2020 has been a troublesome year for many, with world events seeming to spiral out of control and create a sense of uncertainty. What is certain is that the medical field is still booming, and job openings are constantly appearing in an industry that continues to grow as the years go by. The BLS states that healthcare occupations are expected to grow by about 14% from 2018 to 2028.
With so many options available, countless schools and programs designed to get you into the field, and plenty of resources and student loans to help you along the way, there’s never been a better time to get into the medical field. Here’s our guide on how to get into the field in 2020.
Choose A Career Path
The first step to getting into the medical field is, of course, choosing your career path. There are thousands of jobs in the medical field; some which require only a few years of education and training and others that require well over a decade of specialized education, residency, and training. When you’re deciding on a career path in the medical field, there are some important considerations to keep in mind:
- How much will your education cost in the end?
- What opportunities for growth are there?
- Is the job outlook good for the next few years?
- Will you be able to work and go to school full-time, or do you need part-time options?
- Are there career placement options with the program you’re looking at?
- Do you have a passion for helping others?
- Can you handle the emotional stress of certain medical professions?
Deciding to go into the medical field shouldn’t be a light decision. You’re dealing with other people’s lives and healthcare, so it takes a certain level of compassion and empathy to truly excel in this field. If that’s something you’ve got, you’re on the right track!
Choose An Education Program
Now that you better understand what you’re getting into, it’s time to start looking for a training program or education program to fit your needs. If you want to become a pharmacy technician, you’ll be on the fast-track into the medical field without much debt. A typical pharmacy tech program can take anywhere from 1-2 years, and you shouldn’t have to spend more than about $5,000 for the entirety of the program. This depends on your state, of course.
If you’re looking to go into a more advanced medical career, such as cardiac surgery, you’re looking at around eight years of undergrad, six to eight years of clinical training, and more time if you pursue a master’s degree. Your schooling costs alone can be well over $100,000 when you’re finished with your program, so be sure you’re dedicated to seeing it through!
Taking the leap into the medical field can be expensive, so be sure you’re ready before you sign up. The last thing you want to do is get into a program for a few years and drop out with a ton of debt!
Consider the Pros and Cons
You’ve chosen a school, you know what you want to do, now it’s time to weigh the pros and cons before you make a final decision. Consider things like scheduling. Do you want to work nights? 12-hour shifts? 10-hour shifts? Are you prepared for long surgeries if becoming a surgeon os the path you choose? Are you prepared to lose patients now and then? No matter how good you are, you can’t save everyone.
Aside from scheduling, consider the cost of your program, the time dedication, the opportunities that may or may not exist in your area, and the impact your training can have on your health. Don’t let all of this scare you away; it’s not meant to be frightening, but you truly do need to consider the difficulty level of something like pursuing a surgeon’s license.
Sometimes, it’s better to start out with something that requires less training and financial commitment to see if you’re a good fit.
Now that you’ve made your final decision, it’s time to take the leap! Understand that you’re entering a world of potential opportunities, and you don’t have to stay in your specific job forever. The medical field is constantly evolving and new jobs are created every day. You might find that you want to continue your training and become a physician, specialist, surgeon, or some other high-tier medical professional.
The medical field has its ups and downs, but job projections look good, and there are plenty of education programs for anything you could want to study. If you’re unsure if you want to pursue a higher degree, you can always start with something like a pharmacy tech certification to see if you like the medical field. Good luck on your new career path!