There are some 4 major types of jobs you can apply for within the healthcare field. The specific type of healthcare job you opt to apply for will, of course, depend on your qualifications and your interests. But the most beautiful thing about the healthcare field is the fact that it has jobs for pretty much all sorts of people. There are some very high specialized job in the healthcare field, for the elites. Then there are some unskilled jobs in the healthcare field that even a person who doesn’t have much education can still do. This is contrary to the widely held perception that the jobs in the healthcare field are elitist – meant only for people with advanced qualifications. The reality is whether you have an advanced university degree or you have a fifth grade education, you can find a job in the healthcare field.
Without further ado, the 4 major types of jobs you can apply for within the healthcare field include:
- Physician jobs: These are high skill jobs that entail treating people who are suffering from various conditions. It is also in this category that we are including the various groups of professionals who help the physicians in their work of treating patients (even when those assistants are themselves not physicians). The physician jobs in question here therefore range from consultant specialist doctor jobs to the physician assistant jobs. The earnings here vary a great deal too: like where you can find a consultant specialist doctor commanding hundreds of thousands of bucks per year in earnings, whereas a physician assistant can at times earn less than 30 thousand bucks per year. Of course, the higher paid positions tend to require very long durations of training: like where it can take more than a decade before one qualifies to be a consultant specialist doctor. The less paid positions, on the other hand, tend to require shorter durations of training – like where it can take just a couple of years to be trained to become a physician assistant. In this category of physician jobs, we are also including professionals like pharmacists, physiotherapists, nutritionists, anesthetists, occupational therapists, dentists, radiologists… and the whole range of other people who are involved in diagnosing and treating patients’ conditions. You can opt for any of these positions, depending on your abilities and interests.
- Nursing jobs: These are jobs that entail taking care of patients on a day to day, hour to hour basis. You see, the physicians can only be with the patients for short durations of time – like where the specialist doctor only gets to see the patients during the ward rounds. So what the physician usually does is issue instructions (including various prescriptions), and then it is the nurses who are expected to act on those instructions in the care of the patients. Again, the earnings associated with nursing jobs vary a great deal: ranging from the very high salaries given to the specialized theater nurses, to the rather modest salaries given to certified nursing assistants. And just as was the case with the physician jobs, you tend to find that the nursing jobs that command the higher salaries tend to require longer durations of training. Thus, for instance, one may require up to 5 or even 6 years of training, to become a specialized theater nurse, earning a very good paycheck. On the other hand, one may require just a few weeks’ training to become a certified nursing assistant – but then, given the shorter duration of training, the paycheck would be commensurately modest.
- Administration jobs: Nowadays, healthcare institutions require specialized administrators. Gone are the days when healthcare institutions where administered by the physicians working there. These days, the physicians are left to do their work in diagnosing and treating patients, while the administration work is left to the specialized administrators. Even where the physicians have to do administrative work, they are taken through special courses in administration – whereupon they transform from being physicians, to being administrators. So you find that there are colleges offering specialized courses in healthcare administration. And it is increasingly not uncommon to find someone who has a MD degree (making him a physician) as well as a MBA (which then makes him an administrator). With regard to administrative jobs, it is important to mention that there are different cadres: ranging from the very highly paid hospital administrators, to the modestly paid administrative or records clerks in hospitals. The training tends to be commensurate with the pay: whereby for instance, for you to become a hospital administrator, you may need to have a master’s degree (which can take up to 7 years to earn). Conversely, you may be hired as an administrative clerk in a hospital on the strength of your 12th grade GED alone — but then, your earnings would have to be modest. Note that there are administrators who work in hospitals, and then we have others who are based in health insurance companies and other entities of that nature.
- Support jobs: There are lots of support jobs in the healthcare field. In fact, it is fair to say that majority of the people who work in the healthcare field hold support jobs. The support jobs in question here range from those that entail cleaning the healthcare facilities and wheeling patients around to the specialized ones that entail maintaining the machines used in healthcare service provision. Thus when someone is said to hold a support job in the healthcare field, it doesn’t necessarily mean that he is a ‘lowly worker. He could, for instance, be a biomedical engineer or technician, involved in the maintenance of x-ray machines, ultra-sound machines, laboratory microscopes and so on. He could also be someone who is involved in cleaning a healthcare facility – and the so called ‘lowly’ positions can’t be taken for granted either, seeing that healthcare service provision would be impossible without them. As with the other categories of jobs we have looked at, the earnings from these ‘support jobs’ typically depend on the training one has to undergo for the jobs. Thus, for instance, a biomedical engineer, whose training takes years naturally ends up earning more than a person who is involved in trimming the hospital’s fence (whose training can take as little as a day).