Top 12 Allied Healthcare Professions

February 10, 2023

Top 12 Allied Healthcare Professions

Healthcare is a complex and ever-changing field, and patients rely on a variety of professionals to meet their needs. Allied health professionals are an important part of this team, providing essential services ranging from disease prevention to diagnosis and treatment. These highly skilled professionals work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, and community health centers.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the allied healthcare field currently makes up 60% of all healthcare positions. This is a significant increase from prior years, where the medical field held a much larger percentage of overall positions. The reason for this shift is due to the changing landscape of healthcare. With advances in technology and an aging population, there is an increased demand for qualified allied healthcare workers. And with the current shortage of workers in the allied healthcare field, now is a great time to consider a career in this growing industry.

There are many different allied health careers to choose from, and each offers its own set of challenges and rewards. If you're looking for a career that will allow you to make a difference in people's lives while also providing good pay and job security, you may want to consider one of the following allied health professions.

1. Physician Assistant

Physician assistants are medical professionals who work closely with physicians and other healthcare providers to provide care for patients. They perform a variety of tasks, including taking medical histories, conducting physical exams, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and providing patient education. They typically need a master’s degree from an accredited educational program. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.

The median annual salary for physician assistants was $121,530 in May 2021.

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2. Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the prevention and treatment of oral disease. They are knowledgeable in the use of cleaning instruments, teeth whitening procedures, and sealants. They provide fluoride treatments and teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene. The employment of dental hygienists is projected to grow 11% from 2020 to 2030.

The median annual salary for dental hygienists was $77,810 in May 2021.

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3. Dietician and Nutritionist

Dieticians are health professionals who advise people on what to eat in order to lead a healthy lifestyle or achieve a specific health-related goal. They work with patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly, and with people who have chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. Nutritionists are similar to dieticians, but they typically have less training and education. Both dieticians and nutritionists play an important role in promoting good health, and they often work together to help people achieve their goals.

The median annual salary for dieticians and nutritionists was $61,650 in May 2021.

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4. Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists help patients regain their ability to perform everyday activities. They use a variety of techniques, including therapeutic exercise, massage, and sensory integration. There are many different types of occupational therapists, and each has his or her own area of expertise. For example, some occupational therapists specialize in working with children with developmental disabilities. Others may work with adults who have suffered a stroke or other neurological injury. OTs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, outpatient clinics, home health agencies, and nursing homes. They may also work in private practice.

The median annual salary for occupational therapists was $85,570 in May 2021.

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5. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians are responsible for preparing and dispensing medications. They work under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, and they must have a thorough knowledge of medical terminology, drug names, and dosage forms. In order to become a pharmacy technician, one must complete an accredited training program and pass a certification exam. They are often the first point of contact for patients who have questions about their medications, and they play a vital role in ensuring that medication errors are prevented. In addition to dispensing medications, pharmacy technicians may also be responsible for inventory control, record keeping, and insurance billing.

The median annual salary for pharmacy technicians was $36,740 in May 2021.

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6. Phlebotomist

Phlebotomists are medical professionals who specialize in the collection of blood samples. They work in hospitals, clinics, and blood banks, and are responsible for ensuring that blood is drawn safely and efficiently. Phlebotomists undergo extensive training to learn how to properly handle needles and how to minimize the risk of infection. In addition, phlebotomists must be able to effectively communicate with patients and put them at ease.

The median annual salary for phlebotomists was $37,380 in May 2021.

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7. Surgical Technologist

Surgical technologists are an important member of the operating room team. They are responsible for sterile setup, patient transportation, and assisting the surgeon throughout the procedure. Surgical techs must have excellent communication skills and be able to work well under pressure. In addition to their technical skills, surgical technologists must also have a strong knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. This knowledge is essential in order to anticipate the surgeon's needs and provide optimal patient care.

The median annual salary for surgical technologists was $48,530 in May 2021.

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8. Speech language pathologist

A speech language pathologist, also known as a speech therapist, specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of communication disorders. They work with patients of all ages, from infants to the elderly. They may work in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, schools, or private practices. In addition to helping people improve their speech, they also work to help people who have difficulty swallowing.

Speech language pathologists use a variety of techniques to help their patients improve communication skills. They may use individualized therapy programs that focus on the specific needs of each patient. They may also use computer-based programs or games to help patients practice communication skills.

The median annual salary for speech language pathologists was $79,060 in May 2021.

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9. Respiratory therapist

Respiratory therapists are healthcare professionals who specialize in the treatment of respiratory diseases. They work closely with patients to diagnose and treat a variety of conditions, including asthma, COPD, and emphysema.

They may perform lung function tests, such as spirometry, to diagnose respiratory disorders. They may also order and interpret chest x-rays and other imaging studies. In addition, respiratory therapists often prescribe medication and provide patient education on how to manage their condition.

Employment of respiratory therapists is projected to grow 23% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations.

The median annual salary for respiratory therapists was $61,830 in May 2021.

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10. Ultrasound technician

According to the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine, an ultrasound technician is a health professional who uses sound waves to produce images of patients' internal body structures, such as the liver, heart, or blood vessels. They typically work with patients who are pregnant or have cardiovascular disease. In some cases, they may also provide diagnostic services for patients with cancer or other diseases. Ultrasound technicians use a variety of equipment to produce images, including scanners, monitors, and transducers. They must have extensive knowledge of human anatomy and physiology in order to properly interpret the images they create. Ultrasound technicians typically complete a two-year associate's degree program in diagnostic medical sonography. Some states also require ultrasound technicians to be licensed or certified.

The median annual salary for ultrasound technicians was $75,380 in May 2021.

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11. Orthotists and Prosthetists

Orthotists and Prosthetists are healthcare professionals who design and fabricate devices to improve the mobility and function of patients with physical disabilities. Orthotists specialize in the design of braces and other supportive devices for the limbs, while prosthetists focus on the design and fitting of artificial limbs. Both orthotists and prosthetists work closely with patients to assess their needs and develop custom treatment plans. In many cases, orthotic and prosthetic devices can greatly improve a patient's quality of life. For example, a well-designed artificial limb can allow an amputee to regain the ability to walk or perform other daily activities. Orthotic devices can also help patients with conditions such as scoliosis or cerebral palsy to live more independently. By working collaboratively with patients, orthotists and prosthetists can help them overcome physical challenges and lead active, fulfilling lives.

The median annual salary for orthotists and prosthetists was $75,440 in May 2021.

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12. Physical therapists

Physical therapists (PTs) are health care professionals who help patients with injuries and illnesses improve their movement and manage their pain. PTs examine patients, develop treatment plans, and provide instructions on how to prevent or improve conditions. They also teach patients how to use equipment such as walkers and canes correctly. PTs often work in outpatient clinics, hospitals, nursing homes, and home health agencies. Some PTs also work in industrial settings or in schools. Most PTs have a master’s degree or doctorate in physical therapy. All states require PTs to be licensed. The American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties offers certification in nine specialty areas, including geriatrics, orthopedics, and sports physical therapy.

The median annual salary for physical therapists was $95,620 in May 2021.

Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 21% from 2020 to 2030. About 15,600 openings for physical therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

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Allied health professionals are an important part of the healthcare industry. Their jobs continue to grow in demand as our population ages and more people require care. If you’re looking for a stable career that is both challenging and rewarding, consider one of the many allied health professions. We hope this blog post has given you some insight into what these careers involve and shown you how exciting they can be.

Source: “Healthcare Occupations.” US Bureau of Labor Statistics, .