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Career Advice

Rewarding Careers in Health: A Look at Three Paths, Their Requirements, and the Rewards

nursesThe health industry provides many different paths (all of which can be rewarding). Not only does a career in health set you in an industry that is continuously growing but also one which allows you to make an impact with your profession. Due to the hundreds of various roles one may play, the industry also allows individuals to take part regardless of education and experience.

If you feel you are the type primed for a career in health, consider the following which will help you get an idea of your role, its requirements, and the rewards from your hard effort.

1. Registered Nurse

The role of a nurse takes on many forms. A nurse may be consulting with patients and providing medication one minute while assisting with procedures the next.

∙ Avg. Salary: $65,470

∙ # of Jobs: 526,800

∙ Unemployment Rate: 2.6%

To become a registered nurse you must study and earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, an associate’s degree or complete a diploma program provided by a hospital.

There are also options for accelerated learning, which can have you with a degree between 12 to 18 months. The joy one gains from their position of a registered nurse depends on the environment but with so many countless options it shouldn’t be a problem to find something you’d love when choosing this career.

2. Massage Therapist

A massage therapist is a job that brings pure happiness and bliss to clients. A massage therapist not only works the muscles and tendons in a relaxed environment, he provides services that aid with the healing of the body.

∙ Avg. Salary: $35,970

∙ # of Jobs: 30,900

∙ Unemployment Rate: 3.7%

Training for the role of massage therapist vary from state to state but generally there are programs, taught at colleges and universities, which run for 500 to 1,000 hours. The reward one gains from massage therapy comes in many forms. Practicing at a well-known spa can put you in a very relaxing, growing position. On the other side, there are plenty of opportunities to start your own business in the industry (the main requirement being an investment in massage therapy tables). With the right equipment, right attitude, and right skill set you will find bliss working as a massage therapist.

3. Home Health Aide

An individual that chooses the role of home health aide will be met with many opportunities to show their care, comfort, and compassion to all types of individuals (depending on the position). The flexibility of being a home health aide allows you to choose many different paths, from taking care of the elderly to providing services for those with special needs.

∙ Avg. Salary: $20,820

∙ # of Jobs: 424,820

∙ Unemployment Rate: 8.4%

To become a home health aide you truly only need a high school diploma but often times this isn’t even the case for those seeking jobs from smaller businesses (or doing so on their own). Larger businesses and locations like Hospice centers do require additional training (often being just 75 hours and a test). Despite a salary being lower than many other demanding jobs in the health industry, the rewards are often above the rest due to the philanthropic nature of the work. You get to know you are increasing the quality of life of the individual, which is very rewarding for those who seek and thrive on compassionate work.


The continual growth of the health industry comes from the demand of the aging baby boomers and a wider amount of insurance coverage.

“Every segment within health care is seeing greater demand for talent,” adds PaulMcDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half International. “More people are getting coverage, which means more demand on all the current systems that we have.”

Not only does a decision to work in the health industry show great promise for long­term viability, there are many, many different roles one can take that are infinitely rewarding through monetary gains to providing services and really touching the lives of others.

Do any of these three careers catch your attention? Which health career do you think you’d like?


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