Like any career pathway, healthcare has evolved into various interlinked job roles and specialties integral to providing patients with better care. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that employment throughout the sector will grow by 16% in the current decade, creating more than 2.6 million jobs. This is faster and higher than the average across all other occupations. So if you’re looking for a high-paying and secure job, now’s probably a good time to join healthcare.
However, you don’t have to become a doctor or a registered nurse. You can choose from a plethora of options, depending on what suits your personality and work style. To make reaching a decision easier, we’ve shortlisted some options for you to consider.
Clinical research management
In the age of evidence-based medicine, clinical research is an integral component of healthcare. A clinical research master’s degree can help you qualify for various roles in the healthcare setting ranging from a director of clinical research to a clinical research nurse, and even for positions in clinical development services.
As a clinical researcher, you’ll have to correlate every treatment plan with verified research and randomized clinical trials done on subjects. In the case of the absence of such information, it would be your duty to form a team to conduct the research needed. Moreover, you can recommend changes in the treatment to facilitate optimum patient care. These jobs have become increasingly crucial for developing treatments for various autoimmune conditions.
According to Payscale, an average clinical research masters degree salary ranges from US$ 70,000 – US$ 120,000, depending on your job title, with projected employment growth of 24.6% by 2030 as per BLS. If you’re into research-related careers, this is definitely your cuppa.
Nurse Practitioner (NP)
NPs provide primary and specialty-based care services to their patients. As a Nurse Practitioner, you will take your patients’ medical history, document their symptoms, and perform clinical examinations without a doctor’s supervision. You will also create treatment plans for patients and have the authority to order or perform diagnostic tests when necessary.
Moreover, you can specialize in a particular area of care depending on the type of patients you like working with or the work environment. For example, you can work as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP), midwifery, psychiatric and mental health, pediatrics, forensics, etc. If you want to be more than just a run-of-the-mill nurse, choose this career route instead.
According to Payscale, the average salary for a Nurse Practitioner is over US$ 100,000 per annum. Considering there’s a shortage of trained clinical staff, employers are now looking to hire NPs to fill in the gaps. The BLS estimates an employment growth of 52.2% by 2030, which is the highest across all occupations.
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are dentists who undergo additional four years of surgical training. These professionals perform surgeries on the face, mouth, and jaw. If you opt for this profession, you will be trained to perform reconstructive surgeries for cleft lip and palate, reparative surgeries for joint readjustment, and other surgeries for oral, head, and neck cancers.
Furthermore, you will also perform all dental surgeries, including dental implant placement and removal of impacted wisdom teeth and cosmetic surgeries like facelifts. Your training will also comprise pain control and management by training to administer anesthesia.
According to PayScale, the average annual salary for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is over US$ 230,000, and BLS suggests employment in this niche is expected to grow by 7.7% by 2030. If you want to bring more smiles across peoples’ faces, consider becoming an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Becoming a pharmacist may seem like an ordinary job. However, it pays extremely well, with qualified professionals able to net an annual salary of US$ 115,000.
A licensed pharmacist is responsible for dispensing prescription and over-the-counter medication. As a pharmacist, you’ll be responsible for providing a detailed explanation about the safe use of the medication to patients and making them aware of any side effects. You’ll have to overview all the medications of any prescribed treatment plan and adjust dosages to provide optimum effect, prevent toxic side effects and drug interactions. You will be responsible for providing instructions to the patient on how to take every prescribed medication.
You’ll also be responsible for providing patients/customers advice on living a healthy lifestyle, conducting health screenings, monitoring compliance, and carrying out immunizations. You will also be responsible for dispensing the appropriate amount of medication, and it falls to you to look out for drug reliance and addiction and report it to the relevant authorities.
Medical and health services management
Have you ever wondered who manages a hospital? Well, it’s definitely not a nurse or doctor! This important job falls to medical and healthcare services managers, also known as healthcare executives, administrators, managers, and leaders.
With qualifications such as an MBA in healthcare or a master’s in healthcare administration, you’ll develop managerial and business skills to run a healthcare facility seamlessly. You’ll cover subjects such as business ethics, health law, financial management, marketing finance, and technology. It will be your responsibility to manage, plan, direct and coordinate all business-related activities in a healthcare setting, and ensure positive cash flow for the facility and high-quality patient care outcomes. You may be responsible for a particular department, a specific clinical area such as the ICU, the entire hospital, or a group of physicians, clinics, nursing homes, or medical practices. This will vary depending on your job title or station.
As per Payscale, the average health services manager’s salary is around US$ 70,000 per annum, and the BLS projects an estimated growth of 32% in employment in this sector by 2030. However, these numbers vary significantly depending on your job designation and description.
Healthcare is constantly evolving with time and technology, creating more diverse jobs for passionate professionals. However, it can be hard to narrow down and focus on a particular career path. To make your decision-making process more straightforward, we’ve mentioned a few of the fastest-growing options above. If anything piques your interest, begin planning your professional roadmap by opting for the correct academic qualifications.