If you’re someone who has dreamed of becoming a doctor, but you’re unsure about committing the time to pursue a medical degree, here’s some great news: There are many opportunities to join the burgeoning health-care field, make a great wage, and enjoy job security.

Perhaps you’ve heard in recent years that health care is a stable employment field. It’s true. Health-care jobs have grown steadily in the past 25 years to 14.8 million (2014) from about 8.2 million (1990). Health care is the industry with the highest employment rate in 35 states. In addition, wages have grown faster in health care than in most other fields.

Health care has lots of options

OK, you’re sold on the field, but not sure about what specific area to pursue. Here are a few occupations for different types of personalities and interests, and different types of settings to consider:

Like the lab?

  • Phlebotomists draw blood for testing, research, transfusions, or other needs. They are an important part of any clinical team and work in hospitals, doctor’s offices, labs, and elsewhere. The 2014 average salary in Colorado was $35,584 and the field is expected to grow 27 percent between 2012 and 2022. You can earn a phlebotomy certificate at FRCC in one semester.

Interested in technology?

  • Health information technicians can work as health data analysts, records technician specialists, release of information specialists, or patient information coordinators. If you like analyzing data and are interested in health information management, this area might be worth a look. The 2014 average salary was in Colorado $44,890, and the field is expected to grow 27 percent between 2012 and 2022. Check out FRCC’s A.A.S. in Health Information Technology.
  • Medical office technology is an excellent field for those interested in working as an administrator who handles medical insurance billing, a health-care receptionist who handles medical records, a medical assistant, or an administrative assistant in a health-care facility. Average salaries in Colorado for these roles ranged from $32,927 to $39,255 in 2014. If you’re interested, consider FRCC’s A.A.S. in Medical Office Technology or one of FRCC’s Medical Office Technology certificates.

Interested in medicine?

  • As a pharmacy technician, you could work in a grocery or drug-store pharmacy, or in a hospital, filling prescriptions for customers and measuring medication amounts. The 2014 average salary in Colorado was $33,318, and the field is expected to grow 20 percent between 2012 and 2022. FRCC’s Pharmacy Technician certificate can be completed in just two semesters. Some people even use this training as a step toward becoming a licensed pharmacist.

Interested in clinical care and working with people?

  • Nursing is a wonderful field for those interested in helping patients in today’s ever-changing health-care environment. You can earn a certificate in Practical Nursing or a full A.A.S. in Nursing. At the Westminster Campus, you can even earn a Bachelor of Science Nursing through the Metropolitan State University of Denver RN to BSN program. Registered nurses in Colorado averaged $69,600 in 2014, while Licensed Practical Nurses averaged $46,775. Check out all of FRCC’s Nursing programs.
  • Nurse aides/CNAs work in long-term care facilities, acute-care facilities, home-health-care agencies, and elsewhere—often with the geriatric population. The Nurse Aide certificate from FRCC qualifies you to take the state certification exam to become a Certified Nurse Aide. The 2014 average salary for nurse aides in Colorado was $28,609. For some, becoming a nurse aide is the foundation for other careers in health care.

As you can see, there are many types of careers in medicine—and several academic programs offered at FRCC not mentioned above, such as Dental Assistant, EMT, and Holistic Health. If you want to take advantage of the massive growth in the health-care industry, your choices are not limited to becoming a physician or a nurse. Be sure to explore the non-clinical, allied health, and other health-care jobs that you might not have even known existed.

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