Entry-Level Medical Career Options
People wishing to enter the medical field, but lacking work experience, still have several different options for entry-level positions in the field. These careers range in job duties, median salaries and other factors. Here we discuss a handful of the entry-level medical careers that are available.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2016-2026)*|
|Medical Records and Health Information Technicians||$38,040||13%|
|Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians||$50,930||13%|
|Home Health Aides||$22,600||47%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Entry-Level Medical Jobs
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Medical records and health information technicians do not need any prior work experience in a related occupation. These technicians manage and organize health information like test results, treatments, medical histories and other patient records, as well as databases and registries. They check all of this information for accuracy and use classification systems to mark information for insurance and data analysis. Medical records and health information technicians usually need certification and earn either a postsecondary certificate or associate's degree.
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians
Medical and clinical laboratory technologists and technicians are entry-level positions that typically work under a physician and do not require previous work experience. These workers collect various biological samples from patients, such as tissues, blood or other body fluids, to perform medical tests ordered by a doctor. This requires them to operate complex lab equipment and carefully record their findings to report back to the doctor and update a patient's medical record. Many technologists and technicians need a state license, but technologists typically hold a bachelor's degree while technicians hold an associate's degree or postsecondary certificate.
Home Health Aides
A career as a home health aide is a great entry-level medical job that exposes people to basic patient care. These aides do not need previous work experience in the field to help patients perform daily activities, like dressing, scheduling appointments, doing laundry and more. Some of these aides are also qualified to check vital signs or give medication to patients. Most home health aides need a high school diploma and depending on the position, may need to undergo formal training and pass a test.
Medical assistants also perform basic patient care and the position does not require previous work experience in a related occupation. Medical assistants do many of the administrative tasks for doctors and healthcare professionals, such as recording medical histories and scheduling appointments. They also take vital signs, assist doctors during examinations and prepare blood samples for testing. Medical assistants can have a high school diploma and on-the-job training or pursue postsecondary education, typically in the form of a certificate program.
Nursing assistants are still considered entry-level positions, but perform more patient care than medical assistants or home health aides. They do not need any previous work experience in the field to take vital signs, help patients bathe and dress and serve meals. Some are qualified to administer medication and record any medical concerns a patient may have to inform the nurse. Nursing assistants undergo state-approved education to learn the basics of nursing and complete clinical work to prepare for their state's competency exam.