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Careers in allied health and health care have been growing rapidly. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (, 2013), medical assistants have an anticipated 31 percent growth in employment between 2010 and 2020, while diagnostic medical sonographers are projected to experience a 44 percent employment growth within this same time frame.

Healthcare careers are typically more active than the average desk job, and generally involve a lot of person-to-person interaction. Licensed practical and vocational nurses, ultrasound technicians, respiratory therapists, phlebotomists, and other allied health employees often work directly with patients to collect health information, assist physicians with medical procedures and tests, and help patients take care of themselves/manage their well-being. As a result, jobs in allied health and healthcare can be both challenging and rewarding.

People who are well-suited to health-related professions typically enjoy helping others directly on a daily basis, and are interested in chemistry and the biological sciences. For in-depth guides on numerous careers in health care, please see the pages below.

Cardiovascular Technician 

Cardiovascular Technicians utilize imaging technology to help doctors identify heart and blood vessel problems in patients. They typically possess associate degrees and/or professional certifications.

Dental Assistants 

Dental Assistants support dentists with patient care and administrative tasks. Employment requirements vary by state, and may include college credits, certifications, and/or work experience.

Dental Hygienist 

Dental Hygienists offer preventative dental care to patients, ranging from cleaning services, examinations, and patient education. They typically earn an associate’s degree and state license in order to practice.


EMTs and Paramedics react to 911 calls and emergencies, transfer patients to the hospital, and monitor and report health conditions to staff. They must obtain a state license, certifications and complete formal training.

Home Health Aide 

Home Health Aides assist patients who suffer from illness, disabilities or age-related ailments. They must undergo formal training and standardized testing.

Licensed Practical and Vocational Nursing 

Licensed Practical Nurses provide basic care for patients under the supervision of registered nurses or doctors. They must be state licensed and finish a state-approved program.

Massage Therapy 

Massage Therapists use touch techniques to rehabilitate clients’ injuries, or promote relaxation and well-being. They must complete a training program and state licensing exam.

Medical Assistant 

Medical Assistants work in health practitioners’ offices, fulfilling both clinical and secretarial responsibilities. They often complete on the job training and must possess at least a high school diploma.

Medical Billing and Coding 

Find out what you need to know about medical billing and coding careers. Research relevant questions about the field and the programs that lead to it.

Medical Office Assistant 

Medical Office Assistants manage medical information such as patient insurance forms, health data, billing records, and other confidential information. Employment qualifications vary by state.

Medical Transcriptionist 

Medical Transcriptionists record physician and other hospital staff notes into written reports including specific medical terms regarding patients health information. They typically require postsecondary training.

Nurse Assistant 

Nursing Assistants dispense medication, gather samples and provide basic nursing care and living assistance patients. They often earn certificates or college credits, and gain experience through supervised clinical work.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy Technicians assist pharmacists in routine pharmacy responsibilities, such as filling medication prescriptions, packaging medication and processing insurance claims. They typically complete formal training programs.


Phlebotomists gather and analyze blood samples by conducting tests in laboratory settings. They may possess bachelors degree or state licenses.

Physical Therapy Assistant 

Physical Therapy Assistants work with clients suffering from injury or illness or who are undergoing post surgery rehabilitation. Physical therapy assistants help clients manage pain and/or learn exercise techniques to improve their physical condition. They often must be state licensed and complete on-the-job training.

Radiologic Technologist 

Radiologic Technologists work with physicians to conduct x rays and other diagnostic tests on patients. They typically hold an associate degree and state license.

Respiratory Technologist 

Respiratory Therapists help patients recover from chronic respiratory illnesses, and care for patients needing emergency treatment. They typically need an associate degree or above, as well as a state license.

Ultrasound Technician 

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers conduct ultrasounds and diagnose medical conditions in patients. They often possess associate or bachelors degree and/or professional certifications.

Surgical Technologist

Surgical Technologists assist doctors and nurses in the operating room before, during and after surgery. Employment qualifications often require certifications and/or associate degrees.

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