6 Promising Professions in Allied Health

Choosing the right career is serious business—particularly in healthcare. It takes time, thought, and a lot of homework. With industry insights, concrete statistics, and detailed analysis provided by the National Healthcareer Association (NHA), we hope to help you find your path with ease and confidence.

So, You Want to Work in Healthcare?

There’s a lot to consider before choosing a career path: salary expectations and requirements, daily responsibilities, location, outlook, flexibility…it’s a long and winding road—one that can take you almost anywhere. 

And if you’re looking at diving into the fast-paced world of healthcare, you might not know where to start. What sort of education do you need? What skills are employers looking for? Is the industry stable? 

All great questions—and lucky for you, we have some answers. 

Thanks to a recent study by the NHA (one of CareerStep’s trusted certification partners accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies), we have a massive amount of information regarding the future outlook of a variety of Allied Health professions: Patient Care Technician, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, EKG Technician, Billing and Coding Specialist, and Medical Administrative Assistant. 

Download the PDF for the full study—but here, we’ll explore salary estimates, job demand, education requirements, and training opportunities. 

First, though, let’s cover a few high-level industry numbers you’ll want to remember: 

  • 63% of healthcare institutions will increase the pay of professionals with solid credentials and/or certifications. By earning your certification, you boost your hireability and gain concrete skills that translate directly to the work you’ll do on the job.
  • The healthcare industry currently employs more than 16 million Americans—a number that’s expected to grow by 14% through 2028.
  • In the next 5 to 10 years, 1.9 million new jobs will be created across multiple fields throughout all of healthcare.
  • 48% of institutions have a veteran hiring initiative.

In short, healthcare is booming, and your opportunities are virtually endless. This means you’ve made a terrific choice as far as your industry is concerned. 

Now let’s break down specific career options…

1. Patient Care Technician 

Patient care technicians provide basic care for folks in need of daily assistance. This includes bathing, feeding, and catheter care. They even manage supplies and, sometimes, perform EKG and phlebotomy procedures.

  • 78% of employers encourage or require certification for patient care technicians. Everyone needs healthcare. CareerStep’s Patient Care Technician program sets you up to pass the NHA’s Certified Patient Care Technician/Assistant (CPCT/A), the AMCA’s Patient Care Technician Certification, and the NCCT’s Patient Care Technician (NCPCT) exams.
  • According to ZipRecruiter, average annual salaries can reach as high as $52,000, but usually range between $24,000 and $34,000 per year.
  • Projections show that employment for billing and coding specialists is expected to grow 29% by 2026.
  • Most important soft skills, as expressed by employers, include professionalism, verbal communication, and critical thinking.
Patient care technicians provide care for people in need of daily assistance

2. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians are absolutely essential to the industry. They prepare prescription orders, process insurance claims, and walk patients through the details of their medications.

  • 90% of employers encourage or require certification for pharmacy technicians. CareerSteo’s online Pharmacy Technician program includes a free voucher to take the PTCB exam. 
  • The average salary for most pharmacy technicians is nearly $33,000 a year.
  • Projections show that employment for pharmacy technicians is expected to grow 7% by 2028.
  • Most important soft skills, as expressed by employers, include critical thinking, professionalism, and verbal communication.
Pharmacy technicians are essential to the health industry

3. Phlebotomy Technician

Within the large and growing healthcare industry, phlebotomy technicians play a key role in keeping a healthcare facility running smoothly. They draw blood for tests, transfusions, donations, or even for research.

  • 93% of employers encourage or require certification for phlebotomy techs. Gain all the knowledge you need to pass the CPT certification exam and start working in less than a month. 
  • The median salary for phlebotomy techs is just under $34,000 a year.
  • Projections show that employment for phlebotomy techs is expected to grow 23% by 2028.
  • Most important soft skills, as expressed by employers, include professionalism, dependability, and verbal communication.
Phlebotomy technicians draw blood for tests, transfusions, and donations

4. EKG Technician

Electrocardiogram (EKG) technicians conduct diagnostic tests that help doctors identify cardiovascular issues in patients. They’re an important—even vital—part of a healthcare team.

  • 87% of employers encourage or require certification for EKG technicians. CareerStep’s program was designed to help you pass the Certified EKG Technician (CET) exam within 3 months of signup. 
  • The median salary for EKG technicians is about $57,000 a year.
  • Projections show that employment for billing and coding specialists is expected to slowly increase over the next few years—just not as fast as other occupations in the industry.
  • Most important soft skills as, expressed by employers, include professionalism, dependability, and verbal communication.

5. Billing and Coding Specialist

Billing and coding specialists play a vital role in the healthcare ecosystem, ensuring that third-party payers are billed correctly so healthcare providers can get reimbursed. They review and manage patients’ electronic medical records and assign codes to diagnoses and procedures that have been performed.

  • 83% of employers encourage or require certification for billing and coding specialists. Most CareerStep learners complete their training and earn their certification in 8 months or less.
  • The median salary for most coding and billing specialists is between $40,000 and $66,000 a year.
  • Projections show that employment for billing and coding specialists is expected to grow 11% by 2028.
  • Most important soft skills, as expressed by employers, include professionalism, dependability, and critical thinking.
Billing and coding specialists ensure third-parties are billed correctly so healthcare providers can get reimbursed

6. Medical Administrative Assistant

Medical administrative assistants provide exceptional customer service and keep their medical office running smoothly. They schedule appointments, verify insurance, and submit claims.

  • 75% of employers encourage or require certification for medical administrative assistants. When you complete a Medical Assistant program online through CareerStep, you can be ready to enter the workforce in as little as 4 months.
  • The median salary for most medical assistants is around $35,000 a year, with the potential to grow to over $50,000 a year with additional experience. Plus, you’ll qualify for traditional employee benefits. 
  • Projections show that employment for medical assistants is expected to grow 29% by 2026.
  • Most important soft skills, as expressed by employers, include professionalism, dependability, and verbal communication.
Medical administrative assistants provide customer service and keep medical offices running smoothly

Get Trained, Get Certified, and Get Working With CareerStep

We’ve been there. We understand the frustration of living paycheck to paycheck, the pain of rejection, and the overwhelming pressure to support your family as costs go up and wages stagnate. That’s why we do what we do (and do it better than anyone else): 

Because we’re tired of dodging the hurdles of traditional education. Because we’re fed up with a merciless job market. Because you deserve better options.

And in the competitive landscape of career development, you need something that gives you a professional edge. We can help.
Check out our Program Catalog and get started today!

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