The Benefits of Earning an Allied Health Degree
Every professional has his or her own reasons for choosing a career in allied health, a field that includes a wide variety of healthcare-related careers outside of nursing, medicine and dentistry.
Regardless of why they select their occupation, there are many benefits that can come with earning an allied health degree.
Allied Health Professionals Help Others
One of the main reasons people earn an allied-health degree is because they have a passion for helping others. Whether they are providing guidance as a social worker or giving wellness advice as a nutritionist, allied health professionals help clients and patients live longer, healthier lives. In this way, a job in the industry can be extremely rewarding.
A Fast Track for Entering the Healthcare Industry
To land a job in the medical field, many professionals must go to school for extensive amounts of time. For example, to become a doctor, individuals typically spend four years in an undergraduate school, four years in medical school and three to eight years in an internship and residency program. Similarly, dentists generally spend four years earning a bachelor’s degree, then an additional four years earning a Doctor of Dental Medicine degree.
While there is certainly nothing wrong with earning an advanced degree, the allied health industry offers many opportunities for individuals who have a passion for healthcare but want to enter the workforce in a shorter amount of time. For example, with a two-year associate’s degree in the field, individuals can find jobs as medical assistants, health information technicians, respiratory therapists, nuclear medicine technologists, diagnostic medical sonographers and surgical technologists.
Allied Health Opportunities Around the World
Because the allied health industry is so diverse, it gives employees the opportunity to work in a wide variety of environments. In this field, professionals might find themselves in hospitals, clinics, private practices or nursing homes, all of which can be found in every part of the country. Additionally, individuals who want to take their skills to other nations have the opportunity to work overseas and provide care to people in need. Ultimately, everyone needs medical care, no matter where they live, so allied health employees may be able to find work in all corners of the globe.
Earn a Higher Salary
The exact salary individuals will make as an allied health professional ultimately depends on specific job titles. However, many jobs in this field offer employees big paychecks. For instance, PayScale reports that chiropractors can earn up to $107,293 annually, while audiologists typically make as much as $88,205.
Work in a Fast-Growing Field
Another benefit of working in allied health is that the field is constantly growing. As the baby boomer generation ages, they are leaving many of their former positions in the industry open, as well as demanding the services of more healthcare professionals.
Healthcare in general is one of the largest industries in the country, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Through 2020, it is estimated that about 3.5 million new healthcare-related wage and salary jobs will be created, which is more than in any other industry. As many of these jobs will be in the allied health sector, professionals who work in this field can expect to see vast career growth in the future.
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