Allied health professionals play a crucial role in the medical world. These careers are usually in-demand and often pay well for the level of certification or education. In fact, many available jobs in allied health professions are expected to grow by 16% over the next four years, according to recent statistics by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Allied health is a huge, ever-changing field. With so many career options, it can be tricky to decide which path to take. Before we dive into the details of each of the Allied Health professions we outline here, take our quick quiz and discover which allied health careers may be a good fit for you based on your goals and preferences. Then, keep reading for an overview of each profession including education needed and salary data. Once you’re done, you’ll be better equipped to make the important decision of which allied health career is right for you. Get started with the quiz below!
Take the Quiz
1 / 10
Do you want to work with patients directly?
How quickly do you want to begin your career?
- < 2 Years
- 2+ Years
Do you prefer an active job or a desk job?
Do you prefer to work as part of a team, independently, or a mix of both?
Do you like a consistent daily routine or more variety?
How do you react in an emergency situation?
Are you a detail-oriented person?
Is a high salary important to you?
Do you prefer to be behind-the-scenes or a part of the action?
What type of work schedule do you prefer?
- Healthcare Management
- Healthcare Administration
- Veterinary Assistant
Snapshots: Careers & Degrees in Allied Health
Now that you know which careers are a good fit for you, it’s time to research the education requirements and professional experience needed to enter each allied health field. To get you started on your search, we created career snapshots that outline what each job entails, the average salary, and the education requirements. These snapshots are just a beginning; to learn more about each profession, check out our in-depth guides for any field you’re interested in.
Interview with a Career Advisor
To give you more insight on what to expect as you pursue your degree and start your allied health career, we sat down with Cassie Spencer. As a career coach, Cassie has worked with hundreds of students, young professionals, career changers, and job seekers to prepare them to make their next career move. Prior to working full time as a freelance career coach, Cassie worked on college campuses, coaching students in career exploration, managing internship programs, and providing students with the tools and resources to develop resumes, write cover letters, search for jobs, and explore their career options.
Cassie is the co-host of the podcast Your Career GPS and is the host of Happenstance the Podcast. She also shares career-related content on social media at @CareerCoachCassie.
Q: Who should consider an allied health career?
A: Anyone who has an interest in helping others, working in a more hands-on environment, or working in healthcare settings should consider allied health as a career path.
Q: There are so many different allied health careers. What strategies do you recommend for people to choose the right one for them?
A: Taking the time to research and learn about the different career options within allied health is a great first step. Speaking with professionals who are currently working in or who previously worked in the different roles that you’re considering is a great way to not only expand your network but also to learn even more about your options and how others have navigated their own decision making when entering the allied health profession. When possible, shadowing, volunteering, or completing internships that allow you to get that first-hand experience in different settings is also a great way to really solidify your interests.
Q: What do people need to know before entering an allied health career?
A: Before entering any field or industry, I think it’s important for students, career changers, and job seekers to truly evaluate what’s important to them, what they value, and the lifestyle they want to have outside of work. Every career, job, and industry comes with different benefits and challenges. Knowing what’s important to you at work and outside of work can help you make career decisions that align with both.
Q: What career development tools are available to those pursuing an allied health career?
A: There are a number of professional organizations and associations dedicated to allied health and the various specialties within the field. Many professional organizations and associations provide networking opportunities, certifications, professional development, and continuing education courses, in addition to job boards and other career resources.
Q: What is one way that students can set themselves up for a successful allied health career?
A: The number-one way that students can set themselves up for a successful allied health career is to gain experience. Seeking out opportunities to work in different healthcare-related environments and to work with different populations is a great way to explore your options and to gain experience that will set you up for success. It’s also important to remember that “gaining experience” can be done in a variety of ways. Shadowing, volunteering, internships, and part-time jobs are just some examples.