Make a Difference: How To Choose a Medical Career in 7 Steps

medical healthcare team posing and looking at camera

Did you know that healthcare work makes up 11% of all American jobs?

There's no doubt that it's a popular industry to work in. Healthcare jobs are rewarding, respected, and have plenty of room for personal can career growth.

If you're thinking of working in the medical industry, there are tons of different paths you could take. From a school nurse to a lab technician, you have a lot of options!

To help you make the right choice, here's our guide on how to choose a medical career. 

The Different Types of Medical Careers

If you're looking to choose a medical career, there's a lot more than just a doctor or nurse to pick from. The healthcare industry has a huge wealth of jobs available. While it would be far too long to list them all, here are some that you could pick from:

  • Pharmacy technician
  • Diagnostic medical sonographer
  • Therapist
  • Physician
  • A registered nurse or nursing assistant
  • A dentist or dental assistant
  • Dietician
  • Surgeon
  • Pediatrician
  • Optometrist

With so many types of medical careers, it's no surprise a lot of people struggle to choose the right one! Let's take a look at some of the ways you can make it easier. 

What's Your Motivation?

If you're wondering how to choose the right medical career, the first thing to consider is your motivation.

Are you looking for something with flexible hours? Do you love working directly with people? Or maybe you'd prefer a job away from patients, like in a lab or office. 

A good idea is to make a list of everything you'd like from your dream job and what would get you up in the morning. If money is your priority, look at careers where you can work to reach high-paying positions. Or maybe you just want to help people, in which case working directly with patients will be your priority.

Making sure the career you choose will be fulfilling to you is very important. Whatever your goals are, find a job that can meet them. 

What Courses Are Available?

If you're looking at attending a specific college, like UMA, to get the qualifications you need, the courses available are another factor. Make sure you look at the kind of degrees you can get and the career opportunities available on college sites.

If you have a career in mind, you'll be able to find a college offering the course you need. But if it's too far away, out of your price range, or you don't have the requirements to get it, that'll affect your options. Before setting your heart on a career, make sure you can get the qualifications you need to do it. 

How Long Are You Prepared to Study For?

The number of years you'll spend studying varies a lot in different careers. When asking yourself what medical career should I choose? make sure you bear this in mind.

If you don't like studying and would rather start working as soon as possible, look for a medical course that isn't long. Some jobs that require less studying including occupation therapy assistants, dental hygienists, and medical assistants.

On the other hand, it takes between 10-14 years to become a doctor. For someone who doesn't enjoy studying, this definitely wouldn't be ideal! 

What Salary Are You Looking For?

Just like the amount of studying time, the salaries for different medical jobs vary wildly too. Even if you're not looking to make hundreds of thousands a year, knowing the kind of salary you'll be making is important. 

Take a look at the top 10 highest paying medical careers to get a better idea of the best wages you could be earning. You should also do research into what you'd earn at the beginning of your career before you progress to make sure you can live on the starting wage. 

How to Choose a Medical Career That Suits Your Life

If you're still wondering what medical career is right for me? consider your personality and lifestyle. 

If you're a friendly person who loves being social, a job working with patients will be ideal. Whereas in an office job you may get bored and wish for more contact. Consider your personality and personal needs when choosing your career setting.

You also need to think of your life outside of work. If you have a family, are they going to be able to support you through years of schooling? You'll be studying hard and won't have much time for them, so you need to make sure everyone's okay with that.

You need to look into career availability, too. If there aren't any local residencies or careers in your field, can you relocate in the future? How will this affect your family?

A career is a massive part of your life, so making sure you find one that fits the lifestyle you want is essential.

Start Studying

With these tips on how to choose a medical career, you should find it much easier to find the right role for you. Make sure you do plenty of research, talk with your family, and don't rush into a decision. If you need more help choosing the right medical career, be sure to get in touch with the college you're looking at attending or ask to see a careers advisor. 

For more lifestyle advice, be sure to check out more of the articles over on website! We've got plenty of helpful tips to share with you. 

 

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