16 Health Science Careers You Can Launch in Two Years or Less

Illustrated healthcare icons 

It’s no secret that the medical field generally offers stable careers with bright job outlooks. But entering the healthcare industry seems daunting. Medical professionals need so much specialized knowledge to care for patients, and you don’t have the resources to spend half a decade in school!

You might be surprised to learn that many health science careers don’t require a lengthy education at all. We used Bureau of Labor Statistics data to round up 16 health science careers that are growing at a rate faster than the national average—and that you can launch in two years or less.1

Take a look at these health science careers to see whether one of them catches your eye.

16 In-demand health science careers you can launch in two years

Get a taste of the wide variety of careers in health science. Determine which ones best align with your skills and interests.

1. Home health aide

2017 Median annual salary: $23,1301

Required education: High school diploma1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 41 percent1

Home health aides visit patients in their own homes to provide care and assistance with daily tasks. Their medical duties could include administering medication, recording vital signs, changing dressings and reporting a patient’s progress to their physician. Home health aides may also help with household tasks such as laundry, light cleaning and delivering groceries.

2. Physical therapist assistant

2017 Median annual salary: $46,9201

Required education: Associate’s degree1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 31 percent1

Physical therapist assistants are part of a fast-growing medical specialty that focuses on helping patients regain movement after injury or illness. They work with physical therapists to educate patients, help patients perform specific exercises and use massage or stretching to improve patients’ mobility and manage pain.

3. Medical assistant

2017 Median annual salary: $32,4801

Required education: Postsecondary non-degree award1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 29 percent1

Medical assistants work in hospitals and clinics to record vital signs and medical histories, assist physicians with examinations, administer injections and medications, and prepare patients for procedures like X-rays. This hands-on healthcare career could be the right opportunity for someone who wants to be part of the routine care that’s vital in healthcare facilities.

4. Occupational therapy assistant

2017 Median annual salary: $56,6901

Required education: Associate’s degree1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 28 percent1

Occupational therapy assistants work with patients to perform therapeutic exercises designed to help them improve or recover the skills they need to live and work. Occupational therapy assistants teach patients how to use special equipment and how to properly perform stretches and exercises. They may also work with children to improve coordination and socialization.

5. Dental assistant

2017 Median annual salary: $37,6301

Required education: Postsecondary non-degree award1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 19 percent1

You’re probably familiar with dental assistants as the medical professionals who help care for your teeth at your yearly dentist visits. They take X-rays, prepare patients for procedures, polish teeth and apply fluoride. This growing career field could be for you if you would enjoy a variety of job duties and working closely with others on a healthcare team.

6. Human service assistant

2017 Median annual salary: $33,1201

Required education: High school diploma1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 16 percent1

Human service assistants work with clients to connect them with the resources and benefits they need, including medical care. They coordinate services, help clients complete paperwork, apply for eligible medical benefits and check in to ensure their clients are receiving the services they need. Human service assistants often work with children, the elderly and people struggling with mental illness or addiction.

7. Medical administrative assistant

2017 Median annual salary: $34,6102

Required education: Postsecondary non-degree award2

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 15 percent2

These healthcare professionals, also called medical secretaries, are responsible for greeting patients, scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records and performing other clerical duties. Consider a medical administrative assistant career if you enjoy being around people but aren’t sure whether you’re cut out for direct patient care.

8. Registered nurse (RN)

2017 Median annual salary: $70,0001

Required education: Associate’s degree1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 15 percent1

RNs observe and monitor a patient’s condition and consult with physicians on a patient’s care. Many RNs have specific job duties related to their medical specialty, such as neonatal care, oncology or public health. Consider becoming an RN if you’re interested in direct patient care but want the freedom to explore other medical specialties.

