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Non-Medical Patient Care Careers

Non-Medical Patient Care Careers

If needles make you nervous and broken bones make you balk, then a career in the patient care field may seem out of reach. However, there are a surprising number of non-medical patient care careers to choose from where you can work directly with patients and have a positive impact on their health. If you enjoy helping people live a healthy life but are not interesting in the traditional medical fields of patient care such as nursing and radiology, there are many non-medical patient care careers to explore including:

  • Wellness support
  • Fitness trainer
  • Peer support services
  • Addiction studies specialist
  • Physical therapy assistant

These programs can typically be found as certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degree programs. Master’s programs are also an option for students that wish to become an expert in their chosen field.

Certificate and Associate Degree Programs

Certificate and associate degree programs can be especially appealing, allowing students to start working in the field in a much shorter amount of time than a traditional 4-year degree program. Additionally, certificate and associate degree programs tend to cost less than a 4-year program so students not only earn a great wage quicker but also have less educational costs to defray.

Keep in mind to look for applicable financial aid options at each potential school including GI Bill acceptance, Yellow Ribbon participation, and MyCAA approval.

Physical Therapy Assistant

Physical therapy assistants, sometimes called PTAs, work under the direction and supervision of physical therapists. They help patients who are recovering from injuries and illnesses to regain movement and manage pain. Physical therapist assistants are involved in the direct care of patients. They may also have tasks that are indirectly related to patient care such as setting up the treatment area, moving patients, and various clerical duties. Median Annual Pay- $50,000.

GI Bill®-approved Schools with Physical Therapy Assistant Programs

Ready to start your degree as a physical therapy assistant? Check out these programs at our partner schools!

  • Bay State College– Offers an Associate Degree in Physical Therapy Assistant. Bay State College is a GI Bill approved school, offers credit for military experience, and awards credit for the CLEP exam. Bay State College proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.
  • Concorde Career College– Offers a Physical Therapy Assistant Associate Degree Program. This program can be completed in less than 2 years. Concorde Career College is a Military Committed School and offers an abundance of benefits for military and their dependents. Concorde is a GI Bill approved school, awards credit for the CLEP exam, and is approved for Tuition Assistance. Concorde proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

Addiction Studies Specialist

Provide treatment and advise people who suffer from alcoholism, drug addiction, or other mental or behavioral problems. Employment opportunities in this field include drug and alcohol treatment advising, family and youth services, education, rehabilitation, community health, mental health, employment assistance programs, senior programs, community-based nonprofit agencies, and case-management services. Median Annual Pay-$48,000.

GI Bill®-approved Schools with Addiction Studies Programs

Ready to start your degree as an addiction studies specialist? Check out these programs at our partner schools!

  • College of the Redwoods– Offers a Certificate of Achievement in Addiction Studies. This certificate program provides an academic and experiential setting for the study of addictions, including theories, prevention and assistance techniques, and research and is certified by the California Association for Alcohol/Drug Educators. College of the Redwoods is a GI Bill approved school and offers credit for military experience.
  • College of the Siskiyous– Offers a Certificate and an Associate Degree in Alcohol and Drug/Human Services. College of the Siskiyous is a GI Bill approved school, offers credit for military experience, and awards credit for the CLEP exam.
  • University of Cincinnati Online– Offers an Undergraduate Certificate in Substance Abuse Counseling. The University of Cincinnati is a GI Bill approved school, offers credit for the CLEP exam, offers credit for military experience, and is approved for Tuition Assistance. UC is a MyCAA approved school and proudly participates in the Yellow Ribbon program.

 

Peer Support Services

Peer support specialists are mental health workers who have had experience with a psychiatric disorder—such as PTSD, depression, or addiction—and have been trained to counsel or assist others with that condition. Familiar with the disorder themselves, these specialists act as role models for clients facing similar difficulties. Median Annual Pay-$37,000.

GI Bill®-approved Schools with Peer Support Services Studies Programs

Ready to start your degree in peer support services? Check out these programs at our partner schools!

Fitness Trainers and Instructors

Lead, instruct, and motivate individuals or groups in exercise activities. Fitness trainers and instructors work in a wide variety of facilities including recreation centers, health clubs, and various exercise studios. Fitness trainer and instructor careers are great opportunities for those that wish to be self-employed and even start their own studios! Median Annual Pay-$41,000.

GI Bill®-approved Schools with Fitness Training & Instruction Programs

  • Career Step– Offers a training program for Fitness and Wellness Coach. This program prepares students to take and pass the ACSM Personal Trainer certification exam. Career Step has GI Bill approved programs and is approved for Tuition Assistance. Career Step is also a MyCAA approved school.
  • Scottsdale Community College– Offers a Certificate of Completion (CCL) in Personal Trainer and an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) in Exercise Science: Health, Fitness, and Sports Performance. Scottsdale Community College is a GI Bill approved school, offers credit for military experience, and awards credit for the CLEP and DSST exams. Scottsdale Community College is approved for Tuition Assistance and is a MyCAA approved school.

 

Wellness Support Worker

This area of specialization provides students with a broad knowledge covering exercise and fitness, nutrition and its effects on health, basic care and prevention of injuries, and emergency procedures such as basic first aid. Also known as health education specialists, this job helps to develop and deliver programs to teach people about conditions affecting well-being. Wellness support workers may be employed in a variety of settings including hospitals, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies. Median annual pay: $48,000.

GI Bill®-approved Schools with Wellness Support Programs

Ready to start your degree in wellness support services? Check out these programs at our partner schools!

  • Lakeland Community College– Offers a Certificate in Health and Wellness. Lakeland Community College is a GI Bill approved school, is approved for Tuition Assistance, and accepts both the DSST and CLEP exams for credit. Lakeland Community College also proudly offers college credit for military experience.
  • Career Step– Offers a training program for Health and Lifestyle Coach. This program prepares students to become a Certified Wellness Coach. Career Step has GI Bill approved programs and is approved for Tuition Assistance. Career Step is also a MyCAA approved school.

 

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About the author

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Born in SoCal yet raised Tampa, Florida - Leah earned her undergraduate BA in Liberal Studies from the University of Central Florida. Leah earned her MA in the MALAS at San Diego State University, while also completing a graduate teaching certificate in English for Secondary Education. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 60 countries. With the birth of her son Spencer in 2012, Leah embarked on her biggest adventure (yet) as parent and Coast Guard wife.