Selasa, 21 September 2010

Easiest Health Care Jobs to Break Into

This won't hurt a bit! Check out these hot jobs in a fast-growing field.

by Lydia Dishman,

Sure, the unemployment numbers are dismal. But there's one industry that's looking rosier every day--health care. Recent reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirm this: over the past 12 months, health care added 231,000 jobs--27,000 in July alone.

Though many people would like to get in, few make it past perusing the classifieds before becoming discouraged by the educational and experiential requirements. Though it's true that becoming a doctor, nurse, or specialized technician demands an advanced degree, there are some positions in health care that can be had without a four-year college commitment, and without a lot of experience.

But before you toss those thick course catalogs, know that many of these positions do require certification and/or a two-year associate's degree. The good news is that much of the schooling can be done on a flexible schedule or even online--perhaps while you're holding down the job.

Phlebotomy technician (PBT): median annual salary, $28,939
If you've got a high school education, an interest in science, and some health care experience, the American Society for Clinical Pathology wants to help you land a job as a PBT, collecting and analyzing blood samples from patients. The ASCP's Gelasia Croom says these workers are in high demand, due to lack of awareness about the job and retiring baby boomers.

Health-insurance agent: median annual salary, $38,205
Health-insurance agents provide easy-to-understand information and access to expert advice so consumers can make smart decisions about insuring their health. However, Fred Adams of HSA America notes that most insurance agents don't need an advanced degree. They must hold a license in the state where they plan to do business, but that license can be obtained in about two weeks, with no previous experience required.

Medical-records clerk: median annual salary, $25,189
If you're a stickler for accuracy and have great organizational skills, a career as a medical-records clerk may work for you. This is one of the few health care positions that doesn't require any patient interactions; workers assemble patients' health information--including medical history, symptoms, and exam and diagnostic test results--and manage the data for quality, accuracy, and security. Most applicants have an associate's degree along with a good command of computer software programs.

Physical-therapy (PT) assistant: median annual salary, $43,655
Thanks to aging baby boomers, demand for professional PT assistants is on the rise. If you have a high school diploma and good people skills, earning certification can take as little as six months. Then you can work with physical therapists to help patients exercise or learn to use crutches, for instance, and provide therapies such as traction, ultrasound, massage, and balance training.

Medical transcriptionist: median annual salary, $25,559
How fast can you type? Fingers fly when medical transcriptionists listen to dictated recordings made by doctors and other health care professionals and transcribe them into medical reports, correspondence, and other administrative material. Though more than half work at hospitals or physicians' offices, many medical transcriptionists telecommute from home-based offices. Slackers need not apply--accuracy is a top priority to prevent errors in patients' records.

Dispensing optician's apprentice: median annual salary, $23,600
Want to help people see better and look great? With a high school diploma, you could snag a position at an optometrist's office and receive technical instruction on the job, along with learning the finer points of office management and sales. Apprentices work directly with patients, fitting them for eyeglasses or contact lenses, while being supervised by an experienced optician.

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