Serving in the Service: Healthcare Careers in the Military
Healthcare occupations abound in the military. With over a million enlisted personnel, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise that 75,820 of all military jobs are in the medical sector, as large as that number is.
At Ameritech College of Healthcare, we see this first hand. We’ve had students who came out of the military, and we have many who go into into it after graduating from our Dental Lab Technology program or nursing school in Draper. Every branch of the military needs nurses, DLTs, and Medical Assistants, which is good news for healthcare students who want to enlist and serve their country once they earn their diploma. If you’re among them, these are some of the top career options for medical military personnel.
There’s a need for nurses in every sector of healthcare, so of course you can find them in every branch of the military. U.S. military nurses work all over the world, setting up triage in war zones and treating family members on domestic military bases. They’re in Army hospitals and specializing in everything their civilian counterparts do, from psychiatric/behavioral health to nurse midwifery.
Oh, and here’s a huge bonus for any current nursing student: Many military nurses have their nursing school loans forgiven. According to the Army, “the Active Duty Health Professions Loan Repayment Program may help you repay up to $120,000 of those loans.” This is a captivating draw for many recent nursing school graduates, especially if they have a passion for the enlisted service. Once you earn your RN or BSN degree, you can speak to a military recruiter about becoming an Army Nurse.
Related Resource: Why You Should Consider Alternative Nursing Jobs
Air Force Dental Lab Technician
Enlisted personnel need bridges and crowns too, so technically DLTs can be found in every branch, but the U.S. Air Force is renown for having excellent manuals that have helped many non-enlisted Dental Lab Technicians pass their CDT exams. Fabricating teeth in the military is no different than in any other dental lab: You continue to work closely with military dentists, and you have to have the same attention to detail. It’s work that requires a passion for artistry and technology, but if you also have a desire to serve your country and enlisted soldiers, becoming a DLT in the Air Force can be a smart career choice.
Related Resource: A Day in the Life of a Dental Lab Technician
U.S. Coast Guard Medical Assistant Officers
Medical Assistants can be found in four of the five branches of military: U.S. Coast Guard, Air Force, Navy, and Army. The level of competition for Medical Assisting military positions, though, depends on the size of the branch. As the smallest, the U.S. Coast Guard recruits the fewest Medical Assistants, and the job is highly competitive. To even be considered, Coast Guard Medical Assistants must already be qualified physician assistants. Compared to Army and Navy requirements, more lax given their larger sizes, this may seem unfair, except that Medical Assistants in the Coast Guard have a key advantage: They’re commissioned officers, a privilege no other military branch offers.
Related Resource: 10 Things You Never Knew About Medical Assistants
Nurse Corps Officer
If you’re like many of our online BSN students, you may feel drawn to the managerial side of healthcare after working a few years as a Nurse or Medical Assistant. Leadership roles can be found throughout the military’s healthcare field, and one of the entry level positions is the Nurse Corps Officer. These officers lead a nursing team to provide care for soldiers and their families, both deployed at a field hospital and in home care facilities. Like any nurse manager, Nurse Corps Officers supervise all nursing care during their shifts, and at all levels of command. Like many military officer positions, there are opportunities for further advancement—and for continuing education. These officers must already have their BSN degree, but once they enter the role they can often pursue higher levels of nursing education and become nurse practitioners.
Related Resource: These Are the Best States to Work As a Nurse Practitioner
At Ameritech, we want to help our students succeed in their career goals. In our Medical Assisting, Dental Lab Technician, and Nursing programs in Utah, we work alongside our students, preparing them for the wide array of job opportunities in healthcare. If you’re interested in any of these programs, our would like to advance your career as a nurse by earning your BSN online, reach out to us! We would love to hear from you.