Skilled trades are emerging as popular career paths, as more individuals are seeking a high-paying job without a large or long-term investment in their education. Trade schools yield them this opportunity, with a variety of career-focused training programs that can be completed in just one to two years. Trade schools are institutions that prepare students for a specific, skills-based job.
Now, when most people think of skilled trades, they think of the electricians, machinists, carpenters, and mechanics of the world. However, there are a variety of medical trades available that are also in need of skilled professionals – perhaps now more than ever – and they can be achieved in under two years’ time.
If you have a desire to help people in need – such as those who are sick, injured, and disabled – but do not have the time to invest in years of medical school, you may consider a healthcare trade school program to launch a career in the medical field. In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about medical trade schools and preparing for a great healthcare career, fast.
What is a Medical Trade School?
Medical trade schools, also called healthcare trade schools, offer focused training and coursework to prepare students for very specific healthcare careers. These schools typically offer a variety of career-oriented programs in health and medicine, taking about one to two years to complete. Examples of programs that can be found in a medical trade school are medical assisting, medical billing, dental hygiene, respiratory care, practical nursing, radiology, and more.
Upon completion of a program, medical trade schools award students with a certificate, diploma, or associate degree – whichever is needed for an entry-level career in the field of choice. Medical trade schools do not offer bachelor’s degrees or graduate degrees, and therefore do not prepare students for advanced careers in medicine (like physicians, nurse anesthesiologists, or medical managers).
It’s important to note that practical healthcare programs can be found in broader trade schools, technical schools, and career-focused institutions—not solely in separate, medical trade schools. Sometimes, medical trade schools are an extension of a broader institution. These institutions will offer a broader range of programs, but have specialized schooling or departments within the health and medical fields. So, when looking for a medical trade school program, keep in mind that you do not need to find a dedicated healthcare school; you will simply want to find a school that offers highly specialized healthcare programs that align with your career goals and your scheduling needs.
Medical Trade School vs. Medical School: What’s the Difference?
The terms medical school and medical trade school sound very similar, however there are important distinctions between the two.
A medical school is an educational institution that offers complete programs leading to medical professions and qualifications, such as those needed to practice as a licensed physician. Medical schools are often a part of a larger parent university, offering clinical training and professional degrees in advanced areas of medicine. According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), medical schools have a robust research base, clinical academic staff, and public interest. These schools often enjoy close links with health departments, and typically prepare students for advanced careers such as surgeons, physicians, anesthesiologists, physical therapists, pediatricians, and more.
A medical trade school also offers complete training programs, leading to more entry-level professions within the medical field. As described above, these trade schools typically only offer awards as high as an associate degree, meaning they are designed to prepare students for very specific roles that do not require a professional education. However, those preparing for a medical trade can expect to receive the full amount of training and experience needed to pursue their career of choice.
Another option for medical training, which is similar to trade schools, is choosing a career-focused healthcare school. Career-focused institutions like Goodwin University offer dedicated healthcare programs that provide the training and experience needed to launch a great career. However, in these types of schools, students can advance their education beyond the associate level. Goodwin University offers career-focused healthcare programs at the certificate, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, and master’s degree level. All programs are highly career-focused, meaning you can expect to gain the education and clinical hours needed to qualify for licensure in areas like:
- Nursing (registered nursing, mental health nursing, family practice, and more)
- Dental hygiene
- Respiratory therapy
- Medical assisting
- Occupational therapy assisting
- Medical billing and coding
What Types of Programs are Offered in a Medical Trade School?
In a healthcare or medical trade school, you can find short-term programs leading to long-term careers in a variety of areas of healthcare. Popular programs found in these schools include, but are not limited to:
- Medical assisting (certificate or associate degree)
- Medical billing and coding (certificate)
- Practical nursing (diploma)
- Nursing assisting (certificate)
- Registered nursing (associate degree)
- Dental hygiene (associate degree)
- Respiratory therapy (associate degree)
- Medical sonography (certificate or associate degree)
- Occupational therapy assisting (associate degree)
- Physical therapy assisting (associate degree)
Why Choose a Career-Focused Healthcare School?
Currently in the United States, we are facing a shortage of healthcare workers. Thousands of professionals are needed in areas like primary care, dental health, and mental health, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that about 1.9 million healthcare jobs will open up annually between 2021 and 2031. This demand is largely due to a record-breaking number of older adults needing healthcare services, as the Baby Boomer population reaches retirement age. The need for healthcare workers also stems from an increase in patients with chronic conditions, a growing interest in preventive health care, and new advances in medicine creating new jobs in the field.
While the need for healthcare grows, there are not enough skilled workers to fill the open jobs. It’s true that many people have a passion for health and medicine, but not everyone can commit to years and years of medical school. However, what many people do not know is that a healthcare career can in fact be achieved in two years or less. With medical trade schools and related career-focused institutions like Goodwin, jobs in health and medicine are becoming more accessible—making it easier for individuals to change careers, pursue their passions, or launch an entry-level career in the medical field.
There are many benefits to pursuing a medical trade, starting with the incredible amount of job openings available to you. Completing a training program can result in a great career shortly after graduation. The numerous job opportunities also mean more job security for trained professionals. The need for healthcare is here to stay, and once you secure a position, you can expect job stability and growth.
The road to a prosperous medical career does not need to take a large investment of your time or expense. You can achieve a high-paying healthcare job with just a little schooling – and excel in this line of work. All healthcare professionals require some level of training and experience in order to help people in need. A medical trade school or career-focused healthcare program makes the pathway to this profession more attainable for you.
Goodwin University is a career-focused university in Connecticut, offering a range of healthcare programs to prepare you for in-demand careers. If you are interested in a future where you can care for others and make a difference in others’ lives, consider starting your career path through one of our programs. You can learn more by contacting us online, or calling us toll-free at 800-889-3282 today.