According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare is the number one fastest-growing sector in the country, with a projected job growth of 1.6 percent per year until 2028. The BLS reports that healthcare occupations will account for 18 of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the country, with home health aides, personal care aides, and physical therapy aides topping the list of the most in-demand careers.
Besides the fact that they come with lots of job security and as much earning potential, what do all of these helping careers have in common? They don’t require years and years of school! Amazingly, you can enter them relatively quickly and affordably via medical certificate programs that can be completed in under a year. Here’s a bit more information on the fastest growing medical certificate occupations that you may want to start looking into.
Want to look beyond medicine? Read our guide on 6-month certificate programs that pay well to discover more amazing career paths that don’t require a huge educational investment.
- Home Health Aide — According to the BLS, home health aide is projected to be the fastest-growing healthcare occupation — and the third fastest-growing overall, only after solar photovoltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians — in the next decade, growing by an incredible 36.6 percent and adding 304,000 new jobs by 2028. Currently, the median income for home health aides is only around $24,200 per year, but with the demand growing, the income potential is expected to grow as well. Certification can be achieved in a few months and involves training hours, a written test, and continuing education.
- Optician — As an optician, you can make over $37,000 per year working in a doctor’s office or optics store. Opticians help patients fit eyeglasses and contacts, working closely with ophthalmologists and optometrists. The best part is, becoming an optician is fairly straightforward, with most training programs taking a year to complete via the American Board of Opticianry or National Contact Lens Examiners (ABO-NCLE). Fees and tuition usually come in between $3,000 and $5,000, depending on the school and state where you take your courses.
- Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) — EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency calls, provide medical treatment, and transport patients to medical facilities in high-stress situations. To become an EMT, you must have your high school diploma or equivalent and complete a training course that takes between eight and 16 weeks to complete. EMTs earn about $34,200 per year, and the job outlook is great, with a projected growth of seven percent annually.
- Pharmacy Technician — Pharmacy techs work in pharmacies, hospitals, and grocery stores helping to dispense prescription medications to the public. With a median pay of around $32,000 per year and a faster-than-average job growth outlook, pharmacy techs are very much in-demand. To become one, you must earn your high school diploma or equivalent and then complete a postsecondary certification, which generally takes under a year. Finally, you must pass a certification test by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).
- Personal Care Aide — Like home health aides, personal care aides are expected to become more in-demand than ever in the next decade, adding over 800,000 new jobs to the market in that time. They differ from home health aides because they focus on all-around personal care, not only healthcare. Where a home health aide might spend their day taking vitals and assisting with medications, personal care aides might spend their day helping patients shop for groceries or bathe. The requirements for certification vary by state, but most either require a short program and certification or have no training requirements at all.
- Physical Therapist Aides — Physical therapist aides assist physical therapists and patients recovering from illnesses and injuries. Some routine daily duties might be washing linens, cleaning treatment areas, and doing clerical tasks in the facility. This fast-growing career is expected to boom by 22.8 percent in the coming decade, so it’s a great career path to consider . To become one, you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent and will want to consider obtaining a certification to help expand your job prospects and pay range.
Ready to kickstart your medical coursework? Lay the groundwork for a medical career that’s rewarding, fulfilling, and secure with the help of Tallo. We’re here to help you career-build like a pro with expert advice, scholarships, jobs, and opportunities that will set you off on the right path.