How to Become a Social Worker

The majority of people (and readers as well) would definitely agree on the fact that all of us desire to lead a life without being under constant pressure and feeling constantly enable of reaching self-fulfillment that seems elusive to us. In addition to that, in contemporary society, in which money matters do really matter a lot, all of us would be glad to obtain a satisfying financial situation and to be able to afford ourselves not only what is included in our basic needs but also to afford ourselves pleasures such as travelling or going out.

Target Group of the Article

However, sometimes not all of us manage to make that wish come true. There are people who struggle with getting by. Therefore, the society invented a vocation called a social worker. This article aims to inform the readers about this working position. We will discuss points such as what a social worker is, what a social worker does, and, most importantly, how a person can become a social worker. We hope this article will appear interesting and useful to all the readers – the ones who simply want to get new information about this vocation as well as the ones who consider making it their future working position. So, sit back, relax, and find out something about the vocation of a social worker!

Who is a Social Worker?

Before we proceed to bringing up the job details about the occupation of a social worker, let us firstly determine what this working position entails.

A social worker is a person supposed to obtain various skills in order to surmount the gaps between higher and lower levels of our society. Moreover, a social worker is the one who helps the people who struggle with getting by to improve their circumstances and provide themselves with a better quality of life. Social workers are the ones who connect and communicate with people in order to help them solve their financial problems and to go for a better quality of life, standard and self-fulfillment. In order to give some more details about this position, we will include a few steps that may guide you in how to become a social worker. We hope they will be useful to the readers.

Why Is A Social Worker Essential in Our Contemporary Society?

Since our society is not always functioning in the fairest way that can be imagined, it is easy to conclude that not all of us live to see their dream of being able to afford themselves an easy living come true. It is actually another way around – large groups of people all over the world literally struggle just to make the ends meet. There is a wide gap between various social groups and that gap often seems insurmountable.

Social workers are the ones who are supposed to obtain great skills in order to approach the ones from risk social groups. Thus, social workers’ job is to help those people surmount the gap between them and the ones with a better living standard and to make better quality of life for themselves. That is why the position of a social worker is essential nowadays, and in this article, we will present you this working position and let you know about the job details regarding social workers.

Fields of Social Work

Before we proceed to explain some details about this job, we must emphasize that there are a few types of social workers, who are engaged in various but interconnected fields. Therefore, we will create a list of those types since it is important to choose which one you prefer when deciding on your future career:

  • Social Workers in Administration, Policy and Research
  • Child, Family and School Social Workers
  • Community Social Workers
  • Gerontological Social Workers
  • Medical and Health Social Workers
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers
  • Military and Veterans Social Work
  • Palliative and Hospice Social Work
  • Psychiatric Social Workers
  • Schools Social Workers
  • Licensed Clinical Social Worker

Is your head already spinning from the list that shows an admirably broad range of various specialties of a social worker? If you are interested in further details about some of them and the working position of a social worker in general, stay tuned and continue with reading the article.

What Does A Social Worker Do?

Whatever working position may be at stake, people are always interested in getting to know more about what exactly that working position entails. In order to reach the expectations of our dear readers, we will bring up the responsibilities and the duties of a social worker.

First of all, we have already mentioned that social workers are the ones who help with surmounting the gaps between various social groups. In addition to that, as it is obvious from the list in the paragraph above, social workers may specialize in various directions. Therefore, we will create a list of the possible target groups they may choose to work with:

  • Children and Students
  • People with Mental Issues and Those Who Struggle with Drug or Alcohol Abuse (Risk Groups=
  • People Who Survived a PTSD, the Ones Who Are Experienced in War Actions
  • Elderly
  • People Who Belong to Various Minorities (Ethnical, Sexual, etc.)
  • People Who Are Disabled or Terminally Ill and Who Are under Constant Treatment

It is obvious that social workers have various duties, most important of which is to help the people who belong to some of the groups mentioned above to obtain a better quality of life. If ones if interested in taking such a responsible working position up, one may find more pieces of useful information, further in this article. So, proceed with reading!

Work Environment of a Social Worker

If a person in interested in dedicating his or her life and career to social work, that person must be interested in where he or she might expect to find work place once they start with their job. Therefore, we will provide you with the list of possible work environments of a social worker.

The following list was formed according to the survey made by a renowned School of Social Work, USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck:

  • Medical or Public Health

According to the list, becoming a medical social worker is one of the soundest opportunities when this vocation is at stake. Speaking of the work environment, medical social workers may work in any facility that provides care to patients, such as

  • hospitals
  • hospices
  • emergency rooms
  • rehabilitation facilities
  • nursing homes
  • assisted living facilities
  • home health agencies
  • mental asylums.
  • The next opportunity is to work with people struggling with substance abuse. In that case, a social worker may work in environments such as:
  • rehabilitation facilities
  • prisons
  • private practices
  • non-profit organizations
  • for-profit organizations
  • juvenile detention facilities.
  • Working With Children – In this case, a social worker may work in one of the following facilities:–
    -boarding schoolsThis particular specialty of a social worker is highly important and delicate since they appear as liaisons between the children, the educators and the family.

    How to Become a Social Worker?

    This type of articles that bring certain working positions up must contain a section in which it will be thoroughly explained how one can start a career in the particular working position. In order to help you bail out of all the details and requirements regarding the career of a social worker, we decided to divide this part of the article into a few steps that will guide the ones interested in this job position on their way to start the most successful career.

    Step 1Do I Have the Skills Required?

    Whatever working position may be at stake and whenever any person is deciding on their future career, they must be true to themselves firstly and to determine whether they have the basic skills needed in the position they are getting ready to opt for. Therefore, here are some of the skills required of a social worker:

    • social skills
    • communication skills
    • politeness
    • being reliable
    • being responsible
    • being approachable and willing to connect to people
    • being helpful
    • empathy
    • courage
    • diligence in survive the risky situations

    If you do have most of the skills mentioned above, you may consider yourself appropriate for the working position of a social worker. But, that is just the beginning. Social work is, as we have already mentioned a few times, a highly responsible and a highly versatile vocation. Therefore, one needs to undergo a range of preparations in order to be able to start their career in this working position. Therefore, the next steps will show you the way to the beginning of a successful career as a social worker.

    Step 2 – More Pieces of Information Means More Opportunities

    Whatever working position may be at stake, before anyone decides in which direction they want to set their career, they must firstly obtain a few pieces of information about what that working position entails, what the job outlook and the salary is and so on. In addition, one may also need to know whether that working position is needed in the county or area they would like to live in and whether it suits their lifestyle and preferences. When it comes to social worker jobs, most of them are full-time and require utmost dedication. Therefore, people who are not so patient and hardworking and who do not like to have deep interactions with other people should maybe think over their decision to become social workers. But, if such requirements reach your preferences, you must now make sure to obtain information about social work, such as where social workers are mostly needed. As we have suggested in the article, those would be:

    • various medical facilities
    • schools
    • non-profit organizations
    • the facilities that deal with substance abuse, such as prisons and juvenile detention facilities.

    Step 3 –Aim for the Right Education Program

    Whatever working position may be at stake, we all know that simply obtaining a certain set of skills is definitely far from enough to be able to take up that working position. Everyone needs to undergo an educational program, whether in formal or non-formal education, to study on campus or finish an online course, in order to start his or her career in a certain vocation such as the one of a social worker. Therefore, we will make a list of the universities that are considered, by the surveys conducted by renowned organizations, to offer the best educational programs in the field of social work, as well as clinical and medical social work.

    Here is the list of the universities that offer the best programs in social work:

    • Kaplan University
    • Johns Hopkins University
    • Capella University
    • Saint Joseph’s University
    • The University of the Rockies
    • Baker College Online
    • Colorado State University Global
    • North Central University
    • Grand Canyon University
    • Southern New Hampshire University

    We have just listed the best university programs in social work. As you can see, some of the programs, such as the one offered by Baker College, are even available online. Therefore, you do not have to study on campus, which is an advantage, especially for foreign students. However, bachelor’s degree is sometimes not enough. Thus, we will proceed to the next step in how to become a social worker.

    Step 4 – Pick a Specialty

    We have already mentioned in this article that the position of a social worker is a highly versatile one, offering many opportunities in choosing the specialty that suits you the most and that you find most interesting. Therefore, one must choose a specialty in social work since some of them require further education. Employees will not give you the position of a clinical social worker, for example if you provide them with your Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work only. Bachelor’s Degree is a satisfactory proof of one’s knowledge and expertise only on the entry level of the career in social work.

    Therefore, if you have decided that you wish to become a licensed clinical social worker or to work with people who undergo issues of substance abuse, you will definitely need to enroll in a program of further education according to the specialty you have chosen. Thus, we will guide you in choosing the right master’s program and obtaining the degree needed.

    Step 5 – Aim for the Right Master’s Degree

    As we have already mentioned in the previous step, one who aims to pick a specialty such as the one of a licensed clinical social worker or any of the similar specialties will have to go for a master’s degree since it is required in the field mentioned.

    In order to help the readers interested in such a specialty direct their career and reach the requirements, we will create a short list of the best master’s programs and programs of further education, according to the results of the surveys made by renowned organizations dedicated to social work.

    Here is the list:

    • USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work

    This school is among the most renowned institutions, or in other words, a household name, in the field of social work. Since this school offers an online and accredited master’s program in social work, it will be one of the best choices.

    • Capella University

    Capella University appeared on our list of bachelor’s programs. However, they offer a master’s program in social work that is available online and appears to be in CSWE candidacy status. So, if you are interested in broadening your education in social work and aiming for a more successful career, you may decide to enroll in a master’s program on Capella University.

    If you desire to find more information on the master’s programs in social work in general, you may find the following link useful:

    Step 6 – Get a Proper License

    Various working positions do not only require a person to obtain proper education, but also to engage in internship or apprenticeship, to gain some experience in the future work field and earn a license accordingly. This definitely applies to the working position of a social worker. In order to get employed, a social worker must provide the employment with a working license, especially in certain specialties such as clinical social work.

    In order to become a clinical social worker or a medical social worker, you must complete more than a determined number of hours in a social work practicum, which is required for bachelor’s degree students.

    There are four levels of social work:

    • Bachelor’s
    • Master’s
    • Advanced Generalist
    • Clinical

    All of the ones mentioned require a certain amount of practical work. When the specialties of the licensed clinical social worker and medical social worker, that have the most serious requirements, are at stake, the people engaged in them need to earn MSW and to complete the requirement for two years of work experience, either supervised or direct clinical. Since various states and jurisdictions may have various requirements when it comes to social work jobs, one is advised to graduate from a social work program accredited by the Council on Social Work Education.

    Step 7 – Never Cease to Broaden Your Knowledge and Experience

    Practice makes perfect, or so they say. Therefore, if you have completed all the previous steps successfully, the last one is not the least. A person engaged in a social work job should never cease to broaden his or her knowledge and to gain more experience in the field. The more you work the more skilful and successful you will get, that is the rule or engagement. In addition to that, always keep in touch with the colleagues who are more experienced, in order to pick some tricks of the trade from them. One of the most useful things in every career is to be open to cooperate with people from your vocation and the similar occupations.

    Social Worker Degree

    When it comes to degree and certification of a social worker, we have pretty much covered that topic among the steps we have been through, especially steps four, five and six. However, emphasizing some crucial information will by no means hurt in this case.

    Therefore, here is the list of the degrees one may earn in the field of social work:

    • Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work
    • Master’s Degree:
    • in Social Work
    • in Clinical Social Work
    • in Medical Social Work
    • PhD in Social Work (and the specialties mentioned above)

    In addition to those degrees, one may also earn various certificates in order to become and accredited social worker, such as:

    • The Certificate Issued by CSWE (Council on Social Work Education)

    Social workers can also obtain a membership in National Association of Social Worker Boards.

    How Much Do Social Workers Earn?

    When it comes to the salary of social workers, according to the results of the research conducted by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a social worker reaches the amount of approximately $42,000. For mental health and substance abuse workers, it reaches $42,170, whereas for child, family and schools social workers it reaches $42, 350, and when it comes to healthcare social workers, it reaches $42,380.

    Social Worker Jobs – Job Outlook

    We have already mentioned a few specialties and social workers jobs. Thus, we will just create a short list:

    • Child Welfare Social Workers
    • Direct-Service Social Worker
    • Gerontology Social Worker
    • Medical or Public Health Social Worker
    • Clinical Social Worker
    • Substance Abuse Social Worker
    • Mental Health Social Worker

    When it comes to similar occupations, the one of an occupational therapist is slightly similar to the vocation of a social worker.

    We hope that this article was helpful to both the ones simply interested in social work and the ones who see it as their future job opportunity.

How to Become an Occupational Therapist?

All of us are quite familiar with the fact that the contemporary lifestyle we have acquired puts various challenges and requirements in front of us on daily basis. Expectations are higher and higher for everyone, no matter which field of human activity may be at stake. Is that something to be concerned about? Yes, all of us are definitely worried, at least from time to time, that we may not reach all the expectations. That is the inner conflict that we sometimes may not be able to solve by ourselves, and that is where occupational therapists take the stage. Thus, this article will bring to light the vocation of an occupational therapist.

Versatile Vocation

To start with, like a number of other working positions, occupational therapy is a versatile vocation that enables one to work with different types of clients with different types of issues. Therefore, one who is interested in occupational therapy may firstly consider which working position among this area appears most attractive and suitable for them, so they can start gaining knowledge and experience in that particular position.

Thus, here is the list of various types of occupational therapy one may decide to perform:

  • Working with children

They can work individually or with groups of children, and they can perform therapy at home or in schools. The task of an occupational therapist who works with children is to evaluate children’s abilities, recommend their therapy and improve classroom equipment in order for the children to be more motivated to reach their goals.

  • Engaging in work-related therapy

Adults should not be underestimated when it comes to occupational therapy, since people who seem not to have any problems may also need certain assistance for reaching their own daily goals. That is why occupational therapists work with employed people and help them overcome their personal and career problems and reach the sense of achievement.

  • Working with Elderly

While getting old, we will lose many of our abilities. That is the law of nature, but we should by no means give into it. Therefore, the occupational therapists who work with elderly strive to help them find their inner strength and maintain their motor functions.

  • Working with Terminally Ill and Disabled People

This type of occupational therapy may be the one that brings the greatest responsibilities, since people who are terminally ill or disabled need utmost attention, dedication and special care, on top of that. Therefore, occupational therapists who work with such patients must be capable of using adaptive equipment, such as wheelchairs or orthotics.

Essential Vocation

The first question regarding this topic is if we all know what an occupational therapist is and what this working position entails. Since all of us are surrounded with various encouraging messages, we seem to be overwhelmed with that content and we may miss noticing what is helpful for us.

At this point, it is important to emphasize that occupational therapists are the people who are highly educated, well trained and thus specialized in the field of psychology and helping people overcome their daily hardships that make it hard for them to reach their daily goals.

What Does an Occupational Therapist Do?

Here is the job description of this vocation. In order to bring a certain working position up and make this article interesting to both the ones who maybe desire to become occupational therapists themselves and to the ones who simply wish to get more pieces of information in this field, this article must list certain tasks and responsibilities that this working position entails.

Therefore, here is the list of some basic tasks of every occupational therapist:

  • Promote health
  • Help prevent injuries and disabilities
  • They help a person recover from mental or physical injuries or post-traumatic issues
  • They help their clients attain and improve the highest level of :
  • self-fulfillment
  • general health
  • independence

Occupational therapists help their clients regain energy, obtain and maintain both physical and mental balance and health in order to feel good about themselves and to be able to reach their goals. Therefore, a person who undergoes a treatment in occupational therapy has better chances of becoming independent by achieving his or her goals.

Work Environment of an Occupational Therapist

When it comes to the working space where occupational therapists may find themselves, we may say that it varies both from their personal preferences and from the preferences of their clients as well.

Since occupational therapy is a vocation in which one needs to be dedicated to the person one treats and one needs to obtain a close contact and maintain communication with that person, the possibility of working from a long distance are excluded. Therefore, occupational therapists do not have so many chances to work online.

Depending on the preferences of both occupational therapists and their clients, here are some of the possible work environments for them:

  • Working from home, in which case occupational therapists determine their own working hours and their clients visit them according to their appointments
  • Working in an office, where clients can call an occupational therapist and make an appointment. An occupational therapist has fixed working hours because he or she finds it more suitable in this case.
  • Working in a healthcare facility – Some occupational therapist do decide to work in a state, official healthcare facility since they are more fond of such work environment and working conditions.
  • Visiting their clients – In some cases, occupational therapists need to visit their clients on regular basis, especially if they are treating a terminally ill patient.

How to Become an Occupational Therapist?

In such articles that bring certain working positions to light, we may by no means omit to explain how one can take the particular working position up. In other words, one of the aims of this article is to bring up what it takes to become a successful occupational therapist.

Since occupational therapy is a serious vocation that comes along with numerous responsibilities, it also requires having certain skills and gaining thorough knowledge. To determine whether you are appropriate for a future occupational therapist, first check whether you obtain these skills or not:

  • Sense of compassion
  • Empathy
  • Dedication
  • Being highly responsible
  • Communication skills
  • Patience

If one thinks one has the skills listed above, one may take a crack at occupational therapy as their future working position. One must bear in mind that occupational therapy is a highly versatile vocation. Therefore, one has to make sure to choose the type of occupational therapy one desires to dedicate their life and career to. Having made that decision, one may look into various education programs that will make them capable of becoming occupational therapists in the particular field they have chosen.

Education and Training for Occupational Therapists

We all know that proper education is one of the basic requirements whatever working position may be at stake. In addition, the majority of us are aware of the fact that educational system is traditionally divided into three types, which are:

  • Formal Education, related to university programs (Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD)
  • Non-formal Education, which includes various seminars and courses that one can visit to become a holder of certain certificates
  • Informal Education, which includes getting educated on one’s own by attending various online courses, seminars and simply gaining versatile knowledge without anyone’s assistance.

Formal Education

Formal education comes as the first type on the list and therefore we will get down to it before proceeding to the other ones. Formal education enables one to get various degrees in occupational therapy, starting from undergraduate major, which qualifies one for an occupational therapy assistant.

