How to Pursue Underrated Careers in Healthcare


The healthcare industry is vast and offers a plethora of career opportunities beyond the well-known roles of doctors and nurses. Many underrated careers in healthcare provide rewarding, stable, and impactful work. Pursuing these careers can offer unique advantages, including less competition, specialized skill development, and the satisfaction of filling critical but often overlooked roles. Here’s a guide on how to pursue some of these underrated careers in healthcare.

1. Medical Laboratory Technician

Medical laboratory technicians (MLTs) play a crucial role in diagnosing diseases by performing tests on body fluids, tissues, and other substances. This career is ideal for those interested in science and technology but who prefer working behind the scenes rather than directly with patients.

Steps to Pursue:

  • Education: Obtain an associate degree in medical laboratory technology from an accredited program.
  • Certification: Obtain certification from a recognized body, such as the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
  • Experience: Gain experience through internships or entry-level positions in hospitals or diagnostic laboratories.

2. Health Information Technician

Health information technicians (HITs) manage and organize health data, ensuring its accuracy, accessibility, and security in both paper and electronic systems. This role is essential for maintaining patient records and supporting the broader healthcare system’s efficiency.

Steps to Pursue:

  • Education: Earn an associate degree in health information technology or a related field.
  • Certification: Consider certification such as the Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA).
  • Experience: Look for internships or entry-level jobs in hospitals, clinics, or insurance companies.

3. Occupational Health and Safety Specialist

Occupational health and safety specialists ensure safe and healthy working conditions by analyzing work environments and implementing safety programs. This role is vital in preventing workplace injuries and illnesses.

Steps to Pursue:

  • Education: Obtain a bachelor’s degree in occupational health, safety, or a related field.
  • Certification: Pursue certifications such as the Certified Safety Professional (CSP) or Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH).
  • Experience: Gain practical experience through internships or entry-level positions in various industries, including healthcare.

4. Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselors assess individual or family risk for a variety of inherited conditions, such as genetic disorders and birth defects. They provide information and support to other healthcare providers, or to individuals and families concerned with the risk of inherited conditions.

Steps to Pursue:

  • Education: Earn a master’s degree in genetic counseling from an accredited program.
  • Certification: Obtain certification from the American Board of Genetic Counseling (ABGC).
  • Experience: Gain clinical experience through internships or residency programs.

5. Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists specialize in treating patients with breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders. This role is especially critical in managing chronic respiratory diseases and providing emergency care.

Steps to Pursue:

  • Education: Obtain an associate or bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy.
  • Certification: Pass the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) exams to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist (CRT) and eventually a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT).
  • Experience: Gain hands-on experience through clinical practice during your educational program.

6. Health Educator

Health educators teach people about behaviors that promote wellness. They develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities by influencing health behaviors and public policies.

Steps to Pursue:

  • Education: Earn a bachelor’s degree in health education, public health, or a related field.
  • Certification: Obtain the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential.
  • Experience: Gain experience through internships, volunteer work, or entry-level positions in public health departments, schools, or nonprofit organizations.


Pursuing underrated careers in healthcare can lead to fulfilling and impactful work. These roles are essential to the healthcare system’s smooth operation and offer diverse opportunities for growth and specialization. By obtaining the necessary education, certifications, and experience, you can embark on a rewarding career that might not be as well-known but is equally vital to the health and well-being of communities. Whether you’re passionate about science, technology, safety, or education, there’s a place for you in the broad and varied landscape of healthcare careers.


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