different careers in hospital setting

A Guide To The Different Careers You Can Pursue In A Hospital Setting

Working in healthcare is possibly a very rewarding career; you may have to face some challenges, and the road to working as a healthcare provider is long. However, the recognition that these people deserve is finally being offered across the world.

When choosing a career in healthcare, you are also faced with different opportunities of where to work and even what specialization you should select. You may end up choosing a career with a non-clinical role if you don’t want to invest your time in getting a degree, for example.

Still, if your passion lies with truly helping people and being on the front line diagnosing and assessing patients, you must consider a clinical role where you’ll be able to do just that. Whatever you decide, working in a hospital setting is key to giving you the necessary skills and training you will put into use for the rest of your life working as a healthcare provider.

Below, you’ll find an extensive list of the different healthcare careers you can pursue in a hospital setting, from administrative work to medical research and even nursing.

Careers you can pursue in a hospital setting

There are two categories at the top of this list: clinical work and non-clinical work. In clinical work, you’ll have a job that provides medical care to patients, and you’ll need a master’s or doctorate degree or certification and licensing. Doctors and nurses, for example, need licensing to do their jobs in the clinical field.

In a non-clinical career, you will not have to treat patients, but you will be involved in administrative tasks or even in the business field with communications and relations. For non-clinical jobs, you may not require a higher education degree. However, certain roles do require an advanced degree, such as an online Executive Master’s of Health Administration and a few years of experience.

Clinical Careers

If you are looking to pursue a clinical career, there are plenty of options:

• Medical practice

Working in medical practice means you will be on the frontline as a healthcare provider. You will need to obtain a medical degree for any career in this field, the hours will be long, but the benefits of such a career can be extremely appealing.

• Physician

A physician is more commonly known as a doctor, and as a physician, you will help patients to diagnose and treat their medical problems and analyze exams and results they may need. As a doctor, you can specialize in different fields such as emergency physicians, endocrinologists, intensive care specialists, or pediatrics specialists. An accredited master’s degree is required for this role.

Average annual salary: $196,674

• Physician Assistant

As an assistant to a physician, you will be under supervision, but you may conduct a patient examination, assist during surgery, and analyze exams and imaging.

Average annual salary: $105,148 per year

• Surgeon

This role is very important as you will be conducting surgeries on patients, you will help treat injuries or diseases and typically a surgeon specializing in one field. This career is a very challenging one. However, it can also be very rewarding when you help patients recover completely from a serious illness or injury.

Average annual salary: $190,702 per year


Nursing can be an extremely challenging career; however, if you are dedicated, patient, and determined, you can have a very successful career in nursing. There are different roles in the field, so you can choose the one that suits your profile the best.

• Registered Nurse (RN)

As a registered nurse, you will be able to work in different sectors at the hospital. You can work in the emergency room, cardiovascular unit, or imaging. You will help a physician manage patients and be responsible for the first contact they’ll have at the hospital. You will need to become an RN before you get into any specializations, so consider this when choosing your bachelor’s degree and clinical practice.

Average annual salary: $88,809

• Mental Health Nurse

With this specialization, you will be working with patients in need of mental health care and support. You’ll be required to have a Registered Nurse license, which you can then, after a few years of working in the industry, turn into a specialization with an advanced degree.

Average annual salary: $86,641

• Nurse practitioner

As a nurse practitioner, you will be able to have a more established contact with your patients, as you can diagnose and prescribe medications without supervision. You’ll need an advanced degree, and you will have to work as an RN before getting a master’s or doctorate degree.

Average annual salary: $120,890

Mental health

Mental health providers are especially important at hospitals so they can assess incoming victims of accidents and after a serious diagnosis. They have a particularly difficult job. However, they can make a huge impact on people’s lives when they detect mental disorders that can be helped.

• Psychiatrist

Working as a psychiatrist at a hospital, you will be in charge of diagnosing and treating mental disorders. You may see patients struggling with anxiety, depression, or even those with bipolar or borderline personality disorders. Since this is an advanced, specialized field, you will need a degree in medicine to practice.

Average annual salary: $230,947

• Psychologist

To become a psychologist, you’ll need certain personality traits that will allow you to work in this field with success. You need to be caring and empathetic, have great communication skills, especially listening skills, and you may work with young children, teenagers, families, and couples.

Average annual salary: $120,941

Emergency workers

An extremely draining and challenging career to have on the frontline, where emergency workers need to act fast while making the right decisions for their patients. These providers are trained to assist in immediate medical care.

• Paramedic

As a paramedic, you will provide urgent medical attention by communicating and sometimes locating patients and transporting them to the hospital. There are different qualifications that may be accepted, so double-check with your state’s guidelines for paramedic training.

Average annual salary: $48,686


In the nutrition field, you will help patients deal with everything related to nutrition, from different foods and nutrients to drinks and supplements. Working in the hospital, you will conduct patient assessments, educate them on nutrition, and even support them with new diagnoses.

