Careers in Healthcare

Are you interested in entering the healthcare field? Are you a parent or student seeking information on the "hot careers" in healthcare? Opportunities in the field of health care continually grow as more practitioners are needed to care for the aging U.S population. If you describe yourself as a helper, a nurturing person, or a science-minded individual, you may want to explore the various careers available in the health care field.

Why should you consider health care?

Jobs in health care are available in almost every city and town in the U.S. Additionally, those who work in the health care field enjoy excellent benefits and competitive salaries. The health care industry is generally very supportive of continuing education and professional advancement.

What kinds of jobs are available?

Many types of positions are available in health care. Some positions such as nurses, medical assistants, social workers, radiation therapists, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, radiologic technologists, ultrasound technologists, certified nursing assistants, surgical technologists and phlebotomists work directly with patients on a daily basis. Other positions such as lab technicians, biostatisticians, pharmacists, medical coders and researchers work behind the scenes and have less direct contact with patients.

What type of education is required?

The educational requirements vary depending on the career you choose. Some careers require a Bachelors (4 year) degree, while others require an Associates (2 year) degree. Still others require certification or completion of a series of classes that is aligned with a national standard. Most careers in health care offer career ladders, or opportunities for advancement. For certain positions, acquiring a Masters degree or a PhD is recommended or required in order to advance.

Is a license required?

Most positions in health care that involve direct patient care require a license or certification. This license or certification is usually obtained after passing a state or national test. Some positions that are behind the scenes also require a license or certification. However, this is not true for all positions. The get the most up-to-date information about a specific position, visit a website that offers information about that position or search for job postings on a hospital website and read the requirements that will be listed.

Where can you find more information?

General Information
US Labor Dept. Occupational Handbook:
Health Career Connection:
Girl Scouts of America sponsored page about technology careers at

Johnson and Johnson sponsored page about careers in nursing:
MGH Institute of Health Professions, Graduate Program in Nursing:
National Student Nurses Association:
National League for Nursing:
Nurses for a Healthier Tomorrow:
American Assoc. of Colleges of Nursing:
American Nurses Association:
The MA Board of Registration in Nursing:

Clinical Investigators
Biomedical Science Careers Program:
Massachusetts Biotechnology Council:
MGH Institute of Health Professions, Graduate Program in Clinical Investigation:

Imaging Technologists
The American Registry of Radiologic Technologists:
American Society of Radiologic Technologists:
The American College of Radiology:
American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers:
MGH Institute Of Health Professions, Graduate Program in Medical Imaging:

Medical Technologists
American Society for Clinical Pathology:

Pharmacists/Pharmacy Technicians
American Society of Health-System Pharmacists:
The MA Board of Registration in Pharmacy:
Pharmacy Technician Certification Board:

Physical Therapists
American Physical Therapy Association:
MGH Institute of Health Professions, Graduate Programs in Physical Therapy:

Speech-Language Pathologists
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association:
MGH Institute of Health Professions, Graduate Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders:

Bench and Clinical Research

Massachusetts General Hosptial is an Equal Employment/Affirmative Action Employer.