What's a phlebotomist? and other health jobs you've never heard of

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What's a phlebotomist? and other health jobs you've never heard of

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009 - 8:30am


By Elysha Rom-Povolo, HealthJobsStartHere.com

In this economy, health jobs represent one of the few fields that are still growing. And there are a lot more options than just doctors and nurses. In fact, there are hundreds of health jobs out there — and many of them require very little special training.

Here are seven jobs you‘ve probably never heard of, but might be a great fit for you:

The name isn’t the only interesting thing about this job. A phlebotomist’s main duty is to draw blood from patients and blood donors. They usually work at hospitals, blood banks and other health care facilities. If you’re afraid of needles, this job isn’t for you. But, if that doesn’t scare you away, you can make $27,040 per year after just two months of training.

Dispensing Optician
This job is great if you like to help people look their best. Dispensing opticians help people fit and find glasses and contacts based on what the optometrist says they need. You have probably seen them at your local eyeglass store. They can earn $30,300 per year and many employers train on the job.

Respiratory Therapist
Whether the patient is a premature infant, someone with lung disease or asthma, or a person recovering from near drowning, respiratory therapists use special equipment to help them breathe. If you work well under pressure, and want to make a real difference in people’s lives, this is a good job for you. Plus, it offers great salary — $47,120 per year — after only two years of training.

Medical Transcriptionist
Medical transcriptionists play an important role in the health care system — often from the comfort of their own homes. Their main duty is to listen to audio recordings made by doctors and type them up for medical records. After completing a one-year certification program on medical terminology, medical transcriptionists can earn $32,060 per year.

EKG Technician
EKG stands for electrocardiograph — a machine that helps monitor the heart by detecting electronic impulses. EKG technicians operate this specialized equipment by hooking up patients to electrodes. Some employers train EKG technicians on the job, but many require a certification. EKG technicians start at $25,510 per year but, with more training, can earn more by moving up the ladder to become cardiovascular technologists.

Health Educator
If you like working with people, this could be a great job for you. Health educators teach people about topics like nutrition, exercise and preventing diseases. While some work in hospitals, many work at schools, businesses or community organizations. Most employers require a bachelor’s degree and pay $44,000 per year.

Surgical Technologist
If dissecting was your favorite part of science class, you might love this job. Surgical technologists are part of the operating room team. Their main duty is to assist during surgeries to make sure everything goes smoothly. This job can earn you $38,740 per year after as little as nine months of training.

Salaries listed are the median earnings based on May 2008 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).