For those ready for a change, what industry has the most opportunities for talented people with transferable skills?
1. Dental Assistants. Think dental assistants just lay out the tools your dentist uses during your regular dental check-up? That’s so 20th Century!
In addition to patient care responsibilities, today’s dental assistants perform office and laboratory duties. And not only are they assisting the dentist by making patients comfortable, taking x-rays, making castings for teeth and mouth impressions, and removing sutures, they’re also the engines that keep the office running by overseeing areas like patient billing.
Transfer Your Skills – If you’ve worked in an office as a secretary, done accounting, or you’ve been an office manager, you have the transferable skills you need to become a dental assistant. And the field is growing. Many job candidates earn a dental assistant associate degree. The two-year program covers areas like dental terminology, insurance claim processing, and other common daily duties.
For those interested in a shorter and more focused program, dental assisting certificate programs are available.
Perks – Salaries vary, but a typical dental assistant takes home between $17 -$20 per hour. But here’s a little known bonus: Nearly 87% of dentists pay for continued dental assistant training.
2. Pharmacy Technicians. Everyone is familiar with your friendly local pharmacist in the white lab coat. But do you know who double checks the doctor’s scribbled prescription, weighs and measures the medicine, and processes the insurance claims? It’s the pharmacy technician.
When you’re working in a retail environment, you’ll be responsible for maintaining records and filling prescriptions, and maintaining stock in the pharmacy. If you choose to work in a hospital or hospice environment, you interact with clients more regularly, not only filling prescriptions, but also delivering prescriptions to patients.
Transfer Your Skills – If you’ve worked in customer service, or in a billing department, you can transfer those skills to your new career as a pharmacy technician.
Earn a pharmacy associate’s degree, certificate, or diploma while learning medication names, actions, uses, and doses. Through classroom and lab work, you’ll also study medical and pharmaceutical terminology, calculations, recordkeeping, and more. Perks – Depending on their level of education, pharmacy technicians earn between $13-$17.50 per hour. And certified pharmacy technicians have room for growth in their career, either through the training and supervision of less experienced technicians, or by gaining even more experience and ultimately becoming a pharmacist.
3. Medical Billers. Medical billers are valued because they can analyze and process complicated medical insurance claims and make sure that doctors and hospitals are reimbursed promptly and correctly.
With an aging boomer population needing more medical services, doctors are seeing more patients and handling even more invoices. As a result, medical billers are in demand.
Transfer Your Skills – If you’re good with numbers, filling out paperwork, and accurately reading rules and regulations, you have the transferable skills required for a career in medical billing.
A two-year associate’s degree program in medical billing and coding covers health data standards, coding, and abstraction of data, statistics, and database management.The Austin Times wire service