Undergraduate Major

In order to become occupational therapy assistant, one may attend a program in a certain school and get to the educational level of an undergraduate major. This kind of program includes a few disciplines, such as:

  • kinesiology
  • psychology
  • anthropology
  • biology
  • sociology

Bachelor Studies

In order to obtain the position of a fully qualified occupational therapist, one who decides to undergo a program of formal education will definitely need to attend bachelor studies after attaining the undergraduate level in this field. Therefore, in order for the readers interested in occupational therapy as their future working position, this article will bring up a list of top-ranked universities, formed by renowned organizations in the field:

  • Kaplan University
  • Virginia College
  • Lincoln Tech
  • Keiser University
  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Colorado Technical University

Master Studies

Bachelor studies’ programs require their candidate to be a high school graduate, or at least to have a GED, whereas master studies’ programs require finishing bachelor studies and having a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy.


In order to start working as an accredited occupational therapist, one must obtain a license after having completed a formal educational program and having obtained a certain degree. Therefore, one must undergo a program of practice in the field and pass the exam created by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy.

Voluntary Certification

What is also crucial when it comes to starting a career in occupational therapy and becoming an accredited occupational therapist is that one of the requirements that future candidates for this working position must reach is completing the sufficient amount of fieldwork. Occupational therapist can pursue their specialty certifications from the American Occupational Therapy Association, and they may choose to engage in some among the numerous fields that are offered, such as:

  • gerontology
  • low vision
  • pediatrics
  • environmental modification
  • physical rehabilitation

We will repeat once again that occupational therapy is, by all means, a versatile vocation that may include working with children, patients who are terminally ill or disabled or it can mean engaging in work-related therapy. Therefore, one must decide on which of the fields one desires to get voluntary experience in according to the field of occupational therapy that they see as their future career option.

Online Education

We promised that this article would by no means cover only the programs connected to the formal education. Therefore, we will now get down to presenting certain online programs and informal courses that may as well prepare one for becoming a successful occupational therapist. Before we proceed to that topic, it is essential to point out that most of the universities mentioned in the list above offer both campus and online programs.

Here is the list of some short online courses offered by La Trobe Organization:

  • Occupational Therapy Short Course at La Trobe
  • Anatomy and Psychology Short Course
  • Psychology Short Course

Although one may conclude that not all of the courses listed above are directly related to occupational therapy, in particular, the fact is that all of the courses mentioned in the list above do offer certain contents that are highly required in the field of occupational therapy. Therefore, the programs offered by these courses and the knowledge that may be obtained appear quite useful to all the ones who perceive occupational therapy as their desirable future career.

Certification and Degree

One who desires to start one’s career in this area needs to obtain a degree in a certain level of education and to obtain a certificate, or in other words, a license that proves they have reached the sufficient amount of working hours in the field of occupational therapy.

That is because a person who wants to become an occupational therapist needs to be highly educated but also experienced in working in the field mentioned. Therefore, in order to inform the readers about degrees and certifications:

  • Undergraduate Degree in Occupational Therapy
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Therapy
  • Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy
  • PhD in Occupational Therapy (doctoral level)
  • Occupational Therapist Registered Credential


Have you ever wondered how much do occupational therapists make? According to the results of the research conducted in May 2015 by the renowned US Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average annual salary of an occupational therapist appears to reach the amount of $80,150. According to the aforementioned research, the predicted job growth for this working position is 4%.

Job Outlook

Since we have concluded through this article that occupational therapy is an essential and a highly versatile vocation, we may also draw a conclusion that the job outlook for this position is promising and auspicious, as well as the opportunities for employment that the specialists in this field have. We have concluded that occupational therapists may work with various clients with different issues and therefore they have the best chances of finding their future workplace.

Similar Occupations

Some of the readers may ask themselves if there are any positions similar to the working position of an occupational therapist since we have not mentioned any of them in the article yet. Anyway, some vocations are definitely similar to the one of an occupational therapist. Most often, people tend to mistake occupational therapists with physical therapists. Thus, this occupation shares the greatest number of similarities with the vocation of occupational therapy.

How to Become a Medical Assistant – MA Schools & Career Outlook

Who is a Medical Assistant and What does He Do?

A medical assistant is the right hand woman or man, for a nurse or physician; this makes their lives as well as those of their patients to be easier. There are various responsibilities and duties that they normally perform, both administrative and clinical, and they also help patients to feel at ease by answering any questions they might have. However, keep in mind that their responsibilities and duties normally vary depending on the setting.

As already mentioned earlier, the duties and responsibilities of medical assistants usually vary depending on the setting. When in a hospital setting their work is to attend to the needs of a specific unit they are working for. Some of the things they might do is filling out patient forms, handling billing and performing common receptionist type of duties. Their work responsibilities are both lab and patient-based, where they can perform activities like administering immunizations, performing ECG readings, prescription or medication refills and examining samples collected from patients. They run errands for the doctors or physicians within a hospital or health center setting. They can work in a clinic, in a private practice or in an ambulatory care. In all of those settings, their duties and responsibilities will vary.

In a Clinic

When a medical assistant works in a clinic setting, s/he doesn’t work for a particular unit the way a hospital medical assistant does. Their work in the clinic setting is therefore mo general or comprehensive. The duties of a medical assistant in this setting involves a blend of administrative and clinical duties that includes greeting patients, answering phone calls, sterilizing medical equipments, changing wound dressing, disposing contaminated supplies and explaining procedures. Other additional duties might include preparing x-rays of patients, taking electrocardiograms, advising patients about special diets or medications, removing stitches and drawing blood. Nurses and doctors highly value the work of medical assistants in the clinic as they help the clinic to run smoothly.

In a Private Setting

When a medical assistant works in a private setting his/her duties and responsibilities is similar to that of an office receptionist and physicians will depend on medical assistants to provide patient care and also make sure that the activities in the office are running smoothly. You should keep in mind that their duties or responsibilities are unique and specific to the private setting they are working for. Medical assistants can also perform basic tests and exams; explain medical information to patients, scheduling appointments and much more.

In an Ambulatory Care

Medical assistants in ambulatory care have very specific duties that entails high-pressure atmosphere. They offer both clerical and clinical support, and should rely on their instincts as well as training to act fast to allow medical technicians to care for patients in an effective and well-timed manner. When a patient visits a hospital or clinic, a medical assistant is the first person they will come in contact with and s/he will help in completing the necessary patient forms, collecting the necessary specimens or samples and performing Point of Care testing.

Generally, the work of medical assistants is to complete clinical and administrative tasks in hospitals and other healthcare facilities as well as offices of doctors. Their duties and responsibilities depend on area of expertise, location and size of the practice.  A summary of their duties typically include:

  • Recording personal information and patient history.
  • Entering patient information into medical records.
  • Measure very important signs like blood pressure.
  • Scheduling patient appointments.
  • Help physicians with patient examinations.
  • Prepare blood samples for lab-tests.
  • Give patients medications or injections as permitted by state law or as directed by the doctor.

When medical assistants record personal information of patients they should always keep it confidential and only discuss it with other medical personnel that are involved in taking care or treating of the patient. The work of medical assistants is being changed by electronic health records (EHRs) where many physicians are now adopting the use of EHRs. Physicians are adopting the electronic health records (EHRs) by moving personal information and history of patients from paper to electronic records. It is therefore important that medical assistant learn and understand how to use the EHR software. Keep in mind that medical assistants are not the same as physician assistants whose work is to diagnose, examine and treat patients under the direction and supervision of a physician.

There are other medical assistants who specialize according to the type of medical office they are working for. For example, optometric and ophthalmic medical assistants help optometrists and ophthalmologists, respectively, to offer eye care. Some of their duties include showing patients how to remove, insert or care for contact lenses. An ophthalmic medical assistant might also help ophthalmologist in surgery. There is also a podiatric medical assistant who works closely with foot doctors or podiatrists and their work is to cast the feet, expose, preparing x-rays and also help podiatrists in surgery.

Types of Medical Assistants

A research conducted by the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) showed that the most important duties and responsibilities of medical assistants fall in two categories, which include clinical and administrative duties.

Clinical Medical Assistants

MAs are not trained to carry out the same tasks as registered nurses, physicians, surgeons or other advanced healthcare providers. However, MAs education prepares them to perform various basic exams on patients and to carry out certain tasks under the direction and supervision of a physician. According to American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA), there are several medical assistant clinical skills and they include:

  • Ensuring patients are ready for examinations. Before the patient is given any medication or is tested the medical assistant will explain to him/her about how the whole process will take place.
  • Recording the medical history of patients. Medical assistants need to document the medical history, current symptoms, risk factors and other related issues of a patient before the lead nurse or doctor arrives. This will help the physician to provide the best solution to the problem.
  • Discussing medical issues with patients as well as their family members or friends. MAs are often called upon to explain to patients or even their relatives about the dietary restrictions, symptom management, patient’s diagnosis, prescribed medication, treatment options and other important matters that closely relate to their condition or recovery.
  • Performing medical procedures like drawing blood, removing sutures and stitches, performing electrocardiogram and replacing wound dressing like casts and bandages.
  • In some cases, MAs might be required to administer medications.

Administrative Medical Assistant

Medical assistants frequently help administrative staffs who are behind the front desk to perform certain duties like:

  • Organizing appointment schedule. Though it depends on their office, MAs are often called upon to schedule appointments, receive phone calls and make sure that the calendar of patient in the facility is up to date and well organized.
  • Entering data of patients. In today’s world, most healthcare facilities usually maintain a network that consists of personal information of patients. In some cases, medical assistants might be required to update patient records and organize files of the facility.
  • Assisting new patients or their relative. MAs can deliver forms that patients submit for them to see a physician and they can also answer any question the patient or their relative might have. Medical assistants might also assist visitor check-ins for existing patients.
  • Communicating with insurance companies. Many offices of physicians, clinics and hospitals typically employ in-house insurance coders or billers to handle complicated insurance demands. In some cases, MAs might be asked to help these people by contacting providers, completing insurance forms and answer any question that patients might have about insurance.

Work Environment of Medical Assistants

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US, in the year 2014 there were about 591,300 medical assistants’ jobs. Some of the industries that employed most medical assistants include:

Industry Percentage
Outpatient care centers 7%
Other health practitioners offices 10%
Private, local and state hospitals 15%
Physicians offices 59%

Most medical assistants usually work in offices of physicians, outpatient clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities. In the year 2014 the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the US found out that more than half of the entire medical assistants worked in offices of physicians. Most medical assistants work fulltime (40-hour per week) while others work holidays, weekends and evenings to cover shifts that are always open in medical facilities. Medical assistants work in a clean environment and they frequently interact with other people and can handle numerous duties at once.

A career as a medical assistant means that you will interact with patients, physicians and other staff in your line of work. It is vital to know what kind of environment you will be getting yourself into when you start practicing. The environment will vary depending on where you work, the type of medical assistant you are and, the scope of work. Remember that the core duties of a clinical medical assistant will revolve around patient care. In that case, the size of the population will also determine the work environment.

Clinical Medical Assistant’s Work Environment

The functions of a clinical medical assistant will incline towards patient care. They work in a clinic or health facility where their main role is to attend to the medical needs of the patient. From generating medical reports, to prescribing drugs to patients, they do it all. They help the doctor to exercise their duties effectively by taking up the usual roles and leaving the complex roles to the physicians. They interact closely with the patients, doctors, and other medical staff within the hospital setting. When patients arrive at a hospital or clinic, they prepare them before they can see the doctor. It may include taking their blood sample so that it can be sent to the laboratory or asking questions that relate to their illness and fill the form.

They also assist doctors in the lab to carry out tests and make the diagnosis. In short, they work in close collaboration with the physician and offer support to enhance the entire process. In the inventory section, they can help to manage the stock of medicine and other medical equipment. They ensure that everything in the clinic or hospital is up to standard, and the patients get the care they deserve. They are mostly on their feet moving from one patient to the other and running regular errands for the doctor.

Administrative Medical Assistant’s Work Environment

The work environment, in this case, will be at the administrative level. You will find many administrative medical assistants at the reception desk of a hospital or clinic. Their role does not require them to be constantly on their feet as they are always on their desk doing some administrative duties such as data entry, welcoming patients and visitors, scheduling appointments with the doctor, answering calls, and billing work among others.

Medical assistants mostly work 40 hours per week in a clean, high traffic, and interactive environment. Some work part-time while others work full-time.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

For one to become a medical assistant there is a long road ahead that will involve formal education and training. You need first to develop the passion for the field of medicine before you can decide to venture in the career as a medical assistant. With the growth of the internet and more medical schools offering online programs, you can use a wide range of avenues to acquire the education qualification part of it. You can take part in online learning, classroom learning or part-time learning in a medical institution. Certification may be essential but not a requirement for one to become a medical assistant. However, it helps improve the chances of securing future employment. Apart from that, it can lead to other careers in the same field such as doctor or physician or nurse.


Most medical assistants normally have a certificate in postsecondary education while others enter the profession with a high school diploma or learn through on-the-job training. In most states, there isn’t any formal educational requirement for one to become a medical assistant but most employers prefer to hire medical assistants who have finished these programs. There are different programs of medical assistants offered in universities, technical schools, community colleges and vocational schools. It will take approximately 1 year for one to complete the program and it can lead to a diploma or certificate. Some programs available at community colleges take 2 years for you to complete it and usually leads to an associate’s degree. Every program has a laboratory and classroom parts that comprise of lessons in medical terminology and anatomy.

There are those medical assistants who have a high school diploma and learn their duties or responsibilities on the job. Individuals in high school who are interested in becoming medical assistants need to take courses in anatomy, biology and chemistry.

Medical Experience Requirements

Most programs whether a certificate, diploma or associate degree will accommodate experience in the form of internships. It gives you the experience you need in the real world to become a medical assistant. It is usually in a hospital, clinic or health center setting where you work side by side with medical professionals. Your duty is to learn from them and put theory into practice. Remember that when in a classroom setting, you will learn some of the things you are supposed to do when practicing as a medical assistant. These are the same things you are required to do when on internships. There will be frequent assessments by your superiors in the institution of learning where they will come by to check your progress. Most employers will hire medical assistants who have hands-on experience in a hospital or clinic setting.

For programs that do not offer such training for do not have it as a requirement to complete the program, you have to look for experience elsewhere. You can engage in volunteer service in a medical facility or seek internships from health centers and hospitals. In this case, there will be no assessment as it is not part of the program. The medical professional who you will be working under will be the one to write you a recommendation which you have to provide to your employer as proof of experience. The experience practicing as a medical assistant will be good for your CV and hence impress the employer.

Important Qualities

For medical assistants to perform their jobs effectively they should equip themselves with several important skills. When medical assistants take certification programs they usually incorporate some important skills into their curriculum like:

Medical Terminology

Medical assistants should have broad working knowledge of common medical terms and names and some of them include:

  • Treatment, therapy procedures and medication prescribed for different medical conditions.
  • Bones, fluids, muscles, organs, and systems that consists of the human anatomy, and Latin prefixes and suffixes relating to the body
  • General causes, signs and symptoms of various physical injuries, ailments, and diseases
  • Viruses, parasites, bacteria and other infection agents that can have an effect on human health
  • Machines, devices and instruments used to monitor, diagnose, and treat patients  

Technical Skills

The basic value of a medical assistant is frequently considered by the number of tests, exams and other medical duties one is able to properly perform. However, there are other extensive procedures and surgeries which will be handled by senior physicians. Some of the technical skills medical assistants should have include:

  • Obtaining samples or drawing blood for testing, and they can also analyze specimens
  • Redressing wounds and replacing sutures
  • The administration of parenteral, oral, rectal and topical medications
  • Performing respiratory tests and conducting electrocardiograms (EKGs)
  • Performing “sterilization” procedures
  • Safe disposal of bodily samples/ fluids, used syringes, and other biomedical materials

Communication Skills

As a medical assistant you need to have good listening skills, be clear, concise and be able to discuss any patient information with physicians or other medical personnel. They should also be able to talk to patients who might be in distress or in pain and help them feel comfortable. Medical assistants should always have good communication skills when carrying out activities like updating physicians about the diagnostic status of their patients, discussing with patients about their current condition, submitting forms to insurance company and much more. Medical assistants are uniquely trained to talk patient’s language and act as an intermediary between busy doctors and patients who are frequently afraid to talk or ask questions.

Office Management Skills

Most hospitals and clinics usually employ medical office administrators to manage daily operations and thus medical assistants need to carry out different duties that help improve efficiency and attend to the needs of patients quickly. In any healthcare facility, there is demand of skills like sending emails, typing, receiving phone calls and creating original documents and that’s why it’s important for a medical assistant to have office management skills. For example, MAs at the office of physicians can be asked to issue reminder calls or schedule appointments for patients, whereas MAs at hospitals help with performing the first diagnostic analysis on new patients and also assist with check-ins of visitors. 

Salary of Medical Assistants

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for medical assistants in May 2015 was $30,590. The median salary can be defined as the wage where half workers in a given occupation earned less than that amount and half earned more. The highest ten percent got paid more than $43,880 and lowest ten percent got paid less than $22,040. The median annual salary for nursing assistants in top industries they worked for include the following:

Industry Median annual salary
Outpatient care centers $32,060
Private, local or state hospitals $31,410
Physician’s offices $30,830
Other health practitioner’s offices $27,980

The difference in salaries can be attributed by the level of experience in the field. For example, a junior medical assistant who has less than 5 years of experience as a medical assistant will have a low salary expectation as compared to the one who has more than 5 years of experience. What determines how much you earn in the form of salary as a medical assistant? The following factors will help you understand your earning potential:

The Employer

Different employers will reward their employees differently. A medical assistant of one employer will receive different perks depending on the patient turn out or the relationship between the employer and the employee. For example, an employer can choose to include bonuses and commissions for a job well done. Apart from that, there are hourly tips that can be awarded to the employee. Another package that makes part of the salary will be the overtime work an employee does. The job description has to entail the scope of work. Anything that is outside that scope will be paid differently. Although when working in a private practice, the rules do not necessarily apply, an employer can decide when to give you the commission, bonuses or pay for overtime. The more the commissions, bonuses, tips and overtime pay, the more you will rake in the form of salary.

