Starting a second career can be a great opportunity to earn an income and boost job satisfaction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in the medical field will be among the fastest growing careers in this decade due to the rise in aging populations, advances in medical research, and a rapidly changing global society. With these jobs in high demand, candidates can transition into a rich career that offers great pay and a fresh start in their work lives.
Clinical Research Associate
Clinical research associates monitor and record clinical trials for drug testing, medical research, labs, and independent studies. Most clinical research associates have bachelor of science degrees in the physical sciences, life sciences, research methods, or technology. Some employers will consider candidates with an associate's degree or high school diploma if they can demonstrate laboratory experience. To become a clinical research associate, candidates should take the certification exam administered by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals. Once certified, applicants can apply for the best jobs. The median salary for research associates is $40,840, with top employees earning $80,200.
Dental hygienists manage all parts of a patient's dental care, which includes cleaning teeth, treating oral diseases, and educating patients on dental health routine. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow much faster than average, making it one of the top choices for a second career. The median annual pay for dental hygienists is $68,250 per year, or $32.81 an hour. To become a dental hygienist, candidates must earn an associate's degree in dental hygiene from an accredited program and become licensed in the state in which they wish to work. For state requirements, applicants should contact their state's dental health board.
Home Health Care Worker
Home health care workers and personal aides assist elderly, disabled, or sick patients with daily living activities. Demand for home health workers is expected to grow by 70 percent, which is much faster than average of all occupations. Since home health care agencies train workers on the job, usually only a high school diploma and background check are required. Home health workers and personal aides need to be physically fit and mentally sound in order to work in these demanding environments. The median salary for this position is $20,170 per year.
Medical Equipment Field Services Engineer
Medical equipment field services engineers are technicians who install and repair any appliance related to patient care. This may include installation services, responding to maintenance requests, testing devices, understanding installation manuals, and demonstrating proper use of medical equipment. Interested candidates should have an associate's degree in biotechnology from an accredited institution, although some employers offer on-the-job training. The median annual salary for medical equipment field services is $44,490, with top employees earning more than $70,260. For greater employment opportunities, candidates need to become certified through the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, which offers up to three levels of field services certification.
Medical assistants and physician's assistants provide all administrative and clinical tasks for patients in either doctor's offices or health practitioner clinics. Becoming a medical assistant is one of the most popular second career choices since many employers provide on-the-job training. Most states require only a high school diploma to apply, although some applicants choose to earn associate's degrees accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. The median salary for medical assistants is $28,860 per year.
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Liz Banks works in the billing department of a hospital and has contributed to the article, "What is medical billing and coding?" for others who may be interested in gaining the education for a job in the medical industry that doesn't directly involve caring for patients.