9. Health information technician

2017 Median annual salary: $39,1801

Required education: Postsecondary non-degree award or Associate’s degree1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 13 percent1

Health information technicians (HIT) maintain and organize patients’ medical data, such as health history, test results, medications and visit summaries. They also follow regulations for electronic health records to maintain patient privacy. Consider this health science specialty if you have a knack for organization and want to help patients without providing direct care.

10. Medical coder

2017 Median annual salary: $39,1801

Required education: Postsecondary non-degree award1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 13 percent1

Medical coders use a special set of codes to translate patient visits and diagnoses into language insurance companies can understand. Their work is important so that patients and insurance are billed correctly and so that patients’ electronic health records are accurate. Medical coding could be for you if you have a knack for computer skills and don’t shy away from research.

11. Medical lab technician

2017 Median annual salary: $51,7701

Required education: Associate’s degree1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 13 percent1

Medical lab technicians are the healthcare specialists who collect blood or tissue samples and analyze them according to physicians’ directions. They operate and maintain specialized equipment to perform their tests, and they meticulously log their findings to ensure accuracy. If you’re detail-oriented and not squeamish around blood, this could be the medical career for you.

12. Radiologic technologist

2017 Median annual salary: $58,4401

Required education: Associate’s degree1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 12 percent1

Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging, like X-rays and MRIs, on patients. Radiologic techs maintain equipment, prepare patients for imaging and protect patients from harmful radiation. They may also collaborate with physicians to read the images.

13. Licensed practical nurse (LPN)

2017 Median annual salary: $45,0301

Required education: Postsecondary non-degree award1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 12 percent1

Licensed practical nurses are hard-working healthcare professionals who work under the direction of a registered nurse or physician to provide patient care. An LPN’s duties vary by state, but they can typically be found monitoring and recording patients’ health and performing basic care like changing bandages. If you’re intrigued by the nursing field, becoming an LPN is an option that allows you to get your start without as much schooling as an RN.

14. Pharmacy technician

2017 Median annual salary: $31,7501

Required education: High school diploma or certificate1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 12 percent1

Pharmacy techs work under the supervision of pharmacists to prepare prescriptions for patients. They’re responsible for accurately measuring medication according to a physician’s instructions, managing inventory and restocking prescriptions. Pharmacy techs also process insurance claims and provide customer service to patients in person and on the phone. 

15. Surgical technologist

2017 Median annual salary: $46,3101

Required education: Postsecondary non-degree award1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 12 percent1

Surgical technologists assist in operating rooms, where they prep the OR, sterilize equipment and pass instruments to the surgeon. These medical professionals must be detail-oriented as they carefully disinfect surfaces to prevent infection, and their compassion and empathy come into play when they prepare patients for surgery.

16. Certified nursing assistant (CNA)

2017 Median annual salary: $27,5101

Required education: High school diploma or postsecondary non-degree award1

Projected employment growth (2016 – 2026): 11 percent1

Certified nursing assistants provide basic care—such as feeding, bathing and transferring from a bed to a wheelchair—to patients in hospitals or nursing homes. They listen to patients’ concerns and communicate their needs to doctors and nurses on the healthcare team. CNAs may develop close camaraderie with the patients in their care, so this could be a great career option if you’re looking to connect with patients over a longer period of time.

Time to launch your health science career

Now you know there are plenty of options for fast-growing health science careers you can start in two years or less. If you’re ready to get started as soon as possible, check out Rasmussen College’s Health Sciences programs to learn how to take the first step!

1Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [career information accessed February 18, 2019] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary. Completion time is dependent on transfer credits accepted and the number of courses completed each term.
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Employment Statistics, [career information accessed February 18, 2019] www.bls.gov/oes/. Information represents national, averaged data for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Ashley Brooks

Ashley is a freelance writer for Collegis education who writes student-focused articles on behalf of Rasmussen College. She believes in the power of words and knowledge and enjoys using both to encourage others on their learning journeys

female writer

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

Add your comment

*

Please enter your name.

*

Please enter your email.

*

Please enter your comment.

Comments

icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-growth icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x