Level of Experience

It is obvious that medical assistants with many years of practice will attract a huge salary as compared to the ones who have few years of experience. Employers will reward based on the experience you have in the field of practice.  For example, the entry-level medical assistant will have a lower income as compared to an experienced medical assistant. Those who come straight out of college will have to wait before they can go home with a huge salary. They are considered as entry level since they have low skills and experience in the field. They always work under the registered medical assistant or physician and with time, their salary level changes for the better.

Level of Education

A medical assistant with a certificate qualification will have a lower income as compared to the one with a diploma or associate degree qualification. Most of these qualifications are highlighted in the job requirement by the employer. Although a certificate holder can secure a job, an associate degree holder will have better chances of being employed. The expectation will, however, be different depending on the level of education. Most certificate and diploma holders will advance their education to the associate degree level while they are still working in medical facilities. As they advance their education and training, so will their salaries.

Medical Assistant Training Program

Most medical assistants who don’t have postsecondary education can learn through on the job training where other medical assistants or physicians can teach new medical assistants of the different tasks. Some of the things you can learn include name of various medical equipments, medical terminology, how to discuss with physicians or patients and also how to perform other tasks that keep an office operate smoothly. Medical assistants can also be taught how to code electronic health records (EHRS) as well as paper records and how to record personal information of patients. It normally takes a number of months for a medical assistant to complete training and it all depends on the facility.

Training for students who want to pursue a career as medical assistants will equip them with the necessary knowledge to perform their duties. However, the type of training you undergo will depend on the program you have chosen. It is clear students can now enroll in an online program which has proven to be convenient and less expensive. For example, you do not have to travel all the way to an institution of your choice to acquire the necessary knowledge and training to become a medical assistant. There is also the on-campus program that allows you to study and gain knowledge while in the institution of your choice.

Regardless of whether you want the on-campus or online program, you have to look for an institution that is accredited by the relevant bodies. Employers will be looking for students who have certification from those accredited institutions and thus marketable as compared to others. The three major training programs for medical assistants are the certificate, diploma, and associate degree. Each of these programs will entail a unique way through which students undergo medical training to help them during their practice.


You can complete a diploma in less than 1 year and thus a good way to quickly quick-start your career as a medical assistant. It takes at most 3 semesters where you can be allowed to take the certified medical assistant test. Most certifications will require that you pass the exam before you can qualify for that certification. A diploma can help you improve your CV and thus improve your odds of securing a job. Under this program, you get training in administrative roles, clinical procedures and practice, medical law, anatomy and office management.

Training is for both administrative and clinical medical assistants. You will get learn and know how to receive visitors and patients, patient care and all other administrative roles you are required to know while working in a health center or medical facility.


It prepares students who want to get into the job market as medical assistants. You get to learn the terminologies used the set up of a medical office and the training in general. Training will involve internships where you get to work with a professional medical officer in real-life experience this will help you learn how to deal with real medical issues while you take care of patients in a medical facility. It takes the same period to complete as compared to the diploma level of education and training. However, students in this program are equipped with the relevant knowledge and experience to pursue an associate degree program after completing the certificate program. The training in this program includes:

Insurance and Medical Billing

You get all training that relates to insurance and health care industry. You get to learn how to process insurance claims for patients and how it works. At some point, you will be expected to process claims of health insurance for patients. It is an administrative training program that allows you to take care of the relevant paperwork in a medical office. It may include filing and submitting insurance forms, and learning why and how they are prepared the way they are.

Medical Laboratory Training

It is part of the clinical training which ensures that you offer proper patient care once you get into the job market. The students get to learn the techniques and concepts used in the laboratory. They include testing samples and procedures in documentation and testing. Laboratory training is essential especially for clinical medical assistants as it forms part of their core duties.

Medical Assisting Internships

They form the final course or training of the program. Students are allowed to go out and showcase the knowledge and skills they have acquired in a classroom setting. They work with a professional in the field. Internships provide hands-on expertise to the students in their path to becoming medical assistants. Not all institutions will have the internship program as part of their curriculum. In such a case, you have to look for internships outside the program to impress the potential employer.

Associate Degree

It is a continuation of what you learn in the diploma and certificate level. You get to acquire advanced knowledge and training in the medical field. It will feature both administrative and clinical training but in the advanced stages as compared to the diploma and certificate programs. The training programs under the associate degree program will entail a more in-depth knowledge about the human body.

For example, phlebotomy, which is the study of the human circulatory system, where students learn the right way to take blood samples.

The study of psychology allows students to learn the human behavior and thus how to effectively deal with patients. Pharmacology is also a training course that equips students with the knowledge of how to administer medication to patients plus the various drug laws.

Medical Assistant Certification

In most states, medical assistants aren’t required to be certified but some employers might consider hiring certified assistants. There are a number of organizations offering certification and an applicant needs to pass an exam and for them to be eligible for each certification then they should take one of several paths. These paths might be work experience, graduating from an accredited program etc. Most organizations offering certification recommend that applicants should be at least 18 years for them to apply for certification. Some states might not allow medical assistants to practice it until they graduate from a certified program and pass an exam.

Certification normally indicates that a medical assistant meets particular standards of competence. MAs can also become certified in a certain area of expertise like ophthalmology, podiatry and optometry. Because they usually interact with the public it’s therefore important that they stay clean and neat and also be well-mannered. MAs must respect the personal nature of medical information and be able to take care of patients and explain instructions given by physicians. Medical tasks require a practical and realistic level of visual perception and manual dexterity. For more information on registrations, certifications and licenses you can check with board of medicine.

Some of the accredited certifications include:

  • Certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA).
  • Certified medical administrative assistant (CMAA), and
  • National certified medical assistant (NCMA) among others.

These certifications are offered by accredited programs to equip medical assistants with the relevant skills in their jobs. Employers will be more confident with medical assistants who have certifications as they have the necessary skills to execute their roles effectively. For example, the administrative roles and clinical duties which are covered in those certifications. Also, the medical field is dynamic and new ways of patient care and administrative duties in a hospital setting are coming up. Through those certifications, students can learn the new ways and make use of the latest technology to better their skills which might not be available during their certificate or diploma or associate degree study.

Most organizations that offer such certifications will require the student to graduate as a medical assistant and pass an exam before they can apply for the certification. However, some will require that you only have the experience as a medical assistant.

Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the US stated found out that the expected job opportunity for medical assistant from the year 2014 to 2024 was 23%; this is faster than the average for all occupations. The average salary for these health professions per year in May 2014 was $30,590 but it is expected to rise with time. As people age, many medical assistants will be needed to provide preventive medical services which is usually offered by physicians. Medical assistants typically come in to help physicians to attend to many patients because they will be assisting in performing regular clinical as well as administrative duties. Clinics, hospitals and other healthcare facilities have increased in number and this has lead to demand of support workers such as medical assistants to provide both clinical and administrative duties. Medical assistants can be found in the basic care or an increasingly developing healthcare industry sector.

Through additional training and experience medical assistants might advance to other careers. For instance, some MAs may decide to pursue additional education so that they can become nurses or health care workers while others may teach medical assisting. Administrative medical assistants may go on to become office manager or even qualify for several administrative support careers.

Advancement in Technology

The growth in the level of technology will be accompanied by personnel who will be able to use that technology. When you have a clinic that uses high-tech equipment, you will need a medical assistant who can use that equipment. It will thus help create or increase the demand for medical assistant in health centers and clinics to serve the huge turnout of patients. Most medical institutions and hospitals are using the latest technology to offer better services to their patients. However, the growing number of doctors will require assistance from medical technicians so that they can concentrate on their core skills.

High Population

The ratio of doctor to patient should be standard and manageable. With the rise in the population level, more doctors have to be employed to cater for the high demand. A population that is high means that more people will make an appointment with the doctor. Each doctor will require an assistant who has experience and knowledge in the medical field. This will increase the need to hire more medical assistants to take care of the administrative and clinical roles.

Demand for Better Medical and Healthcare Services

You will find medical assistants in hospitals, clinics, and private practice. All these are private and public health centers where patients visit to seek treatment. The need for better medical services will require the hiring of more medical assistants to take care of the needs of patients. The medical services may be at the reception or through patient care. In short, anything that leads to smooth operations within a medical facility will constitute as better care for the patient. This will result to the mushrooming of more clinics and private practice by doctors to better the services to their patients. As a result, it will lead to more opportunities for medical assistants in future.

Growth of the Healthcare Industry

Things are changing rapidly with the people’s way of life and living standards. The increase of the healthcare industry is thus inevitable with more people looking to set up private clinics and health centers. It is thus set to increase the demand for medical assistants to take care of minor operations in those clinics. With a mix of technology advancement and population increase, the job market for medical assistants is set to grow with time.


According to a survey of 2015 by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, different states in the US offer different salaries to medical assistants. For example, in the state of California, a medical assistant can expect to earn an annual salary of $35,440, and $29,180, $30,170, $34,280 for Texas, Florida, and New York respectively. The difference in the pay scale can be attributed by the variation in the living standards and the economic status of those states. Having prior knowledge of the salary expectations of every state can help you choose where to work as a medical assistant. The District of Columbia (DC) state attracted the highest salary for medical assistants in the country with an annual pay of $39,780.


The demand for medical assistants spreads across numerous industries across the economy. They include among them outpatient care centers, physicians’ offices, health practitioners’ offices and medical laboratories. Each of the above industries will offer a different salary package for the medical assistants. For example, medical laboratories will offer annual pay of $41,930, and the outpatient care centers $33,550 according to the 2015 salary survey by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

How to Become a Massage Therapist (or) Masseuse

Massage therapy is defined as the manipulation of the body’s soft tissues and that includes joints, tendons, ligaments, connective tissues and muscles. It is actually a clinically based healthcare that works effectively in helping a person alleviate the much discomfort that is normally associated with occupational or everyday stress. It is highly gaining popularity because of the impact it has on people’s lives and that includes improving general health and wellbeing. Massage therapy has been confirmed to have the ability to treat both acute and chronic conditions and should never be taken for granted. This is a therapy that is done manually and there are so many types of massage therapy methods and is also referred to as modalities. Among the reasons why people choose massage therapy is so that they can reduce stress and anxiety, reduce pain, relax muscles etc. the two major categories of massage therapy are relaxation massage and rehabilitative massage.

What They Do?

what-massage-therapists-doIf you have been looking for a fulfilling and satisfying job then you should consider becoming a massage therapist because it aims at making people feel better. You will be using your unique set of tools and that is your hands to actually reduce stress, relieve pain, unwind bound-up muscles and generally bring wellness. Massage therapy in general has more than 80 types of treatments and the massage therapists normally have various ways to deliver relief. As a therapist you will have a chance to specialize in different areas e.g. sports massage, reflexology, acupressure, deep tissue etc. for a person to become a massage therapist you will need to become an expert in various modalities and each of them requires certain techniques and skills. An important thing to note is that there is an increasing number of people who are finding massage therapy quite appealing and is therefore a marketable career.

What massage therapists do is that they treat people using touch and this as mentioned is by manipulating the muscles and other soft tissues. They are skilled and qualified and when you visit one they will first discuss your symptoms, medical history, expectations and from there they are able to determine the best modalities to use. Much of what they use are their fingers, hands, elbows, forearms and feet which helps them knead the body with the application of oils and lotions. Massage therapists also offer advice on the type of exercise, stretching and relaxation techniques that one should follow as a way of fulfilling their lifestyle needs. All these are what makes massage therapy attractive, the fact that it encompasses so many aspects in one service. So generally, what a massage therapy should be able to do is heal through touch, de-stress and relax the body, get the patient’s body realigned and blood flowing through the system more openly. Apart from all that a good massage therapist should have a caring attitude and also show willingness to help other people. This is necessary as it’s what will help you to do the best for your patients and also be able to see results in their bodies.

In addition to the time massage therapists spend giving massages, they may also spend some of their time marketing, recording patient notes, booking clients, washing linens and other general tasks related to the business.

Work Environment

massage-therapist-workYou should know that in most cases, massage therapists work by appointment and that means their schedules and number of hours worked every week vary from time to time. In this career one works in different kind of settings and this includes both public and private. This you should know may require you to even offer services to clients at their homes or offices. Good examples of the places you are going to work in include hospitals, studios, nursing homes, private offices, airports, shopping malls, sports medicine facilities and fitness centers. You will actually notice that full-time massage therapists always divide their time among various settings and that is always depending on the clients and locations they are scheduled for.

There are massage therapists who are licensed and those who are not, the working environment for the licensed massage therapists can be completely different from the one who is not. When licensed you can be independent and that means you can work at your home, office or at the client’s home but the rest mostly work in spas, salons and at the chiropractors office. When working as a self-employed massage therapist you will definitely provide your own table or chair, pillows, sheets and oils or body lotions.

When looking at their working conditions, that normally depends on the client’s needs and also the location. If for example the massage is to rehabilitate a patient with an injury then it should be provided in a well-lit setting where other clients are also receiving treatment. If you are however offering a relaxing massage then you are likely to work in a dimly lit setting and also use candles, incense and some soothing music.

It really helps to be aware of the fact that massages therapy s always physically demanding and there are chances of the therapist injuring themselves if proper techniques are not used. Common experiences are that you will get fatigued from standing for long periods and there are also repetitive-motion problems. You can however minimize such risks by spacing sessions well, exercising, using good techniques and also getting a massage regularly. According to the nature of the job and also the time needed in between sessions, massage therapists are known to work for less than 40 hours per week. For a full-time worker you will be working approximately 15-30 hours per week.

How to Become a Massage Therapist?

how-to-become-a-massage-therapistAmong the reasons why people choose to become massage therapists include the flexibility it offers and this is in terms of independence, choice of practice locations and work hours. It is important to note that it is viewed as effective in the health and wellness professions and the reason why the number of massage therapists keeps growing from time to time. To qualify for a training program an individual requires a high school diploma but a post-secondary education is also useful.

To begin your journey into the field of massage therapy I would urge you to first do your research and determine whether it is something you would love to be a part of. After that, find a way to experience what it feels like to work as a massage therapist and this could entail going to a workshop and doing it practically. The truth is that massage therapy is a unique career and not everyone is cut out to be a therapist so find out first hand if you are really passionate about being one before pushing forward to enroll in a school. What is always important is not starting your schooling but rather finishing it so first analyze yourself to confirm your interest and then analyze the school and see if it is the best fit. A good way to learn more about the field is talking to a massage therapist as that will be an opportunity for you to ask as many questions as possible and it will give you an idea of the type of massage therapist you want to be. Apart from asking questions you could also get a massage to have the feel of what it is much about. There is also the option of researching online about the different types of massage. With all that knowledge in mind you will know what you want to specialize in as a massage therapist before you even begin studying.

With a high school education an individual can enroll in a formal accredited training program in massage therapy to gain the required knowledge and skills. In-case you are going through a certificate granting program then it will take you a year to complete but a degree program will go for two years. One can find these programs at their local community colleges and all they have to do is look for that which offers the best. Some of the subjects you are likely to study include therapeutic massage, clinical massage applications, anatomy and physiology, human function and structure and medical terminology.

Basically the whole process of becoming a massage therapist includes completing a training program at a massage therapy school as this is what qualifies you to practice in the chosen location. The required period of study is said to be between 330 and 100 hours and that is from weeks to two years.  After graduating you will be required to meet specific requirements of your state or municipality and that includes getting a license and much of this entails passing the massage and bodywork licensing exam. An important thing to note however is that, not every state has the same licensing requirements so it is your responsibility to check the regulatory board of your state to confirm that your massage therapy program meets the requirements.

List of Top 100 Massage Therapy Schools in the World:

