The healthcare industry remains one of the most rewarding career paths, and the demand for healthcare professionals continues to grow, especially after the pandemic. 

While healthcare careers are often associated with doctors, nurses, hospitals, and extensive schooling, the healthcare industry actually offers a wide range of opportunities for those interested in making a meaningful impact on people's lives. This includes roles like advanced practice providers, who play a crucial part in patient care. I personally witnessed the diversity of careers as both of my parents worked in the same nursing home growing up; my mom worked in Medical Records and my dad worked in Supply Chain. Their commitment to caring for elderly residents shaped my perception of the healthcare field. I watched them devote countless hours to providing compassionate care, witnessed the emotional challenges they faced, and observed the profound impact they had on the lives of those they cared for, even though they weren’t clinical healthcare professionals. 

My parents' experiences instilled in me a passion for contributing to the well-being of others, and I realized that the healthcare industry offers a vast array of fulfilling careers that align with this aspiration. Additionally, the healthcare industry is only growing, the United States spends roughly 20% of its GDP on healthcare and that number is only expected to increase as our population ages (U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services). With this growth, we are seeing more companies trying to enter the healthcare market including Apple, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Walmart, creating new work environments beyond the typical hospital. These new environments are examples of health services expanding and diversifying.

I am excited to share some of the various opportunities that I learned from both my time volunteering at my parent's nursing home and through my personal journey pursuing a career in healthcare administration. The healthcare industry has something for everyone, whether you aspire to become a medical professional or take on a supportive role. To help you explore the possibilities, here's a comprehensive healthcare career list that showcases the diverse paths available in this field.

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10 Promising Careers in Healthcare Outside of What You’d Expect

#1 Pharmacist

Job Description: Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing prescription medications to patients and offering expertise in the safe use of prescriptions. They advise healthcare professionals and patients on the selection, dosages, interactions, and side effects of medications.

Median Annual Wage: $132,750

Job Outlook: 3% growth from 2022-2032 (as fast as average)

Education: Doctoral or Professional Degree (Doctor of Pharmacy Degree)

#2 Biomedical Engineering

Job Description: Biomedical engineers combine engineering principles with biological sciences to design and create equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare. They develop technologies such as artificial organs, prostheses, medical information systems, and health management and care delivery systems.

Median Annual Wage: $99,550

Job Outlook: 5% growth from 2022-2032 (faster than the average for all occupations)

Education: Bachelor's Degree (Bioengineering or biomedical engineering or related engineering field)

#3 Healthcare Administration

Job Description: Healthcare administration is an incredibly diverse field. In general, healthcare administrators plan, direct, and coordinate the business aspects of healthcare delivery. They often work on initiatives that improve the quality of care that patients receive in one way or another. They can work in a variety of settings from hospitals to tech and consulting companies. A career in healthcare administration can also open doors to healthcare management roles, where professionals oversee entire departments or healthcare facilities, ensuring efficient and effective operations.

Median Annual Wage: $104,830

Job Outlook: 28% growth from 2022-2032 (much faster than the average for all occupations)

Education: Bachelor's Degree (Healthcare administration, business, etc.)

#4 Physician Assistant

Job Description: A physician assistant practices medicine under the direction and supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally trained to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. They can also prescribe medication in most states.

Median Annual Wage: $126,010

Job Outlook: 27% growth from 2022-2032 (much faster than average)

Education: Masters Degree

#5 Occupational Therapist

Job Description: Occupational therapists focus on assisting patients of all ages with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities to regain independence in daily activities, developing treatment plans that include exercises and activities to enhance everyday tasks.

Median Annual Wage: $93,180

Job Outlook: 12% growth from 2022-2032 (much faster than average)

Education: Masters Degree

#6 Physical Therapist

Job Description: Physical therapists work with injured or ill patients to improve their movement and balance while also managing their pain through various exercises and techniques.

Median Annual Wage: $97,720

Job Outlook: 15% growth from 2022-2032 (much faster than average)

Education: Doctoral Degree (Doctor of Physical Therapy)

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#7 Speech-Language Pathologist

Job Description: Speech-language pathologists work to assess, diagnose, treat, and prevent communication and swallowing disorders in patients. They work with patients of all ages, to restore communication skills that are so imperative to our day-to-day life.

Median Annual Wage: $84,150

Job Outlook: 19% growth from 2022-2032 (much faster than average)

Education: Master’s Degree (Speech-Language Pathology)

#8 Dietitian & Nutritionist

Job Description: Dietitians and nutritionists are experts in food and nutrition. They help promote healthy eating habits, assess and plan nutrition programs, and oversee the preparation and serving of meals. For example, a medical professional like a dietitian may prescribe liquid diets for patients with swallowing issues. They work in various settings, from hospitals to schools to cafeterias.

Median Annual Wage: $66,450

Job Outlook: 7% growth from 2022-2032 (faster than average)

Education: Bachelor's Degree

#9 Psychologists 

Job Description: Psychologists play a key role in promoting mental health, they help patients develop coping strategies, manage stress, and improve their overall quality of life. They can work in a variety of settings, including private practices, schools, hospitals, mental health clinics, and research institutions. As part of the broader field of medical jobs, psychologists contribute significantly to the well-being of individuals and communities by addressing mental health issues.

Median Annual Wage: $85,330

Job Outlook: 6% growth from 2022-2032 (faster than average)

Education: Doctoral Degree (PhD in Psychology or Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D)

#10 Clinical Laboratory Scientists

Job Description: Clinical laboratory scientists conduct complex tests on patients' blood, bodily fluids, and tissues to help clinicians diagnose and treat diseases. As a medical professional, they are responsible for analyzing samples and reporting results for further diagnosis and treatment planning.

Median Annual Wage: $57,380

Job Outlook: 5% growth from 2022-2032

Education: Bachelor's Degree

*All Median Annual Wage/ Job Outlook statistics are sourced from Please note that salaries are dependent on location.

Whether aspiring to provide direct care or focus on administrative and support roles, healthcare offers a variety of opportunities that positively impact individuals and communities. Despite the challenges, a healthcare career remains one of the most rewarding and impactful choices in the professional world, with many healthcare jobs available to suit diverse interests and skills. This includes specialized paths like neuroscience careers, which offer exciting opportunities to delve into the complexities of the human brain and nervous system.

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If you’re uncertain about whether a healthcare career is right for you, consider volunteering at a healthcare facility or seek advice from friends or family in the industry. For those looking into high school preparation for healthcare career paths, connecting with mentors who are experts in the different career paths you are interested in? Polygence can help! 

Our Pathfinders program is designed specifically for high schoolers seeking their passions. You’ll have the opportunity to learn about each field, ask all of your questions, and get personalized career advice from the experts.  Additionally, if you are exploring other fields, such as renewable energy industry jobs, our program offers insights and mentorship in a variety of career paths. Check out our website to learn more about the program, or click here to sign up for Pathfinders now!