A person thinking about embarking on a new healthcare career has many options. The health industry covers hundreds of occupations. These jobs require a wide range of educational levels. Some may not even need a high school diploma, while others necessitate having a doctoral degree. Mostly, the education needed depends on the type and location of the job.
Generally, the higher the pay is, the higher the required education level is. Doctors, nurses, and technicians require a degree or special certification. Hospital administrators, medical assistants, and physical therapists also need degrees and special training. Some of these degrees and certifications may be obtained through distance online learning programs.
Online programs available:
Various universities and colleges offer online programs to train people for healthcare occupations. The majority of the online courses provide the student with a bachelor’s or master’s degree upon completion. Several of the programs award associates degrees. Other programs award certification or diplomas upon completion. The following list represents the types of healthcare degrees available online. However, there are numerous more online healthcare programs.
Online healthcare degrees:
- Bachelor of Health Administration
- AAS in Health Information Technology
- RN to BS in Nursing
- Dental Assistant
- AS in Health Sciences - Medical Administrative Assistant
- AS in Medical Billing and Coding
- Physical Therapy Aide
- AAS in Health Information Technology
Importance of Accreditation:
The following educational institutions offer accredited online healthcare training, certification, and degrees. There are numerous other schools as well. They may or may not be accredited schools. Some may be accredited yet still may not meet the accreditation requirements for national and state examinations. Moreover, although the schools may be credited, the credits may not be recognized by other educational institutions when transferring.
Everyone should research the accreditation requirements for the specific employment positions and locations where they intend to work. People should also check with the governing boards and agencies that administer the national and state examinations for the occupation they are entering.
List of online schools with credentials from the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools:
Allied Health Institute
address - 1011 NW 62nd Street, Ste. 407, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33309
phone – 954-491-7777
Online Courses offered: Medical Assistant / Medical Office Assistant / Medical Coding Specialist / Electrocardiograph Technician / Home Health Aide / Phlebotomy Technician / and Massage Therapy
web site: http://www.alliedhealthinstitute.edu/online_training_courses/
Community Care College
address – 4242 South Sheridan, Tulsa, OK 74145
offers: Associate of Applied Science degrees in Health Service Administration / Medical Billing & Coding / Dental assistant / Fitness & health trainer / Massage therapy / Medical assistant / Pharmacy technologist / Surgical technologist / and Veterinary assistant
web site: www.communitycarecollege.edu
ECPI College of Technology
address – 5555 Greenwich Rd., #510, Virginia Beach, VA 23462
Phone – 757-213-3609; offers Bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration
web site: www.epci.edu.
address - 525 North 6th St., Milwaukee, WI 53203
offers undergraduate degrees in Healthcare management / Health Information management / Master of Science in Nursing degree / Medical assisting / Medical billing & insurance coding / Medical office administration / Nursing –RN to BSN Bridge program, as well as a graduate degree of Master of Business Administration in Healthcare management
web site: http://www.herzing.edu/
Meridian Institute of Surgical Assisting
address – 1264 Jackson Felts Rd., Joelton, TN 37080
Phone – 615-746-6763; offers SFA program
web site: www.meridian-institute.com
The healthcare industry is expected to be the main source of new employment in the United States from 2008 to 2018. Anyone searching for a new career is most likely to search the internet for high-paying healthcare occupations. However, it helps to know which occupations are going to be offering career opportunities. A person should be aware of the job outlook before exerting too much effort training for a specific occupation.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
All areas of the health industry are expected to continue to grow rapidly. However, according to the BLS, occupations relating to gerontology will be providing the most employment opportunities. Due to the aging population, more health care will be dedicated to treating the elderly. The statistics show that the fastest growing occupation will be for personal and home health care aides.
An increased need for medical assistants, physical therapist assistants, and physician assistants is also expected. Registered nurses and pharmacy technicians will be in increased demand. In addition, dental hygienists and dental assistants will be in higher demand. The BLS also indicated that there currently tends to be a shortage of laboratory technicians and technologists, as well as surgical technicians.
