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Most In-Demand Healthcare Jobs for 2012

If you are looking for a career in a growing field that offers many opportunities, then you should consider the healthcare field. Due to longer life spans, the U.S. Government’s increasing focus on healthcare, and just a lack of formally educated professionals, many healthcare careers are in high demand.

Here are several of them that are growing at a rate of 29 percent or higher, which is much faster than average, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:

Cardiovascular Technicians

Cardiovascular technicians and technologists help diagnose heart and blood vessels problems in patients through imaging technology. They may also help doctors treat blood clots and other vascular problems.

Other duties include monitoring heart rates, analyzing images, performing ultrasounds, maintaining imaging equipment. These professionals work in healthcare environments, such as doctor’s offices and hospitals. Although some facilities may offer on-the-job training, an associate’s degree is typically required to enter the field. The average annual salary ranges from $35,000 to nearly $55,000, depending on experience and education.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Diagnostic medical sonographers are expected to grow at a rate of 44 percent. This increase is due to the medical field looking to less invasive procedures for diagnosis. Diagnostic medical sonographers use special imaging equipment that uses sound waves to diagnose medical conditions.

They also maintain imaging equipment, analyze images and record findings. Although most work in hospitals, some work in doctor’s offices and outpatient clinics. An associate’s degree is needed to enter the field, and some employers may also require certification. The average pay is $64,380, with those working in outpatient facilities earning the most.

Health Educators

The demand for health educators is expected to increase by 37 percent due to increased efforts to reduce health care costs. Health educators develop programs that promote health and wellness. They teach patients about healthy living and habits they can adopt to feel better. They assess the need of their audience and help people find the services they need. They also collect and analyze data for use in brochures, posters, flyers and other printed materials.

They can work in a variety of environments, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, private businesses, colleges, and non-profit and government organizations. The minimum education requirement is a bachelor’s degree, with some employers requiring employees to have a Certified Health Education Specialist credential. Health educators average nearly $46,000 per year, with those working in hospitals earning the most, at more than $58,000 per year.

These three careers are just a few of the many healthcare careers cited by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics with 29 percent or higher growth through 2018. Others include: biomedical engineers, dental assistants, healthcare social workers, medical assistants, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and more.

About the Author: This article was written by Allie Gray Freeland, Editor-in-Chief of CollegeOnline.org.

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