It’s time to make a career change. You’ve worked a lot of different jobs in the past, but your most rewarding jobs have been positions where you could help others. You’ve considered working in a healthcare profession, but don’t know which type of career to pursue.
Here are four types of careers (other than being a doctor) that are very different in scope, yet very rewarding, allowing you to be part of the medical community:
Public Health Worker
When someone thinks of a public health worker, they may picture someone who teaches health education classes at the local hospital, someone who works in a community clinic, or someone who heads up a community bone marrow donor program. These are just a few of the valuable ways public health workers contribute within the field of medicine. In addition to these types of contributions, public health workers are at the forefront, helping to identify diseases and make public policy.
For those interested in careers in public health, there are numerous programs across the country offering a bachelors in public health, or master’s degrees and doctorate degrees in various branches of the discipline. Specialty areas include epidemiology, human services, nutrition, health administration, and health sciences. With so many areas of study, there should be some aspect of the public health field that captures your attention. The range of salaries for public health workers is broad since there are so many branches to choose from. The top-paying jobs (such as health and safety engineers) offer salaries that average $86,000.
For individuals who are fascinated by the medical field, but don’t want to become doctors, becoming a medical photographer is a great way to stay connected to the medical community in a non-medical way. Medical photographers document medical conditions and the various stages of surgical procedures; they also photograph autopsy specimens, and prepare photographs for publication in scientific journals, classrooms, and research studies.
Many medical photographers work for dermatologists or are hired on by private research centers and university-affiliated hospitals. To become a medical photographer, an interest in science and medicine is helpful, and a degree in photography is often required. When documenting a medical procedure, there are no double takes. This necessitates extreme skill and specialized knowledge in the technical aspects of photography to succeed in the career.
Average salaries for medical photographers range from approximately $22 per hour in state-run facilities to $25 per hour in privately-owned facilities. Working full time, a medical photographer could make anywhere from $46,000 to over $51,000 per year.
For those who are charismatic and persuasive, who love science and medicine, and who enjoy learning about up-and-coming treatments and medications, becoming a pharmaceutical representative is a perfect career choice. A pharmaceutical representative is a physician’s first point of contact with the latest-and-greatest products to help his or her patients.
A four-year degree in a related field such as biology or chemistry is ideal, but most companies will accept a bachelor’s degree in any subject. The next step is to successfully complete a specialized pharmaceutical sales training program to learn techniques to become successful within the field. As an added bonus, although not required, it can be helpful to become licensed as a Certified National Pharmaceutical Representative to receive required pharmaceutical product education and information on the various rules and regulations governing the industry. Pharmaceutical representatives are valuable to the medical community, introducing doctors and other healthcare professionals to some of the most advanced treatments available. Average annual salaries for pharmaceutical representatives are approximately $65,000.
For a rewarding job in the healthcare industry, instead of becoming a physician, become a transplant coordinator. A transplant coordinator plans and coordinates all aspects of organ transplant procedures: preparing educational programs and materials for potential patients, families, and medical teams; managing the referral process and necessary pre-transplant evaluations; coordinating critical care during and after the procedures for recipients and donors.
A bachelor’s degree in nursing is required for the position, as well as two to four years of prior experience as a registered nurse caring for transplant patients. Additional certification from a professional organ transplant nursing certification board may be required. What a rewarding position for someone who really wants to make a difference in the lives of so many facing life and death situations. Average annual salaries for transplant coordinators are approximately $90,000.
There are dozens more careers to pursue within a healthcare setting. But these four careers show you how diverse the opportunities can be. If you have an interest in being part of a healthcare team, there is a place for you.