The field of medicine has changed a lot in the past few decades. At one time, the most common entry points into the profession included just two careers, nursing and being a medical doctor. Today’s landscape is much wider, encompassing mental wellness and other forms of physical treatment.
For instance, in addition to nursing and med school, millions of adults join the ranks of professional healthcare as psychologists, massage therapists, dentists, social workers, and more. Each job category has its own unique educational requirements. Not all include the need for a college degree, but most call for at least a four-year diploma from an institution of higher education or vocational school. Here are details for anyone interested in becoming a nurse, doctor, psychologist, massage therapist, or social worker. Salaries and long-term career paths vary greatly, so be sure to do further research into whichever field you plan to enter.
The current nursing shortage is a worldwide phenomenon, which means now is an ideal time to stake out a career in a field where you have lots of options. Schooling ranges in length from two to five years, based primarily on whether you already have a college degree in a science-based subject. The good news is that many nursing schools offer significant financial incentives for new students. Others guarantee placement upon graduation. In today’s shorthanded environment, prospective nurses can choose their specialties, gain access to subsidized tuition, and look forward to long careers that pay well and offer personal satisfaction.
Certain specialties, like travel nursing, are becoming more in demand as the health care field changes quickly. The position is in high demand when national shortages occur due to demographic shifts or epidemic crisis. That’s why the travel nurse’s salary is significantly higher than the average. Of course, it can differ from state to state and you need to consider all the factors before applying to be sure the job is really for you.
If you have the academic background, temperament, and grades to gain acceptance to medical school, consider yourself lucky. But, after clearing that enormous hurdle, you face another in paying for the next four years of educational training.
Many students opt for Earnest medical school loans to cover the entire cost of earning a graduate medical degree. Training to become a doctor is such an intense, demanding experience that most people make a concerted effort to take care of the financial questions ahead of time. That way, they’re better able to focus solely on their studies and face the rigorous demands of medical school.
Psychologists typically earn a doctoral degree before they are allowed to treat patients in a one-on-one setting. Depending on what your undergrad major was, you might spend between two and six years earning a Ph.D. in psychology. However, once the training and education are complete, the career choices within the field are virtually limitless. Some newly-minted professionals choose to work in clinical settings, while others prefer to open their own office as part of a private practice, treating individuals who need help with natural ways to overcome depression, phobias, sleep problems, relationships, addictions, and more.
Massage therapists need a high school diploma and at least 1,500 hours of additional classroom and clinic training to earn a state license. Practitioners can work independently or for one or more nationwide chains. Some make special connections with orthopedic physicians or chiropractors and work directly out of a physician’s office. While on the low end of the pay scale within the medical profession, massage therapists nevertheless enjoy one of the highest levels of job satisfaction in the entire healthcare sector.