Working in healthcare is the perfect choice for many people. After all, jobs in healthcare often offer a stable career, good salaries, and a chance to make a difference each day.
You also have a lot of choices. Jobs, such as physician assistants, nurses and therapists, are on the frontlines of patient care. But when it comes to healthcare jobs, not everyone wants to be front and center. For instance, you might not consider yourself much of a people person. That doesn’t mean you don’t want to help people. It just means you may prefer to work independently.
The good news is there are also many jobs in healthcare that are behind the scenes but still play a vital role in providing care. Jobs behind the scenes are available that require various levels of training. Below are options that require a doctorate, bachelor’s degree, and a two-year degree.
Consider some of the following careers:
When you think of the responsibilities of a doctor, you might think they examine patients, order tests and prescribe treatment. But a pathologist plays a different role in medical care. A pathologist is a medical doctor who examines tissue samples and oversees various lab tests on body fluids, such as urine and blood. For example, a surgeon may remove tissue for a biopsy. A pathologist analyzes the sample to determine if cancer is present.
Becoming a pathologist takes a big commitment. Like other types of doctors, a four-year degree and completion of medical school are required. After graduating med school, pathologists must complete a residency, which is usually three or four years.
Some pathologists decide to narrow their focus even more and specialize in a certain aspect of pathology. Pathology specialties include forensics, clinical, and pediatric pathology.
Although it’s a long road to becoming a pathologist, all that education can pay off. In 2015, the average salary for pathologists was about $175,000 a year, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Cytologists analyze cells to identify and study abnormalities. Cytologists do not work directly with patients. Instead, after a sample is obtained by another medical professional, such as a nurse or doctor, the cytologist studies the sample under a microscope. By determining if cells are abnormal, it can help doctors diagnose conditions, such as cancer and bacterial infections.
If you enjoy science and enjoy working independently, cytology may be a good choice. Cytologists must earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in cytology or a related field, such as biology. If you earn an undergraduate degree in something other than cytology, you’ll need to complete a graduate program in cytology.
Opportunities for cytologists are usually in hospital labs. Additional jobs may be found in government and research. The average salary for cytologists is 2015, according to Salary.com, was about $72,000 yearly.
Being involved in surgery can be an interesting career because it’s not just the surgeon who is involved in the process. Surgeries often take a team of medical professionals including Surgical Techs.
Although the job is not as glamorous as a surgeon, Surgical techs still have an important role. Surgical techs work behind the scenes to prepare the operating room and the patient for surgery. Before a procedure, techs gather the needed equipment and instruments and arrange them in proper position.
During the surgery, techs hand the instruments to the surgeon. Handing an instrument may seem easy, but there are hundreds of tools and instruments. Surgical techs need to know what each instrument is used for and anticipate when the surgeon will need which tool.
Surgical tech programs are offered at colleges and technical schools. Most programs are two years. Jobs for surgical technologists are mostly at hospitals and outpatient surgery centers. Salaries for surgical technologists vary depending on where you live and how much experience you have. According to the BLS, in 2015, techs make about $45,000 a year.