See how the right education could prepare you for a hot career in health care.
Interested in pursuing a career in the health care industry?
Now might be a good time to start preparing.
As an industry, health care is projected to create about 3.2 million jobs from 2008-2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
To help you decide which health care career is right for you, we've highlighted five careers with favorable employment growth through 2018.
Career #1 - Medical and Health Services Manager
Average annual salary: $93,670*
If you've got a passion for business - and health care - you're in luck. Medical and health services managers, who plan, direct, coordinate, and supervise the delivery of health care, can enjoy the best of both worlds.
Employment Growth: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employment of medical and health services managers will grow by 16 percent from 2008-2018.
Education: A master's degree in health services administration, long-term care administration, health sciences, public health, public administration, or business administration is standard for this career. However, according to the Department of Labor, a bachelor's degree could be enough for some entry-level positions in smaller facilities.
Career #2 - Registered Nurse
Average annual salary: $67,720*
Want a career that lets you help save lives? As a nurse, you could work in a fast-paced and rewarding environment, helping those in critical and/or stable condition sustain or improve their quality of life.
Employment Growth: Nurses are in high-demand. In 2008, there were 2.6 million nursing positions and by 2018, there will be another 582,000 more available, according to projections by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Education: The three typical educational paths to a career as a registered nurse are a bachelor's degree, an associate's degree, and a diploma from an approved nursing program, according to the Department of Labor.
Career #3 - Medical Records and Health Information Technician
Average annual salary: $35,010*
Think a career in health care means you have to work with patients? Think again. As a medical records and health information technician, it could be your job to work with patients' health information - not the patients themselves.
Employment Growth: Medical records and information technicians are projected to experience 20 percent job growth through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Education: Don't want to spend four years in school just to prepare for a new career? This may be a good option for you. According to the Department of Labor, an associate's degree, which could take as little as two years to complete, is the general credential.
Career #4 - Medical Assistant
Average annual salary: $29,760*
Unlike medical records and health information technicians, medical assistants work directly with patients, often taking their medical histories and vital signs. If you're a people person, a career as a medical assistant could be just what you're looking for...
Employment Growth: Medical assisting jobs are projected to grow by 34 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Education: Medical assisting programs can sometimes be completed within one to two years, either through a certificate or associate's degree program, respectively.
Career #5 - Pharmacy Technician
Average annual salary: $29,330*
Interested in a health care career, but can do without working in a medical setting? About 75 percent of pharmacy technician positions are in a retail setting, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The gig itself often involves helping licensed pharmacists prepare prescription medications or provide customer service.
Employment Growth: The U.S. Department of Labor estimates employment of pharmacy technicians and aides will grow by 25 percent through 2018.
Education: Consider looking into certificate or associate's degree programs, which generally take about six months to two years to complete, according to the Department of Labor.
*All average salary information is from the U.S. Department of Labor's May 2010 Occupational Employment Statistics. All employment growth data is from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2010-11 Edition.