If you’re a healthcare professional, having a curious mind is not only a plus—it’s a must. The healthcare industry is an ever-changing landscape, with technological advancements and research developments taking over the space to improve patient care.
To become a part of this industry, the first step is earning a degree or attending medical school. Then comes the task of honing your skills and knowledge in a particular area of medicine or operations to become a specialized medical professional. One way to do so is by working toward a medical certification.
There are so many certifications out there—from ones that focus on healthcare administration to others that provide advanced learning for physicians—that we can only scratch the surface in this article. Read on to learn about some of the best healthcare certifications to have, the different kinds of categories they fall into, and how they can even help you earn more money (bonus, right?). Before we dive into the best of the lot, let’s learn what these medical certifications are.
What are medical certifications?
Medical certifications set you apart. They help you become an expert on a certain aspect of your work and show your employers and colleagues that you possess the qualifications to perform specialized tasks.
Since there’s such a wide range of medical certifications to choose from, there’s no one definition for the concept. Some certifications are scientific in nature, while others deal with more practical aspects of providing healthcare. And, if you’re thinking that it’s just doctors and nurses who undergo certification training, you’re partially correct. Even administrative workers can take these training programs.
Which is the best medical certification for you?
The first step in deciding which certification is right for you (or someone else, if you’re an employer hiring) is establishing the relevant area of healthcare. For example, hospital administrators don’t collect blood samples or maintain patients’ medical records, so they don’t need to become certified phlebotomists. And those who draw blood don’t do medical billing or coding and, therefore, don’t need non-clinical healthcare certifications.
The best way to determine the exact certification for you is by researching those that’ll help you advance your career. For example, if you plan to take on a certain type of specialty, look at job listings for that role and see what kinds of credentials employers look for. Remember, certifications are specific for a reason: They help healthcare professionals become even more proficient at the precise role they perform in the medical field. Here are some examples of popular certifications, along with their annual salaries (as of 2022):
- Certified professional coder (CPC): $54,908
- Medical front-office administration specialist: $33,650
- Certified phlebotomy technician (CPT): $37,829
- Certified medical assistant (CMA): $44,047
- Certified behavioral technician specialist (CBTS): $50,247
- Certified patient care technician (CPCT): $50,860
- Certified pharmacy technician (CPhT): $51,385
- Certified EKG technician (CET): $56,564
- Certified clinical medical assistant (CCMA): $44,047
- Certified nursing assistant (CNA): $43,978
- Home health aide (HHA): $27,300
- Neurodiagnostic technologist (NDT): $63,399
- Certified cardiac monitor technician: $43,083
- Sterile processing technician: $46,753
What are the benefits of being certified?
We know you’re dedicated to becoming the best medical professional you can be, and providing improved patient care is the driving force behind wanting to further your knowledge. That’s where medical certifications come into play. Besides building a strong knowledge base, these degree programs provide the following perks:
- Qualify for better job opportunities: Just like you have high standards for the work you perform, employers aim to maintain high standards in the workplace by hiring the most capable and highly trained professionals. A certification can go a long way on your resume and increase your eligibility for certain roles.
- Broaden your scope of practice: Getting a certification is not just about working better; it’s about being able to do more. When you earn one, you may be able to take on more responsibility and various tasks you do in a day.
- Builds professional credibility: Show your employers you’re motivated by taking the initiative to earn a certification. The knowledge you gain from the certification makes you better at your job and shows your employer and colleagues that you’re a dedicated professional.
- Increases your earning potential: Even if you’re not in your career for the money, you wouldn’t say no to earning more, right? There are many medical certifications that pay well, and by earning them, you become a more advanced job candidate and have access to higher salaries.
How long does a medical certification take to complete?
Just like there’s a wide range of medical certifications, there’s a vast range of time frames in which to complete them. That said, most medical certifications can be completed within a year. And, some of the short medical certificate programs take just a few weeks. If you work long hours, fear not. There are plenty of medical certifications online that you can fit into your busy schedule.
What medical certifications are in demand?
The following medical certifications are currently in high demand. So, if one of these falls into your scope of work, you’re in luck. You’re one step away from becoming an even more attractive job candidate.
- Certified nurse anesthetist
- Certified health information technician
- Geriatric acupuncturist
- Genetic counselor
- Healthcare data analyst
- Nuclear medicine technologist
That said, all certifications are technically in demand because medical and healthcare management jobs are on the rise. Earning a certification is always a great career move.
Knowledge is a valuable asset
The healthcare industry is constantly growing, and you want to be on the top of your game. We know it’s impossible to keep up with every little advancement, but if you and your colleagues stay as up-to-date as you can, together, you’ll increase the quality of patient care and make the administrative aspects of your work environment more agile. An investment in the future of your career and your patient’s health is always worth it.
We’re glad you’re considering earning a certification. We love seeing healthcare professionals advance in their careers, and we’re always constantly trying to advance our work to support you better. Check out our latest performance fabrics and hardworking scrubs to feel motivated at work and school!