Growth due to high turnover rates:
The BLS states that the highest growth will be in occupations with high turnover rates. The high turnover is due to low pay and status. Additionally, poor benefits and low training requirements are a factor. This especially includes nursing aides, orderlies, and home health aides.
The majority of jobs in the healthcare industry are currently only part-time employment positions. Many healthcare employees hold more than one job. However, wages and salaries vary from place to place, and from job to job, depending on many factors, such as state requirements. Pay rates also depend on work environment settings. For example, hospital employees usually get paid more than private practice employees. Urban hospital workers get paid more than rural hospital workers.
Competition for these jobs will be tremendous due to the high portion of young and part-time workers. With the high turnover rate and low training requirement, many people will be vying for these positions. Having training in health-specific or specialized clinical training when obtaining employment in fields that do not specifically require it is considered advantageous. The BLS highly recommends getting formal training and certification from accredited programs whenever possible. The certification may be required for any type of career advancement.
Moreover, the person should know what the minimum level of qualification is, especially regarding education. The following is a representation of the most common occupations that are expected to be in high demand from 2008-2018.
Education, other qualification requirements, and pay:
Physical therapist assistants and aides:
Aides usually only need to have a high school diploma and receive on the job training. The assistants are usually required to hold an associate degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program. Most states require licensing for assistants and they must also pass the National Physical Therapy Exam. In some cases, the individual must also pass a state exam.
Continuing education is required to maintain licensure. Other qualifications required: Assistants and aides should be well-organized, detail oriented, and caring. In addition, they should be able to follow directions and be a team player. Strong interpersonal skills are also needed. –May 2008 national average wage/salary: assistant - $46,140 annually, aide: $28,760 annually.
Requires completing accredited formal training and passing a national exam to obtain license. Most applicants already have a college degree and some health-related work experience at time of entering physician assistant program. The program normally takes a minimum of two years to complete if attending full-time.
Assistants must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and pass a recertification exam every six years, or must complete an alternative program combining learning experiences and a take-home exam.
More qualifications needed: self-motivation, good bedside manner, emotional stability, ability to make decisions quickly, and enthusiasm for lifelong learning. May 2008 national average wage/salary: $81,230 annually.
All states and Washington, D.C. require registered nurses to graduate from an approved nursing program and pass a national licensing exam. They are required by most states and/or employers to complete continuing education courses throughout their careers. Other requirements may vary from state to state. Registered nursed may have an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in nursing or a diploma from a registered nursing school. They usually must have at least a bachelor’s degree to work in administrative, research, consulting, and teaching positions.
Other qualifications required: person needs to be caring, sympathetic, responsible, and detail oriented. Must also be able to supervise others, accurately assess medical conditions, and decide when consultation is needed. Must also be able to cope with human suffering, emergencies, and other stresses, as well as have a love for learning. May 2008 national average wage/salary: $62,450 annually.
Graduation from an accredited dental hygiene program and a state license are required. Most states have a written and clinical exam. High school students interested in this job should study biology, chemistry, and mathematics. Some of the programs require applicants to have completed a minimum of one year of college.
Requirements vary among schools. An associate degree or dental hygiene diploma is needed to work in private practices, but a bachelor’s or master’s degree is usually required for research, teaching, or clinical practice in public or school health programs. Other necessary qualifications: person should work well with others and have good manual dexterity. May 2008 national average wage/salary: $66, 570 annually.
Dental assistant requirements vary widely by State, it is recommended to contact the appropriate State board directly for specific requirements, May 2008 national average salary/wage: $32,380 annually.
Home health aides, home care aides, and personal care aides usually do not need a degree, but do get some on the job training. The national average wage in May 2008 for these jobs was $20, 164 annually for home health aides, and $19,180 annually for home care and personal aides.
- Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools: Accredited institutions and programs database, found at: http://www.abhes.org/
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: entire web site, found at: http://www.bls.gov/