Rank School Name Students % of Total Total On-Campus Cost
1 National Holistic Institute 665 97% N/A
2 National Massage Therapy Institute 442 97% N/A
3 Instituto de Banca y Comercio Inc 399 4% N/A
4 David’s Academy of Beauty 379 100% N/A
5 Utah College of Massage Therapy-Vegas 372 100% N/A
6 Praxis Institute 301 79% N/A
7 Santa Ana Beauty College 295 49% N/A
8 Utah College of Massage Therapy-Salt Lake City 288 90% N/A
9 Utah College of Massage Therapy-Tempe 273 85% N/A
10 Baltimore School of Massage-Linthicum 266 73% N/A
11 Dayton School of Medical Massage 262 100% $15,900
12 Utah College of Massage Therapy-Phoenix 215 74% N/A
13 Soma Institute-The National School of Clinical Massage Therapy 209 100% N/A
14 Florida College of Natural Health-Maitland 198 62% N/A
15 Utah College of Massage Therapy-Westminster 192 100% N/A
16 Irene’s Myomassology Institute 179 100% N/A
17 Cortiva Institute-Seattle 168 100% N/A
18 Utah College of Massage Therapy-Aurora 163 100% N/A
19 New York College of Health Professions 160 66% $15,459
20 Professional Hands Institute 158 100% $6,100
21 Utah College of Massage Therapy-Dallas 153 100% N/A
22 Swedish Institute a College of Health Sciences 151 89% $14,272
23 Cortiva Institute-Florida 140 100% $12,685
24 Florida Career College-Miami 138 3% $20,184
25 Cortiva Institute-Chicago 137 100% N/A
26 Cortiva Institute-Pennsylvania School of Muscle Therapy 135 100% N/A
27 Utah College of Massage Therapy-Utah Valley 129 100% N/A
28 Florida School of Massage 126 100% N/A
29 Colorado School of Healing Arts 125 100% $14,500
30 East West College of the Healing Arts 125 100% N/A
31 Cortiva Institute-Tucson 121 100% N/A
32 Healing Hands School of Holistic Health 119 100% N/A
33 Florida College of Natural Health-Pompano Beach 113 46% N/A
34 Cortiva Institute-Boston 112 100% N/A
35 Center for Natural Wellness School of Massage Therapy 112 100% N/A
36 Southern California Health Institute 112 42% N/A
37 McCann School of Business & Technology 109 10% $11,770
38 Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy-Newington 107 100% $14,050
39 Southeastern Institute-Charlotte 105 38% N/A
40 Blue Sky School of Professional Massage and Therapeutic Bodywork 102 100% N/A
41 Florida College of Natural Health-Miami 99 42% N/A
42 Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage 98 100% N/A
43 Omaha School of Massage and Healthcare of Herzing University 95 90% $11,150
44 Southwest Institute of Healing Arts 94 20% N/A
45 Aveda Institute-Minneapolis 93 17% N/A
46 Finger Lakes School of Massage 92 100% N/A
47 Heritage College-Kansas City 91 22% N/A
48 Heritage College-Columbus 91 35% N/A
49 Everest College-Tacoma 89 12% $12,989
50 Heritage College-Little Rock 88 26% N/A
51 Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy-Westport 85 100% $14,050
52 Florida College of Natural Health-Bradenton 84 55% N/A
53 Cortiva Institute-Scottsdale 83 100% N/A
54 Baltimore School of Massage-York 83 100% N/A
55 Heritage College-Oklahoma City 82 21% N/A
56 Coastline Beauty College 82 36% N/A
57 Institute for Therapeutic Massage 78 85% N/A
58 Atlanta School of Massage 77 55% N/A
59 Beauty Schools of America-Hialeah 77 15% N/A
60 Finger Lakes School of Massage 77 100% N/A
61 Professional Massage Training Center 76 100% N/A
62 Florida Academy 76 67% N/A
63 Charter College-Canyon Country 73 7% $18,313
64 Advance Beauty College 71 16% N/A
65 Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy-Groton 70 100% N/A
66 Everest College-Vancouver 69 31% $15,612
67 Everest College-Ontario 68 11% N/A
68 Northwestern Health Sciences University 66 40% $12,590
69 Blue Cliff College-Metairie 66 15% $18,447
70 Massage Therapy Institute of Colorado 66 100% N/A
71 Everest College-Seattle 65 42% $16,172
72 Miller-Motte College-Wilmington 65 13% $12,285
73 Augusta School of Massage 65 100% N/A
74 WellSpring School of Allied Health-Kansas City 65 56% N/A
75 Georgia Career Institute 64 18% N/A
76 Everest Institute-Tigard 64 26% $17,926
77 South Texas Vocational Technical Institute-Brownsville 64 21% N/A
78 Sunstate Academy 63 35% N/A
79 Miller-Motte College-Cary 63 26% $12,459
80 Healing Arts Center 63 100% N/A
81 European Massage Therapy School-Las Vegas 63 100% N/A
82 Cortiva Institute-Seattle 63 100% N/A
83 Parker University 62 28% $15,850
84 Myotherapy College of Utah 62 100% N/A
85 Ann Arbor Institute of Massage Therapy 62 100% N/A
86 Healing Mountain Massage School 61 100% N/A
87 Heritage College-Wichita 61 16% N/A
88 Spa Tech Institute-Westbrook 60 34% N/A
89 Southeastern Institute-Charleston 60 33% N/A
90 American Career College-Ontario 60 7% N/A
91 Ponce Paramedical College Inc 59 6% N/A
92 Virginia School of Massage 58 78% N/A
93 New York Institute of Massage Inc 58 100% N/A
94 Medical Training College 58 26% N/A
95 European Massage Therapy School-Skokie 58 100% $8,500
96 Everest Institute-Grand Rapids 56 14% N/A
97 University of Western States 56 66% N/A
98 Sarasota School of Massage Therapy 56 100% N/A
99 Academy of Massage Therapy 55 100% N/A
100 American Career College-Anaheim 55 5% N/A

Important Qualities

For massage therapists to perform their jobs effectively they should equip themselves with several important skills. When massage therapists take certification programs they usually incorporate some important skills into their curriculum like:

  • Communication skills: As a massage therapist, you should always listen to your clients carefully; this will help you to understand what they would like to accomplish through massage sessions.  
  • Time management skills: Therapists need to tailor a session to the specific needs of a client. Massage therapists should know how to use their appointment time wisely so that they can help each client attain their goals.
  • Decision making skills: Massage therapists should evaluate the needs of each client and advice on the best healing on the foundation of the needs of that person.
  • Physical stamina: Because massage therapists spend most of their time on their feet; they need to be strong, comfortable and able to apply pressure when working on the muscles of a client or even when doing several hands and arms movements.
  • Empathy: Therapists should give their clients positive experience that needs one to build trust between them and their clients. This will make clients to feel comfortable and it will also expand the base of their clients. Doing all these and any other activities requires an empathetic and compassionate attitude.
  • Integrity: Massage therapists sometimes can record personal information or medical histories of clients and thus they need to be truthful, honest and protect the client’s privacy.            


massage-therapist-salaryAccording to research, the median annual salary of massage therapist in august 29 2016 was approximately $47,437 and the range is between $42,455 and $54,493, however, this usually depends on various factors such as the years of experience, location, field among other factors. The average wage that a massage therapist makes per hour is about $19.83 but most people prefer changing their career especially if they have more than 18 years of experience in this field. The skills associated with massage therapist that are highest paying include medical massage, myofascial release and pain management. According to the bureau of labor statistics in the US, the median annual salary for massage therapists in the year 2014 was $37,180. The highest ten percent got paid more than $71,900 and lowest ten percent got paid less than $18,400. The average wages of careers with related titles include the following:

Occupation Wage
Aide Physical Therapy $14,000
Massage Therapist ON Call $16,000
Massage Therapy Coordinator $19,000
Dual Licensed Therapist $20,000
Massage Therapist $22,000
Skin Therapist $30,000
Certified Massage Therapist $33,000
Massage Therapist Manager $38,000
Licensed Massage Therapist $39,000
Massage Therapist Pearland $39,000
Driver Manager Fleet Manager $46,000
Massage Therapy $47,000
General Massage Therapist $52,000
Massage Therapist Des Moine $67,000
Mobile Massage Therapist $98,000

Training Program

massage-therapy-trainingIf you want to become a massage therapist then you should finish a post-secondary education of at least 500 hours of study as well as experience, even though requirements and standards differ significantly by state or other jurisdictions. Most massage therapy programs require you to complete a study of at least 500 hours while others might require 1,000 hour or even more. If you want an admission to a massage therapy school then you need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. The programs usually include both class room study as well as hands-on practice of massage techniques. Subjects to be covered in the programs include anatomy; kinesiology – it is the study of body mechanics and motion; physiology – it is the study of tissues and organs; pathology – it is the study of disease; ethics and business management. Some programs might focus on particular specialties and modalities of massage and others might offer continuing education and job placement services. You can also decide to do either full-time or part-time programs.


massage-therapist-certificationMost states typically control massage therapy and also require massage therapists to have a certification or license. Massage therapy was regulated by 25 states and districts of Columbia in the year 2014. Not all states normally license and certify massage therapy but they might have laws at the local level. States that have regulations may require massage therapy workers to have a certification or license before practicing massage. Regulations of various states usually require you to pass exams and graduate from a certified massage therapy program. The exams might be from a particular state or you might also be required to pass Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination licensure exam, which is offered by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. Therapists might be required to have liability insurance, be trained in performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and pass a background check. Many states require therapists to renew their license from time to time and to complete continuing education credits. If you want to practice massage therapy then you need to take a look at the legal requirements for the locality and state in which you want to practice.

Job Outlook

massage-therapist-jobsThe Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in the US stated found out that the expected job opportunity for massage therapists from the year 2014 to 2024 was 23%; this is faster than the average for all occupations. The increase in demand of massage therapists will bring about new openings to people in this occupation. As many states start to implement licensing standards and requirements for massage therapists, more people will begin accepting and respecting massage as a way o treating pain and improving overall health and wellbeing. Correspondingly, more healthcare providers now know the benefits of massage and this has led to increase of demand of massage as it has become part of the treatment plan. However, there are various things that will temper with demand of massage such as limited insurance coverage. There are also various benefits being offered by massage to specific groups of people whose constant demand of massage services will increase the overall growth of the career. For instance, massage therapists are being hired by many sports teams to help athletes recover from injuries and to manage or alleviate pain. There has been an increase in the number of clinic licenses in the recent years and many usually provide reasonably priced massages as compared to those offered at resorts and spas; this makes the massage services to be available to many clients. However, the state of economy limits the demand of massage services because during tough times in the economy, both the number of people looking for massage therapy as well as the frequency of massages could decline. In states that control or regulate massage therapy, there should be availability of opportunities for those who pass professionally documented exam and have successfully completed formal programs. However, if you are new to massage therapy then you must expect it to take time for you to build a customer base. An important source of the work of massage therapists is referrals; networking and marketing can help boost the number of job opportunities. Another thing that can help promote the chances of steady work and help build strong contacts is joining a professional association. Additionally, massage therapists can complete education programs in various modalities so that they can be able to attract a wider variety of clients.

How to Become a Medical transcriptionist

Knowledge, education, and preparing can be gotten through diploma or certificate courses, online programs, and by working (on the job training) in some healing facilities. However, the knowledge that there are some states at the moment recruiting medical transcriptionists that possess a year and a half up to two years of particular medical transcription preparing. Working as a medicinal transcriptionist (MT) gives you the insight in mastering medical terms and edition, skills to listen and record at the same time, you will also learn how to use machine for transcribing, the machine also includes foot pedal, which you can use to pause or stop the recording, and at the same time keeping up a consistent cadence while implementing.

Transcription in medicine incorporates training and preparing ordinarily incorporates courses in medical phrasing, anatomy analysis, text and words editing, linguistic use and accentuation, writing (typing), medicinal record configurations and types, and medical insurance documentation.

Although medicinal translation does not order enlistment or accreditation, some medical transcriptionists may search out enrollment/registration for individual or expert reasons. Possession of an authentication from a health transcription preparing program does not qualify a medical transcriptionist for utilization of the title as a Certified Medical Transcriptionist. CHDS (Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist) accreditation can be attained by finishing an affirmation exam overseen exclusively by the AHDI, in the past the AAMT (American Association for Medical Transcription), as the credentialing assignment they made.

Association for Healthcare Documentation Integrity (AHDI) likewise offers the certification of RHDS. As indicated by Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist, AHDI is first level certification while the Certified Healthcare Documentation Specialist is an upper-level certification. AHDI keeps up a rundown of affirmed medicinal translation colleges. Generally, medical transcriptionists that have certification will win receive more money than MT’s without CERTIFICATION.

There is an extraordinary level of inward verbal confrontation about which learning program best readies a medical transcriptionist for work in medical industry. Whether MT has learned transcription while attending an online course, junior college, night courses at high school, or while working in a hospital, specialist’s office or healing facility, a well learned MT is exceptionally esteemed. On behalf of this, Healthcare Documentation Integrity Association confirmation accreditations, medical transcriptionists who can reliably and precisely translate different record work-sorts and provide notes inside a sensible turnaround-time are highly valued and needed. Time needed to finish the job, which is determined by the administration supplier or consented to by the MT himself ought to be sensible however reliable with the need to give back the documentation to the medical chart of a patient as soon as possible.

Most Medical transcription offices incline toward applicants with at least a year of previous practice as an MT, however, formal preparation isn’t always needed, and it also won’t require an obligatory test. A few healing centers require just a simple certificate for work as a medicinal transcriptionist.

Ten years ago Medical Transcriptionist occupation turned into a qualified U.S. Branch of Labor Apprenticeship, a two-year program concentrating on intense hospital work. The year 2004 was remembered because of a test case program which was started for Vermont inhabitants with 737 candidates for just 20 classroom experimental run program openings. The goal was to prepare the candidates as Medical Transcriptionists much faster.

The main jobs of a Medicinal Transcriptionists are listening to directed recordings from specialists and medicinal experts and turn them into written documents, and different materials. They utilize a headset to listen to medical recordings, a PC or some other kind of word processor to decipher the recordings, and a foot pedal to stop the recordings when it is required. While they listen to the specific medical recordings, MT’s are correcting and altering linguistic mistakes. MT’s who work in smaller doctor’s stations and facilities may likewise have regulatory obligations, such as planning arrangements, receiving the patients, and receiving calls.

Education Degree Requirements for a Medical Transcriptionist

MT’s are not required to have second-degree training; however, the majority of managers want to enlist the individuals who have postsecondary education. Professional schools, junior colleges, and online schools offer an MT practice. Albeit MT’s training degree necessities fluctuate starting with one manager then onto the next, numerous eager medicinal transcriptionists would surely profit by finishing a 1-year certification program or AS medical degree program in transcription.

MT’s are needed to be acquainted with medical phrasing to be able to understand and precisely decipher recordings. Understudies that are studying to be MT’s might be required to take classes in physiology, anatomy, medical terms, medical and insurance laws identified with human services documentation and language classes. Understudies likewise pick up at work experience under the direction of experienced MT.

It is critical for MT’s to have great listening aptitudes, solid linguistic, grammar use, normal listening abilities (good hearing) and propelled writing/typing rate and computer literacy.

Chosen qualifications for MT’s incorporate the RMT (Registered Medical Transcriptionist) as well as CMT (Certified Medical Transcriptionist) assignments. The Registered Medical Transcriptionist accreditation is available for the individuals who have finished MT degree programs and have below two years of involvement in intense care. The Certified Medical Transcriptionist certification is suitable for the individuals who have no less than two years of involvement in intense care utilizing diverse configuration, correspondence, and reports in specialty fields. To gain either of these two qualifications, an applicant must get a positive score on the exam.

Career Outlook for Medical transcriptionists

As indicated by the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), the employment rate MT’s is anticipated to increase slower than in previous years. It will grow from till 2020, at a rate of 6%. The requirement for MT’s will expand as the populace keeps on maturing, mechanical advances have made transcriptionists more capable, and that will restrain the general development in the MT field. Transcription is progressively being outsourced in foreign countries, however, there will still be an interest in domestic-trained MT’s, since reports interpreted abroad, as a rule, require critical altering before they meet quality measures in the United States.

Transcription, especially medical is turning into a prominent career decision as a result of the adaptability it offers. Albeit numerous MT’s work in Hospitals and smaller doctor’s practices, some of them are working in a home setup. MT’s common work hours are 40 hours per week. Independently employed MT’s may work unpredictable hours, for example, night shifts or weekends. Profession prospects are favorable for the individuals who have a certificate.

In the event that you might want to be an essential individual in the medical team and are showing interest in medical documentation, think about starting the career as an MT. Transcription in medicine is a perfect opportunity for a career for “word freaks” that have the interest in the medical insurance field and are interested in working remotely.

The Basics requirements for becoming a Medical Transcriptionist (MT)

MT’s make reports and other regulatory documents from doctors’ dictated recordings. Besides deciphering, you’ll alter data for grammatical errors and appropriate utilization of medical terms in a patient’s medical record charts. You’ll require extensive information of medicinal terms, medical operations, anatomy, medications, pharmacology in general—and also a high level of meticulousness. MT’s should likewise know about the legal rules and prerequisites that apply to patient medical records.

Possible work environment

  1. Medical centers
  2. Clinics
  3. Home and public health agencies
  4. Doctors’ offices
  5. Hospitals
  6. Nursing homes

Degrees needed: Certificate, confirmation or partner’s degree

Instructions to Work from Home as a Medical Transcriptionist

It is safe to say that you are a quick and precise typist? Is it true that you are great at the meeting due dates? Do you have fantastic listening abilities? At that point maybe a home-based job as an MT is a good fit for you.

MT’s can work at home as representatives of transcription organizations or as self-employed entities.

Large numbers of MTs are at the moment from home offices instead of in hospitals, they are working for US based transcription administrations. Unfortunately, for the condition of medical insurance related managerial expenses in the US, the American citizens still charge the healing centers the same rate as they did in the past for exceedingly qualified US transcriptionists yet subcontract the work to non-US MTs, keeping the distinction as a benefit.

Working in your Home as a Medical transcriptionist

“How would I discover medical transcriptionist employments?” is an inquiry we hear increasingly nowadays. Numerous individuals are looking for adaptable occupations that permit them to work directly from their home. Medical transcriptionist occupations provide an incredible alternative for any individual who longs for working at their own homes. MT of late gave us inside data about medical transcriptionist preparation, supportive sites for medicinal transcriptionists, medical transcriptionist occupations which can be worked from home, and medicinal transcription organizations. She likewise gave us a practical insight in a medical transcriptionist pay and what the MT training is like. This meeting is an unquestionable requirement read for anybody keen on home employment or seeking after medicinal transcriptionist employments.

Medical Transcriptionist work prospects, employing and compensation

  • MT’s have earned compensations for the year of 2011 in the value of $16.10. They regularly work a standard 40-hour work week.
  • The typical pay range for an in-house Medical Transcriptionist in a medical specialist’s office workplace is $8/hr.
  • Middle yearly compensation is around $34,750. However, salaries can vary from    25k up to 75k.
  • Normal Medicinal Transcriptionist has the approximate year salary of 32,000 USD.
  • Normal MT compensations for occupation postings across the country are 45% lower than normal pay rates for all employment postings across the nation.

Here are some examples how much are earning some medical professions:

  1. Therapeutic Scribe Transcriptionist is earning 17,000 USD per year.
  2. Therapeutic Transcriptionist Senior is earning 47,000 USD per year.
  3. Virtual Recruiter Customer Service is earning 20,000 USD per year.
  4. Modular Medical Transcriptionist is earning 33,000 USD per year.
  5. Regulatory Transcriptionist Olyphant is earning 25,000 USD per year.
  6. Transcriptionist Hire is earning 69,000 USD per year.

What are medical transcriptionist job duties and responsibilities?

Medical transcription is the way toward listening to sound records from medical experts and interpreting them into written files. Once the sound document is transformed into a written file, it is included patient’s medical record.

There is also a subgroup of a medical transcriptionist, called medical transcription editors, they edit and correct dictations produced by speech recognition program. So when you are looking for a job as a medical transcriptionist, be sure to look under all three names.

It’s somewhat hard to clarify. It might be useful and easier for you to understand that I first give you a full history of a medical record and its evolution throughout the years. Everything begins when the patient sees the medical specialist. After that visit, the specialist will put in his report into a telephone or a recorder of some kind, that way the doctor’s report is transformed into an audio file. That voice record is then downloaded and transcribed by a medical transcriptionist.

Now, the transcriptionist deciphers the specialist’s report and transfers the finished written file to the doctor’s facility or medical center – where it is added to patient’s file. A coder is then coding the record from the deciphered report. The biller charges the visit from the coded report. Patient and his insurance company are charged, and only then the finished records are inserted into patient’s medical record. As should be obvious, the transcriptionist gives a vital connection with starting and final product.

