20 Entry-Level Jobs in Health Care (With Salaries)
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The health care industry offers a wide range of work environments, from hospitals and intensive care units to dentist offices and nursing homes. Professionals who work in the medical field often enjoy meaningful work, fast-paced environments and lucrative career options. If you're interested in pursuing a career in health care, you may be wondering what types of positions you can apply for to get started. In this article, we explore 20 entry-level jobs in health care, list some of their primary job duties and share the average salary for each role.
20 entry-level jobs in health care
Whether you're looking for an administrative, dental or nursing role, there are countless opportunities to begin your career in the health care industry. Here are 20 entry-level positions you can explore. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:
National average salary: $29,040 per year
Primary duties: A patient services representative is one of the first professionals patients speak with when they enter a medical facility. They welcome patients, explain what they can expect from their visit and help them complete important paperwork. Patient services representatives may also collect information from each patient regarding their preferred billing address and insurance. When the patient has completed their paperwork, these professionals guide them to the appropriate waiting room or department.
National average salary: $30,837 per year
Primary duties: A pharmacy technician helps pharmacists prepare over-the-counter prescriptions for customers. They keep track of the pharmacy inventory, take orders from customers, fill prescription bottles and answer patients' questions. Pharmacy technicians typically work in drugstores or pharmacies, but they may also work in hospitals or superstores that have a pharmacy counter. Experienced pharmacy technicians may train and supervise new team members.
Read more: Learn About Being a Pharmacy Technician
National average salary: $30,996 per year
Primary duties: A home health aide cares for patients in their own homes. They may work with elderly patients, people with disabilities or individuals with illnesses. Home health aides monitor each patient's condition, record important information, administer medication and check vital signs. They also assist with light housekeeping duties, such as cooking and doing the dishes. Home health aides may help their patients with personal care tasks, such as bathing and dressing. They often provide transportation as well to ensure their patients attend routine doctor's visits and help them with their errands.
Read more: Learn About Being a Home Health Aide
National average salary: $35,086 per year
Primary duties: A medical receptionist greets patients at the front desk of a doctor's office, health care clinic, hospital or medical facility. They're responsible for answering phones, updating patient information, processing payments and performing administrative work. Medical receptionists also help patients fill out intake forms, answer their questions and notify other team members of each patient's arrival so they can prepare.
Read more: Learn About Being a Medical Receptionist
National average salary: $35,900 per year
Primary duties: A medical records clerk is responsible for maintaining patient files. They gather information, update records and proofread them for accuracy. Some of the documents medical records clerks may organize include medical slips and X-rays. Medical records clerks ensure the organization they work for remains compliant with all legal policies and create secure digital folders to house important paperwork. They also make sure nurses and medical staff members have access to the documents they need for each patient.
Read more: Learn About Being a Medical Records Clerk
National average salary: $36,668 per year
Primary duties: Nursing assistants help patients with daily tasks, such as bathing, grooming and dressing. They may work in assisted living facilities, correctional institutions, nursing homes or hospitals. Sometimes referred to as nurse's aides, these professionals also administer medications, check patients' vitals, serve meals and update medical records. Nursing assistants usually work under the supervision of a licensed nurse.
7. Health coach
National average salary: $37,694 per year
Primary duties: Health coaches develop customized wellness programs for their clients. They teach people how to eat healthily, establish exercise regimens and provide guidance to help them reach their fitness goals. Health coaches conduct evaluations and work closely with their clients over an extended period of time. They may also collaborate with other healthcare providers to develop well-rounded plans for their clients. Some health coaches present at seminars and conduct group classes to raise awareness about healthy habits.
National average salary: $38,287 per year
Primary duties: Medical assistants support physicians and other healthcare providers by performing administrative tasks. They interview patients, gather information about their medical history and update medical records. Medical assistants may also schedule appointments, answer phone calls and remind patients of upcoming appointments. Some medical assistants assess patients' vitals and prepare them for examinations. Medical assistants typically work in clinics and medical offices.
Read more: Learn About Being a Medical Assistant
National average salary: $39,086 per year
Primary duties: An ECG technician performs diagnostic tests that help medical professionals identify cardiovascular diseases. Sometimes referred to as EKG technicians or electrocardiograph technicians, these health care professionals monitor patients' heart performance and blood pressure using special ECG equipment. They also record test results and update records to help diagnose and prevent issues that could cause heart diseases or heart attacks. ECG technicians may be responsible for maintaining their own equipment and ordering new supplies to maintain their inventory.
