Allied Health

Up to 60% of healthcare jobs are classified as allied health. Allied health includes professions outside of medicine and nursing such as jobs in the lab, pharmacy, and operating rooms. Allied health is easy to break into because it doesn’t require as much education as other roles in healthcare. Typically, an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and certification are all you need to get started. Learn more about the different positions in allied health, average salaries, and education requirements.

Major Areas of Allied Health

  • Pharmacy
  • Ophthalmology and Optometry
  • Patient Assistance
  • Surgical
  • Laboratory
  • Other Specializations

In-Demand Allied Positions

  • Certified Surgical Technicians
    If you’ve ever had a surgical procedure done before you’ve probably met a certified surgical tech (CST). They assist the surgeon with the operation, sterilize the equipment, and help get the room and patient ready for the procedure.
     
  • Surgical Assistant
    Surgical assistants are more hands-on during the procedure than the CST. They perform tasks such as suctioning, suturing, and sponging. They also do a lot of the same duties as the CST.
     
  • Sterile Processing Technicians
    Sterile processing techs are in charge of all aspects of the surgical equipment. They organize, manage, sterilize, and stock the equipment in the operating rooms.
     
  • Medical Lab Scientist/Medical Technologist
    A medical lab scientist, also referred to as a medical technologist, tests and analyzes bodily fluids and reports the results to the physician. They have a key role in helping the physician to identify and diagnose diseases based on the results of the samples.
     
  • Medical Lab Technician
    Medical lab technicians work under the medical lab scientist/medical technologist. They do more routine lab work, input data, and set up equipment. Medical lab technicians have less education than medical lab scientists.
     
  • Catherization Laboratory Technologists
    Catherization laboratory technologists also referred to as cardiac catherization techs, assist the cardiologist in a procedure. It can be a high-stress position working in life and death situations. They also help prepare the patient for surgery and go over treatment with them.
     
  • Radiology Technician
    If you have ever had an x-ray done you’ve most likely come in contact with a radiology technician. They are the ones helping to perform x-rays and provide them to the physician for a diagnosis.
     
  • Ultrasound Sonographer
    Ultrasound sonographers interact with patients doing breast and abdomen exams and assisting the physician with biopsies and other exams. Examining organs and tissues, they play an active part in helping to diagnose defects, cancer, and detect pregnancies.
     
  • Ultrasound Technician
    Ultrasound techs work with the physician and radiologist to provide them with the images to diagnose diseases and other medical conditions. They also spend time with the patient and prepare the ultrasound equipment.
     
  • Vascular Technician
    A vascular technician collaborates with radiologists, cardiologists, and surgeons to help diagnose vascular system disorders. They conduct exams and imaging and report the findings to the physicians.   
     
  • Phlebotomist
    Phlebotomists collect blood samples from the patient and prepare them for testing. They also have the ensure all the equipment is sanitized. They follow the strict protocols for handling samples of blood.
     
  • MRI Technician
    An MRI technician is in charge of preparing the patient for the MRI and explaining the process and procedure to them.

Average Salaries for In-Demand Allied Health Professionals

Average salaries in allied health can range anywhere from $34,000 to $70,000 a year depending on the level of education required for the position. Here is a list of the median salaries and hourly rates for jobs in allied health: 

Education Requirements 

  • Certified Surgical Tech 
    Those wishing to become a certified surgical tech (CST) must complete a CAAHEP accredited program through a college or vocational school. You also need to pass the Certified Surgical Technologists exam administered by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting to receive certification. Programs can take anywhere from months to two years to complete.
     
  • Surgical Assistant 
    The main difference between a CST and a surgical assistant is that surgical assistants have all the duties of the CST plus a role in the procedure under the supervision of the surgeon. Surgical assistants require a bachelor’s degree in science or an associate degree in allied health with three years of experience. Surgical assistants may pursue additional certification as a resume builder and become a Certified First Assistant.
     
  • Sterile Processing Tech 
    Sterile processing techs (SPT) need a high-school diploma and complete a SPT program through a community college. Programs can take anywhere from 10 weeks to two years to complete.
     
  • Medical Lab Scientist/Medical Lab Technologist  
    To be a medical lab scientist or technologist you need a bachelor’s degree in a science field or in clinical/medical laboratory science. Most employers require medical lab scientists to be certified through the American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
     
  • Medical Lab Technician 
    A medical lab technician position requires an associate degree or vocational training which usually takes two years to complete. Medical lab technicians can also go for more education and be certified through the ASCP. 
     
  • Catherization Laboratory Tech 
    Catherization laboratory technologist roles require an associate degree in applied science or completion of a two-year accredited program in cardiovascular technology by the CAAHEP. Certification from the Cardiovascular Credential International is also recommend to advance to higher income levels and positions.
     
  • Radiology Tech 
    Radiology techs typically obtain an associate degree, although there are bachelor’s degrees available. They must graduate from an accredited program and pass an exam by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists to be registered.
     
  • Ultrasound Sonographer 
    An associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography is needed to be an ultrasound sonographer. However, some seek bachelor’s degrees as well. Additional certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) is also required by most employers.
     
  • Ultrasound Tech 
    To be an ultrasound tech you’ll need an associate degree and further certification. Most employers look for certification either with ARDMS or through another organization such as the American Registry for Radiologic Technologists (ARRT).
     
  • Vascular Tech 
    An associate degree in diagnostic medical sonography is needed to be a vascular technician.  A bachelor’s degree or getting certified as a Registered Vascular Technologist (RVT) through the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography will enhance career opportunities.
     
  • Phlebotomist
    Accredited phlebotomist programs take about one year to complete. Phlebotomists also required hand-on training for practicing blood drawing techniques. Additional certification is not required but for those who do wish to get certified can do so through ASCP or the American Society of Phlebotomy Technicians.    
     
  • MRI Tech 
    The minimum education an MRI tech needs is to graduate from an accredited program from a community college or vocation school. Most MRI techs have an associate or bachelor’s degree and additional certification through ARRT.

Allied Health FAQs

What is per diem allied health?
Per diem is Latin for “by the day”. A person is hired for a shift when a need arises like to fill in for people who go on vacation or during busy seasons. These shifts are very flexible.  You can choose when and how much you want to work.

What is travel allied health?
There are travel positions in allied health. You can work for a short period in different settings around the country to help with staffing needs. Travel allied health is a great way to gain a breadth of experience, earn more, and live temporarily in a new place.

What are my part-time allied health job options?
There are part-time (typically less than 30 hours a week) jobs in allied health. Working part-time offers more flexibility to spend time with family, go back to school, or simply maintain a better work-life balance.

Where can I find allied health jobs? 
ProLink Staffing can assist you to find a job in allied health. We source a variety of allied health and other jobs in the healthcare field. Here is a list of other sources to find jobs in allied health in your area.