The healthcare industry is constantly growing and adding more jobs as time goes on. Employment in healthcare is expected to grow by about 15% through 2029, which is much faster than average and faster than many other industries. The bottom line? Healthcare is growing, and there are jobs to fill. That’s where you come in.
Maybe you’re fresh out of high school looking for a career, or looking to leave behind your current job and pursue a career in healthcare. Either way, the healthcare industry has thousands of openings that you can pursue with little to no education. You’ll save money and time by choosing entry-level positions, and if you like what you do, you can always pursue higher education and move up the career ladder.
Here are six entry-level healthcare jobs to consider:
1. Medical Administrative Assistant
To become a certified medical administrative assistant, you’ll need to complete an accredited program and earn your associate’s degree. This will grant you access to entry-level positions in the healthcare industry without leaving you piled with debt.
What does an MAA do? Essentially, you’ll be filling a secretary-type role in doctor’s offices, hospitals, or care facilities. You’ll answer phones, schedule appointments, track records and charts and file information, transfer lab results, and more. This administrative position is a crucial component of any medical institution, so you’ll be serving in a role you can be proud of.
In the coming years, the demand for medical administrative assistants is set to increase, so there should be plenty of job opportunities available once you graduate. If you’re interested in healthcare, but not in all of the nitty-gritty of nursing or other direct care positions, this is the job for you.
2. Home Health Aide
Thousands of Americans are disabled, elderly, or are otherwise unable to handle their daily needs alone. This means bathing, using the bathroom, taking medications, and more. A home health aide is a person who goes to help. You’ll be working directly with patients, helping them with everyday activities, and ensuring they’re safe and secure. You’ll help with bathing and medication administration and provide the value of your company to the patients.
If you want to become a home health aide, you’ll have to pass a course and gain your certification. The projected growth for this valuable medical profession sits at about 36% through 2028, so there’s certainly a demand now and in the coming years. The programs usually only take a few months to a year to complete, so you can be out in the field and working in no time.
This kind of work does require a certain level of compassion and empathy, as you’ll be working directly with people who aren’t able to function on a daily basis. If that’s you, becoming a home health aide sounds like a good career path.
3. Pharmacy Technician
Pharmacy technicians are important to the daily operations of a pharmacy and help patients get the medication they need. Whether you’re working in a retail pharmacy, a hospital, or a mail-order pharmacy, the duties only slightly change. In general, you’ll be helping to track medications, store them properly, file and track paperwork, answer phones and handle patient needs, help the pharmacist fill medications and package them, and much more.
Becoming a pharmacy tech only takes about 10 months to a year, depending on the program. Some people choose the associate’s degree route, but you can complete a certified program (or earn 500 hours of experience in a pharmacy technician role or similar) and take the PCTB exam. Once you pass, you’ll be certified and ready for work.
4. Surgical Technician
The surgical technician is a vital part of the surgical team. He or she prepares the surgical room, instruments, patient, and more for the surgery process, assists the surgeon during that process, and aids in the clean-up process afterward. If surgery sounds interesting to you, but you have no desire to cut open living tissue, this might be a good starting point. Or, if you’re a prospective surgeon just looking to get a glimpse into the world of surgical medicine, this can be a great entry-level stepping stone.
You’ll need to complete a surgical tech program, which can take anywhere from a few months to two years, depending on the program. Once the program is completed, you can take the CST exam and get certified. Once you’re certified, you’re ready to enter the surgery room and start assisting during sensitive operations.
5. Lab Technician
Medical lab technicians help to analyze lab samples and perform testing to determine results. They’re expected to uphold the privacy of those results and only share them with the proper medical personnel or patient if required. You’ll need to complete a medical lab technician training course, and then apply with the AMT board to get certified.
Make no mistake—this is one of the most important jobs in healthcare. The thorough and accurate analysis of lab samples could potentially mean the difference between life and death, so serious attention to detail is a must.