best healthcare careers to start at 30

The healthcare industry is a vast and dynamic sector for professionals and is becoming more popular than ever. If you’re in your 30s and considering a career change or advancement, the healthcare industry offers a range of opportunities that may meet your skill set and passion. With an aging population and emerging technologies, there has been a surge in demand for healthcare services, making it an optimal field to transition into.

There are different paths to pursue within the healthcare sector from clinical roles like doctors, nurses, or pharmacists to non-clinical positions like administrators or analysts. Additionally, there are several lucrative fields such as health IT, insurance sales and management, medical writing and marketing, and pharmaceutical sales – with jobs requiring varying levels of education and experience.

It’s important to evaluate your skills and ambitions when selecting your path as the healthcare sector is diverse but also highly rewarding through job satisfaction, financial stability, job security, and prestige within the community. While each opportunity demands specialized skills unique to one another, an open mind toward learning new methods can always be helpful.

The best healthcare careers to start in your 30s

If you’re looking for the best careers to start in your 30s, this article will highlight options to consider in the healthcare industry and why they are ideal for mid-career professionals.

1. Registered Nurse

Salary Estimates for Nurses;

  • Source: U.S. News
  • Low Range: $61,700
  • Median Range: $77,600
  • High Range: $97,500

The field of nursing is a high-demand career for mid-career professionals. As our population ages, the demand for nurses and their skills continues to grow. Nursing professionals are responsible for assessing patient needs, developing care plans, administering medication and treatment protocols, and providing emotional support both to patients and their families.

With a wide range of specializations such as pediatric nursing, geriatric nursing, neonatal nursing, critical care nursing, and mental health nursing among others, nurses can choose an area that matches their interests.

It can anywhere from 16 months to four years to become a registered nurse depending on the nursing program you enroll in.

2. Physician Assistant

Salary Estimates for Physician Assistant;

  • Source: U.S. BLS
  • Low Range: $61,200
  • Median Range: $81,200
  • High Range: $129,400

Physician assistants function in a team led by a physician and they assist physicians with clinical tasks such as diagnosis, treatment of illnesses, prescription fulfillment, wound care, and other clinician-led tasks.

They work under the direct supervision of physicians but operate autonomously in terms of evaluating a patient, administering basic treatments, and running appropriate medical tests. The job involves collaborating with interdisciplinary health teams to deliver comprehensive medical care services while adhering to standard ethical practices.

As licensed professionals who must fulfill continuing education requirements regularly, physician assistants embody excellent academic credentials combined with strong analytical abilities crucial for success in this field. They also possess great communication and time management skills leading to effective patient interactions.

Overall, being a physician assistant requires comprehensive knowledge coupled with immense dedication toward delivering quality healthcare services to patients.  This makes it one of the most coveted careers by mid-career professionals in their 30s transitioning into high-growth healthcare sectors.

3. Medical Coder and Biller 

Salary Estimates for Medical Coders and Billers;

  • Source: All Allied Health Schools
  • Low Range: $31,700
  • Median Pay: $47,200
  • High Range: $75,400

If you’re looking for short certifications that pay really well, why not consider becoming a medical coder or billing specialist? This field involves navigating healthcare reimbursement systems as well as the collection and management of patient data for billing and coding purposes. Apart from contributing their expertise to ensure proper reimbursement, they also play a vital role in ensuring medical services and treatments are priced correctly.

Coders must interpret codes assigned by clinicians accurately to ensure timely reimbursement and are responsible for maintaining confidential patient records with utmost privacy while managing healthcare databases using electronic software. With advancements in digital technology bringing more efficiency to various industries, these experts remain in high demand across diverse medical disciplines.

4. Health Information Technologist

Salary Estimates for Health Information Technologists;

  • Source: Indeed
  • Low Range: $38,800
  • Median Range: $55,700
  • High Range: $80,000

With the rapid advancement in healthcare technology, the demand for professionals familiar with Health Data Science and Analytics has significantly increased. Health Information Technology goes beyond traditional medical record-keeping and encompasses electronic health records, clinical decision support systems, healthcare data warehousing, and information exchange. It provides insights into patient care and outcomes while maintaining privacy regulations.

With the occurrence of significant breakthroughs in precision medicine and artificial intelligence impacting this sector’s future, healthcare professionals looking to switch careers in their 30s can expand their skill sets or complete relevant certification programs to pursue a career in Health Information Technology.