Because every medical report is an, in fact, a legal document, it is imperative that the transcriptionist guarantees the exactness of every single report deciphered. Every report must be linguistically and grammatically right, formatted accurately, and must be in the proper style specified by The American Association for Medical Transcription. The transcriptionist should likewise know the rules for the specialist, doctor’s facility, or center they are appointed to. Complicated medical terminology must be examined. Every medical transcriptionist should have a complete knowledge of human body and its organs, skeletal system, pharmacology, possible diseases, and even physiology. He or she needs to have a good knowledge of medical terminology and how to manage it.

An MT needs to be well aware what changes he can and can’t make to a medical specialist’s report. He likewise needs a good hearing in light of the fact that there are numerous difficulties in a transcription of a dictation. Doctors can be good when dictating, however most are definitely not. In the event that you think their personal signatures are awful, you ought to hear them as they dictate! They are stopping frequently, misplace their thought process then start up again at an alternate point. They mutter, talk too fast. They dictate while the phones are ringing or while they are eating, while yawning, and while talking to other persons.

There is frequently a lot of additional or background noise and that makes it almost inconceivable to hear what the specialist is dictating. Another problem confronted by the transcriptionist is the specialist who uses English as a Second Language. A few accents are exceptionally hard to perceive, therefore an MT needs to be well familiarized with various accents. 

What made you pick the MT career?

In years before I started studying as an MT, I was thinking that I could do the job because of my previous employment as a Medical Assistant. I had an intensive learning of medicinal terms and a human body. I chose to apply for an MT organization, and they agreed to put me on a test. The test was a tremendous surprise. I flunked it badly; however, I learned something that day.

I discovered that am interested in pursuing the career of MT. I began informing myself on various schools that would accept me and soon discovered that transcription schools vary the conditions are not the same

Truth be told, there are not many schools that will provide jobs for their student right after the conclusion of their studies. I discovered the one that is cooperating with medical transcription companies and started studying there. I successfully concluded their exams with high grades that brought me several job offers right after my graduation.

Expected set of responsibilities for Medical Transcriptionist

An MT decodes specialist’s notes, with a specific end goal to incorporate the medications and analyses in a report or a modernized database. A portion of the work will include listening of a recording dictated by a doctor and transforming that dictation into speech. It is imperative to have the capacity to utilize scientific and listening abilities, with a specific end goal to decipher sentences that include medicinal terms into medicinal codes.

The transcriptionist may likewise make edited compositions and synopses from patient medicinal records, and also different reports. It is fundamental to be in compliance with utilizing medical terms. Solid writing and 10-key proficiency are vital. There may at times be changes in the doctor’s codes that were dictated, so it is important to stay up with the latest. Since the employment includes using a PC screen for most of your working hours, strong patience and the capacity to sit for an expanded timeframe is essential.

A significant part of the work is done autonomously, so it is essential to have self-motivation and to have the capacity to hold fast to rules. Meticulousness is likewise a key identity angle, as precision is required.

To end up an MT, one will, for the most part, need to have a degree or a certificate of some sorts from a school which is related to this field. The utilization of medicinal transcriptionist programs and medical dictation gear is likewise required. The work is typically executed in an office, which might be inside a healing center or other therapeutic offices; however, work can also be done from home. Therefore you can choose to work full-time or part-time.

MT’s Tasks

  1. Translate medical short terms and medical language into normal words.
  2. Survey, Transcribe, and input transcribed information for an assortment of medical reports, for example, medical records, examination report, or release documents.
  3. Establish and give back any document mistakes to the doctor for redress.
  4. Forming of medical reports, examination reports, measurements, and regulatory material.

Medical transcriptionist training skills and abilities

You don’t need any unique training to work as a transcriptionist, however when working as a medical transcriptionist you will  need basic training, and you will need to attend courses like healthcare terms, therapeutic, physiology, medical informing, and anatomy. The majority of medical transcription programs can be finished in 5 to 9 months. You can find numerous junior colleges and profession establishments that provide training for MT’s.

For example Career Step an online training school has excellent rating; their training program can be finished totally online and in 4 months. Career Step is a great choice because they also provide assistance with tuition, finding for the student which are coming from military families, and the best thing yet they provide, after you finish studies with them, is a considerable help in finding you the job. After you have finished your MT training it is necessary to take the RHDS exam (Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist). You are not in the obligation to take this exam however if you do you will need to retake it in regular intervals of 3 years. This is an awesome way build up your validity in the medical transcription community, particularly when you’re a beginner.

Equipment needed for the job of Medical Transcriptionist

To succeed as an MT you’ll need first rate hearing, quick and precise writing competence, all things considered, the reports you are writing will be in somebody’s medical records and their life could gamble on the data you have provided.

The list of needed equipment:

  1. Reliable PC or portable workstation
  2. High-speed Internet
  3. Excellent headphones
  4. Authenticated transcription program and a foot pedal (for pausing and unpausing audio files)

You may get lucky and your company can provide you with needed equipment which you will require to successfully finish the job.

Further information and recommendation regarding the MTs

In the event that you are keen on getting into the career as Medical Transcriptionist, then I firmly urge you do as you have considered and apply for training. I suggest the school I went to, obviously. I am a member there, however even if I was not, I would advocate for it.

Penn Foster is one of the best schools which are providing medical transcription training program online and it is approved by AHDI (Association of Healthcare Documentation Integrity – formerly AAMT). The profession of an MT is in my opinion, great. The employment prognosis is awesome! Just think about all the visits to medical specialists that happen once a day in the US.

How to Become a Surgical Technician: Programs, Certification & Salary

One important yet not-so recognized career in the medical field is that of a surgical technician. Surgical technicians are known by many names, including surgical technologists, operating room technician, surgical assistant, and scrubs tech, among others. Whatever you choose to call them though, there is no denying that they are integral parts in the surgical process.

Safety and efficiency are very important in any surgery, and the skills of surgical technicians are very helpful to achieve these qualities. Since they are so important, what exactly does becoming a surgical technician really entail?

What Do Surgical Technicians Do?

Basically, a surgical technician assists surgeons during, before, and after surgical operations. They are closely monitored by surgical nurses, surgeons, or other medical professionals, and they ensure that the surgeries go smoothly and that the patients come out infection-free. Though it may seem like the job is fairly easy, surgical technicians actually do a lot more than just assist.

The basic duties of a surgical technician would depend on what his/her position is in the company but the most common duties are the following:

A surgical technician is expected to prepare the patient and the operating room before procedures. Apart from prepping the patient and checking the patient’s vital signs and charts, the surgical technician should also be able to provide the patient with emotional support. Surgeries are often very scary for the patient, so surgical technicians should make it as comfortable for them as possible.

He/she is responsible for cleaning and sterilizing all the tools and equipment that will be needed during the surgeries. He/she must also make sure that the tools and equipment are complete before bringing the patient in. To do this, the surgical technician must have a list of all the supplies and equipment needed for the procedure so that he/she will not forget anything. These equipment include sterilizers, light and heart monitors, and suction machines, among others.

It must be noted that to avoid using wrong tools during the surgeries, surgical tools also have proper places. It is also the surgical technician’s job to ensure that the tools are in their proper places and to hand these tools over to the surgeons during the procedure.

During surgery, the surgical technician may also be asked to position the patient, hold the organs in place or to use retractors. They may also be asked to constantly assess the conditions of the operating room to ensure that it is in the best condition for the patients. They may also be needed to operate, troubleshoot, and/or adjust surgical equipment.

After the procedure, the surgical technician may be tasked to dress the wounds and transfer the patients to their respective recovery rooms. Once the operating rooms are empty, it may also be the surgical technician’s job to clean them for the next patient.

If you want to get into detail, a surgical technician can be grouped into three major roles: scrub tech, circulating surgical technologist, or second assisting surgical technologist. Each role would have its own duties and responsibilities but there are also some responsibilities that may overlap.

A scrub tech would focus more on prepping tools and equipment and ensuring cleanliness and sanitation, so their duties would include:

  • Making sure that the operating room and all the supplies in it are sterilized, clean, complete, and working
  • Setting up the surgical tables and trays, and putting the instruments in their proper places
  • Passing the surgical supplies and instruments needed by the surgeon; and
  • Preparing sterile dressings

A circulating surgical technologist, on the other hand, would have more patient interaction than scrub techs. For this reason, his/her duties would include:

  • Transferring the patient from a regular room to an operating room
  • Assisting with placing the patient on the operating room table
  • Assisting with anesthesia
  • Applying necessary surgical accessories on patients
  • Preparing the patient for any procedures needed before the surgery
  • Keeping written records of the patient
  • Assessing the patient’s condition and the team’s progress during surgery; and
  • Caring for specimens that must be tested in the laboratory

Finally, a second assisting surgical technologist’s duties would include:

  • Holding instruments in place, as directed by the surgeon
  • Suctioning or sponging the necessary areas of the surgical site
  • Dressing closed wounds; and
  • Many of the duties of the scrub tech

Though a surgical tech’s job may seem to be based on a surgeon’s commands, it is imperative that he/she knows how to anticipate a surgeon’s needs. It must be second nature to a surgical technician to hand instruments over to the surgeon as they are requested – it must consist of less thinking and more reaction time. A surgical technician must be able to stay focused and on top of things during surgeries, which therefore allows the team to work faster and in a more efficient manner.

Work Environment

Many surgical technicians can be found in hospitals, working alongside surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals. In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 70% of all surgical technicians work in this environment. However, they can also work elsewhere, as long as there are operating or delivery rooms. This means that you can also find surgical technicians in private clinics, dental offices, outpatient clinics, or in ambulatory surgical centers. They may also be part of special mobile surgical teams such as the ones that focus on organ transplants, among others.

Some surgical technicians can also be seen working at animal hospitals, as product representatives, in research and development labs, or teaching future surgical technicians.

The working hours of a surgical technician would depend on where he/she works but more often than not, they will have shifting schedules and may be required to work at any time of the day. The average work week of a surgical technician would consist of more or less 40 hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Apart from this, they may also be called upon during emergency surgeries.

Surgical technicians must be physically fit and quick on their feet because their job would require standing for a long period of time. They are also expected to be responsible enough to keep up with the developments in their fields and to take continuing professional education if needed.

How to Become A Surgical Technician

To become a surgical technician, an individual would need to complete surgical technician program that provides both classroom work, clinical and laboratory experience, and hands-on experience in real surgery cases. The classroom setting would include learning about general education and basic medical subjects such as medical terminology, surgical procedures, anatomy, pharmacology, and physiology, among others. On the other hand, hands-on clinical experiences give students the chance to observe certified surgical technicians at work and at the same time try to do the work in a real-life setting themselves. Through the months, students will also be allowed to use the equipment in operating rooms and find out what they want to specialize in through rotations.

To complete the course, some schools would require a cumulative average of at least 2.6. Upon completion of the course, the individual would earn a certificate, diploma, or a degree, depending upon the course that he/she completed. Programs for diplomas and certificates can be completed within a year while an Associate’s degree can be completed in two years.

The costs for completing a surgical technician program would vary depending on the credential you wish to achieve. A certification course would generally cost anywhere from $5,450 to $16,500 while an Associate’s degree may cost anywhere from $16,203 to $43,640.

It is generally not a requirement for students to graduate from a state-approved program but those who do would have better opportunities than those who don’t. For this reason, it may be a good idea to consider programs that are accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) or the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES). Likewise, most states do not require surgical technicians to be certified but those who have certifications would generally earn more and have better job opportunities than those who don’t.

Basically, an individual who wants a career as a certified surgical technician would have to adhere to the following steps:

Step 1. Earn a High School Diploma

To gain admission to any surgical technician program, an individual would need to have a high school diploma or a GED. The subjects taken in high school, such as English, Computer, Math, and Science, would greatly help in preparing you for the surgical technician program.

Step 2. Earn a Diploma, a Certificate, or an Associate’s Degree

Look for schools that offer diploma, certificate, or Associate’s degree programs on surgical technology. Apply to a program and complete it. These programs prepare and train you to become reliable and efficient surgical technicians, and an integral part of the surgical team. Courses would include those mentioned above, and an individual aspiring to become a surgical technician should get a cumulative grading average of at least 2.6.

Once you’ve earned a certification, you are technically already considered as a surgical technician. However, it is always better to further your career by getting certifications.

Step 3. Get Certified

Again, becoming certified gets you better job opportunities than not doing so. For this reason, it is advisable to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST)—something you can easily do if you’ve graduated from a program accredited by the CAAHEP.

To become a CST, you will need to pass an exam that consists of 200 questions, all of which test your knowledge on all things related to surgical technology. You can get surgical technician certifications from the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting, and the National Center for Competency Testing. Other certifications that you can get are the Operating Room Surgical Technician Certification (CORST) or the Tech in Surgery-Certified (TS-C) credential, among others.

Apart from the proper education, surgical technicians would also require special skills. Because they have to hand over the proper instruments to the surgeons, they should be able to have a fast reaction time, both physically and mentally. They should also be physically and mentally fit, because they may be required to stay in the operating room for long periods of time, and in many different conditions. They must also be highly organized, conscientious, proactive, detail-oriented, focused, calm, and must have excellent dexterity in order to do their jobs well. They must also have strong technical skills because they may be asked to control, adjust, and troubleshoot different kinds of surgical equipment.

Keep in mind that a seemingly minor mistake can greatly affect a patient, so mastering all the skills and theories mentioned above is integral to those who are aspiring to become good surgical technicians.


Aspiring surgical technicians would be glad to know that a career in the field can give very exciting earning potentials. The median salary for surgical technicians in 2013 was $42,720 but has grown to $44,330 in the year 2015, with the highest earning technicians earning $63,410 per annum. This average is a lot greater than the average annual salary of all other occupations like patient care technicians or nurses, which only sits at $36,200.

Of course, these figures are just an average of surgical technician salaries all over the state. The actual salary figure would depend on your geographic location, experience, work setting, position, and, of course, certification. Surgical technicians who work in private clinics and outpatient care centers, for example, would generally earn more than those working in public hospitals. Furthermore, a surgical technician who chooses to specialize in a certain area of study would also earn more than a surgical tech with no specialty.

It is important to note that the basic salary figures mentioned above are not the only benefits when you choose to become a surgical technician. Many facilities offer additional benefits such as paid leaves (sick or vacation), health insurances and life insurances, retirement programs, and sometimes even child care assistance or reimbursements for tuition fees.

There are many other ways to increase your salary and benefits as a surgical technician. It is best to explore all of these so that you can work harder and earn the salary that you deserve.

Job Outlook

icon_blue_searchThere is no need to worry when it comes to job opportunities as a surgical technician, especially when you have the credentials. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for Certified Surgical Technologists is expected to grow by 15% through the year 2024. This growth rate is much faster than the average growth rate of other careers.

The expected growth in surgical technician jobs is attributed to the fact that the baby boomers are slowly aging. They are expected to need more healthcare attention in the coming years, and therefore a demand for more healthcare professionals, including surgical technicians. Another factor that is seen to contribute to this growth is the recent and continuous advancements in surgical technology and procedures, such as the laser technology and fiber optics, among others.

As mentioned above, a surgical technician can work in a number of different environments. Surveys show that the fastest growing work environment for surgical technicians are private clinics and outpatient care centers.

Because there is a positive outlook on surgical technicians’ job growth, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a job once you finish a surgical technology program. However, it is best to keep in mind that you will have plenty of competition out there, and you will have to prove yourself worthy of the position that you want. For this reason, many surgical techs start at the lowest position and simply work their way up the corporate ladder. This ensures that they really master their knowledge and skills when it comes to becoming a surgical technician. Others cling to their networks, which is why it is so important to create strong relationships with notable healthcare professionals during your schooling or internships. It also helps to volunteer in hospitals while studying so that you can further experience what it means to be a real surgical technician before actually getting a job.

Surgical technicians also have a lot of opportunities to advance in their careers. Depending on how good you are in your job, you can start going up the corporate ladder in just two to five years’ time. With additional training and education, they can become a surgical first assistant, a circulating technologist, or a surgical technician with a specialization. Some can even choose to become a traveling surgical tech, wherein they can work in various locations for short periods of time. These would require more training and education but they would also give surgical technicians the chance to do more during their work days.

Training Programs

business-training-icon-8A surgical technician’s formal training would take place during his/her practicum or internship. It is through these internships that students can apply whatever they have learned in textbooks to real-life situations. Internships are usually done in hospitals, so students get to experience all kinds of situations, from the lightest surgeries to the wildest ones. This kind of training can be obtained from any accredited surgical technician program available. Of course, more advanced training is needed to further your career.


Certification Programs and Licensing

certificationAgain, many states don’t require for a surgical technician to have a certification, but having one will definitely improve your chances of getting hired faster. For this reason, the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting gives all eligible students the chance to become a Certified Surgical Technologist (CST) as long as they pass the exam and graduate from a program approved by the CAAHEP.

As mentioned above, other certifications include the CORST and the TS-C. The NBSTSA also offers examinations for a surgical technician to become a Certified First Assistant (CFA) or a Certified Surgical Assistant (CSA). The CST is awarded by the Liaison Council for the Certification of Surgical Technologists while the TS-C is awarded by the National Center for Competency Testing (NCCT). The CORST is awarded by the National Health career Association. Each certification will have different examinations and different costs, so you will have to choose which of them you are equipped to take.

It is important to note that getting a certified isn’t the last step. Since being a surgical technician means that you will have many lives on your hands, the government and related institutions would have to make sure that you can handle the job for the years to come. For this reason, surgical technicians would have to continually take professional education courses and retake the licensure examination every four years.


petition_icon_large_blueIf you’ve ever dreamed of being part of the excitement in an operating room but don’t have the qualifications to become a surgeon, the becoming a surgical technician is your next best bet. You will get to experience everything that happens in the emergency room while at the same time helping the surgeon save someone’s life.

As a surgical technician, you will not only earn a considerable amount but you are also assured of exciting and unexpected days. You will never get bored because something different will happen everyday. Apart from that, you get to leave the operating room feeling satisfied for having done meaningful work.

Becoming a surgical technician isn’t easy—you will have to learn all the technical stuff and you will have to master all the skills—but it will definitely be worth it. If you do choose this career, it is best to become certified after earning your degree. This will ensure that you get a good job after, and that you have an easier time advancing in your field.

