Jobs in the healthcare industry are on the rise due to an aging population, with many employment options expected to have double the openings over the next decade than any other sector. So there's a huge and growing number of job opportunities for people who work in medicine.
If blood and guts gross you out, it doesn't mean you can't get a job in healthcare, however. There are many opportunities job seekers can look for without ever requiring a stethoscope or a lot of open wounds. And this is just the tip of the iceberg when you look at the sector. Here are a few non-medical jobs that are in need of employees now and in the future:
Pharmacists - Median Salary: $106,000
Pharmacists do a lot of work with people, but they aren't in doctor's offices. Rather, they work at drug stores or in hospitals to make sure that the medicines that patients need won't impact their other prescriptions, and to advise patients on potential side effects. Unlike medical school, some accelerated programs allow you to complete a doctorate in pharmacy in a total of five years. In other cases, two years of college coursework is required before entering a four year Pharm.D. program, and there are also state licensing requirements. Job growth is expected to be strong, and salaries reflect the education needed.
Physical and occupational therapists help people who have been injured or had surgery to re-learn how to do physical activities, and it's one of the hottest healthcare jobs today. Therapists use a variety of techniques, including exercise and motion modeling, to help their patients. The majority of physical therapy education programs can result in a doctorate, and combined bachelor's/doctoral programs can take six to seven years. The growth in job openings is double that of some other healthcare jobs at 30%, and reflects the growing aging population that will need assistance. Physical therapists can find work in hospitals, rehabilitations centers and senior care facilities.
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists - Median Salary: $62,000
Occupational health and safety specialists work with companies and the government to make sure that working environments are safe for employees. They can examine a number of factors, from equipment placement to chemical levels in offices. All levels of government use these specialists to dole out fines, while companies use them to minimize injuries. While many specialists work for the government, travel is a definite possibility as you travel to factories, offices, oil rigs and even mines. In addition, many specialists freelance for various companies, or go into consulting. A minimum of a bachelor's degree is required, but many go on to get advanced degrees. Job growth isn't spectacular, but the field is less stressful. While many people don't even consider the field when weighing educational options, it only requires the least amount of education of any job on this list.
Healthcare Business Managers - Median Salary: $80,000
Healthcare is no longer about just patient care, it is a business. And since most healthcare facilities are for-profit companies, the need for healthcare business managers has risen. They're responsible for managing the finances, marketing, human resources and facility needs of offices and hospitals, with the larger facilities often hiring several healthcare administrators. You can get started with a bachelor's degree, especially at smaller doctor's offices, but many go on to get master's degrees. Due to funding cuts and insurance reimbursement issues, these will be hot healthcare jobs for managers over the next decade or so, and those with business expertise should excel. Keep in mind that some healthcare facilities require nursing or medical experience prior to going into management, although there's no standard for this.