There’s always a trade-off when deciding whether to continue your education. On one hand, you could start working now, but on the other hand, if you go to school for a few years, you could earn a lot more over the long term. The trick is finding the perfect blend of going to school and making more money.
While you are pretty much assured to make a lot more money if you complete a bachelors degree program in a high-demand field, employers are not quite so eager to hire two-year program graduates for above-average wages. There are a few careers, however, that offer great wages if you complete a two-year associate’s degree.
Almost every career in the medical field is expected to have huge growth over the next 8-10 years. Why? For one, baby boomers are aging and requiring more comprehensive medical care. Many of these boomers worked in the medical field and are now retiring. So, it’s definitely a good time to consider completing a degree that will get you into a high-demand medical job, such as those outlined below.
Medical Billing and Coding
This field is expected to grow 20% from 2008-18, meaning that qualified medical billing and coding agents will definitely be in demand. With a starting wage averaging $15 per hour, this is an excellent job to consider – and programs to qualify take less than two years to complete (some just 6 months). As an added incentive, since much of this work is being outsourced to freelance or contract workers, you may have the opportunity to work from home if medical billing and coding appeals to you.
There is going to be incredible demand in this field over the next few years, with an expected increase in jobs of 36% from 2008-18. With a median wage of $66,570 there is excellent potential to make a great wage as a dental hygienist. However, to be successful in this field, you have to be able to work hard and be good at biology and chemistry – something that is not for everyone. You also have to be good at working with people, and be very patient and understanding (especially with kids!)
Radiology Technicians & Technologists
These technicians work in clinics, hospitals, and imaging centers to help take X-Rays and other diagnostic images. Employment in this field is expected to grow about 17% from 2008-2018, which is above the national average. Radiology technologists usually make more than technicians, and likewise require a higher level of learning. The average wage for this field is $52,210 – not a bad wage for two years or less of schooling! There is also the opportunity to take further education classes to expand your knowledge in this field, as well as your earning potential.
Respiratory Therapists and Technicians
The aging population has resulted in a much higher demand in this field – an expected 21% increase from 2008-18 for respiratory therapists. Both careers require two years or less of education; respiratory therapists tend to earn about $10,000 more per year (over $52,000).
These technologists work in operating rooms to help nurses and doctors with preparation, conducting, and cleaning up after surgeries. In order to excel at the studies required for this job, you should have a good grasp of mathematics, biology and chemistry. Studies in this field can last from 9 to 24 months and the average salary is $38,740. From 2008-2018, this field is expected to grow by 25%.
Guest Post: This article was written by Lauren Marone who helps run and maintain MedicalBillingandCoding.org, which is your most reliable source for medical billing and coding training programs, careers and future job outlooks.