Remember that it takes more than just one person to perform a successful surgery. Though surgeons get most of the spotlight, surgical technicians are just as responsible as them in ensuring that everything goes smoothly in the operating room. If you think you have what it takes to become a certified surgical technician, look up a program that offers it now and start your journey to the exciting world of operating rooms.

How to Become a Veterinary Technician

Animals are very special yet underrated creatures. Like humans, they need proper love and care, especially when they get sick or hurt. The sad thing is that animals are not a priority for most people. Someone can stumble upon a dying animal on the street and just pass by without giving it a second glance. Fortunately, you can do something about this. If you really care about the welfare of all animals everywhere, you can always choose to become a veterinary technologist or technician and give these animals the proper care and attention that they need.

It should be noted that there is a difference between veterinary technologists and veterinary technicians. The former is a more advanced degree, and takes at least four to five years to complete while the latter can be completed within two to three years. Furthermore, there are only a few schools offering degrees for veterinary technologists but a lot that offer degrees for veterinary technicians. For these reasons, many animal lovers turn to becoming veterinary technicians instead. Choosing to become a veterinary technician is also a good choice because it can always be a stepping stone to becoming a veterinary technician specialist, a veterinary technologist, or even a licensed veterinarian.

What Do Veterinary Technicians Do?

clinicaveterinariaIn general, veterinary technicians are known to work with small animals such as dogs, cats, birds, and mice, among others. However, there are also times when they tend to larger animals like sheep, pigs, and even cattle. It all depends on where they work. Those who work in animal clinics, for example, would most likely work with the smaller animals while those who work in zoos would most likely work with bigger ones.

The daily routines of veterinary technicians would also depend on the level of their work and their work environment. However, the most common duties of those just starting out include the following:

[color-box customcolorpicker=”#e9ebf7″]

  • Bathing animals
  • Observing animals’ conditions and providing emergency care to injured and sick ones
  • Documenting medical charts
  • Collecting lab samples and performing lab exams
  • Administering medications and vaccines
  • Taking and developing X-rays
  • Providing first aid
  • Assisting veterinarians during procedures and examinations
  • Performing diagnostic tests
  • Preparing animals for surgery, assisting in surgeries, and monitoring post-anesthetic recovery
  • Phlebotomy and intravenous catheter placement
  • Dispensing prescription medications as prescribed by a licensed veterinarian
  • Ensuring that all animals are treated with humane treatment
  • Educating owners about how to properly care for their pets [/color-box]

Veterinarian technicians who have enough experience can start performing more extensive treatments, such as specialized nursing care or dental care, under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian or a more experienced supervisor.

Like in other healthcare centers, veterinary laboratories and clinics also need to have staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. For this reason, veterinary technicians who are in supervisory roles are needed. These supervisors will not only be tasked to monitor their staff but may also be tasked to maintain staff schedules as well. Some veterinary technicians may also do research work if needed.

Basically, the job of a veterinary technician is a combination of nursing, lab work, imaging, and customer service, among others. They are the front liners in providing various animals with the attention and care that they deserve and the back office for veterinarians. In essence, they help improve the quality of life of different kinds of animals.

Work Environment

536fa16a27394ca47e9db4b1_icon work experienceAs mentioned above, a veterinary technician may work in different environments. The most common environments include private clinics, boarding facilities, animal hospitals, animal shelters, rescue leagues, and even zoos. However, they can also work in non-traditional settings such as wildlife control services, livestock facilities, research laboratories, veterinary and pharmaceutical sales, government agencies, and even the military.

Again, the work schedule of a veterinary technician would depend on where he or she works. A vet tech who works in private clinics and research laboratories would generally work the regular eight hours, from 8am to 5pm, while those who work in hospitals and other 24-hour facilities may need to constantly work during the evening and/or holidays. Those who work in emergency facilities may also sometimes need to work extra hours especially if there is a lack of employees during a certain shift. Of course, even those who work during regular business hours would sometimes need to work extra hours if needed.

Veterinary technicians are much like nurses except that they care for animals instead of people. They would therefore need to be physically fit and healthy because most of their time would be spent walking around, checking on animals, and even restraining or lifting large animals. It can be a very physically and mentally exhausting job because not only will you have to learn how to properly read different animals’ body languages and the proper techniques in restraining them but you will also have to do this yourself if needed.

Veterinary technicians would also have constant contact with a lot of potentially hazardous substances such as radiation, needles, and bodily fluids, among others. Apart from this, there may be some irritant animals that can cause potential harms. For these reasons, they would need to know and follow all the safety procedures at work.

Again, the work environment would depend upon where you work, so a veterinary technician who works in a wildlife preserve should probably be more careful than one who works in a research lab. Basically though, veterinary technicians should be genuine animal lovers who aren’t afraid to get a little down and dirty with any animal. He/she should be personable, patient, and emotionally stable in order to effectively work with both animals and their owners in any situation. Keep in mind that it is not all sunshine and butterflies in a vet office. Just like in hospitals, there will be times wherein the animals will not survive. During these times, the vet tech should be able to handle the emotions and communicate well with the pet owners.

Though it is easier to become a veterinary technician than a veterinary technologist, it still takes a lot of patience and perseverance to get there. The first requirement for becoming a veterinary technician is to love both animals and science. If you are only interested in one but not the other, then this career may not be for you.

The first step to become a veterinary technician is to complete an Associate’s Degree program that is accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA). This program usually takes around two years to complete, and can be taken in any of the 160 different schools in the United States. This degree can be taken right after high school, even without any prior experience.

The core curriculum for veterinary technician courses is solely based on science. Basic subjects would include anatomy, physiology, parasitology, radiology, terminology, hematology, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, laboratory procedures, animal medicine, animal restraint, and practice management, among others. As you advance in your career, you will get the chance to choose which to specialize in: large animals, small animals, or exotic/zoo animals, among others. Of course, general subjects such as Math and English will also be included in the curriculum.

An important fact that schools have realized is that students cannot learn from theories alone. Many of the programs therefore include lab classes, which gives the students a little hands-on learning and allows them to experience what it means to become a real veterinarian technician. The last semester/s of these programs are usually concluded with an internship or practicum, which furthers the students’ experiences and skills as well. This internship or practicum can be performed in any of the veterinary work environments mentioned above.

It is understandable that not everyone has the time to actually physically go all the way to school just to earn their degree, especially those who choose to work alongside their studies. For this reason, the AVMA has accredited nine different distance learning programs wherein students can earn their degrees online.

For those who want to advance their careers further, a four-year Bachelor’s Degree in Veterinary Technology is also available in twenty three universities in the United States. This degree is best for those who want to work as researchers or who want to continue on to become licensed veterinarians.

One factor to take into consideration when choosing between becoming a veterinarian technician or a veterinarian technologist is the amount of debt you will be in if you choose to apply for a student loan. Many student loans for vet tech programs are just under $20,000, which is not hard to pay back considering the good salary you will be receiving once you get a job as a veterinary technician.

The procedures for admission and application for veterinary technician and technologist programs would vary depending on the school that you apply in. All of them, however, would require at least an equivalent of a high school diploma. Some schools would also have additional requirements such as placement tests, drug tests, prior experience, vaccinations, essays, interviews, and sometimes even drug tests. Further information about admission and applications can be found on each school’s website.

If you are not interested in classroom settings or theoretical learning, you would be glad to know that you can also become a veterinary technician solely through on-the-job trainings. However, this is only allowed in three states—Wisconsin, Alaska, and California.


salary-icon-3According to 2013 data, the national average salary of veterinary technicians per year is around $32,350, with the middle 80% earning an amount between $21,390 to $45,710. In a 2015 survey, however, it was noted that the average wage per hour of a veterinary technician with credentials is around $17.40. A regular 8-hour work day for 26 days a month, 12 months a year, therefore, would give a veterinary technician a total average annual amount of $43,430.40. The $17.40 hourly wage for credentialed veterinary technicians in comparation to emergency medical technician‘s for example, is much bigger. These are already very good numbers but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is still room for growth.

veterinary technician salary

Again, the salaries would depend on the work environment of the veterinary technicians. Generally, those who work in research laboratories, colleges, and government agencies would earn more than those who work in animal clinics but of course this will still depend on their job positions. Veterinary technicians who have specialties such as surgery, anesthesiology, dentistry, and animal behavior would also likely earn more than those who don’t specialize in anything.

These are all very general guidelines regarding salaries. Of course, it would all depend on where you work, what your educational attainment is, how much experience you have, and how well you do your job. Keep in mind that your basic salary is not the only benefit you will be getting when you work as a veterinary technician.  There are many other factors that can help increase your earnings and benefits. Learning about these factors and working on them will definitely help increase how much you earn.

Job Opportunities

veterinary-technician-jobsThere are many careers related to animal care but only a few of them have the same positive job outlook as veterinary technicians. One thing to note about the industry is that veterinary technologists and technicians are now preferred over veterinary assistants because they are more equipped and knowledgable than the latter. As per surveys conducted by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there is an expected growth of 19% for veterinary technicians from the year 2014 to 2024—a growth that is a lot bigger than the average growth of other occupations. This growth is expected to be stronger in rural areas rather than urban ones.

The growth of the industry may be attributed to many different factors such as medical advances in animal care, the sudden awareness for the welfare of animals, the rise of pets’ status as family members instead of mere pets, and the availability of specialized veterinary care (i.e. surgery, dentistry, cardiology, etc.). The common denominator among all these factors is that they are all geared towards specializations. Owners demand for their pets to receive special and personalized care and attention, so there is also a demand for specialized veterinary technicians with credentials. Given all of these, it is safe to say that now is the perfect time to start your career as a  certified veterinary technician.

All these statistics are good news for those just starting out their veterinary technician careers but what about those that are already in the industry? First of all, because there is an increase in demand for vet techs, there is no need to worry about fresh minds coming to take over. There will be enough jobs available for everyone so fresh graduates don’t have to be treated as competitors but welcomed as colleagues. Furthermore, experienced veterinary technicians also have the opportunity to obtain supervisory roles  if they do their jobs well. Supervisory roles would require training new technicians and/or assistants, and monitoring them well.

Veterinary technicians are also given many opportunities for a continuous education. There are many events, conventions, and training available where experienced technicians or technologists can share their experiences with others, and give tips on how to advance in the said career/s. There are also many online classes available for continuing education. All these empower the technician to work harder, take on new skills, and even consider choosing a specialty in their line of work.

Another opportunity for veterinary technicians that many don’t realize is that they can go on to become veterinarians. The competition to get into a good vet school is very tight, and your experience and certification as a veterinary technician will definitely be a big advantage.

Training Programs

badge3 2As mentioned above, basic training courses are already embedded during the last semester/s of veterinary technology/technician programs as internships or practicums. These programs are carried out in different work environments such as hospitals, clinics, research facilities, and other approved animal medical sites. During training, aspiring veterinary technicians will be able to work directly with animals and perform clinical and laboratory procedures, all under the supervision of licensed veterinarians or experienced vet techs.

Again, there are now many opportunities for advancement for veterinary technicians. Once you’re already a vet tech, you don’t have to stay stuck with the same job forever because you can always pursue specialized courses or certifications even while you’re working. These specialties can be taken in various places such as the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society, and the Academy of Veterinary Dental Technicians. Currently, these institutions offer eighteen specialties that require advanced skills and knowledge.

Certification Programs and Licensing

Certificate_seal-512As mentioned above, a certified veterinary technician has more benefits than someone who has no credentials, especially in terms of salary. Apart from that, many of the states in the U.S. are slowly making it mandatory for vet techs to become certified, licensed, or registered.

Each state would vary with regards to how they regulate veterinary technicians. Many states require aspiring technicians to take the Veterinary Technician National Examination (VTNE), which is prepared and administered by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards (AAVSB). This exam is very important because it measures how knowledgeable aspiring veterinary technicians really are with regards to the procedures and theories behind becoming a vet tech. It is composed of 200 multiple choice questions and lasts up to four hours.

Some states may not require an aspiring vet tech to take the VTNE but instead to complete an exam and pass a training program approved by the state. It must be noted that all programs accredited by the AVMA are approved by the state, so any exams and programs completed under them are considered valid. However, if you have already passed the VTNE or if you currently undergoing on-the-job training in Wisconsin, California, or Alaska, these states may not require you to take the aforementioned exam and training anymore.

Once you’ve passed these tests, you are then eligible to be certified, licensed, or registered. Certifications are given by professional or private program while licenses are given by authorized parties such as the state’s veterinary medical board. To become a registered veterinary technician (RVT), you will have to be acknowledged by a governmental agency. Keep in mind that licensures and certifications vary by state, so it is important to check on the specific requirements needed from the board of health in your state.

A credentialed veterinary technician can also pursue specialty certifications from different societies or academies.


Icon_Hive_Learning_Networks_at_a_GlanceBecoming a veterinary technician will definitely be a very rewarding career for all animal and science lovers out there. You will not only get the chance to interact with different kinds of animals but you also get to improve their quality of life. Technicians often have long-term patients, so you will also be able to develop close relationships with them. By doing this, you are not only helping the animals but also improving your personal life.

There are different ways to become a veterinary technician, each one as challenging as the other. There will be a lot of studying, training, and exams, but once you get your credentials, it will all be worth it. From the salary to the good job outlook and all the fluffy animals by your side, it can only be smooth sailing from there.

For those who want more challenge, you can always also choose to pursue specializations or to go on to become a veterinarian. By choosing to become a specialist, you are equipped to do more advanced jobs, thereby relieving veterinarians of the jobs they are overqualified to do and allowing them to focus on the jobs that only they are licensed to perform.

If all these seem appealing to you, then it’s best to look for schools offering veterinary technician programs today and start applying for a future that’s right for you. It doesn’t matter whether or not you live near one because you can always choose the distance learning programs wherein you can earn the degrees right from your own home.


How to Become a Patient Care Technician

If you’re in search of a job that offers great chance of helping sick and injured, there are some great medical careers you should look into. Aside with the doctors and nurses, healthcare careers spend further more to medical assistants or patient care technicians.

What does patient care technician do?

There are many different chores a patient care technician does. Above all, patient care technician’s focus is on close work with patients. That means he/she helps in basic care of for patients, such as assisting them in sitting or standing up, walking to the restroom, changing bedding or delivering meals. Also, they’re opt to perform some administrative or clerical duties as well. Patient care technicians, also known as nursing assistants, often work with registered nurses and help in tasks needed to meet the needs of patients. Some of the essential tasks include:

  • repositioning, ambulating and turning patients that are unable to move or walk on their own,
  • using patient handling equipment in tasks of lifting and repositioning (like wheel chairs),
  • transportation of patient within the hospital, nursing home, residential care facilities or a Medical Center,
  • delivering and picking up prescriptions,
  • assisting in daily vital activities such as feeding, cleaning, bathing or providing water
  • recording and reporting patient’s vital signs or weight
  • helping patients to use the toilet

As an assistant to a registered nurse, patient care technician may often be asked to provide complete care for the patient, including mobility, hygiene and nutrition. In addition, PCT needs to provide safe and clean environment for patient, always taking care of the cleanliness of bedding and bedside. With so many different tasks they need to perform, patient care technicians are often wanted for emotional support to patients and their families as well. Taking care of a sick or injured person often requires emotional stability and the ability to calm, soothe and comfort patient in distress.

There’s sometimes confusing difference between patient care technician and medical assistant, both of which are very closely related to their assigned duties. The difference, however, is that medical assistant performs duties not so closely related to the patients themselves. Administering records, medical histories or scheduling appointments are mainly duties of a medical assistant, whereas patient care technicians works directly with patients, tending for their needs and safety. Some nursing assistants may be required to dispense medication too, depending on their training level and competencies. Patient care technicians work in a healthcare team under the supervision of a licensed vocational nurse or a registered nurse.

PCT’s importance lies in their direct contact with patients and their ability to perform tasks at hand, including helping patient feel comfortable, clean and safe. Many nursing assistants develop relationships with their patients, especially if they’re assigned to a nursing home or long-term residential care facility where they care for patients for months or even years. It’s a demanding job to do, but it’s worth once you’re assured your patients are taken care of and satisfied with your work.

Work environment of a patient care technician

PCT work environment varies according to a facility they work in. The industries that employed the most nursing assistants in 2014 were:

  • Nursing care facilities
  • Hospitals (state, local or private)
  • Continuing care retirement communities and assisted living facilities for the elderly
  • Home health care services
  • Government

Wherever they work, patient care technicians spend a great time on their feet because they often take care of a number of patients or residents. Because of frequent lifting patients or medical equipment, nursing assistants are prone to physical injuries. In accordance to the safe work environment, they’re introduced and trained to properly lift and move patients. The main focus is around the patient, so PCT performs duties connected strictly to the patient himself, like changing bandages, taking body fluids to testing, documenting patient’s behavior and health concerns. Aside with the tasks mentioned, patient care technicians are required to ensure clean and fresh linens, sanitation and supplies.

As a result of working in the health care facilities most of which operate 24/7, patient care technicians work full time. That means they often work during weekends, night time or holidays as well. Even though their primary job is to ensure the patient’s needs are met, patient care technicians are required to handle medical equipment where needed. Some of the tools used in this occupation are blood pressure units, electronic medical thermometers, extremity restraints, glucose monitors, oxygen tents and tanks, pulse oximeters and urinary catheters. They are required to operate certain medical equipment when demanded.

Patient care technician should have advanced skills in active listening, such as giving full attention to what a patient is saying or complaining about, being aware of other’s reactions, using logic to identify alternative solutions or conclusions and assessing performance of himself, individuals or organizations to make improvements when possible. Abilities such as keen eye, oral expression and comprehension, problem sensitivity and good physical strength are very much welcomed in a nursing assistant. There are many face-to-face discussions with patients or other individuals which means PCT needs to be able to follow conversation at all times, answering to patient’s demands or worries. Sometimes, they even encounter angry or aggravated patients, which could lead to unpleasant situations PCT should be able to resolve. Being calm and cooperative works the best for both the patient and the patient care technician.

