Health care career advice

Students and parents are often frustrated by the limited choices they appear to have when thinking about careers. Yet, their thinking is often clouded by a lack of information.

For example, if one thinks of health care, attention often turns to doctors and nurses. But there are hundreds of other career options available in health care. Unfortunately, unless you are personally exposed to some of these options and are aware of them, you really can’t make plans to enter them.

A helpful listing of occupations can be found here. This can at least help in understanding many of the options available. Other websites can help in providing information about average requirements such as education as well as average salaries. And many health care careers can be rewarding in many ways.

In considering a career, one must weigh the requirements. Is a degree needed? What kind of degree? Is certification required to get a job, and how does one get certified? Is licensing by a state agency required, and what does it take to be licensed?

Questions must be asked if the expected rewards of a career are worth the effort to enter it. For example, how much college education do you want to pay for in order to get a low-paying job? Can you meet the requirements through experience? Are the licensing or certification requirements difficult?

Interestingly enough, there are some occupations usually not listed. They also can be rewarding, but career information is often lacking. For example, the administrator of a nursing home must be licensed in the state of Michigan. This means the person has to pass a state-administered test. No college degree is required. Yet this person is expected to make decisions about hiring others who are required to have a certain amount of education and often be certified and/or licensed.

Even better is the job of hospital administrator. There are absolutely no requirements in Michigan … no education, certification or licensing. All it takes is simply to be hired by the hospital, and hiring decisions can be based on odd items — such as your personal connections. Hospital administration currently is among the highest paid of occupations and has the responsibility for hiring and firing others who have many professional requirements. So for a very high-paying job with minimal requirements, consider this field.

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