Do you dream of working in the medical industry, but do not have the time or money to invest in a long educational pathway? If so, there is good news for you! There are a number of exciting opportunities for medical technicians that do not involve an extensive educational course load. Many of these professions only require an associate’s degree, and allow you to get started working right away earning a great salary. Best of all, demand is increasing for many of these jobs, and that means a ton of opportunity in the years to come. Check out these exciting medical technician and technologist jobs! Your future is waiting for you.
1. Radiologic or MRI Technologist
Are you fascinated by medical imaging? If so, you may do well as a radiologic or MRI technologist. These technologists are responsible for performing diagnostic exams on patients that require imaging from X-ray devices, MRI scanners, and more. About half work in hospitals, while others work in different types of healthcare facilities. All you need to do this job is an associate’s degree and a passion for medical imaging. In some states, you may also need a license or certification.
How good is the pay? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual pay in this field in 2012 was $55,910 per year, which comes out to around $26.88 per hour. That isn’t bad for a job that only requires a couple of years of education! The field is growing at a rate of 21%, which is faster than average! We can expect to see almost 50,000 new jobs in this field open up between now and 2022.
2. Ultrasound Technician
Another great technician job in the field of medical imaging is the role of ultrasound technician (also known as a sonography technician). Ultrasound technicians take images to diagnose medical conditions, and also show pregnant women their growing fetuses! How high is the ultrasound technician salary? You can earn an average of $65,860 per year! This field is growing at a rage of 39%. That’s incredible, and represents a great deal of opportunity. What an amazing field to get into with just an associate’s degree!
3. Surgical Technologist
For those who love anatomy and dream of working in the operating room but cannot afford to go to medical school to become a surgeon, becoming a surgical technologist (also known as a surgical technician) is the next best thing! What do surgical technologists do? Imagine working in an operating room and prepping it for a patient, arranging equipment, and handing instruments and supplies to the surgeon during operation. This is an amazing opportunity to earn a great salary with nothing more than a postsecondary award or an associate’s degree. That’s right, you may not even need a degree, just a certificate! The annual pay for this job? According to the BLS, you can earn around $41,790 per year. The field is growing at a rate of 30%, which is excellent.
4. Pharmacy Technician
While this is one of the lower earning technician jobs in the medical field, it also is one of the few that do not require a degree or certification of any kind. Pharmacy technicians help to dispense medications to customers, and serve in a support role for pharmacists. They may work at pharmaceutical retail outlets, or at pharmacies in hospitals and other healthcare facilities. You can make an average of $29,320 per year in this job role according to the BLS. Job outlook is great. The field is growing at a rate of 20%, but that represents a lot of new openings. Between 2012 and 2022, the BLS projects 70,700 new jobs for pharmacy technicians. Pharmacy techs are needed everywhere, so this is a wonderful opportunity no matter where you are located.
5. Cardiovascular Technician
If you are looking for a more specialized role in the medical field, you may be intrigued by the role of the cardiovascular technician or technologist. This job allows you to assist with the diagnosis of patients in a cardiovascular capacity. You may conduct electrocardiograms, tests on lung capacity, and more. Vascular technicians also fall under this umbrella. The annual pay according to the BLS averages out to $52,070. The field is growing at a rate of 39%, so there is a ton of opportunity here. What an exciting field to leap into!
6. Lab Technician
If you dream of working in a laboratory as opposed to another medical environment, one job which you may enjoy a great deal is the role of laboratory technician. Lab technicians and technologists have the job of collecting and analyzing samples. As a lab tech, you run tests on body fluids and tissue samples and sometimes other substances as well. These tests help doctors to make their diagnoses. Around half of all lab techs work directly in hospitals, while the rest may work in diagnostic laboratories or labs located in clinics.
How do you become a lab technician? All you need is an associate’s degree or a certificate in most cases. In some states you may also need to get a license in order to qualify. The pay is worth it though; you could earn an average of $47,820 per year as a lab technician or technologist. This field, like all the rest here, is growing at a rate which is much faster than average. The BLS projects more than 70,000 new job openings between 2012 and 2022!
See also: Five Offbeat Medical Careers
As you can see, there are a lot of amazing careers out there just waiting for you if you have a passion for medical science and dream of helping people to get well. As a medical technician or technologist, you can make a real difference for yourself and for others, and you can get started with an associate’s degree or even just a certification in your field. All of these jobs are expanding rapidly, and there is opportunity everywhere. So go for it! Pursue the medical career of your dreams.