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Bright Future for Allied Healthcare Employment Opportunities

healthcare students assisting surgery

Healthcare Students assisting Surgery—Wikimedia Commons

Allied healthcare employment is an expansive field that offers a variety of career paths. This sector of healthcare is even more attractive to prospective health workers due to the rapid growth of employment opportunities. One of the effects of this growth has been a shortage of qualified workers who are able to fill the available job vacancies. So what are these opportunities and how does one access them?

Education and Training for Allied Healthcare Employment

Mercy Health / Flickr / CC BY-NC-ND

The first step in pursuing a career in allied health is getting the proper training. Allied healthcare education and training is offered at universities, community colleges, and career training schools. Courses will range in length and cost depending on the specialty. Phlebotomy training, for example, can often be completed in as quickly as one month, while ultrasound students may require up to 2 years or more of education. In addition to classroom and lab work, some institutions present students with the opportunity to undergo a valuable clinical externship. The externships allow students to get practical hands-on experience in their field of study. This not only provides students with the experience that many employers prefer but it also allows for a much smoother transition between the classroom and working environment.

Anticipated Sector Growth

Demand for allied health professions also continues to rise in line with advancements in medical technology and rising healthcare expectations. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 3.2 million new healthcare jobs will have been created between 2008 and 2018. Based on these numbers, qualified professionals will continue to see incredible job opportunities in the allied health field.

Top Employers


Up to three quarters of Ultrasound Technologists, MRI Technologists, Surgical Technologists and other healthcare professionals are currently employed in state, local, or private hospitals.

Physicians’ Offices

Administrative positions constitute a large part of qualified staff in physicians’ offices. Aside from administrative assistants, Medical Records and Health Information Technicians such as Medical Billers and Coders are needed.

Medical and Diagnostic Laboratories and Outpatient Care Centers

Fauxlaroid / Flickr / CC BY-ND

A broad range of allied health careers are offered in diagnostic imaging centers as well as outpatient care facilities. These clinics and laboratories present an excellent opportunity for advancement as they usually have a tight focus and rely primarily on promoting staff.

Job Opportunities and Career Progression

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

Specialists such as Vascular and Cardiovascular Technologists use imaging technologies to aid physicians with patient diagnosis. They operate with innovative technologies and are greatly in demand. Estimated job growth over the next seven years is twice the nation’s average. Median pay in 2010 was $49,410 per year and has seen a steady increase ever since.

Surgical Technologists

phalinn / Flickr / CC BY

Key responsibilities for Surgical Techs include assisting surgeons and other surgical staff during surgeries, as well as preparing the operating room and arranging equipment beforehand. The forecast for this profession is for 17,700 more employed technologists by 2020 compared to 2010. Hospitals continue to be the primary employer, providing a median wage of $41,210.

Medical Assistants

Nyaya Health / Flickr / CC BY

More than half of medical assistants are employed in physicians’ offices but many other options are available. Hospitals, outpatient care facilities, local government agencies and laboratories also need assistants that can perform both administrative and clinical tasks. These allied health workers are expected to increase to more than 690,240 by 2020, marking a 31% rise since 2010. Median annual wages ranged between $20,000 and $40,000 in 2010.

With the quick pace of development in the healthcare industry, allied healthcare workers are presented with numerous career advancement opportunities. These advancements are often available through work experience or additional education. Relevant experience may lead to involvement with more advanced equipment for technicians or administrative positions if managerial education is pursued.

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