A list of some of the top health careers and what it takes to obtain them.

By: Taren Vaughan

When it comes to health professions, the options are abundant. Some professions may require a person to interact with large groups of people. Then there are those that involve very little interaction at all. It all depends on the individual’s preference. Although there are a number of health careers out there, some of them are in very high demand.

Pharmacy: The field of pharmacy continues to grow across the United States. Pharmacists work in numerous settings including hospitals, laboratories and retail chains. Retail pharmacy is one of the most popular settings for a pharmacist to work in. Speaking from my experience as a pharmacy technician, retail pharmacy is definitely for people who like to interact with customers. A positive aspect of pharmacy is that the population is very diverse. There a number of pharmacists from minority groups including Asian, Hispanic, African American and Indian.

Education: Four to eight years depending on your chosen path. A person can complete two to three years of undergraduate course work or they may be required to receive a bachelor’s degree. This is all dependent upon which pharmacy program you are trying to get into. So basically, you are not required to fully complete a bachelor’s degree in order to become a pharmacist.

Salary Range: $86,908-$174,610
National Average: $109, 789

Nursing: The demand for nurses is extremely high in all areas of the country. Registered nurses can work in multiple settings just like many other professions. Although doctors make a pretty penny, nurses bring in substantial incomes as well. The work schedule is one of the perks of the career. Some nurses can work as little as three days out of the week and receive pay for 40 hours.

Education: Associate, bachelors or master’s degree. Programs can be 2 to 4 years in length.

Salary Range: $51, 131-$91,229
National Average: $67,217

Physical Therapy: The need for physical therapists has increased over time. People are beginning to live longer and are continuously involved in some form of physical activity. Physical therapy requires a lot of one on one involvement with patients. The rehabilitation techniques are used in order to help the patient’s body heal properly. Unlike pharmacists and nurses, physical therapist normally works Monday thru Friday. They also work normal 8 to 5 shifts compared to the 12 hour shifts of a pharmacist or nurse.

Education: Bachelors degree, master’s degree and doctorate. The program length can range from 2 to 3 years not including undergraduate work.

Salary Range: $49, 481-$86,065
National Average: $68,163

Each of these professions has its pros and cons. The benefits that one receives as a result of having one of these careers are exceptional.