It should come as no surprise to see another medical job on this list since so many require a surprisingly obtainable and far more affordable associate’s, or two-year degree, instead of a bachelor’s four-year degree. Respiratory therapists help patients with every element of the respiratory system. These professionals usually work in hospitals to help those hospitalized with respiratory system conditions or after surgeries that impact the respiratory system. They often help patients regain lung capacity and strength and provide a lot of comfort and care for those dealing with emphysema, lung cancer, and many more serious conditions.
In most states and hospital systems, you only need an associate’s degree to become a practicing respiratory therapist. You will need to pass an examination conducted by The National Board of Respiratory Care to become a respiratory therapist. However, your associate’s degree or vocational program will help you work towards passing that licensure examination. Respiratory therapists have a relatively high median income of $61,300. That will likely only go higher as demand soars as part of the general shortage of healthcare workers amidst the growing demand for healthcare services. As with nursing and other specialties, respiratory therapy is very likely to see immense growth.
An underappreciated element of the medical field is the immense amount of work that maintains the extensive, sensitive records that medical care provides. The wizards managing all of that data are medical records technicians who specialize in organizing, storing, and protecting a healthcare network’s patients’ confidential health data. If you’ve ever had to ask for health records to be released to either yourself or another health care provider, you likely spoke to a medical records technician. Those who are comfortable with computers and have an excellent eye for accuracy and attention to detail would be ideal fits for this fast-paced, high-tech profession.
Becoming a medical records technician typically requires a two-year associate’s degree and then passing some certification exams that indicate proficiency in medical abbreviations, coding language, and more. The median pay is somewhat lower than direct patient care providing medical fields at $37,887. However, like all of the other medical careers we’ve discussed, it shows promising signs of continued growth. As more and more older Americans require more medical care, there will be correspondingly large increases in the amount of medical records data that must be organized and maintained. Hospitals continue to transition to exclusively digital record-keeping, which will necessitate more trained medical records technicians.