesthesiologists, physical assistants, surgical technologists, nurses and more.

  • Median pay: $148,797 per year
  • Minimum education: Bachelor’s / Master’s degree

Pharmacy Technician

A male pharmacy technician behind a counter counseling a client in a drug store

As a Pharmacy technician you’ll be working with pharmacists to prepare and give out prescription medication. You’ll be behind the counter taking prescriptions over the phone and in person, mixing medicines, counting pills, measuring medication, labelling and providing instruction to customers. You’ll essentially be a liaison between the pharmacist and the public, and work will most likely always be very busy. Outgoing, energetic people will enjoy this job.

  • Median pay: $36,740 per year
  • Minimum education: High School / Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 5% in the next 10 years

Phlebotomist

A female phlebotomist drawing blood from patient's arm

If you want to work as a phlebotomist, you’ll be responsible for interviewing and preparing patients for having their blood drawn, so you’ll need to be caring, compassionate, friendly and professional. You’ll use specialized equipment to draw blood and then you’ll label the blood samples and bring them to a laboratory for testing. You’ll need extensive knowledge in order to advise patients and keep them abreast of what is happening.

  • Median pay: $37,380 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 10% in the next 10 years

Epidemiologist

A female epidemiologist with a pipettor working at a lab workstation

Epidemiologists have curious minds which help them in their quest to investigate patterns and causes of diseases and injuries in patients in order to reduce the risk and occurrence of poor health through research, education and health policies. You’ll need to be a keen organizer as you’ll be planning and directing studies of health problems, collecting and analyzing data, communicating your findings to health practitioners and much more.

  • Median pay: $78,830  per year
  • Minimum education: Master’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 26% in the next 10 years

Radiologic/MRI Technician

A female radiologic technologist operating a MRI scanner

As a radiologic technologist, you’ll use diagnostic imaging machines to conduct examinations like x-rays, while MRI technicians will operate magnetic resonance imaging scanners to create diagnostic images. Extensive technical and medical knowledge is a must, as you’ll be adjusting and maintaining equipment. You’ll be working under and taking director orders from physicians and preparing patients by taking medical history and answering questions.

  • Median pay: $61,980 per year
  • Minimum education: Associate’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 6% in the next 10 years

Radiation Therapist

A male radiation therapist preparing a patient for a radiation treatment

A radiation therapist is an important member of a medical team treating cancer and other diseases in patients. You’ll be administering radiation treatments, explaining the treatments and answering patient questions, calibrating and operating machinery, monitoring the patient and keeping detailed records of their treatment. You’ll work with radiation oncologists, oncology nurses and medical physicists to provide the best care to the patients. Compassion and professionalism are a must.

  • Median pay: $82,790 per year
  • Minimum education: Associate’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 6% in the next 10 years

Rehabilitation Counselor

A rehabilitation counselor counseling a married couple

As a rehabilitation counselor, you’ll help a wide variety of people with physical, mental, developmental or emotions disabilities to live independently. You’ll help your clients overcome or manage the effects of their disabilities by providing individual and group counseling, evaluating client’s abilities, arranging for them to obtain services and more.

  • Median pay: $38,560 per year
  • Minimum education: Master’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 11% in the next 10 years

Dialysis Technician

A female renal dialysis technologist operating a dialysis machine attached to an elderly patient

Dialysis technician are professionals who are trained to use dialysis machines. You’ll be working with lots of different people, monitoring them while they undergo dialysis treatment, ensuring proper use of the machine and adjusting the fluid removal rates of patients. This job would be ideally suited to someone with a lot of empathy and professionalism.

  • Median pay: $49,004 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma

Respiratory Therapist

A female respiratory therapist administering a treatment to a patient

You’ll work to help diagnose, treat and care for patients who have heart and lung disorders by performing artificial respiration and external cardiac massage. You’ll help transport critically ill patients and will communicate with physicians and health care staff to help develop patient care plans. You’ll also have the chance to work in home care situations and provide patient education.

  • Median pay: $61,830 per year
  • Minimum education: Associate’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 14% in the next 10 years

Social Worker

A female social worker counseling a woman

If you’re independent, compassionate and strong, you’ll enjoy working as a social worker, helping clients handle problems caused by neglect, abuse, violence, mental health and substance abuse issues. You’ll need to be comfortable diagnosing and treating mental, behavioral and emotional issues. The job comes with the risk of burn-out, but if you’ve got great self-care skills and you truly care about helping people, it’ll be worth it.

