There are many reasons for college students to seek entry-level jobs in healthcare. The most obvious reason, perhaps, is that these jobs enable students to earn a living while obtaining their education. The second reason, which is equally notable, is that students in entry-level positions can gain exposure to the medical field. As they prepare for their careers—whether that be in nursing, occupational therapy, medical assisting, or lab science—they will have first-hand experience working alongside a larger healthcare team.
The best part is, it is possible to obtain an entry-level medical job while still in school. This is because many healthcare degree programs are flexible, often offering part-time and full-time scheduling options, as well as online and on-campus instructional formats. Flexible colleges and universities, like Goodwin, offer career-focused healthcare programs that prepare graduates for their future profession—and allow students to work along the way.
Whether you’re researching part-time healthcare jobs for college students, or seeking an entry-level hospital job while in school, rest assured that there are assorted opportunities within healthcare, for undergraduate students to pursue.
Read below to discover five entry-level healthcare jobs perfect for postsecondary students!
1. Home Health Aides
- Employment Description: Home health aides provide companionship and monitor patients with chronic illnesses, cognitive impairments, and disabilities. As personal care professionals, they also assist clients with daily activities like grooming, paying bills, preparing meals, and taking medication.
- National Professional Pay: According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for home health aides in 2021 was $29,430 per year.
- Connecticut Compensation: Home health aides working in Connecticut in 2021 made an average annual wage of $32,770.
- Projected Occupational Outlook: The home health aide profession is estimated to grow 25% from 2021 to 2031, with 711,700 openings each year.
- Home Health Aide Highlights: Students working as home health aides while attending school get the opportunity to improve their emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication with patients.
- Requirements for Getting Started: According to the BLS, home health and personal care aides typically need a high school diploma or equivalent to get started. However, some positions do not require it.
Discover more about health science degrees!
- Employment Description: An orderly evaluates a patient’s food and water intake and vital signs, escorts patients, sets up equipment, and sanitizes rooms.
- National Professional Pay: As stated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the 2021 median annual salary for orderlies was $29,990.
- Connecticut Compensation: In 2021, orderlies in Connecticut made an average annual salary of $33,530.
- Projected Occupational Outlook: Orderly professions are anticipated to grow five percent from 2021 to 2031, with 220,200 openings annually.
- Optimism for Orderlies: Learners employed as orderlies get a professional sneak-peak of all the operational happenings in a hospital setting.
- Requirements for Getting Started: Orderlies need a high school diploma or equivalent to apply for the job.
Find out more about medical assisting and registered nursing roles!
3. Occupational Therapy Aides
- Employment Description: Occupational therapy aides help occupational therapy assistants by completing clerical tasks, preparing materials, and assembling the necessary equipment for the everyday rehabilitative treatment of patients with emotional, mental, or physical impairments.
- National Professional Pay: As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, occupational therapy aides earned a median annual salary of $33,560.
- Connecticut Compensation: Occupational therapy aides in Connecticut made a median annual salary of $43,820 in 2021.
- Projected Occupational Outlook: Employment for occupational therapy aides is predicted to grow 25% from 2021 to 2031, with 9,300 new openings annually.
- Advancements for Occupational Therapy Aides: As an occupational therapy aide, students will gain significant exposure to the administrative aspects of healthcare, such as filling out insurance forms, assessing inventory levels, and scheduling patient appointments.
- Requirements for Getting Started: Occupational therapy aides typically need a high school diploma to get started. They are then trained on the job.
Learn about advancing your career as an OTA!
4. Dental Assistants
- Employment Description: A dental assistant provides patient care and promotes optimal oral health. Dental assistant professionals collaborate with dental hygienists and dentists, cleaning and preparing tools, maintaining data on procedures, and scheduling patient appointments.
- National Professional Pay: As detailed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2021, the median annual wage for dental assistants was $38,660.
- Connecticut Compensation: The average annual salary for dental assistants in Connecticut in 2021 was $46,130.
- Projected Occupational Outlook: The field of dental assisting is expected to grow eight percent from 2021 to 2031, with 56,400 openings every year.
- The Appeal for Dental Assistants: Dental assistants working in the field receive a preview of the profession, gaining knowledgeable tips and tricks of the trade from experienced dental hygienists and dentists.
- Requirements for Getting Started: There are no formal requirements for dental assistants, and most learn via on-the-job training. However, some states require dental assistants to graduate from an accredited program and/or pass an exam, so it is important to check your local laws.
Find more details about the dental hygiene program!
5. Medical Records Specialists
- Employment Description: Medical records specialists, also known as medical billers and coders, collect payments from patients and insurance companies and process and maintain confidential patient files.
- National Professional Pay: The median annual wage for medical records specialists in 2021 was $46,660.
- Connecticut Compensation: Medical records specialists in Connecticut made an annual average salary of $57,480 in 2021.
- Projected Occupational Outlook: The medical records specialist sector is estimated to grow seven percent from 2021 to 2031, with 14,900 openings annually.
- Medical Records Specialists Seeking Success: Medical records specialists receive an inside look at patient account initiation, maintenance, and billing procedures.
- Requirements for Getting Started: Some medical records specialists can qualify for an entry-level position with just a high school diploma (or equivalent). However, some employers may seek candidates with a postsecondary certificate in a related field.
Learn more about a career in medical billing and coding!
Finding the Right Entry-Level Medical Job for You, as a Student
The benefits of enrolling in an accredited, postsecondary healthcare program are plentiful. For dedicated students who desire to work while earning their degree, entry-level medical jobs can help elevate your resume, establish important connections in the field, produce a paycheck, and allow you to practice fundamental skills before fulfilling a meaningful healthcare career.
Are you ready to begin your bright future in the medical field?
Learn more about certificate and degree healthcare programs!