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Top 5 Hands-on Healthcare Careers

Top 5 Hands-On Healthcare Careers of 2021

Imagine you’re on a tv show like House and you’re flying around all over the hospital trying to help Dr. House solve his latest medical mystery. For some, there’s just something tantalizing about the fast-paced environment and the ability to change lives. And if you are one of those people, you know exactly why you want it.

Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have a career (that isn’t as heavily dramaticized as a tv show) where your hands-on health care you give to patients actually makes a difference in real and tangible lives?

So what are the best hands-on healthcare careers and jobs in 2021? What career paths can put you right into the action where you can save lives? As you read this, don’t forget to picture yourself in the career at hand.

We’ll be going over what each of these positions does, the hiring requirements for the healthcare position, and the average salary. We’ve also made a conscious choice to make sure these hands-on healthcare careers are accessible to those without college degrees!

Nursing Assistant:

What They Do: Nursing assistants provide care and perform routine tasks under nursing and medical staff, indirectly. Your job would consist of performing a variety of tasks such as keeping patients’ rooms tidy, escorting patients to operating and examining rooms, setting up equipment, assistance with procedures, moving and storing medical supplies, as well as documenting and reporting any changes to a patient's mental, emotional, or physical conditions.

Hiring Requirements: Completion of a state-approved education program and passing of your state’s competency exam to become certified.

Average Salary: $28,350 is the average salary for a Nursing Assistant per year.


Home Health Aids/Caregivers:

Expected growth through 2026: 41%, making this our fastest growing career.

What Home Health Aide’s / Caregivers Do: Caregivers, also known as home health aides, assist elderly or disabled adults with daily activities at home or in daytime care facilities. Duties can include a wide variety of things, but typically include making beds, doing laundry, preparing meals, advising families, the elderly and disabled on nutrition, cleanliness, and household utilities.

Education Requirements: A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required, though it’s not mandatory for some positions. That means this is a great hospital job without the need of a high school diploma.

Average Annual Salary: $24,060, with trends in healthcare careers pushing this salary higher as more openings become readily available for immediate hire. This is the future of healthcare.


Dental Assistants:


What They Do: Dental Assistants provide patient care, take x rays, keep records, and schedule appointments.

Hiring Requirements: Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements, and dental assistants learn through on-the-job training.

Average Salary: According to BLS the average salary for this role is approximately $40,080.


Medical Assistants:

Expected growth through 2026: 29%

What Medical Assistants Do: Medical assistants work in doctor's offices, hospitals, and other health care facilities to record and maintain patients' health history and personal information. They also assist doctors with exams, take patients' blood pressure, and may administer injections or medications. Some administrative duties (such as scheduling) may also be part of the job.

Education Requirements: You can enter the field with a high school diploma and learn on the job, but many medical assistants complete a certification program. As this job doesn’t require much upfront educational or time investment, this position definitely makes the list of medical careers for older adults, and you’re genuinely making a difference.

Average Annual Salary: $32,480


Physical Therapy Assistants / Aides:

Expected growth through 2026: 30%

What Physical Therapy Assistants / Aides Do: Physical therapist assistants, sometimes called PTAs, and physical therapist aides help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses regain movement and manage pain. They work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. Day-to-day activities may be different depending on what sorts of clients you have and what kind of work there is to be done around the therapy space.

Educational Requirements: Physical therapist assistants need an associate’s degree from an accredited program to enter the profession, and all states require them to be licensed or certified. Physical therapist aides usually have a high school diploma and receive on-the-job training. So if you’re looking for a career with a lower barrier to entry, but a medical career with job growth, this is a good choice.

Average Annual Salary: $46,920


Best Hands-On Medical Career Advice

Do any of these careers look like amazing opportunities to you? Do any of these hands-on medical positions ignite the fire within you to make a difference in people's lives? In the growing healthcare sector there are a ton of different career options that make it a viable career path, that’s why it’s important to pick a position and do your research. Who knows, you may pivot later anyway. If you are looking for the healthcare career of your dreams however, don’t forget to check out our niche healthcare job board, Healthcare Consultant.