Looking for a rewarding, high-paying career? Recent times have lead to a boom in healthcare industry jobs. Hospitals, nursing homes, private practices and government agencies are all hiring, providing a range of options for qualified applicants. The good news? Getting an online degree in a variety of different healthcare fields has never been easier. With more and more universities shifting their courseload online, all you have to do is decide on the healthcare career of your choice. By searching for online programs, you can start your medical career quickly (and on your own schedule).
The traditional route to a medical degree requires hundreds of hours in a physical classroom. That can be enough to turn off some prospective students — particularly adult students working day jobs.
But for those willing to put in the work, a healthcare degree has substantial benefits. While some medical jobs don’t require degrees, an associate’s or bachelor’s will significantly increase both earnings and hireability. The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations was $68,190 as of May 2019, but salaries range depending on education and experience.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) earn an average of $47,480, for instance, while home health aides can expect to earn around $25,280. The major difference: LPNs must graduate from an accredited program, while health aides merely need high school diplomas.
Here’s the good news: While online degree programs vary, most offer much more flexibility than traditional courses. Students can review coursework, submit assignments, and take tests on their own schedules while still interacting regularly with professors and other classmates. Other significant advantages of online coursework:
Accelerated Graduation - Whether or not the student decides to attend a physical classroom, starting with online coursework can significantly reduce the time required to complete a degree. Many programs allow students to take courses in any order — including simultaneously — and motivated individuals can take advantage of the flexibility.
Affordable Tuition - Every school uses a different pricing structure, but generally speaking, online medical classes are more affordable than brick-and-mortar classes. That doesn’t mean a sacrifice in the quality of the education; schools use fewer resources to run online classes, so they’re often able to offer lower tuition.
Brick-and-mortar schools certainly offer amenities that appeal to some students, but distance learning has major benefits. That’s particularly true for students looking for their first degrees. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, about 6.9 million students were enrolled in at least one distance education course as of 2018. About 5.7 million of those students were enrolled in undergraduate programs.
The United States has an aging population, and most medical fields anticipate increased hiring through 2028. With that said, some careers have higher job growth projection than others.
Physician Assistants - The BLS anticipates a 31 percent increase in jobs for physician assistants, who work with surgeons, physicians, and other workers in healthcare settings. Physician assistants typically have Master’s degrees, and their median pay was $112,260 per year as of 2019.
Registered Nursing (RN) and Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) - Nurses educate patients and coordinate patient care. Registered nurses have a two-year degree or three-year diploma and must pass a state certification exam. The median pay for RNs was $73,300 in 2019 with a projected job growth of 12 percent by 2028.
Licensed practical nurses provide basic nursing care and can earn state-approved licenses in about a year. The median pay for LPNs was $47,480 in 2019 with a projected job growth of 11 percent by 2028.
Medical Billing and Coding Specialists - As more healthcare facilities depend on computer systems to handle patient data, the job outlook for medical billing and coding professionals will grow by a projected 11 percent by 2028. One significant advantage of this career path: Students can often complete their education programs relatively quickly. The median annual wage for medical records and health information technicians was $40,350 as of May 2018, with some professionals making as much as $66,260.
Hundreds of other medical careers will continue to hire qualified applicants over the next several decades. There’s rarely been a better time to enter the workforce — provided, of course, that you have an appropriate degree or certification.
Online medical programs allow students to pursue high-paying jobs in a variety of fields, regardless of their schedules or physical locations. For students, the first step is to find an accredited distance learning program. With dedication, hard work, and a decent internet connection, virtually any student can find a fulfilling career in healthcare.
Healthcare Occupations : Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Nces Fast Facts Tool Provides Quick Answers To Many Education Questions (national Center For Education Statistics)
Physician Assistants : Occupational Outlook Handbook
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians : Occupational Outlook Handbook
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses : Occupational Outlook Handbook