Read more: Learn About Being an EKG Technician
National average salary: $42,612 per year
Primary duties: A health information technician uses computer software to analyze patient data and identify opportunities to reduce overhead costs while improving patient care. They can work for private practices, hospitals or doctor's offices. Health information technicians use clinical codes to gather and interpret information quickly. This allows them to index, cross-reference and verify patient data to ensure it's accurate. It also allows them to identify how much of the medical costs insurance companies are responsible for paying.
National average salary: $48,334 per year
Primary duties: Coding specialists work in the billing department of medical facilities and health care organizations. Also known as medical coders, these professionals assign specific codes to each treatment patients receive. Then insurance companies use these codes to determine how much of the cost they're responsible for covering. Coding specialists use their knowledge of medical terminology and billing software to create and maintain accurate records.
Read more: Learn About Being a Medical Coder
National average salary: $50,131 per year
Primary duties: A health insurance specialist prepares medical bills and assesses insurance plans. They assist health care facilities by helping them record medical bills and payments. They may also make insurance claims on behalf of their patients. Health insurance specialists assess each patient's medical records carefully to make sure the insurance claims they submit are correct and the facility they work for receives the proper payment.
National average salary: $50,381 per year
Primary duties: A licensed practical nurse cares for patients' basic needs. Some of their daily responsibilities include tracking and monitoring vitals, administering shots and intravenous fluids and assisting doctors with routine medical procedures. They may also perform health checks, observe patients and relay information from doctors to patients and their family members.
National average salary: $51,398 per year
Primary duties: Laboratory technicians complete medical tests, analyze the results and record data to help doctors develop accurate diagnoses for their patients. They calibrate and maintain laboratory equipment, disinfect their work area and order supplies to keep their inventory well-stocked. Laboratory technicians also identify biological samples, label them for storage and prepare catalogs.
Read more: Learn About Being a Lab Technician
National average salary: $52,773 per year
Primary duties: A medical secretary assists with administrative and clerical work. They may work for a hospital, private practice, doctor's office or another health care facility. Medical secretaries greet patients, answer phone calls, schedule appointments and maintain records. They may also manage all the finances of the health care facility they work for by processing payments from patients and insurance companies and paying vendors.
Read more: Learn About Being a Medical Secretary
16. X-ray technician
National average salary: $57,236 per year
Primary duties: X-ray technicians take radiographic images of patients to help doctors diagnose diseases and identify injuries. They operate and maintain X-ray equipment, interpret the images they take and record their findings. X-ray technicians may also offer treatment suggestions to ensure their patients receive the best care possible. They typically work for hospitals, private practices and doctors' clinics.
Read more: Learn About Being an X-ray Technician
17. Dental assistant
National average salary: $62,812 per year
Primary duties: A dental assistant supports dentists by helping them examine, clean and fix teeth. They help check patients in, record their medical history and answer any questions they may have. Dental assistants also clean and organize dental equipment. They may take X-rays of their patients' teeth and provide them with post-care instructions to promote good oral hygiene. Some of the procedures dental assistants may help dentists with include fillings and tooth extractions.
Read more: Learn About Being a Dental Assistant
National average salary: $64,474 per year
Primary duties: Anesthesia technicians help anesthesiologists and health care professionals administer anesthesia to patients before surgery and other medical procedures. They're responsible for cleaning, sterilizing and maintaining anesthesia equipment to ensure it functions properly. Anesthesia technicians also monitor patients who have received anesthesia to ensure they're safe and comfortable.
19. Registered nurse
National average salary: $79,533 per year
Primary duties: Registered nurses support doctors and other health care professionals by helping them perform basic patient care tasks. They may conduct physical examinations, update medical records and educate patients about certain medical conditions. Registered nurses may also supervise licensed nurses and nursing assistants. In addition to this, registered nurses provide emotional support to patients and their loved ones during challenging times. They may also help doctors perform medical procedures and analyze test results.
Read more: Learn About Being a Registered Nurse (RN)
20. Dental hygienist
National average salary: $83,497 per year
Primary duties: A dental hygienist examines and cleans patients' teeth, provides preventative oral care tips and educates patients to help them improve their oral health. They work under the supervision of a dentist. As licensed medical professionals, dental hygienists may also check patients' blood pressure and pulse, create dental radiographs, apply fluorides and protective sealants and administer local anesthetics.
Read more: Learn About Being a Dental Hygienist
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