The healthcare industry is exploding with new positions and career opportunities. Many high school graduates are wondering which healthcare field to pursue. Here are seven tips that may help with the decision-making process.

Check the Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Handbook provides an overview and estimate of expected job openings in various fields. You can learn more about the type of healthcare positions that interest you for a better idea of whether jobs will be available, along with expected salary levels.

Make a list of your job skills

List your strengths and weaknesses for working in various healthcare positions. For example, if your top two choices are becoming a nurse or working as a lab technician, write the skills you now have or are willing to get for each position, along with the drawbacks of both. Comparing the lists may help to narrow your preferences to just one.

Consider job openings in desirable locations

If you plan to work locally, consult the job boards to see what kind of openings are available on a regular basis. You can also contact the human resources department to see if they expect future openings for a new wing or location branch they expect to open eventually. Do the same for locations in other cities or other countries where you would like to work in the healthcare field.

Shadow a professional

Ask someone you know in a healthcare position if you can be his or her shadow for a few days. This will give you an opportunity to learn more about the position and the facility.

Become a volunteer

Volunteering at a healthcare organization is a great way to become familiar with the various jobs that you are interested in. In addition to observing employees in those positions, you can ask questions and perhaps even assist with minor duties to get a feel for the job.

Take Classes

Schools like Alia HealthCare Services offer basic courses to become a STNA or a CNA. If you are planning on going into the health care field and more specifically a form of nursing, then you will want to consider taking classes like these to get a feel if this is truly what you want to do for a career. You won’t have all of the same duties as a nurse, but you will get on hands experience and have a basic knowledge of how nursing works.

Find a healthcare mentor

Ask an experienced healthcare worker if you can go to lunch and discuss the industry. Ask questions and get helpful information that may impact your career choice.

Become proactive before you earn a degree to learn more about the type of healthcare work you want to do. These steps can help.


By Lizzie Weakley

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. I went to college at The Ohio State University where I studied communications. I enjoy the outdoors and long walks in the park with my 3-year-old husky Snowball.