“Careers in the Health Occupations,” New Era, Oct. 1971, 46
Today many youths are discovering the gratifying world of more than 300 different health occupations. Predictions are that by 1975 the health care industry will be one of the largest employers, with one out of every sixteen workers employed in a health field. It has been estimated that in the United States there are ten to fifteen allied health workers for every physician and dentist, and yet there is a need for over 10,000 new health workers every month.
To assist you to better evaluate some of the opportunities that are available, a few of the more common health occupations requiring two years of college or less are listed. There are also many occupations requiring four or more years of college. If you are interested in this field, contact a counselor or ask your bishop or branch president for help in getting more information that would be applicable in your locale.
Health Occupations Requiring Two Years College or Less
Description of Duties and Responsibilities
Education and Training
For Further Information Write
$4,000 to $6,000 annually
Prepare patients for dental treatment, assist dentist at chairside, prepare dental materials, expose and process X-ray films, perform laboratory and secretarial duties, assist in individual patient dental health education, appointments and bookkeeping.
About 55,000 are currently employed; 168,000 will be needed by 1980. Most are employed by individual dentists and group practice clinics. A few work in hospitals. Most dental assistants are women.
Secondary school diploma. Two years in an accredited training program. Many programs in junior colleges offer associate degrees and are two years in length.
American Dental Assistants Association
Dental Laboratory Technician
$5,200 to $6,500 annually
Fabricate artificial dentures, partial dentures, metal castings, such as crowns and inlays, gold bridges, porcelain crowns, and orthodontic appliances and construct special appliances to correct birth defects or injuries caused by disease or accidents.
Open to both men and women. There is a definite shortage of highly skilled technicians, and an even greater need is expected in years to come. There are now 21,600 technicians, and 32,000 will be needed in 1980.
Secondary school diploma. Two years in an accredited training program or an apprenticeship. Junior colleges offer associate degree programs.
American Dental Association
$6,000 to $7,000 annually
Remove stains and deposits from teeth, expose X-ray films, provide dental health education to patients, maintain patient records, prepare clinical and laboratory dental tests, maintain medical and dental histories and apply medicaments to teeth for prevention of decay.
About 15,000 dental hygienists now, with 39,200 needed by 1980. Most are women, but more men are going into the field.
Two years at an accredited school of dental hygiene. Usually located in junior colleges offering associate degrees. Applicants should have a secondary school diploma.
American Dental Hygienists Association
Radiologic Technologist (X-ray Technician)
$5,200 to $6,800 annually
Operate X-ray equipment to take pictures of bones and body organs for diagnostic purposes; use radiation as a therapy and treatment for certain diseases.
Open to both men and women. Most work in hospitals and clinics. A few are employed by individual physicians. There are 75,000 technologists now, and 81,000 will be needed in 1980.
Most courses are 24 months in length and require a secondary school diploma. Junior colleges offer associate degrees in radiologic technology.
American Society of Radiologic Technologists
Inhalation Therapy Technician
$6,000 to $8,000 annually
Administer oxygen and mixed gas therapy, aerosol therapy resuscitation, and pulmonary rehabilitation. Use various monitoring techniques, including blood-gas studies and pulmonary function studies. Also responsible for maintenance of equipment.
This is the most rapidly growing health occupation; 77 percent of jobs are not filled. With a degree or experience, the technician may become a department supervisor in a hospital or a teacher of inhalation therapy.
Secondary school diploma, and accredited educational program in a hospital or college. Junior colleges offer associate degree programs.
American Association for Inhalation Therapy
Certified Laboratory Assistant
$4,200 to $5,000 annually
Collect blood specimens, prepare and stain slides for microscopes, group and type blood, examine urine and body fluids, and perform routine laboratory tests using microscopes, electronic counters, spectrophotometers, and centrifuges.
Most laboratory assistants are women, but many men are now entering the field. Most work in hospitals. Others work in public and private clinical laboratories, doctor’s offices, public health agencies and industrial and pharmaceutical laboratories. The demand is growing rapidly.
Secondary school subjects such as biology, chemistry, algebra, geometry, and physics. Training is generally in an approved hospital program. Junior colleges sometimes offer associate degree and certificate programs.