5. Medical Sales Representative

Salary Estimates for Medical Sales Reps;

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $47,500
  • Median Range: $72,700
  • High Range: $113,500

This healthcare profession primarily involves promoting and selling medical equipment, pharmaceuticals, and services to medical professionals. It requires strong communication and persuasion skills as well as knowledge of the industry and its products. A medical sales rep should be able to establish relationships with clients and provide solutions to their needs by effectively communicating the benefits of the products they sell.

Medical sales reps work closely with healthcare providers such as doctors, pharmacists, and hospital administrators to understand their equipment and supply needs. They also attend conferences and events to increase brand awareness and promote new products.

It is worth noting that these healthcare professionals are often required to have relevant experience in sales or a degree in business or science-related fields. The job also involves regular travel which may require flexibility, adaptability, and excellent time management skills.

6. Surgical Technician

Salary Estimates for Surgical Technician;

  • Source: ZipRecruiter
  • Low Range: $40,500
  • Median Range: $69,900
  • High Range: $97,500

Another medical certification that pays well is that of surgical technology.  A surgical technician assists in surgical procedures, ensuring the operating room is well-prepared and all equipment is sterilized and functioning. They have extensive knowledge of surgical instruments, devices, and supplies, and their roles include ensuring patient safety during surgery by monitoring vital signs. They also assist with procedures such as dressing wounds and handling specimens.

Besides working in the operating room alongside surgeons and anesthesiologists, surgical technologists can also find employment in other healthcare settings such as outpatient clinics or diagnostic laboratories.

According to statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the field of Surgical Technology is growing faster than average due to an aging population requiring more medical care. Interestingly enough, some surgical technologists move on to become medical device sales representatives or educators.

Surgical technology is one of the high-demand healthcare careers for mid-career professionals looking for a change. With continued advancements in technology and treatments comes a constant need for skilled healthcare workers across multiple disciplines.

7. Dental Hygienist

Salary Estimates for Dental Hygienists;

  • Source: Indeed
  • Low Range: $73,500
  • Median Range: $97,900
  • High Range: $130,500

Professionals seeking a career to start in their 30s could consider becoming dental hygienist. A dental hygienist is responsible for cleaning teeth, taking X-rays, and assisting dentists. They also educate patients on proper oral hygiene practices.

To become a dental hygienist, one must complete an accredited program, pass exams and obtain a license. However, the effort is rewarded with job security due to high demand and competitive pay with benefits.

8. Medical Assistant

Salary Estimates for Medical Assistants;

  • Source: U.S. BLS
  • Low Range: $30,390
  • Median Pay: $38,270
  • High Range: $51,710

For anyone looking to pursue a new healthcare career after turning 30, becoming a clinical medical assistant can be a rewarding choice. As a vital team member in the healthcare system, the clinical medical assistant performs clinical and administrative duties such as taking vital signs, recording patient history, and assisting physicians during exams. 

The role of a clinical medical assistant may vary depending on their work setting; whether it be in hospitals, clinics, or other healthcare facilities. In addition to routine medical tasks, they also carry out procedures such as electrocardiograms and blood draws.

Medical assistant courses vary in length but one can become certified in just 12 months. Additional training courses could open doors to even more responsibilities and financial rewards, making it an exciting prospect for 30-year-olds seeking a rewarding career in Healthcare.

Related: 13 Short Certificate Programs That Pay Well (2023)

9. Dental assistant

Salary Estimates for Dental Assistants;

  • Source: Glassdoor
  • Low Range: $31,000
  • Median Range: $40,500
  • High Range: $54,000

Dental assistants provide patient care by preparing dental instruments and materials necessary for various dental procedures. This involves taking diagnostic X-rays and organizing patient records.

In addition to preparing patients for dental treatment, dental assistants perform administrative duties like scheduling appointments, managing office inventory, and billing. They are also responsible for providing proper post-operative instructions to the patients. They work under the supervision of dentists or oral health professionals.

10. Radiologic Technologist

Salary Estimates for Radiologic Technologists;

  • Source: U.S. BLS
  • Low Range: $47,760
  • Median Pay: $65,140
  • High Range: $97,940

This profession involves working with high-tech equipment that produces medical images. Radiologic Technologists use radiation to capture and process these images. They play a crucial role in the healthcare industry, as their work assists doctors in diagnosing and treating various medical conditions.

