Starting a career in healthcare is an excellent choice for those who are passionate about helping others and making a difference in people’s lives. While physicians and nurses often receive the most attention, allied health jobs make up over half of the healthcare workforce according to the Association of Schools Advancing Health Professions.
Allied health professionals play a vital role in delivering quality care to patients in a variety of healthcare settings. As some of the fastest-growing jobs in the country, allied health careers provide great job security, competitive salaries, and growth opportunities.
So, what exactly are allied healthcare careers? And what are some of the best disciplines to get into based on that criteria? Let’s take a closer look.
What is Allied Healthcare?
Allied healthcare is a collective term for an array of healthcare professionals who work together with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare clinicians to prevent, diagnose, and treat various healthcare issues. The range of services these healthcare providers offer is vast and highly specialized, which includes audiology and speech-language pathology, physical and occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, as well as imaging and radiology. Across all levels of the industry, allied healthcare professionals work in hospitals, medical centers, clinics, and long-term care facilities.
5 of the Best Allied Health Disciplines
If you’re interested in communication and linguistics, speech-language pathologists help people of all ages overcome communication disorders and improve their quality of life. Speech-language pathology requires a Master’s degree and a certificate of clinical competence after a first year of supervised clinical practice.
This is a career that is in high demand, and it is expected to grow even more in the coming years. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, speech-language pathologists can expect a 23% growth from 2021-2031 in the field. It’s also a well-paying field. As of 2021, SLPs made an annual median of $79,060 per year or $38.01 per hour.
Physical therapists help people of all ages live healthier and more active lives. They work with patients who have been injured or who have chronic conditions that limit their mobility. Physical therapy jobs requires a doctorate or professional degree.
There are many reasons why a career as a physical therapist is a good idea. Physical therapists typically have good job security, growing much faster than average at 17%. PTs can earn $95,620 per year or $45.97 per hour median salary according to BLS as of 2021.
Occupational therapy is a career that is both personally and professionally rewarding. Occupational therapists help patients regain independence and improve their overall quality of life. A Master’s degree is required to practice as an occupational therapist.
Occupational therapists report high levels of job satisfaction. This is likely due to the feeling of making a difference in people’s lives as well as the opportunity to work with a variety of patients.
The BLS indicates that occupational therapists make a median average of $85,570 per year or $41.14 per hour as of 2021 and the field is expected to grow 14% from 2021 to 2031.
In this role, respiratory therapists work closely with clinicians and healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care for patients. Respiratory therapists help those who have trouble breathing, whether it be due to an illness, an injury, or a congenital condition. In addition to a good salary and job security, respiratory therapists also enjoy a good work-life balance.
There are many benefits to working as a respiratory therapist. It is a stable and growing industry. The BLS projects that the demand for respiratory therapists will grow by 14% from 2021 to 2031. In addition to job security, respiratory therapists can expect a median annual wage of $61,830 per year or $29.73 per hour as of 2021.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Sonographers must be trained in the use of ultrasound equipment and must be able to interpret the images they produce. They often work closely with physicians and other medical professionals to provide diagnostic information. Sonographers have a promising career path for those with an interest in medical technology and patient care.
To become a sonographer, one must typically complete a two-year associate degree program and obtain certification from a professional organization. According to BLS, as of 2021, the median salary for sonographers was $75,380, or $36.24 per hour. Additionally, the job outlook for sonographers is faster than average, with a projected growth rate of 10% between 2021 and 2031.
Allied Health Jobs at SHC
In today’s job market, there are many allied healthcare careers to choose from. Speech-language pathology, physical therapy, occupational therapy, respiratory therapy, and sonography jobs are all in high demand.
At Supplemental Health Care, we have a dedicated Allied Health division that can help you find the right job for your skills and experience. Connect with us today to learn more about our available travel and local positions.
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