Who Are Allied Health Professionals?

Advancing Your Healthcare Career,Allied Healthcare Fields,Healthcare Careers,Healthcare Clinician Salaries

Allied health is an umbrella term that covers almost every other profession in healthcare that is not identified as a nurse or physician. We often refer to allied health professionals as critical players in the medical industry next to physicians and nurses, their roles just as necessary for any number of essential processes and procedures, yet often, their contributions to the medical sector are overlooked or unseen.

What is Allied Health?

As you can imagine, the list of occupations under the allied health umbrella is long. According to the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (ASAHP), allied healthcare workers comprise at least 60% of the healthcare industry's workforce. Furthermore, not all allied health professions require a bachelor's degree or higher.

Accordingly, we've created categorized lists with average wage information and projected growth rates sourced directly from the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) for 2021. Moreover, we've provided a summary of what the position entails, helping you decide if one of these career paths in allied health is the right one for you.

Allied Health Positions that Don't Require a College Degree

Medical Billing and Coding Specialist

The role of a billing and coding specialist is to facilitate invoicing, insurance claims, and payments for services rendered by the healthcare facility for which you work.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$23.23$48,3109%

Medical Assistant/Secretary

Medical assistants also referred to as medical secretaries, perform administrative tasks that support the primary healthcare team of the healthcare facility.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$19.11$39,74018%

MRI Technologist

MRI techs prepare patients for imaging by injecting the contrast dye and operating the magnetic resonance imaging equipment.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$37.41$77,8209%

Surgical Technologist

The surgical tech is a member of the surgery team and is responsible for preparing the operating room before surgery and assisting members of the team during the surgery.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$25.77$53,5909%

Phlebotomist

A phlebotomist is responsible for drawing blood from patients for testing and diagnostics.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$18.49$38,45022%

Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Sonographers use soundwave imaging equipment to be used for medical assessments and diagnostics.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$38.79$80,68014%

Dental Assistants

This position works closely with dental hygienists, assisting with impressions and equipment during dental procedures.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$20.44$42,51011%

Paramedics

Paramedics are part of emergency medical response service teams. For more information about paramedics, read our in-depth guide here.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$23.80$49,50011%

EMTs

EMTs are part of the emergency medical response teams. They assist paramedics in providing emergency medical care.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$17.64$36,69011%

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy techs are supervised by licensed pharmacists and assist in locating, dispensing, and labeling prescription medications.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$18.25$37,9704%

Medical Transcriptionist

Medical transcriptionists listen to voice recordings of healthcare professionals and transcribe them into written medical reports.  

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$16.45$34,220-7%

Home Health and Personal Care Aides

Aides assist their patients with activities of daily living in the home so they can remain independent.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$14.07$29,26933%

Orderlies

Similar to home health and personal care aides, orderlies assist patients with basic daily living activities. The difference is that orderlies are hospital attendants and do not work in the patient's home.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$16.08$33,4408%

Medical Equipment Preparers

Medical equipment preparers are responsible for sterilizing and maintaining the medical equipment. This includes documentation of equipment use and managing stock and inventory of medical equipment. 

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$20.40$42,4207%

Allied Health Positions that Require Associate's Degree

Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists perform dental cleanings and assessments for the overall oral health of patients.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$39.12$81,36011%

Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Nuclear med techs prepare and administer small doses of radioactive pharmaceuticals to prepare patients for imaging diagnostics.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$40.79$84,8508%

Diagnostic Health Technician

Works in medical imaging, typically trained to evaluate and analyze the equipment.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$34.03$70,78014%

Clinical Lab Technician

Clinical lab techs process and analyze biological specimens to determine the presence of diseases or ensure proper treatment is part of a patient's care plan.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$27.36$56,91011%

Allied Health Positions Advanced Degrees Required

Chiropractor

A chiropractor is trained to manipulate bones in the body to relieve pain and improve function.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$39.06$81,24011%

Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists administer radiation to cancer patients.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$45.19$94,0009%

Occupational Therapist

Occupational therapists work with patients to perform basic activities of daily living.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$43.02$89,47017%

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists work with patients who have been injured to relieve pain and build strength to improve function.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$44.67$92,92021%

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists work to assess and treat pulmonary diseases.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$32.79$68,19023%

Podiatrist

Podiatrists treat infections and issues specifically about feet.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$76.15$158,3802%

Speech Language Pathologist

Speech-language pathologists treat children and adults with swallowing or communication impairments.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$41.26$85,82029%

Pharmacist

Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medications and educating recipients on the proper administration of medicines.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$60.43$125,690-2%

Dietician and Nutritionist

Dieticians and nutritionists are trained to assess and counsel patients on nutrition issues and healthy eating.

Mean Hourly WageMean Annual WageProjected Growth$31.55$65,62011%

How to Become an Allied Health Worker

Keep in mind that the above lists are not exhaustive! You may be interested in an allied health position not on this list, but that doesn't mean there isn't a program for it. Most jobs in allied health require some accredited program completion, even if a college degree isn't needed. Program information can be found by visiting the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ACHES) websites to locate an accredited program that fits your career goal.

Blog published on:
September 20, 2022

Meet Miranda, a Registered Nurse, Medical Fact Checker, and Publishing Editor at Nursa. Her work has been featured in publications including the American Nurses Association (ANA), Healthcare IT Outcomes, International Living, and more.

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