Do you want to get into the healthcare industry but don’t know where to start? If we weren’t sure before, this year has taught us that healthcare workers are heroes, and the industry can always use more professionals with the right skills and attitudes. If you want to start a new career in healthcare, the first step might be to go back to school. The great news is that the industry is growing rapidly, so opportunities for careers in healthcare that require an associate’s degree are everywhere.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects healthcare jobs to increase by 15% in the next decade. With healthcare careers in demand, there’s never been a better time to get an associate’s degree and join the many starting new careers in this industry.
Top Careers In Healthcare That Require an Associates Degree
Physical Therapy Assistant
This position is the third-best support job in healthcare, according to U.S. News and World Report. In this role, you’ll be directly involved with the patient’s physical therapy treatment and report their progress to the supervising physical therapist.
If you are attracted to careers in healthcare where you can develop relationships with patients, this is a great option. You will assist patients in their recovery after an accident or illness, and playing a part in their progress will be extremely rewarding.
The average salary for physical therapy assistants is $48,900.
If you want a blend of working with patients and doing administrative tasks, this is a great career choice. Medical assistants check the patient’s vital signs, administer medicine or injections, and prepare blood samples for testing.
They also update patient records and do clerical work that helps the office function. Medical assistants can work in hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, and other facilities, so it’s a versatile position.
The average salary for medical assistants is $34,800.
If you like administrative work and don’t want to do anything on the medical side, you could get a job as an administrative assistant for a physician. You would be in charge of scheduling appointments, recording medical charts, billing, and corresponding with patients.
Applicants for administrative assistant jobs should be competent, highly organized, and efficient.
The average salary for administrative assistants is $37,090
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
This is one of the highest-paid healthcare jobs you can get with an associate’s degree. In this position, you will be responsible for taking ultrasound and sonogram images. You could specialize in obstetric and gynecological sonograms, breast sonograms, cardiac sonograms, and more.
The average salary for diagnostic medical sonographers is $74,320.
According to the U.S. News and World Report list mentioned earlier, this career is considered the best healthcare support job, and it’s projected to grow by 11% in the coming years.
Dental hygienists work directly with patients by monitoring for oral diseases and performing routine teeth cleanings. They also take x-ray photos and educate patients about proper oral health practices.
The average salary for dental hygienists is $76,220.
Help facilitate surgeries by cleaning and preparing the operating room. Your job would include sterilizing and making sure the room is stocked with enough supplies.
You will also clean and disinfect incision sites on patients and assist surgeons during the procedures by passing them the instruments they need.
The average salary for surgical technicians is $48,300.
Work directly with patients who struggle with healthy breathing, such as premature infants, people who have asthma, or the elderly with damaged or diseased lungs. You will go between the patient and their physician to determine the right treatment plan for them.
You will also perform tests, administer treatments, and teach patients and their families to use breathing equipment. Respiratory therapists can work in many different settings, including in the patient’s home.
The average salary for respiratory therapists is $61,330.
Instead of getting a nursing degree at a four-year school, you can become a registered nurse with an associate’s degree and a nursing license. Your job would include treating patients by educating them on health and providing them with medical care.
Registered nurses can also have the opportunity to oversee a team of nursing assistants, home healthcare workers, and other nurses.
The average salary for registered nurses is $71,730.
Other Career Options
This list is just a brief overview of the career options available in the healthcare industry with an associate’s degree. As you can see, the opportunities are versatile, so it’s possible to find something right for you.
Maybe you want to work directly with patients, or you prefer to work behind the scenes. Perhaps you want to work closely with a physician, or you would rather work more independently. Either way, the healthcare industry is wide open, with healthcare careers in demand that can fit your desires and skills.
Other sought-after careers in healthcare not mentioned in the list above include nuclear medicine technologists, radiation therapists, MRI technologists, veterinary technicians, medical coders, and cardiovascular technologists.
Start Your Education Now
Get the education and skills you need to become a healthcare professional at a two-year healthcare school. Study online or on-campus and find your passion in the healthcare industry.
When you graduate, you will be ready to enter the healthcare field with confidence and find a fulfilling career helping people. The job field is wide open with careers in healthcare that require an associate’s degree, so there has never been a better time to get started.
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