American Society of Clinical Pathologists, 710 S. Wolcott Ave. Chicago, Ill. 60612 or American Society of Medical Technologists Hermann Professional Bldg. Houston, Tex. 77025
Medical Laboratory Technician
$5,000 to $6,000 annually
Perform tests in urinalysis, hematology, serology, bacteriology, and clinical chemistry.
Employment opportunities are found in laboratories of hospitals and other institutions.
Secondary school diploma. Two years’ training in an accredited program. Junior colleges offer associate degree programs.
American Medical Technologists
1 year (most programs are 2 years)
$5,000 to $6,000 annually
Process tissue specimens for examination by a pathologist. This includes fixation, dehydration, embedding, sectioning, decalcification and microincineration, mounting, and routine and special staining.
Since this is a relatively new medical occupation, no statistics are available on future needs. It is believed that there will be a great demand in the next ten years. The technician works in a hospital or private or public laboratory.
Secondary school diploma. Approved program usually located in a junior college.
American Society of Clinical Pathologists
$4,500 to $6,000 annually
As an office assistant, schedule appointments, handle correspondence, keep financial records, and maintain case histories. As a clinical assistant, prepare patients for examination or treatment, take temperature, pulse, and blood pressure measurements, interview patients, sterilize instruments, perform routine laboratory tests, take and develop routine X-rays.
Medical assistants are usually employed in physicians’ offices. Some work in hospitals, research laboratories, for drug manufacturers, and insurance companies. Medical assistants are always in demand.
Secondary school diploma. Junior colleges offer associate degree programs.
American Association of Medical Assistants
Medical Record Technician
$4,800 to $6,000 annually
Assist medical record librarians in the technical work of maintaining medical records, reports, disease indexes and hospital clinics.
Most technicians work in hospitals, and every hospital needs at least one. There is a continuing need for well-qualified medical record technicians.
Secondary school diploma and nine months at an approved hospital or junior college program. Junior colleges offer associate degree programs.
American Association of Medical Record Librarians
Operating Room Technician
$5,000 to $7,200 annually
Assist surgeons by assembling, sterilizing, and preparing instruments, handing instruments to the surgeon during an operation, preparing patients for operations, keeping records of the operation, and helping patients recover from anesthesia.
There are about 20,000 technicians employed today and the need is expected to double in the next ten years.
Secondary school or equivalent; at least one year of training in an approved school or on-the-job training.
Association of Operating Room Technicians
$4,000 to $6,000 annually
Participate in group therapy, occupational and recreational activities, counseling, and casework and home visits in helping the mentally ill or emotionally disturbed patient become rehabilitated to society.
One of the newest types of technicians in the health field. The demand is becoming greater each year. Technicians work in mental hospitals, mental health centers, general hospitals, and social service agencies.
Secondary school diploma or equivalent one- or two-year educational program, often in a junior college.
National Association of Psychiatric Technology
$3,800 to $5,000 annually
Record electrical impulses from brain and heart by use of electroencephalograph and eleotrocardiograph instruments. Results of recordings are used by physicians in diagnosing brain and heart diseases.
Technicians work in hospitals and clinics under the supervision of a physician. There is a constant demand for these technicians.
Some junior colleges offer associate degrees. Most technicians receive on-the-job training in a hospital.
American Electroencephalographic Society Dept. of Neurology
$6,500 to $7,800 annually
Observe, evaluate, and record symptoms, reaction, and progress of patients; assist in patient education and rehabilitation; improve the physical and emotional environments of patients; administer medications and treatments as prescribed by physicians.
There is a constant demand for registered nurses. Most work in hospitals and clinics. Some work as medical assistants in physicians’offices. While most are women, many men are finding satisfying careers in nursing.
Secondary school diploma with courses in the sciences. Two-year junior college program leading to an associate degree program.
Committee on Careers, National League for Nursing
Licensed Practical or Vocational Nurse
$4,200 to $5,400 annually
Under supervision, observe, evaluate,and record symptoms, reaction, and progress of patients; assist in patient education and rehabilitation; improve the physical and emotional environments of patients; administer medications and treatments as prescribed by physicians.
There is a continuing demand for practical nurses. Most work in hospitals or clinics.
Some secondary school, one year in an accredited program. Many of these programs are located in junior colleges.
National Federation of Licensed Practical Nurses