For younger adults looking to establish themselves in good careers, healthcare is one of the best and most popular options at the moment. High rates of job growth coupled with lucrative pay make healthcare a great career choice for anyone looking to improve his or her career. Getting into healthcare work, though, can be a little difficult. Here are four steps you need to take to get started in the healthcare industry and get your career off to a great start.

Decide in What Capacity You Want to Work in Healthcare

Before you can begin seriously considering your personal path into the healthcare field, you’ll need to decide what kind of job you want. There are a large number of different positions available in this industry, each of which is unique in its characteristics. The best job for you will depend heavily on your own career goals and plans.

If you want to be gainfully employed quickly, for instance, a medical support or nursing position would likely be best for you. If you want to maximize your earnings, on the other hand, becoming a full-fledged doctor or surgeon will be the best option for you, despite the long-term educational requirements. Carefully consider what you actually want out of your career and decide on the particular path that is the best fit.

Get the Education You Need

All jobs in the healthcare field will require some level of post-secondary education. Once you’ve decided what type of position you want to work in, you’ll need to find out what degree or training you’ll need to work in that capacity. There are several online resources that can help you figure out exactly what the educational requirements are for any given job in healthcare. Once you know, find a program that will give you the skills and qualifications you need to get the job you want. If the type of program you need permits it, try to do some of your coursework online, as this will help to keep your costs down.

Get Real Job Experience

Depending on the state of the labor market where you are, you may have to get a somewhat lower-level position than what you initially wanted in order to gain on-the-job experience to improve your medical resume. Though it may seem a bit discouraging to work at entry-level, doing so will help you become part of a hospital or healthcare organization and advance into the role you really want.

If you have trouble finding something suitable in your area, you might also want to consider looking into relocating. Many hospital jobs pay enough to make moving worth your while, and more populated areas will typically have more of them available.

Keep Learning and Improving

Whether you’re a medical assistant or a neurologist, your career will call for continuous learning. Be sure to stay up to date with all new practices and procedures that are relevant to your field. After working in healthcare for a while, you may also decide that you want to pursue a higher position. If so, don’t be afraid to go back to school and get new qualifications.

In many cases, if you work for a larger hospital or healthcare provider, your employer may be willing to help with your educational expenses. A career in healthcare is one that can take you a very long way, so feel free to pursue advancement if you think that a higher position would be a good fit for you.

Beginning a healthcare career is a major commitment, but one that can substantially improve your finances and working life. If you’re interested in breaking into healthcare, implement these basic steps to get started and begin your career on the right track. From there, there’s very little telling how far your professional life in the healthcare industry might take you.