Associate's

Dental Hygienist

Category: 
Average Salary: 
$40,000
Length of Education: 
2 years
Degree type: 

Dental hygienists work with dentists and provide routine teeth cleaning and other oral health care like checking gums and other tissues of the mouth for disease or injury.

Hygienists also educate patients on the importance good oral hygiene and ways to improve their overall oral health.

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Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Category: 
Average Salary: 
$64,000
Length of Education: 
2 years
Degree type: 

Diagnostic medical sonographers – also known as ultrasound technologists – work extremely closely with patients.

They use ultrasounds, special imaging equipment that uses sound waves to “see” inside the human body to diagnose disease, assist with minimally-invasive procedures, and monitor the progress of pregnancies.

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Health Information Coder

Average Salary: 
$32,000
Length of Education: 
2 years
Degree type: 

Medical coders create the bills sent to insurance companies, Medicare, and Medicaid by health care providers.

Coders translate the language of health care professionals into the computer language of insurance companies’ payment systems.

Unfortunately, there are many unscrupulous medical coding programs that do not teach acceptable skills and are not certified. Be sure to search for fully accredited medical coding programs before exploring medical coding http://www.ahima.org/careers/college_search/search.aspx.

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Physical Therapy Assistant

Category: 
Average Salary: 
$49,000
Length of Education: 
2 years
Degree type: 

Physical Therapy Assistants (PTA’s) are part of the physical therapy team that assists patients in recovering from illnesses, injury, or surgery, that may have limited the patient’s movement or quality of life.

Working at the direction and under supervision of a physical therapist, PTA’s teach patients excerices and stretches, monitor their progress, record notes, and help patients use assistive devices like crutches, canes, or wheelchairs.

Physical therapy assistants must have an associate’s degree from an accredited PTA program. Most PTA’s work in the same settings as physical therapists: hospitals, dedicated physical therapy clinics, long-term care facilities, or in the home of patients.

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Radiologic Technologist

Category: 
Average Salary: 
$54,000
Length of Education: 
2 years
Degree type: 

Radiologic technicians operate the imaging systems used to diagnosis and treat injuries and disease. They use x-rays, computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment.

Also called radiographers or x-ray techs, these professionals are responsible for adjusting and maintaining imaging equipment, position the patient and equipment to get the right images, and operate the equipment and computers necessary to take X-rays, CT’s, and MRI’s.

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Registered Health Information Technician

Average Salary: 
$32,000
Length of Education: 
2 years
Degree type: 

A Health Information Technician (HIT) is also known as a Medical Record Technician. HITs are not licensed.

Registration is voluntary but recommended. Graduates of an associate degree program accredited by the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) are eligible for the national accreditation examination, sponsored by AHIMA, to become Registered Health Information Technicians (RHITs).

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Respiratory Therapist

Category: 
Average Salary: 
$54,000
Length of Education: 
2 years
Degree type: 

People can have lung problems for a variety of reasons and respiratory therapists are often who treats them. Respiratory therapists are responsible for working with physicians to develop treatment plans in both emergency and non-emergency settings.

They examine patients, measure lung capacity and oxygen levels, administer treatments. These treatments may include medications or manually vibrating a patient’s rib cage.

In hospitals, they are responsible for connecting patients who cannot breathe on their own to ventilators and monitoring their progress. Respiratory therapists are licensed and receive an associate’s degree.

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Cardiovascular Technologist

Average Salary: 
$50,000
Length of Education: 
2 years
Degree type: 

Cardiovascular technologists specialize in using specialty imaging equipment to diagnose heart and blood vessel diseases and guide specialized treatments like balloon angioplasty. Cardiovascular technologists also use ultrasound machines to create images of the blood flow of the heart, allowing physicians to diagnose heart disease.

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