If you’re interesting in pursuing a career in healthcare, becoming a doctor isn’t your only option. Here are five careers you may not have considered before… but are just as rewarding and allow you to save a few lives, too.
When you hear the phrase “careers in healthcare,” the first few thoughts that pop into your mind likely consist of doctors with white coats, saving lives and making great money.
If you stop and think about it, however, this perception is fed mostly by Hollywood and pop culture — and the reality of the medical field isn’t quite what the film and television industry makes it out to be.
If you’re still to pursue, but know you’re interested in working in the medical field, here are five cool careers you may not have considered before: ( to tweet this list.)
1. Medical Technologist
Considering medical types in Hollywood again, think about the character who plays a slightly quirky scientist who discovers a rare cure to a virus that would have wiped out the entire human race. He’s not your stereotypical doctor, but chances are he’s a medical technologist… and likely saves just as many lives.
A medical technologist studies bodily fluids, tissue and cells, conducting advanced diagnostic investigations to help discover cures for diseases. reports medical technologists earn about $48,000 per year on average, or $23 per hour.
2. Genetic Counselor
The concept of hereditary diseases and genetic disorders is becoming so prevalent that genetic counselors are an absolute necessity. A genetic counselor looks at the patient’s medical history, and based on research and data available, will make an assessment regarding how much risk the patient runs of suffering the same disease as their family.
Genetics counselors also offer support and help to find cures and alternatives, and also advise whether the patient should procreate and what health risks any potential child would be born with. The median annual salary for genetics counselors is nearly $67,000 .
3. Medical Transcriptionist
Doctors and physicians make audio recordings during the process of examining their patients. These recordings contain the details of the patient’s treatment including the diagnosis, recommended tests and results. All these details are an integral part of the patient’s medical records and must be transcribed from audio to written data.
As a doctor doesn’t have time to do this, a medical transcriptionist specializes in converting audio files to simple and structured medical records. A medical transcriptionist on average, according to Career Step.
If the idea of helping people recover one patient at a time isn’t enough to satisfy your need to make a difference, then epidemiology is a that might interest you. As an epidemiologist, you look at the big picture, studying patterns and causes for disease spreading in entire populations of people, including cities or states.
What you infer from this data will not only help decide how diseases are controlled and what preventive steps will be taken to prevent mass epidemics, but also help shape new government policy. An epidemiologist earns an average of $66,000 .
5. Substance abuse and behavioral counselor
If you’re a raging alcoholic, addicted to cigarettes or even suffer from anorexia, you would go to a substance abuse and behavioral counselor for treatment. These professionals not only help you get over your vice, but also transition back into society and provide support to your family and loved ones.
This field is challenging but also rewarding when your work with a patient in a success story. The BLS reports the average pay for a substance abuse counselor is $38,500 per year, or about $18.50 per hour.
For those who want to venture down the off-beaten medical path — and do something interesting and rewarding in healthcare that isn’t conventional — these are just a few of your options.
Frida Cooper has been working as a career guidance counselor for about 12 years. She believes that everyone can enjoy a lucrative career by paying close attention to their passions and aptitudes.