Training programs for patient care technicians

The important thing about becoming patient care technician is that you own some important qualities. These include great communication skills when you’re making conversation with patients or other healthcare workers, patience and empathy and good physical strength. With just few of them mentioned, you can consider becoming patient care technician. Depending on the state you live in, you are required to complete a state-approved education program or a training and have to pass state’s competency exam.

Training programs for patient care technicians are offered by various institutions, such as vocational or technical schools, community colleges, American Red Cross, local healthcare providers or online training programs as well. Depending on the institution you choose to study in, the training lasts from 4 to 16 weeks. Students who want to become patient care technicians should have some kind of high school diploma or previous work experience connected to healthcare.

If you choose to start your training in any vocational or technical school, some of the classes include fundamentals in nursing, anatomy, infection control protocol and nutrition. Through both day and evening classes and campuses, your main focus is on practical skills. Hospitals provide more fast-paced training where students begin to work with patients very quickly, during day, night and weekend shifts. It is good to know that a number of this kind of facilities offer this training for free, providing great real-life experience for future nursing assistants. Community colleges focus on the spectrum of nursing services and in addition offer students experience in professional communication with patients and other members of healthcare team.

When undergoing training program, students gain experience performing various tasks in healthcare setting under supervision. They receive evaluation on their performance and advice on how to improve their skills. Some of the programs may include traditional coursework, which includes theory and practice combined. Personal care skills, patient’s rights, basic medical terminology and nursing assistant theory are some of the courses in training programs. Basic skills like CPR, first aid and electrocardiography are covered as well. Because of the nature of this kind of job, some of the courses include patient care techniques like feeding, grooming and bathing.

Online training programs are a great option to start your training in becoming patient care technician. Even though these kind of training programs don’t bring you a diploma, they prepare students for state certification exams. Choose the ones that offer both online and in-person training as well. Through online training programs, students complete theoretical coursework online and hands-on courses on campus-based classes. Some of the topics covered through online programs include physiology, anatomy, patient care and handling, basic medical techniques, clinical practicum course, phlebotomy, nutritional elements course and even mental health. Through all the courses and lectures, students learn about the systems of human body, basic principles of proper diet, assistance with everyday activities like feeding and bathing, EKG procedures, catheterizations and first aid techniques. Students learn how to use proper tools and methods necessary for blood collection, such as venipuncture, capillary puncture or utilizing butterfly needle.

Whichever training option you choose, it offers you invaluable experience and preparation for the competency exam and further licensing or certification in this field of healthcare. Aside with the theoretical knowledge you will gain, clinical and on-site laboratory practice offers valuable introduction to the world of patient care technician’s work. Choosing the right training program which covers all the basics and additional required knowledge and experience, means you should gather as much information about each school or program you wish to attend. Gathering all the pros and cons of every possible choice will give you insight to the best training option for your liking. Enroll in a great training program and start building your career as a patient care technician as soon as possible


After a successful completion of a state-approved training program for a patient care technician, you’re granted possibility to earn yourself certification. In order to do so, you must complete state-approved competency exam, which sometimes varies from state to state. You will need a high school diploma or an equivalent (GED) in order to apply for A Patient Care Technician Certification Program. To become a patient care technician, you will need to complete approximately 360-600 hours of clinical or classroom hours. Duration of this program often lasts for 5-6 months. The patient care technician certification program is offered by National Health Career Association. Gaining certification offers you many good job opportunities and allows you to pursue further certification if you wish to advance even more in this medical field.

There are few certification programs available that are connected to patient care technician career. After gaining certification for PCT, you can pursue Electrocardiogram Technician certification as well. This program prepares you for performing various diagnostic tests which measure patient’s vital signs, such as heart rhythm and rate. These kind of tests are performed at doctor’s office or at emergency rooms as well. You will learn how to process data and also how to maintain EKG equipment.

Phlebotomy certification is also a great program you should consider finishing because it offers greater chance of being hired as a certified patient care technician. This program prepares you to draw and transport blood and how to properly use venipuncture or capillary puncture. Phlebotomy is used in most of the healthcare facilities like hospitals, doctor’s office, emergency rooms, labs and nursing homes as well.

Students must have the required classroom training or at least one year experience to be able to perform the exam. It consists of 200 questions and takes approximately three hours and thirty minutes to finish.

Main test subjects in certification exam include:

  • General patient care
  • Patient care and preparation related to phlebotomy and EKG,
  • Safety
  • Professional responsibilities
  • Infection control.

Some of the tasks you will need to complete include:

  • providing basic patient care under the direction of nursing staff,
  • set up equipment to be used by a patient,
  • manually lift and transfer patient,
  • perform CPR, first aid and rapid response procedures,
  • follow the 5 Rights of delegation,
  • recognize visual abnormalities in patient specimens,
  • apply oxygen therapy,
  • observe and report patient pain using a pain scale,
  • monitor and record vital signs,
  • report critical values to the appropriate registered nurse in charge of a patient
  • check dressings for increased saturation and changes
  • prepare the patient for phlebotomy or EKG
  • calculate patient heart rate from the EKG tracing
  • monitor patient’s environmental safety
  • recognize and respond to emergency situations
  • perform sterile or aseptic procedures

Through these tests you will obtain enough knowledge to prepare yourself for the final exam which will earn you a certificate.  After gaining a patient care technician certificate or additional ones aforementioned, you will have great job opportunities to pursue wanted career. Later on, through gained on-the-job experience and collected working hours, you can advance in your career and earn yourself new titles and better salary.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual wage for patient care technicians or nursing assistants was $25,710 in 2015. The average wage for patient care technicians and certified nursing assistants was around $12.22 per hour or $25,420 annual wage, according to data from May 2011, with the top 20% earning $35,170 per year or even more. 4 years later, data shows that the lowest 10 percent earned less than $19,390, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $36,890.

In May 2015, the median annual wages for patient care technicians in the top industries where they worked were:

  • Government ………………………………………………….$31,130
  • Hospitals (state, local, private)………………………….$27,820
  • Nursing care facilities………………………………………$24,700
  • Continuing care retirement communities & assisted living facilities for the elderly………….$24,200
  • Home health care services……………………………….$23,620

The average rate for a patient care technician is $1249 per hour, according to Payscale.

In 2011, the 3 top-paying metropolitan areas for the patient care technicians were in the state of California: the San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City area with $18 per hour, followed by the Oakland-Fremont-Hayward area with $17.46, and the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara area with $16.97 per hour. Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for this occupation are Southeast Alaska nonmetropolitan area with $19.27, Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard nonmetropolitan area with $17.80, Balance of Alaska nonmetropolitan area with $17.72 per hour.

There are various factors that can affect your salary as a patient care technician. Experience you gained through the years improves your annual wage. PCTs with up to 5 years of work experience get around $25,000 annually. Those with 5-10 years of experience earn roughly $28,000 per year. More experienced patient care technicians with working experience between 10-20 years earn $31,000 and those with more than 20 years of working experience get approximately $33,000 of median wage. Location also affects patient care technician salaries. In 2015, New York was number one in median wage, offering $38,052 per year, which is almost $11,500 above national average. Second one is Phoenix with $29,691 annual wage, with Baltimore, Chicago and Atlanta following. Skills can also determine your salary. If you’re skilled and trained for performing dialysis, it earns you 10% increase in payment, performing EKG or phlebotomy gives you 5% more in payment and skills in working on Intensive Care Unit gets you 8% increase in salary as well.

Top paying industries for patient care technician jobs are:

  • Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation) with hourly mean wage of $17,68,
  • Colleges, Universities and professional schools with hourly mean wage of $15,86,
  • Scientific Research and Development Services with hourly mean wage of $15,51,
  • Educational Support Services with hourly mean wage of $15,27.

So, with the data collected, we can see that the percentage of salary increase from 2011 to 2015 is increasing and so is the number of employees in this occupation. Annual wage depends on location, experience and skills you possess. The more experience you gain, more you get payed. If you have most wanted skills in patient care technician occupation, it provides you great chances of getting hired and earning increase in payment. Additional training or certification also affects the median wage which again depends on the state you work in. Once you start your career, through collected working hours and gained work experience, you can expect increase in salary, with additional bonuses and raises as well. Start your career as soon as possible and earn your increase in salary as an experienced patient care technicians do. From the minimum of roughly $19,000 annual wage you can climb up to approximately $37,000 per year.

Job outlook

According to the data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of patient care technicians or nursing assistants, is projected to grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of nursing assistants in 2014 reached the number of 1,492,10 which will rise by additional 262,000 open jobs by the year of 2024. As teh baby boom population slowly ages, that means that many patient care technicians and certified nursing assistants will be needed to assist and take care of the elderly. Great percent of the elderly population experience dementia, physical pain and some chronic diseases like heart disease or diabetes. Most of them will be unable to keep their daily activities of living by themselves, which means more work and more requirements for patient care technicians. Healthcare facilities like hospitals, nursing homes or assisted living facilities for the elderly will demand high number of experienced or certified patient care technicians. Even though beginners payment is lower than average and the emotional and physical distress often makes many applicants leave their careers, many of them are very aspiring to become professional nursing assistants and they will easily replace and fulfill abandoned jobs by those who gave up.

To become professional and certified patient care technician, finishing high school, enrolling in a training program with great classes and real-life courses, gaining a diploma or a certificate and collecting working hours will make your career bloom and your salary raise. Once you decide what is the best option to pursue your patient care technician career, you will be able to gain everything required to begin your life as a nursing assistant. Start as soon as possible and build up experience, qualities and skills that are desirable, through your work of helping those who are sick, old or injured. This is great opportunity to get payed for the job you’d love.

Everything You Need To Know About Becoming Dental Technician

If you’ve ever been attracted to knowing more about dentistry and you felt the urge to know everything about it, then you probably even considered to become a dentist, dental assistant or a dental technician. If you’ve wondered what does a dental technician do, what are his/her duties and the amount of their salary, you’ve come to the right place to find out everything about becoming a dental technician!


Dental laboratory technician (dental technologist) is a member of the dental team whose job is to make, design, repair and adjust dental devices and appliances. Upon prescription of a dentist, dental technician ,using molds from the patient’s teeth or oral tissue, constructs custom made restorative dental appliances. Using materials like porcelain, gold, or plastic, a dental technician creates:

  • full dentures for patients who don’t have any of the teeth
  • orthodontic appliances and braces to help straighten teeth
  • removable dentures or fixed bridges for patients who are missing some of their teeth
  • crowns which are made to restore the original size and shape of teeth
  • veneers for aesthetic reasons

After consulting with a dentist, a dental technician takes prescriptions, measures and drawings taken from the patient. After that, he/she then makes a dental impression into which is poured a gypsum dental stone to create the exact replica of patient’s teeth , a dental cast. After the cast is finished and dry, a technician can then start to custom make necessary dental appliances. Of course, being able to know all this, you would have to have an excellent knowledge of facial and dental anatomy,masticatory functions, properties of materials you construct the appliances of and a little bit of artistic talent. A variety of materials, like zirconia, ceramics, plastics, waxes, stainless steel, porcelain and metal alloys, are used in dental laboratories. The dental technician is trained to take information from a dentist and build perfect prostheses required by the patient.

Most of their work technicians spend using small hand tools which means they have to be extremely patient and accurate. Accuracy plays the key role in this type of a medical field – if a dental appliance is not made properly, it’s being sent back for repairs or even destroyed completely in order to make a perfect one from scratch. The fact that sometimes a dental laboratory and the dentist’s office are miles apart from each other only emphasizes the technician’s ability to make perfectly accurate appliances solely on the dentist’s drawings and the patient’s dental cast, without the need of further adjustments once it arrives to the dentist again. So, good practical skills and a steady hand is what is greatly appreciated in dental technicians. Being able to make 100% accurate dental prosthesis, fixed restorations, full restorations and other corrective devices is one of the most important things in being a dental technician. Bear in mind that both prosthodontics  and orthodontics rely heavily on the skills of a dental technician!

So, if you possess an extraordinary eye-hand coordination, ability to recognize the smallest differences in color and shape, pay good attention to details and have an excellent hand-operated dexterity, you can be a perfect candidate to soon become a licensed dental technician. If you enjoy working with materials and similar technology and express interest in dental and facial anatomy, you should consider becoming a dental technician and discover more about this medical fields, than it is said. Enjoying working on details and not having trouble about time consumption this work takes, this is a job for you.


The job of a dental technician is extremely sensible and time consuming. They usually work in a well-lit rooms with good ventilation and comfortable workbenches. For fabrication of dental prostheses, they use variety of hand instruments, grinding and polishing equipment and even a computer software or designing and printing equipment. Dental technicians usually work around 40 hours per week, but the self-employed ones work even longer. There are numerous chemical hazards connected to this job. Dental technicians work with mineral acids, solvents, metal casting and porcelain baking all of which produce and release various vapors and gases. This points to the importance of MAC (Maximum allowable concentration) and the importance of wearing personal protective devices.


With the dozens of dangerous chemical compounds used in laboratory, dental technicians may even experience respiratory problems such as asthma, coughing, phlegm and skin irritation like dermatitis. The appropriate use of gloves, face masks and glasses are important factor in reducing the possibilities in health problems. In addition, dental technicians are exposed to loud noise produced by grinding, cutting and exhaust ventilation. Sitting posture during work may lead to back pain too.


Protective clothing should be made available to every dental technician. Hearing protection must be worn during operations when the noise reaches harmful levels. To prevent back pain and musculoskeletal disorders, use of high quality chairs is advised. Also, correct use of protective goggles with side shields and wearing appropriate gloves when handling heated objects is mandatory. Dental technicians also undergo specific medical examinations and are educated about health hazards and the prevention of early symptoms.

In conclusion, even though dental technicians work in small laboratories and they are well-lit and well-ventilated rooms, there exist a number of possible health and safety hazards. Nevertheless, if a technician follows proper safety procedures like wearing goggles, gloves and masks, there is a little risk in having health problems. Also, having regular breaks in between tasks and involving in some kind of physical exercise, back pain can be avoided as well. It is important to stick to all of the precautionary measures and the job of a dental technician can be hazard-free and enjoyable part of work. Safety is number one, so following strict guidelines and allowing yourself breaks should be a great way to prevent all of the mentioned health problems connected to this part of medical field. The sacrifice pays out and efforts are greatly appreciated and awarded accordingly.


In order to become a dental technician, you may need to receive your education through a two-year program at a community college, university, vocational school or a technical college. Earning yourself a high-school diploma or its equivalent such as GED (general education development tests) or any other high school equivalency certificate. Aside to the formal training, there are few 4-year bachelor programs available as well.


You should inform yourself of all the accredited dental tech programs. Following Commission on Dental Accreditation (CODA), you’re able to choose between some programs that include predoctoral, advanced or allied dental education programs. Dental laboratory technology certificate programs give all of the students necessary skills to become a part of a dental team. During the two year program, students will attend some of the courses that include:

  • dental morphology
  • dental anatomy
  • dental prosthetics
  • polishing and restoration
  • dental and impression materials
  • dental ceramics
  • casting
  • orthodontic appliances
  • bridge construction

Choosing between both Certificate of Achievement program or an Associate degree provides you with a training and courses that are required to become a dental technician.

In the Certificate of Achievement program, students learn fundamental skills like how to construct prosthetic pieces such as bridges, crowns and inlays and how to use and take of the equipment.Some of the common courses include introduction to dental anatomy and morphology, ceramics used in dentistry and history of dentistry as well. To take part in this program, a student has to have a high school diploma or a GED.

Pursue of Associate degree provides more in-depth knowledge of procedures and techniques. The courses in this program are usually designed to introduce the students to equipment, procedures and materials used in dentistry. Some of the courses include dental reconstruction techniques, dental materials and anatomy, designing and constructing ceramics and history and ethics in dentistry.

Online dental technician courses are usually part of training programs that lead to either certificate or associate degree. Due to hands-on nature of this job, an important part of such courses is ability to involve in practical work using equipment and materials. These courses may only be offered on campus or as a mixture between online and in-class study. All of the students learn their skills through on-the-job training,e.g. by helping out in small laboratories. As they progress, they are involved in more complex tasks and duties.

Even though there’s no license required for becoming a dental technician, optional certification is available. Getting a certification involves passing an exam executed by the National Board for Certification in Dental Laboratory Technology. To take the test, you must have a completed accredited program and have two years of professional experience. If you have been trained on-the-job or through a non accredited program, you can take this exam after five years of work experience.

So,after graduating from your high school, you may pursue high certification for your work, depending on your desire of getting high positions in this medical field.


According to Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for dental and ophthalmic laboratory technicians was around $33,950 in month of May, 2015. Wages were as follows:

  • Dental laboratory technicians……………….$37,190
  • Medical appliance technicians……………….$34,890
  • Ophthalmic laboratory technicians………..$29,860

An average dental technician earns roughly $16,35 per hour. Both geographical location, field of industry and career duration affect the payment. The difference between the highest and lowest earning technicians is almost $40,000. Since experience and skill level represent major factors in dental technician salary, beginner technicians salary income ranges between $20,945 and $31,283. That is a dental technician with up to two years experience. For dental technicians with more than 5 years work experience, payment ranges between $29,827 and $46,904. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported only a 3% increase in this field for the 2012-2022 decade, but due to an increasing number of people interested in aesthetic and cosmetic dentistry, the demand of dental technicians will probably still increase.

According to, dental technicians have highest earnings by working in the Medical and Diagnostics laboratory industry. Following the third place is Federal Government and slightly under it is State Government with Offices of Health practitioners and Merchant Wholesalers being below. Since the geographical location affects the annual income too, it is good to know that some of the highest paying states are Massachusetts, District of Columbia, Alaska, Montana, New York and Connecticut, while the lowest paying states involve South Dakota, Louisiana, Mississippi, West Virginia and Missouri. If you are flexible regarding your work area, choosing some of the Metropolitan areas such as Boston-Cambridge-Quincy or Peabody in Massachusetts, West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton in Florida or New York-White Plains-Wayne, will earn you annual salary of more than $46,300 and up to $59,100. Check out highest employment level by states and recognize California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Texas and Georgia as the states with top numbers in employing dental technicians.

