Explore Careers as an Allied Health Professional

It’s not unusual for nurses, doctors, and surgeons to come to mind first when you think about healthcare professionals. But the truth is, Allied Health Professionals comprise nearly 60% of the healthcare workforce. These clinicians contribute across diverse roles and responsibilities, including laboratory testing, patient interaction, providing emergency medicine, or behind the scenes administrative work. More than five million Allied Health providers in the United States are committed to improving the health of our country.

What is the Role of Allied Health Professionals?

Many Allied Health providers work collaboratively with other medical professionals. They may also have a role in evaluating and assessing patient needs, informing others of patient progress, as well as providing direct care for a patient. Another segment works independently as specialists focused on exercise, nutrition, health education, speech and daily function. And others may deal primarily with administrative tasks.

Allied Health professions fall into two broad categories: technicians (assistants) and therapists/technologists with jobs ranging from diagnostic personnel to health information technologists. Allied Health includes the following professions:

  • Athletic training
  • Audiology
  • Cardiovascular perfusion technology
  • Cytotechnology
  • Diagnostic medical sonography
  • Emergency medical sciences
  • Health administration
  • Health information management
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical technology
  • Nuclear medicine technology
  • Occupational therapy
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Phlebotomist
  • Radiation therapy technology
  • Radiography
  • Rehabilitation counseling
  • Respiratory therapy
  • Respiratory therapy technology
  • Speech-language pathology
  • Surgical Technicians

Is there a Need for Allied Health Professionals?

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs in Allied Health are expected to grow by about 18% through the year 2026. National Allied Health workforce projections estimate the following demand for Allied Health workers by 2030*:

  • 30% increase in demand for respiratory therapists
  • 28% increase in demand for podiatrists 
  • 26% increase in demand for physical therapists
  • 22% increase in demand for occupational therapists
  • 21% increase in demand for registered dieticians
  • 19% increase in demand for pharmacists
  • 19% increase in demand for clinical laboratory technologists 
  • 17% increase in demand for EMTs and paramedics 
  • 11% increase in demand for community health workers
  • 9% increase in demand for optometrists
  • 9% increase in demand for opticians
  • 7% increase in demand for chiropractors

The largest source for employment for Allied Health Professionals is expected to be hospitals with significant demand at skilled nursing facilities and outpatient care centers. Advances in technology and access to healthcare have resulted in our population living longer coupled with a projected shortage in physicians contribute to the increased demand.

How Do I Become an Allied Health Professional?

Allied Health providers are healthcare professions outside of nursing, dentistry, and medicine. However, these professionals have a degree or certificate from a school and work in a setting where people receive care based on evidence-based practices. Consider which setting you feel is the best fit as you choose a career path. Options include schools, hospitals, nursing homes, long term care facilities, labs, dental offices, and clinics. Some Allied Health roles (i.e. medical transcriptionist) don’t require extensive post-high school education. On the other hand, a pharmacist requires a four-year bachelor’s degree followed by a Ph. There are numerous job opportunities and the education and licensure requirements will vary by state. The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions (www.asahp.org) is the principal membership organization representing and promoting the schools and colleges of allied health. Read this: The Importance of Accreditation for Allied Health Schools and Programs for some guidance as you navigate your potential career path in Allied Health.

What is an Allied Health Traveler?

Much like travel nursing, Allied Health Travelers fill short-term positions, generally 13 weeks, in healthcare facilities across the country. Traveling gives you the flexibility and freedom to expand your clinical experience and explore different job opportunities in different cities around the country. Keep in mind that a license or certification is required to practice by each state as well as experience in your field. Pay varies greatly by the field and location. However, Allied Health travelers often receive non-taxable allowances to cover housing and other expenses while on assignment; this pay structure means a higher net income compared to a permanent or full time position where your entire income is taxable. Traveling can also help accelerate your career and enhance your resume because you have the opportunity to experience a variety of facilities and interact with more technology.

Traveling with Go Healthcare

Go Healthcare works with various hospital systems throughout the country to help with their staffing shortages. We are currently recruiting Allied Therapy professionals for short term “travel contracts” for 8-13 weeks. Our job board is updated with open travel job opportunities in real time. If you are interested in learning more about travel healthcare in general or have a specific destination in mind, we are happy to speak with you directly on the phone, via text or email.

Are you ready to GO?