8 Medical Job Options You Could Choose
When considering the medical profession, most people think of a doctor or a nurse. But there are many other options to choose from. The medical community is vast, and while medical doctors and nurses make up a good percentage, there are many different positions that allow the field of medicine and medical care to flow smoothly.
Nursing is a great position, but it’s not for everyone. For instance, if you don’t like blood or long hours, you may be better suited for something else. Maybe you love helping people with their health, but becoming a doctor is a long and expensive process you’re not ready to do.
The good news is you don’t need to spend years studying or let your fear of bodily fluids dash your dreams. If you’re considering a medical career but don’t think being a doctor or nurse is for you, read on. We’ve covered you with eight interesting medical jobs you may want to choose.
1. A Chiropractor
A chiropractor is a healthcare provider who uses alternative techniques to relieve pain and help the body heal. While they are not medical doctors, they are doctors of chiropractic care. Much like medical doctors, chiropractors must obtain a bachelor’s degree in a science-related field and spend four years in chiropractic school. After that, they must complete an intern program and pass a series of tests to become licensed.
Being a chiropractor is a great position if you want to help people with their health but don’t like blood. Chiropractors focus on the bones, muscles, and connective tissue of the body. There’s nothing invasive about their treatments.
Chiropractors treat issues like back and neck pain, headaches, pinched nerves, and torn ligaments. They may also treat conditions like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, stroke, and fibromyalgia. A chiropractor does not prescribe medication but uses manual techniques and therapy to treat ailments. These techniques include spinal adjustments, stretching, massage, manual realignment, and tapping.
Other treatments can involve the use of hot or cold therapy and electrical stimulation. They may also counsel patients on exercise and nutrition, which will promote weight loss and lessen strain on the skeletal system. While no traditional medication is prescribed, a chiropractor may recommend natural salves, supplements, hot soaks, and ice to relieve discomfort.
Being a chiropractor is a well-paying job. The average provider makes at least $75,000 a year. They get to control their schedule, develop helpful knowledge and skills, and work in various settings. Chiropractors should have excellent listening skills, the ability to improvise, and good physical strength.
2. An Audiologist
If you love helping people and have excellent problem-solving skills, being an audiologist may be a great position. An audiologist is a professional who diagnoses and assists people in managing issues related to hearing and the ear. They do intricate testing to determine hearing loss and develop a treatment plan. This may include speech therapy, choosing the best hearing aids (or other devices), auditory training, or cochlear implants.
An audiologist can work independently with their private practice, or they may choose to work for a school district, hospital, clinic, or long-term care facility. Sometimes, they will work alongside speech therapists, teachers, doctors, physical therapists, and other caretakers. To become an audiologist, you need to have a doctorate in audiology. After that, you need to complete a clinical internship under the supervision of an experienced audiologist.
Then you must obtain a clinical certificate and state license by passing the exam. Audiology is a fast-growing profession, so it’s an excellent position for someone who wants job security. The discipline is also well-paying, with the average audiologist making $79,000 annually. The best part is helping people to hear and enriching their lives. To be an excellent audiologist, you need good communication skills, patience, compassion, and the ability to be a team player.
3. A Physical Therapist
Some people think that physical therapy is simply the practice of helping athletes recover after being hurt. But the profession involves much more than sports injury rehab. A physical therapist (a PT) works with patients of all ages dealing with an injury, illness, or disability. Their main objectives are to increase mobility and decrease pain.
To become a physical therapist, one must complete a bachelor’s degree, three years of list graduate training, and one year of clinical residency. Some states have accelerated programs that take only five to six years. Physical therapists work with doctors and other professionals to develop a treatment plan.
Techniques used by these experts include exercise, stretching, use of equipment, and manual manipulation. Physical therapists work with a variety of people, including those who have been in auto accidents, had amputations, experienced strokes, or have a disability like cerebral palsy. They work with the patient and families on what to expect during the recovery process.
Good therapists will also educate on modifying the home and vehicles to maximize comfort and the patient’s self-sufficiency. If patients need canes, braces, wheelchairs, or walkers, the therapist will help them become familiar with the equipment. After becoming licensed, physical therapists can work in hospitals, clinics, school systems, sports teams, and private practice.
The average salary for this profession is $97,000 per year. It’s a great position if you’re interested in helping people. However, you should have excellent communication skills, physical stamina, and good dexterity.
4. An Optician
An optician is a professional who assists in a doctor’s office or vision center. Their primary function is to fit people for glasses, contacts, or other vision-correcting instruments. The optician will typically see a patient after the doctor prescribes them. An optician is not an eye doctor.
They’re often confused with ophthalmologists, who are specialized doctors in the area of eye care. Opticians are technicians who help patients choose the right glasses for their prescription, facial structure, and lifestyle. They will make adjustments to the glasses if they are too loose or tight. If a patient gets contact lenses, the optician will educate them on how to insert them and properly clean and care for them.