  • Median pay: $50,390 per year
  • Minimum education: Bachelor’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 9% in the next 10 years

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

A female sonographer working at a sonograph machine and examining a patient

Sonographers are highly technically-minded people who work with ultrasound machines to produce images of internal body tissue so doctors can diagnose and monitor illnesses as well as pregnancies. You’ll be working in health care facilities, hospitals and private practices and interacting with a wide variety of people, so it’s important to be friendly and energetic.

  • Median pay: $75,380 per year
  • Minimum education: Associate’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 10% in the next 10 years

Sterile Processing Technician/Medical Equipment Preparer

A sterile processing technician or medical equipment preparer inspecting surgical instruments

Sterile processing technicians work extensively with medical equipment at laboratories, surgeries, hospitals and clinics. You’ll be expected to prepare, sterilize, install, assemble and clean all healthcare equipment in preparation for surgeries, examinations and other medical procedures. Keeping the equipment and supplies clean is essential to prevent the spread of infection, so if you’re meticulous, this job is for you.

  • Median pay:  $38,220 per year
  • Minimum education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 6% in the next 10 years

Surgical Technologist

Surgical technologists handing over a surgical instrument

A surgical technologist is a position with great advancement opportunities. You’ll be assisting surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other professionals in the operating room. You’ll also work with patients before their surgery. With supplementary training, you can also become a surgical assistant, and do even more to assist the surgeon in the operating room.

  • Median pay:  $48,510 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 6% in the next 10 years

Nursing Assistant

As a nursing assistant, you’ll be providing rudimentary care to patients in a variety of places such as hospitals, long-term care facilities and private practices. You’ll work directly under the supervision of a registered nurse and follow care instructions that they or a physician provide. You’ll need to be kind and compassionate, as you’ll be dealing with patients by monitoring their vital signs and dispensing medication.

  • Median pay: $30,290 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 5% in the next 10 years

Home Health Aide/Hospice Aide

A female hospice aide sitting on a sofa with an elderly woman

Home health aides are compassionate, professional people who work with many different clients performing housekeeping and laundry services. They shop for food, prepare and serve meals and offer companionship. With a true love and respect of people, you’ll help by providing personal services like bathing, grooming and dressing your clients.

  • Median pay:  $24,060 per year
  • Minimum education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 36% in the next 10 years

Psychiatric Aide

A female psychiatric aide talking with a cognitively disabled person in a wheelchair

With kindness, strength and tenacity, psychiatric aides work with mentally impaired and emotionally disturbed patients under the direction of medical staff. You’ll need strength and fortitude to assist with daily living activities, compassion to teach patients via education and recreation, and training to restrain violent patients. It can be a very hard but extremely rewarding job.

  • Median pay: $36,230 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 9% in the next 10 years

Optician

An female optician putting the glasses on client's face and adjusting the rim

As an optician, you’ll be working directly with customers, fitting them for glasses or contact lenses after they get their prescriptions from optometrists and/or ophthalmologists. Great people skills and a flair for style mean you’ll help people select attractive, flattering glasses that suit them and help them feel confident and stylish. You’ll have the expertise to adjust and fit glasses as well as repair broken frames.

  • Median pay: $37,570 per year
  • Minimum education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 4% in the next 10 years

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

An important part of medical diagnostic teams, nuclear medical technologists prepare radioactive drugs and administer them to patients for therapeutic or imaging purposes. They’re technically-minded and provide technical support to physicians to help in the diagnosis, care and treatment of patients. In a strange and exciting twist, you’d also possibly be called upon to act as an emergency responder in the event of a nuclear disaster.

  • Median pay: $78,760 per year
  • Minimum education: Associate’s degree
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 2% in the next 10 years

Esthetician and Skincare Specialist

A female Esthetician/Skincare Specialist administering a facial skin treatment

Esthetician and skincare specialist have a passion for beautifying and caring for their clients, assessing their skin condition, providing facial and body treatments and hair removal and recommending specialized products to meet individual client’s skincare needs. You’ll need excellent customer service skills and an upbeat personality to keep bringing customers back to your practice.

  • Median pay: $37,300 per year
  • Minimum education: Certification / Diploma
  • Current number of jobs are projected to increase by 17% in the next 10 years
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