In addition to diagnostic medical sonography or ultrasound technician training, there are a number of other healthcare training options available, both on the technical and administrative side. Below is a list of other healthcare programs to consider when making your decision to go to school.
Dental Assistant Training
Dental assistants perform many tasks, ranging from providing patient care and taking x-rays to record-keeping and scheduling appointments. Their duties vary by state and by the dentists’ offices where they work.
There are several possible paths to becoming a dental assistant. Some states require assistants to graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam. In other states, there are no formal educational requirements and dental assistants learn how to perform their jobs through on-the-job training.
The median annual wage for dental assistants was $37,630 in May 2017.
EMT & Paramedic Training
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics care for the sick or injured in emergency medical settings. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care provided by these workers. EMTs and paramedics respond to emergency calls, performing medical services and transporting patients to medical facilities.
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics typically complete a postsecondary educational program. All states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed; requirements vary by state.
The median annual wage for EMTs and paramedics was $33,380 in May 2017.
Home Health Aide Training
Home health aides and personal care aides help people with disabilities, chronic illnesses, or cognitive impairment by assisting in their daily living activities. They often help older adults who need assistance. In some states, home health aides may be able to give a client medication or check the client’s vital signs under the direction of a nurse or other healthcare practitioner.
Home health aides and personal care aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, though some positions do not require it. Those working in certified home health or hospice agencies must complete formal training and pass a standardized test.
The median annual wage for home health aides was $23,210 in May 2017.
Licensed Practical & Vocational Nurse Training
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care. They work under the direction of registered nurses and doctors.
Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses must complete a state-approved educational program, which typically takes about 1 year to complete. They must be licensed.
The median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses was $45,030 in May 2017.
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologist
Medical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.
Medical laboratory technologists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Technicians usually need an associate’s degree or a postsecondary certificate. Some states require technologists and technicians to be licensed.
The median annual wage for medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians was $51,770 in May 2017.
Medical Assistant Training
Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. Their duties vary with the location, specialty, and size of the practice.
Most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as a certificate. Others enter the occupation with a high school diploma and learn through on-the-job training.
The median annual wage for medical assistants was $32,480 in May 2017.
Medical Records (Billing & Coding) Information Technician Training
Medical records and health information technicians, commonly referred to as health information technicians, organize and manage health information data. They ensure that the information maintains its quality, accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper files and electronic systems. They use various classification systems to code and categorize patient information for insurance reimbursement purposes, for databases and registries, and to maintain patients’ medical and treatment histories.
Health information technicians typically need a postsecondary certificate to enter the occupation, although some may need an associate’s degree. Certification is often required.
The median annual wage for medical records and health information technicians was $39,180 in May 2017.
Medical Transcription Training
Medical transcriptionists, sometimes referred to as healthcare documentation specialists, listen to voice recordings that physicians and other healthcare workers make and convert them into written reports. They also may review and edit medical documents created using speech recognition technology. Transcriptionists interpret medical terminology and abbreviations in preparing patients’ medical histories, discharge summaries, and other documents.
Medical transcriptionists typically need postsecondary education. Prospective medical transcriptionists must have an understanding of medical terminology, anatomy and physiology, grammar, and word-processing software.
The median annual wage for medical transcriptionists was $35,250 in May 2017.
Nurse Assistant Training
Nursing assistants, sometimes called nursing aides, help provide basic care for patients in hospitals and residents of long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes. Orderlies transport patients and clean treatment areas.
Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and must pass their state’s competency exam to become certified. Orderlies generally have at least a high school diploma.
The median annual wage for nursing assistants was $27,520 in May 2017.
Occupational Therapist Training
Occupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, improve, as well as maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.
Occupational therapists typically have a master’s degree in occupational therapy. All states require occupational therapists to be licensed.
The median annual wage for occupational therapists was $83,200 in May 2017.
Pharmacy Technician Training
Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists dispense prescription medication to customers or health professionals.
Pharmacy technicians usually need a high school diploma or equivalent and learn their duties through on-the-job training, or they may complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians, which is a process that may require passing an exam or completing a formal education or training program.
The median annual wage for pharmacy technicians was $31,750 in May 2017.
Phlebotomists draw blood for tests, transfusions, research, or blood donations. Some explain their work to patients and provide assistance when patients have adverse reactions after their blood is drawn.
Phlebotomists typically enter the occupation with a postsecondary nondegree award from a phlebotomy program. Almost all employers look for phlebotomists who have earned professional certification.
The median annual wage for phlebotomists was $33,670 in May 2017.
Radiation Therapist Training
Radiation therapists treat cancer and other diseases in patients by administering radiation treatments.
Most radiation therapists complete programs that lead to an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy. Radiation therapists must be licensed or certified in most states. Requirements vary by state, but often include passing a national certification exam.
The median annual wage for radiation therapists was $80,570 in May 2017.
Radiologic (X-Ray) Technologist Training
Radiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images.
Radiologic technologists and MRI technologists typically need an associate’s degree. Many MRI technologists start out as radiologic technologists and specialize later in their career. Radiologic technologists must be licensed or certified in most states. Few states license MRI technologists. Employers typically require or prefer prospective technologists to be certified even if the state does not require it.
The median annual wage for magnetic resonance imaging technologists was $69,930 in May 2017.
Registered Nurse Training
Registered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.
Registered nurses usually take one of three education paths: a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Registered nurses must be licensed.
The median annual wage for registered nurses was $70,000 in May 2017.
Surgical Technologist Training
Surgical technologists, also called operating room technicians, assist in surgical operations. They prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment, and help doctors during surgeries.
Surgical technologists typically need a postsecondary nondegree award or an associate’s degree. Certification can be beneficial in finding a job. A small number of states regulate surgical technologists.
The median annual wage for surgical technologists was $46,310 in May 2017.
Veterinary Technologist Training
Veterinary technologists and technicians perform medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to assist in diagnosing the injuries and illnesses of animals.
Veterinary technologists and technicians must complete a postsecondary program in veterinary technology. Technologists usually need a 4-year bachelor’s degree, and technicians need a 2-year associate’s degree. Typically, both technologists and technicians must take a credentialing exam and become registered, licensed, or certified, depending on the requirements of the state in which they work.
The median annual wage for veterinary technologists and technicians was $33,400 in May 2017.