Updated: Mar 12
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in the medical field are projected to keep growing by 15% through 2029. This is about two and a half million new jobs, far more growth than any other occupational group.
When you think of the medical field, you probably think of nurses, doctors, and pharmacists. The reality is there are so many more healthcare jobs to choose from. Here are 5 with growing demand and how to get started.
1. Pharmacy Technician
The demand for pharmaceutical services is growing due to the booming use of prescription medications. This field is projected to keep growing over the next few years with an estimated 437,600 jobs by 2029.
The duties of pharmacy technicians can include:
● Supporting pharmacists
● Dispensing prescription medications
● Working with customers
● Organizing inventory
How to Become a Pharmacy Technician
In some states, pharmacy technicians need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn on the job. However, many states and employers require additional programs of study. These courses can prepare pharmacy technicians for certification, which some states require. Courses that provide hands-on training and certification preparation can give pharmacy technicians an edge in this field with growing demand. Although the certification exam must be taken in person, there are now flexible online course options that prepare you.
2. Radiation Therapist
The field of radiation therapy is likely growing from scientific advances in radiation therapies. Our aging population probably also plays a role. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that radiation therapist employment is projected to grow 7% faster than the average of all jobs.
The duties of radiation therapists can include:
● Collecting patient information
● Formulating treatment plans
● Using radiation treatments to help patients with cancer and other ailments
Radiation therapists usually have to complete an associate's or bachelor’s degree. Most states also require licensing and certification. Even when certification is not required, it is often preferred. Radiation therapists must work full-time for two years or finish an accredited training program before they qualify to take the national certification exam. They are required to renew this certification annually.
3. Surgical Technologist
Surgery is getting safer and more common all the time due to medical advances. This increase in operations is causing a growing demand for surgical technologists. These medical professionals play an important role in the operating room. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects about 7,600 surgical technician jobs opening up through 2029.
The duties of surgical technologists can include:
● Preparing the patient and tools before surgery
● Assisting surgeons during operations
● Transporting patients to recovery rooms after surgeries
How to Become a Surgical Technologist
Surgical technologists need a high school diploma or GED. After this foundation, surgical technologists need to complete an associate degree or a certification program i.e. ACLS certification that enables them to provide patients with urgent treatment for cardiac arrest, stroke, and similar life-threatening cardiac emergencies. Community colleges, vocational schools, hospitals, and universities may offer accredited programs. These can take anywhere from a few months to two years.
4. Cardiac Sonographer
As baby boomers age, the need for all types of diagnostic medical sonographers is projected to keep growing. This is especially true for cardiac sonographers since heart disease is more common in senior citizens. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that this field will grow faster than average.
The duties of cardiac sonographers can include:
● Using heart ultrasounds called echocardiograms to test patients’ heart conditions
● Completing administrative tasks
● Helping with patient data
How to Become a Cardiac Sonographer
Cardiac sonographers need a high school diploma or equivalent. However, most employers look for additional training and education. This can be a certification program, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree. Only a few states require cardiac sonographers to be licensed.
5. Healthcare Manager
As the population ages and the need for medical services grows, the healthcare management field is expected to grow accordingly. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a need for 555,500 medical and health service managers by 2029.
The duties of healthcare managers can include:
● Managing the efficiency of medical departments or facilities
● Recruiting and training new staff members
● Making work schedules
How to Become a Healthcare Manager
This position usually requires at least a bachelor’s degree in health management or administration, public administration, business administration, or other related programs. Master’s degrees are becoming more common in the field, and many employers prefer them. Employers also tend to hire managers with experience in a related healthcare facility.
The need for qualified medical personnel doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. The requirements for these plentiful career opportunities vary greatly. Flexible, online training programs are making these important careers more accessible for everyone.
The medical field is not limited to being a doctor or a nurse, and it does not have to require years of extensive training. A meaningful career in the medical field might be right for you!