Fed up with a dead-end job and a salary that doesn't cover rent? Make a fresh start! These sunny career paths will shine on no matter how stormy the economy gets.
Tummy aches aren’t going away anytime soon and neither is the ever-increasing elderly population. Medical technicians are among the most in-demand jobs in the U.S. and include disciplines as diverse as dentistry, pharmacy and radiology (the list is virtually limitless). According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the health-care industry will generate more than 3 million jobs between now and 2016, more than any other industry.
Viren Patel is a dentist with a successful practice in the Loop called Downtown Dental (25 E Washington St, 312-782-8862). But he recently found himself in dire straits when one of his trusted dental technicians moved to Indiana. He needed an experienced assistant who could greet patients, check their medical history, take and develop X-rays, take measurements to make dentures and crowns, and do inventory control, supply ordering and insurance confirmation. “They literally do everything except the anesthesia,” Patel says.
The salary range is anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 a year, but technicians can move into office manager positions overseeing multiple locations and earn far more.
This career is for you if…
You skipped college and have great people skills. This jack-or-jill-of-all-trades career includes tasks that are administrative, technical and customer-service oriented—and boasts a manageable work week. “The hours are fantastic,” Patel says. “We don’t work nights, weekends or holidays.”
“There’s no such thing in the state of Illinois as a certified dental assistant,” Patel says. But he aims to change that: He just got approved to start a training school across the hall from his practice. It will be a nine-week training program with a certification, and graduates will be placed at a nearby dental office. He’s going to call it the Dental Assistant Training School of Chicago and is slated to open it in 2009. In the meantime, start your medical technician career here:
The Medical Careers Institute (116 S Michigan Ave; 312-782-9804) has been specializing in training medical technicians in cardiology, ultrasound, vascular sonography, echo-cardiography and electro-neurodiagnostic technicians as well as medical-billing and coding specialists. Most of the certification programs are a year long.
Find out how to go back to school on the cheap at timeoutchicago.com/careerguide.