Seven Jobs in Health Care That Require Moderate Training

health care jobsNo job is guaranteed to last forever, but certain industries offer more hope for longevity, an especially attractive quality these days. The health-care industry employed 14 million workers in 2006, making it the largest sector in the nation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Its outlook is promising, with the potential to add 3 million new jobs between 2006 and 2016.

Many jobs in health care require an extensive education that combines formal schooling with on-the-job training. Naturally, you want surgeons to have several years of practice before they begin operating on patients. You might be surprised to learn how many jobs -- none of which allow you to perform a transplant, thankfully -- you can find in health care with a moderate amount of formal training.

Here are seven jobs in health care that offer plenty of on-the-job training or require less than a bachelor's degree. Not only do these jobs allow you to work in a thriving field, but you also have the satisfaction of helping someone's well-being.

1. Pharmacy technicians

What they do: Perform administrative tasks in pharmacies and assist pharmacists preparing medication for patients.

Training: No nationwide regulations for a pharmacy technician's education exist, so each state has its own guidelines. Certification and formal training are definitely positives for job seekers, but expect plenty of on-the-job training as well.

Salary: $26,720

2. Medical transcriptionists

What they do: Transcribe audio recordings made by doctors and other medical staff. The recordings are often of medical reports or notes that need to be formally documented.

Training: Transcriptionists can obtain certification, which helps employment opportunities. Depending on the employer, adequate coursework or an associate degree in a relevant field can qualify you for a job.

Salary: $31,250

3. Clinical laboratory technicians

What they do: Perform various tasks -- ranging from collecting blood samples to preparing tissue samples -- in a clinical lab.

Training: An associate degree or certification is preferred by most employers, but expect plenty of on-the-job training as well.

Salary: $34,270

4. Medical secretaries

What they do: Work with physicians and scientists to write articles, speeches, presentations and reports.

Training: Requirements vary, but all secretaries should have a strong command of grammar and possess excellent communication skills. Knowledge of medical terminology, procedures and insurance practices also helps.

Salary: $28,950

5. Medical records and health information technicians

What they do: Ensure that patient records are complete and accurate. They review medical charts and other documents that need to be on file regarding the patient's medical history.

Training: An associate degree is standard, although relevant health care experience or status as a Registered Health Information Technician improves job opportunities.

Salary: $29,290

6. Physical therapists aides

What they do: Prepare the physical therapy site for a patient's treatment and assist with other duties that a physical therapist or a physical therapist assistant requests.

Training: On-site training is typical, though related education is helpful.

Salary: $22,990

7. Personal and home care aides

What they do: Help patients live comfortably in their own homes or in a live-in facility that is not a hospital or institution. Their patients can range from elderly individuals to people with disabilities.

Training: On-the-job training is standard, although some states and employers require further education, which you can obtain from a vocational school or community college.

Salary: $18,480

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Anthony Balderrama is a writer and blogger for He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Copyright 2008

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