• Dietitian

As a dietitian, you will help your patients understand how food and drink affect them and guide them towards a healthier version of what they practice. You will need a license and degree to work as a dietitian.

Average annual salary: $54,982


Working in dentistry is one of the most immediate rewarding careers in healthcare. You help people turn their smiles into more beautiful and, more importantly, healthier versions, and you almost always get an immediate response and result. At the hospital, you will help with more complex and serious illnesses or dental problems that affect your patients. They may be caused by a chronic illness, new diagnosis, or even an accident. The salaries are usually very attractive, so if you’re considering a career in dentistry, you may have just found your luck.

• Dental Assistant

As an assistant, you will handle patients prior to their appointment with the dentist. You may need to be organized, friendly, and a good communicator to be successful at this job. However, you will also be in charge of preparing material and equipment, so you will need a certification for this career.

Average annual salary: $68,415

• Dental Hygienist

As a hygienist, you must obtain an accredited degree in dentistry to practice. You will work directly with patients, treating their oral health problems and educating them on the proper procedures and methods they should conduct at home.

Average annual salary: $83,726

• Dentist

A dentist is the higher-level career in the dentistry field, so you will need a master’s or doctorate degree for this job. You will be in charge of carrying out examinations, fitting crowns and dentures, performing dental restoration, and sometimes even taking x-rays. You can also educate your patients on correct dental practices. You may choose a specialization in orthodontics, pediatric dentistry, periodontics, and more.

Average annual salary: $178,931

Medical research

If you decide to work in medical research, you will work on finding out new and innovative data and information on all things medical. Even if you’re interested in working in scientific research, you can consider a degree in medicine to help you get there. There are a few options you could choose in medical research.

• Medical Research Scientist

As a research scientist, you will investigate and try to find new and improved treatments for medical conditions. This career requires an analytical, detail-oriented, highly driven person who can prioritize and dedicate a lot of time to following procedures. You will work independently and be part of a larger team, so you must enjoy both.

Average annual salary: $86,663

• Research Assistant

Being an assistant means you will assist a team of or a research scientist and work under their supervision. The same qualities of a medical research scientist apply to an assistant because your work will be similar, you will conduct research and find relevant data and results.

Average annual salary: $46,492


You might not think of pharmacy immediately when working at a hospital. However, having a pharmacist is extremely useful to ensure drugs are being prepared and dispensed correctly.

• Hospital pharmacist

As a pharmacist working at a hospital, you will need to make sure that patients are being administered the proper and correct dosages of different medication. You will be responsible for managing the interaction of medication and potential reactions to them, and you will have to monitor the progress of the patient’s illness in relation to the drugs administered.

Average annual salary: $125,920


In this career, you will be conducting scans, handling imaging, and taking samples from patients. You will, therefore, work directly with other medical professionals and support them with these specific procedures.

• Anesthetic Technician

As a technician specializing in anesthetics, you will assist anesthetists by preparing the equipment required, and monitoring patients, always under the supervision of a superior. You need a diploma for this job.

Average annual salary: $63,537

• Medical Imaging Technician

Working in imaging, you will be in charge of producing images to be analyzed by a physician. You will handle X-ray machines and other types of imaging equipment and tools. You may work in different sectors at a hospital that requires imaging for illness diagnosis.

Average annual salary: $65,091

Non-clinical Careers

To work in healthcare, you don’t necessarily have to study medicine for many years before you finally land the job of your dreams at a hospital. You can also have a career in administration and management at a hospital, and you may find some entry-level jobs. You will need an Executive Master’s degree in Health Administration for certain roles, which will help you do your job successfully. Those with a higher education degree can also expect to earn more and have more responsibility.

• Clinical Administrator

As a clinical administrator, you will be required to obtain a higher degree in health administration. You will provide professional leadership to the hospital’s staff, and you will have to make sure that all medical standards are complied with. You’ll have to be extremely organized, have a trained eye for detail, be a great communicator, and have leadership skills.

Average annual salary: $60,371

• Medical Secretary

You may be the first contact patients have once they get to the hospital. You will deal with patient information and documentation they’ll need to fill in. You will have to handle phone calls and also make appointments. It’s a job with vast skills, and not everyone is suited for it.

Average annual salary: $56,548

• Medical Records Clerk

To become a medical records clerk, you will need to be familiar with data entry and billing. You will be in charge of keeping patient records, so a good knowledge of healthcare vocabulary is a great asset in this career.

Average annual salary: $38,300

In conclusion, if you’re interested in working in the healthcare industry and in a hospital setting, there are plenty of different careers for you to consider. From clinical roles to non-clinical ones, you may have to get certain certifications or an advanced degree, so make sure you’re aware of what it will take to get that career of your dreams.

Working in healthcare is an extremely important and relevant matter to our society. If you find yourself constantly helping others, love learning new things, and discovering further information, this might be the perfect environment.

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