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3 Rewarding Allied Health Careers to Start Your Professional Journey

It is glaringly obvious that not every job is rewarding. Sadly the majority of workers are simply earning a paycheck and waiting for the day to end. For those who want something more from their professional life, a career in allied health might be the solution.

Rewarding Allied Health Careers to Start Your Professional Journey

401(K) 2013 / Flickr / CC BY-SA

Allied health professionals often get the opportunity to work closely with patients and their families. The work can certainly be demanding, but the sense of accomplishment is undeniable. Allied health is also a field that is constantly growing, and many of the available jobs can be financially rewarding.

In this article we’ll examine three professions that offer job seekers the chance to work in a field that is truly rewarding.

Dental Hygienist

Dental Hygienist

Army Medicine / Flickr / CC BY

Dental Hygienists, the foot soldiers of oral health, perform the bulk of a typical dental check-up. Like the dentist, the hygienist works with patients from many different ages and backgrounds, but the hygienist’s role is much more important on a personal level.

When working for the same dentist’s office for many years, you get to know the patients very well and often get to see the younger patients grow up before your eyes. Many patients, especially children, experience anxiety over dental appointments; the best hygienists know how to connect with their patients and help allay their nerves.

Some of the most common tasks that a dental hygienist is responsible for include patient screening, plaque removal, making impressions of teeth, and instructing patients on proper dental care. In addition, some hygienists are also responsible for taking dental x-rays.

Average salary: $69,280 | Education required: Associate’s Degree or higher

Occupational Therapist or OT Assistant

Occupational Therapist or OT Assistant

U.S. Navy / Wikimedia / CC0

Occupational Therapists work in a number of different facilities including hospitals, rehab centers, medical clinics, schools, and sometimes in a client’s home. They can be asked to help patients in a number of different ways, but generally their goal is the same: to assist their patients with tasks they face in their work and home lives in order to keep them independent and satisfied.

Occupational Therapy Assistants work under the Occupational Therapist, setting up and implementing exercises and other therapies outlined by the therapist. Both the therapist and the assistant work directly with their patients and form strong bonds with them as they help them to overcome challenges in their day-to-day lives. This occupation allows for a particularly wide breadth of employment options. An office might specialize in working with children, athletes, the elderly, or the physically disabled or handicapped.

OT Assistant Average salary: $47,490 | Education required: Associate’s Degree or higher

Occupational Therapist Average salary: $73,820 | Education required: Master’s Degree or higher

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

dangoodwin / Flicrk / CC BY-SA

Also a versatile career choice, sonographers (also known as ultrasound techs) work in a number of interesting settings and with a wide range of individuals. Sonographers who specialize in gynecologic sonography often get the opportunity to show an expectant mother an image of her unborn child for the first time. This is certainly a highlight for many who work in this field. However, the benefits of sonography are not limited to the gynecologic specialty. Nowadays sonographers can specialize in a variety of modalities including Abdomen, Breast, Fetal Echocardiography, Pediatric Echocardiography, Adult Echocardiography, Neurosonology, Vascular Technology, and Musculoskeletal Sonography.

Average salary: $64,380 | Education required: Certificate or higher

All salary and education information was gathered from the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics database.

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