The technician’s duties may include office tasks like maintaining sales records, tracking orders, keeping up with inventory, and creating work orders for the lab. You may occasionally see the optician assisting the eye doctor before or during the exam. Though a college degree is not necessary for this profession, most opticians have at least an associate degree and have specialized training. Most states require opticians to be licensed before becoming fully employed.
Opticians make an average of $50,000 a year. It’s an excellent position for people who want to work in the medical field but don’t want to spend years in school. This job also provides an outstanding work-life balance, as you don’t take work home and usually have flexible hours.
5. Cosmetic Surgeon
People often confuse plastic surgeons with cosmetic surgeons. Whereas both can do aesthetic procedures that enhance appearance and improve self-esteem, only a plastic surgeon can perform reconstructive surgery, skin grafts, and other procedures needed for the body to function. Cosmetic surgery focuses on elective surgeries that center around the head, face, and neck. Some procedures a cosmetic surgeon may do include face lifts, neck tightening, lip fillers, wrinkle-smoothing, eyelid lifts, and liposuction.
They may also help patients with noninvasive corrective procedures related to scarring and burns. Like plastic surgeons, cosmetic surgeons must attend medical school, college, and residency and pass the medical board exams. Cosmetic surgeons are not required to complete a fellowship like their counterparts. This is primarily because cosmetic surgery is much less invasive and intricate than plastic reconstructive surgery.
Besides helping people feel better about themselves, cosmetic surgeons get to work alongside other professional colleagues. They can make upwards of $350,000 per year. These professionals can work in their practice, group, hospital, or private clinics.
6. A Dentist
A dentist is a medical professional who treats conditions related to the teeth, gums, mouth, and neck. They are not medical doctors but are required to obtain a doctorate, complete clinical work, and pass medical boards the same as medical doctors. General dentistry includes annual exams, repairing and removing decayed or broken teeth, fillings, crowns, and root canals.
Dentists may also do cosmetic procedures like tooth whitening, veneers, and implants. Many dentists also fit patients with dentures, retainers, and other devices to overcome various issues. One of the most critical parts of being a dentist is educating patients on proper oral hygiene and care. Dentists can prescribe medication such as antibiotics and pain relievers.
Some dentists may branch into specialties like oral surgery and orthodontics, which require extra training. A dentist can work independently, as part of a group practice, in clinics, or in teaching hospitals. A good dentist must be patient, compassionate, and have excellent dexterity and muscle control. The average salary of dentists is $237,000 per year.
7. A Vet
A vet is a medical professional who cares for animals. It’s an excellent position for pet lovers and those who enjoy helping wildlife. Much like a human doctor, vets need to complete four years of veterinary college after obtaining their bachelor’s degree. Most students need to complete an internship working under the tutelage of an experienced vet. To practice, students must pass state board exams and become licensed.
Vets treat all types of animals, from Guinea pigs to horses. Some may have specialties like surgery or act as emergency vets, while others may prefer to focus on general care cats and dogs simply. The day-to-day duties of a vet can include treating wounds, allergies, and skin conditions, as well as wellness exams.
A vet’s other tasks are administering vaccinations, spaying and neutering, treating fractures, parasite control, microchipping, and euthanasia. They will also educate and counsel pet owners on proper exercise and diet. Many also bring their pets to the vet for dental treatments, grooming services, and boarding.
Most vets work in private or group practice in a hospital setting. However, some are employed by farms, zoos, wildlife refuges, and other places with large animal populations. Being a vet allows individuals to help animals, their owners, and the general public by helping with disease prevention and controlling the pet population.
Though it’s not common, vets are at higher risk for injury than other professions. Scared and nervous animals sometimes act out by scratching, biting, or jumping on their doctor. It can also be emotionally draining when a vet cannot save a pet and must euthanize it. For the most part, being a vet is a rewarding profession that a person can take pride in. The average vet makes about $103,000 per year.
8. A Cardiologist
Cardiologists are medical doctors who specialize in issues related to the heart, veins, and arteries. While they work primarily with patients who have had heart attacks, they also work with people who have congenital heart defects, chest pain, high blood pressure, and clogged arteries. Other issues treated by this type of doctor are blood clots, heart failure, endocarditis, and valve problems.
They will use a variety of tests and machines to determine a patient’s risk of heart disease and prescribe treatments to prevent it. A cardiologist will also help people with heart disease manage and avoid future complications. Often, a patient will be referred to a cardiologist by their general doctor if they suspect heart issues may be present.
To become a cardiologist, one must first obtain a bachelor’s degree and then complete three years of medical school; if you want to become a vascular surgeon, that will require more study. After that, they must complete three more years of specialized training in cardiology. Once they pass the medical boards and become licensed, they can practice as cardiologists.
The average salary for this technical field varies significantly depending on location, experience, and reputation. However, the average income is about $430,000 per year. It’s an excellent position for someone compassionate and patient.
Medical jobs are a great position to have. They offer the opportunity to help others, work in various settings, and often offer flexible schedules. If you’re thinking of a career in the medical field, be sure to research carefully and choose a specialty that matches your skills and interests.