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When it comes to job security, few industries in the United States have the same number of opportunities and projected growth as healthcare does. In addition to being in high demand in many regions of the country, healthcare allows people with little to no experience to find high-paying entry-level work. These are some of the best entry-level healthcare jobs to explore if you’re interested in a rewarding and lucrative career helping others.
Registered nurses (RNs) benefit from having one of the highest salaries in healthcare without having to go to medical school. RNs continue to be in high demand, with an expected growth of 6% over the next decade. Becoming an RN requires completing an accredited nursing program and passing the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX). Subsequent median pay is $77,600 a year according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In the workplace, RNs support doctors in patient care, work closely with patients, and provide routine care. Throughout a typical day, an RN may be responsible for:
These tasks may vary according to the area of specialization and the healthcare setting. Further certifications and specialization can boost earning potential.
A Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) is another lucrative entry-level healthcare career that requires less education and comes with less responsibility than an RN, though their functions can overlap. LPNs need just one year of education to obtain their license. Like RNs, they may work in hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and psychiatric facilities. Their day-to-day duties may include:
LPNs and vocational nurses can expect a median salary of $48,070 per year.
Medical records specialists, commonly known as billing and coding specialists, work behind the scenes as a liaison between medical care providers and insurance companies. They track patient records, medical care administered, insurance information, and payments to ensure that patients’ medical bills are paid by insurance companies. Billing and coding specialists’ responsibilities include:
Medical records specialists earn an annual median salary of $46,660. Considering that you can become a medical records specialist with just a postsecondary certificate, this is a great return on investment.
Surgical techs provide vital assistance in operating rooms during patient surgery. They ensure that procedures are completed in an organized and safe environment, allowing surgeons to focus on their patient. Surgical technicians need a certificate or associate’s degree to find work in the field.
Due to the nature of their work, surgical techs work primarily in hospitals, where they spend their day on duties such as:
Surgical techs earn a median salary of $48,510 per year, making it a great entry-level healthcare role that doesn’t require extensive education or licensure.
Medical lab techs assist patients behind the scenes by collecting samples and performing diagnostic laboratory tests that can help doctors effectively treat patients. These professionals can help detect illnesses, infections, and help medical providers pinpoint the best course of treatment. Lab techs’ day-to-day duties include:
There may be variation in these tasks depending on the type of lab where a laboratory technician works.
Becoming a laboratory technician usually requires a bachelor’s degree, though an associate’s may also meet the minimum requirement for some roles. According to the BLS, the median salary for lab techs is $57,800.
Also known as a patient care liaison, a patient advocate helps patients navigate the healthcare system, acting as a representative for both the patient and the healthcare providers. They communicate and collaborate with members of the healthcare team and are adept at conflict resolution and knowledgeable about insurance and healthcare policies. Their duties include:
Becoming a patient advocate requires only a high school diploma or GED. According to Salary.com, patient advocates make a median salary of $66,935 a year.
Whether you want to work directly with patients or you are interested in working behind the scenes, performing diagnostic tests or tracking medical billing, the entry-level opportunities in healthcare are vast and ever-growing. A degree from Antigua College International can help you find your passion in healthcare.