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Thursday, October 20, 2011

5 Medical Careers Expected to See Continued Growth

AURORA, CO - JULY 28: Physician's Assistant Ki...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeA Reach Out Job Search Guest Article

As far as job security goes, the medical field has always been a pinnacle; demand for medical expertise is never in short supply especially as the baby boomer generation continues to age. And yet, specific careers in the medical field are emerging as some of the most promising in terms of demand and applicability. How do you find your way into these new careers? Take a look at the top five medical careers expected to grow.

1. Lab Technician
Behind the scenes of some of the most critical medical decisions are the efforts of the masses of lab technicians operating in private, government, or healthcare facilities throughout the world.

As medical technology has progressed, the process of running laboratory tests has been streamlined and simplified. Now smaller clinics that used to have to outsource most or all of their diagnostic testing can offer fast and reliable results on a number of tests that can help detect both chronic and infectious diseases. This has led to a wide array of job opportunities from phlebotomy to culturing bacteria for disease investigations.

2. Medical Assistant
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 483,600 people were employed as medical assistants in 2008; that’s nearly half a million. This career is expected to grow well into the future and ranking among some of the most promising career choices of the next decade.

Although there are no formal prerequisites, the pre-qualifications to become a medical assistant generally depend on the specificity of your role. For example, some medical assistants operate in a largely administrative way — sorting patient files and updating medical records — while others complete medical assistant training in more clinical aspects of the field such as taking vital signs, preparing and cleaning medical equipment and assisting in medical examinations. Others can specialize to assist in a specific medical field, from podiatry, to mental health, to obstetrics.

3. School Psychologist

In the wake of disturbing outbursts of violence at schools, a great deal of attention has been dedicated to the mental well being of students. Opportunities for school psychologists continue to grow as more resources are wrested toward this vital aspect of childhood development.

This field has solid earning potential but requires a commitment to educational, usually a master’s or doctorate degree, often times with internship experience preferred. Nonetheless, in the era of bully crackdowns, school psychologists will find continued opportunity to foster their careers.

4. Radiology Technicians

Ever since the first X-ray was taken, medical technology has strived to get a better look at what’s inside. Along the way the field has acquired other techniques including computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). And as the technology and demand for these tests continue to develop, this field is expected to have plenty of growth potential.

Training generally entails a two-year associate’s degree with the potential for upward mobility into managerial positions based on experience.

5. Physician’s Assistant

With the potential to earn some serious bucks and a much more express route through the education portion, a career as a physician’s assistant (PA) is a great option for those daunted by the thought of mountains of medical school debt and the malaise of malpractice claims required of full-fledged Medical Doctorate (MD).

Most PA programs require at least two years of full-time post-graduate school. The requirements for PAs vary from state to state, including passing a national exam and maintaining continuing education (100 hours every two years).

Employment in rural and inner-city clinics is expected to grow because many are having continued difficulty in attracting physicians and PAs can perform the majority of clinical duties, allowing cash-strapped agencies to maintain proper patient care with limited resources.

Authors' Bio
Stephanie Rodgers freelance writes about career growth and education.

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