Online Colleges for Health

We all know that doctors and nurses diagnose our illnesses and injuries and give us the treatment or medication to make us better. But if you're interested in health care, there are many careers to consider besides doctor or nurse. A clinical laboratory technician or technologist analyzes the specimens that a doctor sends to the lab. A medical records specialist is responsible for maintaining patient files. These files are often consulted and amended by physician assistants, who work with doctors and have important duties, including making diagnoses and performing some procedures like suturing.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) lists no less than 40 occupations under the heading of health care. Many of these occupations are highly in-demand: the BLS reports that health care occupations could add 3.5 million new jobs from 2010 to 2020 at a growth rate of 29 percent nationally, making it the fastest-growing labor sector in the U.S. Health professionals are in high demand in states like Florida, which have a higher percentage of elderly residents. Some of the highest paying heath occupations in 2010 listed by the BLS include:

  • Physician Assistants - $86,410  average median salary
  • Physical Therapists - $76,310 average median salary
  • Occupational Therapists - $72,310 average median salary

Health Degree Programs and Careers

Just as we all know what doctors do, we know that it's tough to become one. Pre-med undergraduate degree programs are science-heavy, with courses in biology, chemistry and physics supplemented by classes such as anatomy and nutrition. If you're smart and lucky, you can look forward to the rigors of medical school. But there are plenty of associate and bachelor's degree programs that prepare you to enter the health care workforce right out of school. Many of these programs are offered by online colleges and feature very targeted degrees. For example, you can get a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Studies with a concentration in long-term care, or a Bachelor of Science in Health care Administration. Getting a degree from one of these programs, you can learn skills to make you marketable for jobs like medical services manager, physician assistant, or health information technician.

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