60% of this year’s top 100 careers in US News and World Report’s annual ranking are in the health field. In fact, 15 of the top 20 Best Jobs of 2016 are health jobs.

My Health Career Navigator is based on a 9-step health career planning framework developed and used by Jeff Oxendine over the past 25 years to help thousands of students and other health career candidates choose and successfully pursue their authentic health careers.

Step one of the framework is EXPOSURE.

Before you can pick a career, you have to know what’s out there. It’s possible that the best job for you is something you’ve never heard of, or maybe even something that doesn’t exist yet. The first step to finding your authentic health career is exposing yourself to the options that are available to you and understanding which of those options align with your goals and preferences. This can come in many forms: it might be in keeping up with the industry trends to foresee (or create!) certain careers that don’t yet exist; it might be in studying the careers that you already know about so that you understand them more fully; it might be in looking into some of the more obscure health-related fields that you may not have considered.

In an effort to help you jump into another (and more common) form of exposure, we’ve streamlined this year’s list of the Best Health Care Jobs. You can find the Best Health Care Support Jobs in a separate list, and the 100 Best Jobs in the full rankings list. You can also read all about the ranking process (it’s based on salary, employment rate, growth rate, work-life balance, and more). Click on any of the jobs below to read all the juicy details, like median salary, training requirements, and job satisfaction. You might find that one of the best health care jobs is also the best job for you. 

  1. Orthodontist
  2. Dentist
  3. Nurse Anesthetist
  4. Physician Assistant
  5. Nurse Practitioner
  6. Psychiatrist
  7. Pediatrician
  8. Anesthesiologist
  9. Obstetrician and Gynecologist
  10. Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon
  11. Optometrist
  12. Physical Therapist
  13. Podiatrist
  14. Surgeon
  15. Physician
  16. Registered Nurse
  17. Occupational Therapist
  18. Audiologist
  19. Speech-Language Pathologist
  20. Prosthodontist
  21. Pharmacist
  22. Radiation Therapist
  23. Dietician and Nutritionist
  24. Chiropractor
  25. Respiratory Therapist


Now, to finish the exposure step, there are a couple more things we recommend you do (anytime you are working on exposure).  

  1. After thoroughly understanding the jobs you’ve exposed yourself to, try to create your own list. Which jobs stood out to you? What are the top 5 (or more) jobs that you could see yourself doing, or that seem to align with goals or issues that are important to you? Write them down.
  2. Do your own research to find out which organizations, companies, or people you would be most interested in hearing from within each respective career.
  3. Follow the organizations or companies on LinkedIn.
  4. See if you have any connections in common with people working for the company you’ve focused on. If you do, ask that person to introduce you.
  5. Even if you don’t get connected on LinkedIn, find out how to contact individuals from your chosen organizations and ask to set up informational interviews. People are far more receptive to talking about what they do than you might think.
  6. Interact with the companies and organizations on LinkedIn by commenting on posts or sharing their posts with your connections.

These are just a few ways that you can follow up/finish the exposure step, whether you’re further researching health careers you already know about or learning about jobs you might never have suspected as part of the health field. But don’t stop here! The more jobs and fields you are aware of, the closer you get to finding the options that could be right for you. 



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