Radiologic Technologists perform diagnostic imaging exams such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. They also ensure that patients are positioned correctly and that the necessary safety procedures are followed during examinations. This job typically requires an associate’s degree or a quick certification program.

Radiologic Technologists earn a median annual salary of around $61,240 per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job growth rate is expected to be faster than average within the healthcare industry over the next decade, which makes it an attractive option for those considering switching careers later in life.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Healthcare Career at 30

To make an informed decision about a healthcare career at age 30, you need to evaluate certain factors that can affect your choice. Look into your personal interests and skill set that can guide you in selecting a career that matches your abilities. Salary and benefits are important too, as well as work-life balance. Finally, consider the job market and growth potential of your chosen profession for a secure and stable career path.

Personal Interests and Skills

For a successful healthcare career, it is essential to consider various aspects of personal interests and skills. There are different roles in healthcare, and an individual must know what is best suited for them. Here are some points to keep in mind while considering personal interests and skills:

  • Identify the areas of healthcare where you feel motivated and passionate. Whether it’s surgery or research, do what intrigues you.
  • Take note of your strengths as well as weaknesses. Determine which roles align with your natural talents.
  • Analyze your personality traits; if you possess strong leadership qualities or are more comfortable working in a team.
  • Research the training involved in the healthcare path you intend to take. Consider whether you have the patience, dedication, and drive required for that field.
  • Finally, evaluate your life outside work, family responsibilities, or any other commitments that may affect your decision-making process.

Salary and Benefits

Healthcare professionals must take into account the compensation and benefits offered by potential careers. Considerations such as these can greatly impact one’s financial stability and overall job satisfaction.

Here are some factors to consider:

  • Potential Earnings: Salaries for healthcare careers vary considerably. Some positions, like nursing and physician assistant roles, can earn salaries in the six-figure range. Others, like medical assisting or home health aide roles, pay less.
  • Benefits Packages: Many employers offer comprehensive benefits packages that may include health insurance, retirement savings plans, and paid time off.
  • Location Factors: It’s important to take into account geographic factors when considering potential earnings. For example, healthcare professionals working in urban areas may earn higher salaries than those working in rural areas due to a higher cost of living.
  • Level of Education Required: Higher levels of education often lead to higher earning potential. However, more advanced education may come with added costs or student loans.
  • Specialty Area or Facility Type: Certain specialties, such as specialized nursing roles or diagnostic imaging technician positions, may offer higher salaries than other areas of focus. Similarly, facilities such as hospitals or outpatient clinics may pay more robustly than smaller practices.
  • Continuing Education Opportunities: Healthcare professionals who are interested in advancing their education and skills may find that certain employers offer tuition reimbursement or other opportunities for professional development.

Work-Life Balance

Maintaining a balance between personal and professional life while pursuing a career in healthcare is crucial. A work-life balance helps improve productivity, reduces stress levels, and promotes overall well-being. It is essential to consider the nature of work, working hours, flexibility of work arrangements, and support from colleagues. Striking a healthy work-life balance ensures longevity in your healthcare career and enhances your quality of life.

It is also essential to evaluate the demands of the healthcare sector and how they may impact your work-life balance. Healthcare professionals often face high job-demand, erratic schedules, and exhausting working environments that can affect their psychological health. Building resilience and managing stress effectively using coping mechanisms like meditation or exercise is vital for maintaining harmony between work and daily life.

Ultimately, one must consider various factors like family obligations, interests outside of work, and self-care practices before selecting any healthcare profession. These factors will play a significant role in shaping a balanced lifestyle that nurtures both personal growth and professional development.

Job Market and Growth Potential

The healthcare industry offers various career alternatives with diverse job markets and growth potential. Consider pursuing a field that aligns with your interests and skills while also taking into account the projected job growth and demand. Keep in mind the demographics of aging baby boomers and stay updated on technological advancements that may affect your profession. An informed decision can lead to a successful and fulfilling career in healthcare.


Starting a career in healthcare at the age of 30 is not uncommon. There are many options available, and with the growing demand for healthcare professionals, it is an excellent field to enter. The best careers to start at this age include nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical assisting, and diagnostic sonography. It’s important to choose a career path based on personal interests and passions rather than just financial gain.

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