So, when choosing to become a dental technician, bear in mind the important factors of your salary income. The location and state you live in, the amount of years of professional work experience and the necessary skills all reflect on your annual wage. Also, it is beneficial to know that some medical industries hire more and provide higher payments than others. But, since the requirements for dental technicians are slowly, yet steadily growing, so are the possible salary increases also achievable. At the beginning of your career as a dental technician, you will receive minimal wages, but with the years of gaining experience, your salary will sure approve. Be persistent in becoming a professional, choose and achieve certificates or degrees and you will surely be awarded with a nice annual wage.


Employment of dental technicians and ophthalmic laboratory technicians is projected to grow up to 10% from 2014 to 2024. The increase in job outlook is faster than the average for all the other occupations. Due to the more cheaper cosmetic prosthetics such as veneers, crowns and bridges, demand for these appliances will surely increase. The employment number of dental technicians,ophthalmic technicians and medical appliance technicians in 2014 was 83,500, the estimated increase by 2024 will reach 92, 200 open jobs. Only dental technicians employment will increase by 11%. Job opportunities for dental laboratory techs will be favorable. Few people see these jobs and those with formal training in a dental laboratory technology program will have the best prospects. Also, many job openings will rise due to the need of replacement of technicians who transfer to other occupations or who leave labor force in general. In addition, the growing and aging population will require more dental products, crowns, bridges and bot full and partial restorations since increasing number of people are retaining their original teeth.

Many dental technicians are employed in dental laboratories, but there are other opportunities to seek job as in private dental offices, hospitals, dental schools and manufacturers. Considering low starting wages, not everyone is prone to start a dental technician career even though the payment increases as the experience is gained. Many of the beginners may work their way up to a supervisory level and may even train new technicians. Some may even own their own laboratory. For anyone considering to become a dental technician, job opportunities are favorable. Whether you choose to work in private or public sector, there are many job openings who offer full-time or part-time work. Browse through search queries according to your state and find the most suitable job offer for you.

In conclusion, deciding to become a dental technician may take from 2 to 4 years of study, depending on your education choice. After the on-the-job training and a few years of gained experience you can either start your career or even improve your chances of hiring by getting a certificate or an Associate degree. The annual wages are more than encouraging and there are numerous sectors and fields from which you can choose to begin with. Collect all the possible information on finishing training, acquiring necessary skills and pursuing the perfect job offer. Inform yourself of upgrading your status as a dental technician which will reflect on your yearly income and achievable benefits and bonuses as well. If you consider yourself to be one of a steady hand, with perfect attention to detail, ability to follow precise instructions and interest in producing dental appliances from various materials, you should definitely consider to become a dental technician. These skills are greatly appreciated and by improving them through courses and programs available, you’re on a right path to advancing to higher positions in this field of dentistry. If you’re abundant in near vision, finger dexterity and eye-hand coordination, you are a perfect candidate for becoming a professional dental laboratory technician. So, start as soon as possible and earn yourself a steady, growing career with good, increasing wage and a bright future. For all the experience gained in this field, you’re rewarded with progress and personal achievement. Just like doctors and surgeons have an important role, so do nurses and technicians. Here is everything you need to know about becoming a dental technician, you’ve read all the information, pros and cons and it’s up to you to decide whether you want to become one or not.

How to Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologists: Degree Programs, Salary and Outlook

What is Nuclear Medicine?

Nuclear medicine uses radionuclides to diagnose and treat various diseases of the human body. Radionuclides are a specific kind of atoms that spontaneously emit radiation. The radionuclides used in nuclear medicine need to be compounded, as well as purified, in order to form radiopharmaceuticals.

What Nuclear Medicine Technologists Do

Nuclear medicine technologists need to have specific knowledge and skills from two academic fields: physics and biology. They are highly specialized in working with sensitive equipment, radiopharmaceuticals and patients who might be worried, anxious or afraid of the treatment or the diagnostic process. That’s why nuclear medicine technologists need to be able to treat the patients in a professional manner, yet remain kind and patient to minimize the possibility of the patients suffering a traumatic experience of the treatment. It is the most important and most sensitive skill a nuclear medicine technologist needs to master.

Nuclear medicine technologists combine their academic specialization of biology and physics to combine, purify and properly prepare the radiopharmaceuticals. Together with other required medications, the nuclear medicine technologists administer the pharmaceuticals to the patients. The radiopharmaceuticals will localize in the organs and tissues of the patients. The nuclear medicine technologists use the specialized equipment to observe the characteristics and the functions of the organs and tissues of the patient.

The specialized equipment contains specific scanners capable of monitoring the radiation level given off by the pharmaceuticals located in the patient’s organs and tissues, and generates images which are later interpreted by specialists, physicians and surgeons. The images will show the level of radiation concentrated in the tissues and organs. Areas that have a higher or lower radiation concentration are considered abnormal, which is how tumors can be seen affecting an organ or specific tissue.

Responsibilities of Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Nuclear medicine technologists have a variety of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Preparing and administering the radiopharmaceuticals and other medications to the patients
  • Use advanced technology to generate, augment and clear images of patient’s organs and tissues
  • Provide patient information, enhanced images and correct data analysis for diagnostic conclusion or other therapy processes.
  • Ensure that the specialized equipment is properly calibrated, fully maintained and working correctly
  • When using the equipment, follow specific safety guidelines and instructions in order to ensure that neither themselves nor the patient will be exposed to unnecessary radiation
  • Explain the process of generating images to the patient and answer any questions the patient might have
  • Put patients at ease if they are afraid, anxious or worried about the procedure
  • During the process, carefully monitor the patient for any sign of side effects or abnormal reactions to the radiopharmaceuticals
  • Ensure that the records of the process are archived and detailed
  • Follow specific guidelines about proper radiation disposal

A nuclear medicine technologist’s tasks and responsibilities ensure a varied workload which can be challenging on a day to day basis. As a career, it demands a great level of skill, specialization and patience, but it is rewarding and worthwhile. It means collaborate with a team of professionals of various other medical disciplines to ensure that the patients get the right diagnosis which is the most important element of treating various illnesses like tumors and cancers, and to ensure that the patients are undergoing the correct treatment.

Work Environment of Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Being a full-time nuclear medicine technologist can be demanding, as they usually work around 40 hours per week. If the departments they work in use extended schedules, nuclear medicine technologists work weekends and holidays. They can also be on call, or work night shifts, as there might be a need for an emergency imaging, diagnosis or treatment. There are also opportunities for part-time work.

There are several industries that hire nuclear medicine technologists. State, local and private hospitals hire around 65%. Around 20% are hired by private practices and physicians, and around 1-2% nuclear medicine technologists are hired at other medical and diagnostic laboratories.

Nuclear medicine technologists spend most of the day on their feet, which means physical stamina is important, especially since they have to help, turn, or lift patients who are disabled or otherwise unable to move on their own. They also need to operate the specialized equipment, and have sufficient manual dexterity to ensure nothing happens to it. Additionally, they need to be aware of the possibility of radiation exposures. However, the risk of radiation exposure has been reduced to minimum with the use of gloves, protective devices and syringes with special shielding. This means that the nuclear medicine technologist needs to be able to follow the specific safety guidelines and be always on alert for any possible mishap.

Occupational Hazards of Nuclear Medicine Technology

Nuclear medicine technologists wear special badges that constantly monitor the levels of radiation in the specific areas. The badges use specific measuring instruments and keep specific, detailed records of the amount of radiation that the nuclear medicine technologists are exposed to in their lifetime.

Another possible occupation hazard is the exposure to various diseases, some of which can be contagious, which is why the nuclear medicine technologists need to use protection in the form of gloves and face masks, when attending to the patients. They also need to adhere to the standard medical protection guidelines like other health-care workers.

How to Become a Nuclear Medicine Technologist?

Nuclear medicine technologists need an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine technology. However, bachelor’s degree holders from different health related fields, like radiologic technology or nursing, can also become qualified to work as nuclear medicine technologists if they complete a 12-month program and get a certificate in nuclear medicine technology.

1.    Official Education: High School, College and University

High school students that are interested in pursuing a career in nuclear medicine should take courses in math and science – physics, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology. Then, they should proceed to colleges and universities and obtain an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in nuclear medicine.

In universities, the nuclear medicine technology program often incorporates courses related to the human anatomy, physiology, physics, chemistry, radioactive drugs, and computer science, because nuclear medicine technologists need the combined knowledge and skills of those fields to properly administer the drugs to the patients, know how to put them at ease, and then to record the images and save them for analysis and diagnosis.  The courses also cover biological effects of radiation exposure, radiation protection procedures, and the correct use of radiopharmaceuticals. This is why an important part of the university program is practical experience and training under the supervision of an established nuclear medicine technologist, as well as physicians and surgeons who specialize in the same field. Most nuclear medicine programs need one to four years of study. This leads to obtaining a certificate, an associate degree, or a bachelor’s degree. Associate’s degrees can be obtained at community colleges, while bachelor’s degrees can be obtained at four-year colleges and universities.

2.    License, Certification and Employment

About half of the states require that nuclear medicine technologist obtain a license or certification. In normal circumstances, nuclear medicine technologists get certified, because it fulfills most of the requirements for a state license. Certification can be obtained by the ARRT (American Registry of Radiologic Technologists), and the NMTCB (the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board). Some nuclear medicine technologists get certified by both associations. In order to obtain a certification, a nuclear medicine technologist needs to meet the Federal standards of proper administration of radioactive drugs, and the standards for proper operation with radiation detection equipment. There are several programs that are recognized by these programs, and you also become eligible for the certification if you have obtained a bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in nuclear medicine. In both cases, applicants for the certification need to pass a comprehensive exam before they are certified to work. Additionally, certified nuclear medicine technologists need to annually register with both ARRT and NMTCB.

Additionally, the Joint Review Committee on Education Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology accredits one-year programs. These one-year programs are generally necessary for health professional of various other fields to obtain a licensed certification. These include medical technologists, nurses and others who wish to change the direction of their careers. The Joint Review Committee of Education Programs in Nuclear medicine lists about 100 accredited programs around the USA and Puerto Rico.

3.    Further Specializing: PET and Nuclear Cardiology

After getting the required certification, nuclear medicine technologists sometimes choose to further their education and specialize in PET (positron emission tomography). This technology uses special machines and equipment to create detailed, three dimensional image of the area of the body, for example, the brain, kidneys or the heart. Nuclear medicine technologists can also specialize in nuclear cardiology, a technology that uses special radiopharmaceuticals to obtain specific images of the heart. When diagnosing a patient using nuclear cardiology, the patients are often required to exercise, while the technologist generates the images of the heart and monitors blood pressure. Both of these fields need the nuclear medicine technologist to have a very high level of knowledge about the procedures, and sufficient skill to work with the radiopharmaceuticals, and the advanced equipment (machines and computers). The Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board offers special certification exams in both of these fields.

4.    Physical and Psychological Skills of Nuclear Medicine Technologists

There are other skills and qualifications required to become a nuclear medicine technologist. They need to be willing to learn new things – as the technology is constantly advancing, and they need to be on top of new developments. They also need to be detail-oriented, and compile results, images and patient medical history to create a comprehensive record of the patient’s results which will be used by surgeons and other physicians during the patient’s treatment.

Nuclear medicine technologists need to be able to respond to the patient’s physical and psychological needs. They must be able to explain both to the patients and their families the process of generating the images, the possible side effects of the pharmaceuticals and other medications, as well as the safety measures taken to minimize the possibility of unnecessary exposure to radiation. As such, good communication is part of the required interpersonal skills set of a nuclear medicine technologist. They also need to be able to take orders from their supervising nuclear medicine technologist, especially during the training process.

They also need to be able to think on their feet, because more often than not, they will work alone with the patient. They will need to know how to handle the equipment during the procedure, and must always be aware of the danger of radiation exposure, and be aware of the radiation level measured by their badges. The technologists need to be meticulous in following the proper guidelines to ensure both their own safety and the safety of their patients.

5.    Necessary Training and Employment of Nuclear Medicine Technologists

After graduating and obtaining a certificate, new nuclear medicine technologists need training, first as radiographers and then directly as nuclear medicine technologists. This is necessary because the equipment used in nuclear medicine gets more sophisticated, requiring new skills. Nuclear medicine technologists normally train to operate computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners, which are used in combination with other nuclear medicine procedures. There are, for example, PET scanners, and gamma cameras which are combined with computerized tomography x-ray system. This is a special combination that requires the nuclear medicine technologists have the skills to operate these imaging systems and special knowledge in cross sectional anatomy.

There are also departments where the nuclear medicine technologists have roles and tasks that go beyond mere nuclear medicine, including, running cardiac stress sessions, administering therapy radionuclides, inject sentinel nodes, issuing technical reports. Some hospitals and employers might require advanced training before a nuclear medicine technologist gets a job post.

Salary: How much do Nuclear Medicine Technologists Make?

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In the United States, in May of 2015, the estimated medium annual salary for nuclear medicine technologists was $73,360 in the Unites States. The medium salary means that about half of the nuclear medicine technologists make less than that. About 10% of the workers that made less than half the annual medium salary had earned less than $52,950. On the other hand, half of the workers in the field had earned more than the medium average annual salary, with the top 10% earning more than $100,080.

This can change, depending on the industry the nuclear medicine technologists worked at. For example, the average annual salary for nuclear medicine technologists working at private physician’s offices is $75,100. The nuclear medicine technologists employed by public and private hospitals make an average annual salary of $73,050, and the average annual salary of the nuclear medicine technologists that work in medical and other diagnostic laboratories is $70,110.

Salary: Nuclear Medicine Technology Highest Paid Job in Radiology Field

By this account, the average annual salary of a nuclear medicine technologist is higher than a radiographer’s or x-ray technician’s average annual salary. It is one of the highest paying positions in the field of radiologic technology. During the years 2004 and 2010, the average salary of a nuclear medicine technologist has increased by 13.4%. According to estimates made by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, today, a nuclear medicine technologist makes about $25,000 more, annually, than the average health technologists and technicians. This makes the occupation highly attractive to people who want to pursue a career in radiologic sciences and medicine. Additionally, it is the highest ranked occupations that can be obtain only with an associate’s degree in nuclear medicine. According to Forbes magazine, in 2012 nuclear medicine technologists were ranked #4 in highest paid community college graduates. Other medicine fields require more years of study and specialization to generate the higher revenue.

How Experience Affects the Salary of Nuclear Medicine Technologists

The attractiveness of the occupation of nuclear medicine technologists is also aided by the fact that experience plays a large role in the annual salary of a nuclear medicine technologist. In other words, the more experience a nuclear medicine technologists have, the higher their annual salary will be. It increases correspondingly with the years of experience, which serves as motivation to rise through the ranks. However, this can take years to achieve. For example, for the first two years, the yearly salary of a new nuclear medicine technologist is usually around $59,441. The next two years, the annual salary will only see an increase of about $1,000. In the next five years, a nuclear medicine technologist will be expected to make $66,961. This means that a nuclear medicine technologist will hit the $70,000 yearly salary sometime after 12 to 15 years of working. After the 15th year, the rise of the annual salary reaches a plateau, as seasoned workers with an experience of more than 15 years only make about $700 more than their younger colleagues during the year.

Factors That Can Affect the Salary of Nuclear Medicine Technologists

There are several factors that can have an effect and contribution to a nuclear medicine technologist’s annual salary. Some of them are the geographic location – as different states, hospitals and private practices can pay more than the average amount stated above, or less than that. For example, the average nuclear medicine technologist in California earns $88,766, annually, while a person with the same occupation in West Virginia can earn only $52,226. There is also the seniority of the position of the nuclear medicine technologist – and private practices and hospitals might pay more for a more senior technologist and less for technologists that are new in the field. These factors should be taken into account by people who want to pursue a career in nuclear medicine, because the result differentiates and fluctuates – and the person might end up making less money than they planned annually.  These variables have the potential to make your earnings fluctuate dramatically, and should be taken into account when calculating potential salary.

How Much Nuclear Medicine Technologists Make In Other Countries

The annual salary of a nuclear medicine technologist in Canada is estimated between C$42,715 and C$80,218 per year. There are also bonuses which a nuclear medicine technician can earn and they can go up to C$1,010. Average hourly wage is C$18.57 and C$37.65 per hour.

In Australia, the annual average salary of a nuclear medicine technologist ranges between AU$38,010 and AU$94,617, and the median salary is about AU$72,007 per year. Bonuses can go up to AU$1,029. Just like in the USA, in Australia experience plays a role in a nuclear medicine technologist’s salary. Technologists with one to four years of work experience make about AU$38,665 and AU$89,423 annually.

In the United Kingdom, the average annual salary nuclear medicine technologists can go up to £25,250 while the maximum hourly wage reaches. However, younger technologists (24 years old and even older) tend to make less than that (about £18,935). On the other hand, older technologists, between 30 and 40 years of age, earn an income estimated at £24,745 to £29,287 annually.

Job Outlook: How Necessary Will Nuclear Medicine Technologist Be In The Future?

It has been projected that the employment of nuclear medicine technologists will grow about 20% in the years between 2014 and 2024, which is more than the average growth of all other occupations combined. This is a really good projection, based on the fact that the aging population will increase the need for nuclear medicine in general. This means that the demand for workers in the field will increase. Nuclear medicine technologists and other type of technicians will be needed to provide the patients the necessary treatment and scanning, especially patients with heart diseases and tumors. The growth is also considered to accelerate and increase due to the fact that more people are expected to have access to health insurance because of the federal and other reforms. Thus, more and more people will demand medical imaging services, especially those by nuclear medicine.

What Can Affect the Employment Growth Of Nuclear Medicine Technologists

The employment growth might be tempered by the fact that plenty of medical facilities have begun to use the less costly, noninvasive imaging technologies like ultrasound. The popularity of these technologies has increased because of their noninvasive nature – nuclear medicine uses radiopharmaceuticals, commonly known as radioactive drugs, which might have an effect on the body of the patient.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has estimated that about half of the future nuclear medicine technologists, or about 55%, will work in medical and diagnostic laboratories. On the other hand, about a fifth, 26% will work in regular private and public surgical hospitals. Other popular places for nuclear medicine technologists to work at are private practices, but according the BLS, this industry will not employ a significant number of technologists in the future.

This is why the occupation of nuclear medicine technologist offers plenty of possibilities. People who want to succeed will need to invest the time and money to obtain the required minimum associate’s degree, or bachelor’s degree or a certificate (if they are already working in a different medical field).