September 24, 2012
Allied-Health-Careers

Top Allied Health Jobs in Colorado

When you’re making decisions about choosing a career, either as a new high school graduate or a seasoned worker considering a career change, you want to know which fields are worth the time, money, and effort needed to enter them.

The Office of Institutional Research at FRCC recently compiled a research brief detailing the current state of allied health professions in Colorado. Here are some highlights from that report. The complete report is available as a PDF download.

Health Care Jobs vs. Allied Health Jobs

It’s no secret that jobs in the health care industry are growing and typically pay well. But did you know that allied health jobs are experiencing the same growth? Allied health professions are clinical healthcare professions distinct from medicine, dentistry, and nursing. They generally work in a healthcare team to make the healthcare system function more effectively. These professionals must adhere to national training and education standards, and often prove their skills through diplomas, certified credentials, and continuing education (definition by Wikipedia). And as a bonus, many of them require only an Associates’ degree or a post-secondary certificate. So you could be working in your new career in less than two years!

The Fastest Growing Allied Health Jobs in Colorado:

  1. Occupational Health/Safety Techs
  2. Respiratory Therapists
  3. Cardiovascular Techs
  4. Athletic Trainers*
  5. Surgical Technologists
  6. Healthcare Practitioners* / Techs

 The Top Paying Allied Health Jobs in Colorado:

  1. Orthotists* and Prosthetists
  2. Radiation Therapists
  3. Nuclear Medicine Techs
  4. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
  5. Occupational Health*/Safety Specialists

Allied Health Professions Employing the Most People:

  1. Pharmacy Technicians
  2. Radiologic Therapists
  3. Medical/Clinical Laboratory Techs*
  4. Emergency Medical Techs/Paramedics
  5. Medical Records/Health Info Tech

*Requires more than a two-year degree or certificate.

Most Allied Health Jobs Don’t Require a Bachelor’s Degree

While most current workers in these occupations have an associate’s degree or certificates, some fields expect bachelor’s degrees from new workers. Colorado institutions offer 40 programs that train Allied Health professionals. They awarded over 4,800 degrees and certificates in 2010 (latest data available).

Front Range Community College awarded over 500 degrees and certificates in Allied Health programs, including:

There are a lot of good career options for you out there, and the world needs more trained professionals in the health field.

 

About the author:

Kim Wallace loves to help the numbers tell their story. She has been working in higher education, first at Naropa University in Boulder, CO (where she picked up a life-long qi gong habit) and for the past four years at Front Range Community College. She's the Director of Institutional Research at FRCC.