When asked what they want to be when they grow up, many little kids will eagerly respond, "A doctor." However, when the time comes, and students begin to understand the hefty price of medical school, they often change their tune.
For the average student, four years of medical school costs somewhere between two and three hundred thousand dollars. As a result, more than 75% of students graduate with debt. Although the earning potential of doctors is high, for many people, it is not worth taking on the burden of hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. If you’re looking for ways to be involved in healthcare without attending medical school, here are a few ideas.
With a certificate:
With only a high school diploma and a certificate, you can become a certified nursing assistant (CNA). As a CNA, you can fill various roles in your community, including working in home health, hospitals, or nursing homes. Most CNAs spend their time helping sick patients perform daily tasks made difficult by their condition. The median income for a CNA is roughly $29,000 * a year.
With an associate's degree:
For those who wish to pursue associates degrees, becoming a respiratory or radiation therapist could be perfect for you. Respiratory therapists work with patients to improve their lung function, while radiation therapists help to administer treatments to cancer patients. Both positions allow for tons of contact with patients each day. A respiratory therapist's median income is about $61,000, * while the median income for a radiation specialist is about $85,000. *
With a bachelor's degree:
If you plan on pursuing a bachelor's degree, becoming a registered nurse (RN) or a nutritionist could be viable career options. Becoming an RN will give you the flexibility to work in either hospitals, doctor’s offices, or clinics, helping patients by administering drugs and taking their vitals. Nutritionists spend their time crafting individualized diet plans for patients and teaching various groups about proper nutrition. Similar to RNs, nutritionists have the flexibility to work in a variety of different settings. The average RN makes about $73,000* a year, while the average nutritionist makes $61,000.*
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook.
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