For some people, finding a job that allows for their creative side to thrive means choosing an artistic major in college or finding work as a fiction writer, painter, performance artist, or some other type of creative employment. It may come as a surprise that the healthcare industry offers some truly creative careers for those interested in helping others with their creative gifts.
According to statistics published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), healthcare careers are expected to grow by a healthy 18 percent over the next decade. That translates to around 2.4 million new jobs. The average wage for healthcare workers is also higher, on average than the average for all professions. The BLS also shares that technical occupations in healthcare average $64,770 per year for income, but the average for all occupations is just $37,690.
A fascinating blog published by Penn Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reveals that there is a strong relationship between creative minds and the medical industry. For example, famed short story writer Anton Chekhov practiced medicine throughout his life while simultaneously creating some of the most respected literary works.
Leonardo da Vinci exists as another example of a person with incredible scientific prowess who also created some of history’s most venerated works of art. Creative minds aren’t rare in healthcare, and there are many ways creative people can put their ingenuity to use in creative healthcare jobs and medicine. From creative scientists to artistic caregivers, here are some of the most creative healthcare jobs available today that can also provide a great income, rewarding career, and a bright future.
There are plenty of fantastic reasons that you should consider a creative healthcare career. If you’re passionate about approaching problems from a different perspective, then you can use that passion in the healthcare industry with a host of creative healthcare careers or healthcare jobs. The healthcare industry is constantly seeking individuals who are willing to approach problems with a different perspective, and help push the healthcare industry into the future. Here are just a few reasons as to why you should consider a creative healthcare career:
Having creative people on a healthcare team is crucial to solving some of the biggest challenges that approach the industry daily. When everyone is approaching the problem from the same perspective or experience, it can reduce the chances of innovation. Creative people help come up with potential solutions and ideas that will help make a difference and shape the future of healthcare as we know it.
The healthcare industry is one of the most supportive industries that a creative person can work in. The reason for this, is that the healthcare industry is one of the most forward-thinking industries today, and you and your creative efforts and ideas will be appreciated each time you come up with something new.
The healthcare industry rewards those individuals who can use their creativity to come up with new healthcare initiatives, solutions, programs, treatment methods, and more!
Creativity and creative individuals are essential to the healthcare industry in more ways than you can possibly imagine. Unfortunately, the general public doesn’t know much about all the inner-workings of the human body, diseases, ailments, cures, and more. This means that creative individuals are needed to disseminate information for the general public and to help improve initiatives to educate the public.
For instance, if a hospital is striving to educate their local community about the benefits of eating healthier, creative individuals are needed to highlight relatable information that the public can understand as opposed to a bunch of complex healthcare phrases and words.
Creative individuals are also needed for thinking outside the box in coming up with new solutions and innovations to some of the most well-known healthcare issues. Creative individuals are able to spot some of the problems within the industry and come up with potential new solutions that can drive the industry forward. One example is when people often say, “Well it’s always been done like that.”
Now that we’ve outlined why you should consider a creative healthcare career, here are the top 8 healthcare careers for creative people that you should consider.
Creative souls with interest in health care but who aren’t interested in taking a seat at a patient’s bedside may fare best in front of a computer screen. Healthcare writers work in a variety of environments creating technical documents for health care professionals, as well as books, blogs, and other publications for the general public. Finding a job as a healthcare writer usually requires some education in writing, as well as knowledge of the concepts and terms commonly in use in the writer’s industry.
One healthcare writer may create content for the public as a Healthcare Content Developer focusing on a particular area like diabetes, cancer, or nutrition. Another healthcare writer might specialize in technical writing and create white papers or technical documents for medical device companies, pharmaceutical corporations, or publications tasked with delivering information to professionals. Healthcare writers can increase their viability and income by specializing in a highly technical area.
Becoming a medical writer or a healthcare writer often requires graduate school. The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapy (ASPET) reveals that 72 percent of medical writers have earned a graduate degree. Additionally, half of those individuals have gone on to earn doctorates. Writers who earn advanced degrees may have the opportunity to work for medical device companies, clinical research groups, pharmaceutical companies, and biotechnology startups. According to Salary.com, Healthcare Writers typically earn between $52,000 to $70,000.
Working as a case manager for individuals with mental health diagnoses is a dynamic and often challenging area of the healthcare industry. One of the reasons resourceful people excel in these creative healthcare careers is that each patient is different and requires unique assistance. Some patients may need someone to assist with daily tasks like shopping for groceries and others may need help making sure they arrive at their appointments on time.
Creative individuals who want to help others through the role of mental health caseworker will usually need a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree in an area like sociology, anthropology, or psychology. Some jobs may also become available to graduates with two-year or associate’s degrees in similar areas. One of the benefits of starting work as a caseworker is that the entry-level roles do not necessarily require licensure or an advanced degree.
However, many states do have some basic education requirements and continuing professional education. Individuals who want to work as mental health case managers may wish to explore job requirements in their state. For example, Arizona residents would read the Case Management Handbook published by the Arizona Department of Economic Security. Meanwhile, Massachusetts residents would read the Mental Health Case Management document prepared by the Mental Health Legal Advisors Committee. According to PayScale, Mental Health Case Managers or Case Workers typically earn between $27,000 to $36,511.
Creative individuals who are also empathetic people who are willing to spend their time listening to others may thrive in the position of caregiver. Becoming a caregiver takes those listening skills a step further through the assistance and personal care of people who aren’t able to care for themselves. The roles and responsibilities of caregivers vary wildly and may occur in many environments that include the homes of patients or mental health care facilities.
Creative people who aren’t interested in spending years in school and want to care for others may excel as a caregiver. Most caregivers require a high school diploma but aren’t required to seek out additional training for entry-level jobs. However, students who attend a technical school or enroll in distance education courses may qualify for an increase in pay. It’s also worth looking into membership and certification with the American Caregiver Association. It may benefit a caregiver to eventually start his or her own caregiving business for an opportunity to boost income.
Another benefit of becoming a caregiver is the job security offered by the industry. According to an article published by CNBC, the aging population in the United States has resulted in dramatic growth in the number of available caregiver jobs. In fact, research suggests caregiver jobs are being added to the economy at a rate that’s seven times faster than the overall average for all occupations. Caregivers typically earn between $18,610 to $24,320 per year.
According to the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), musical therapy can help patients alleviate pain, improve communication, manage stress, and enhance memory, as well as many other life benefits. Educational requirements for music therapists include having a bachelor’s degree in music therapy from a school approved by the AMTA. Graduates of such programs may then continue toward becoming Board Certified by passing the national board certification exam.
Creative individuals may also apply their skills to creative careers in other areas like dance and art, as well as work with animals in therapeutic situations. Therapists who specialize in one of these therapeutic options may provide these services as an alternative to traditional therapy care or as a complementary part of a patient’s therapy. Therapists may work in environments like traditional office spaces, as well as at facilities like farms for animal therapy or schools for art and music therapy.
Therapies commonly accepted for use in a professional setting always have the backing of a qualified organization that may also grant licensure or certification. For example, art therapists will become credentialed through the Art Therapy Credentials Board, Inc. An individual interested in animal assisted therapy may seek out the certificate program offered by the Animal Behavior Institute. Someone with interest in dance therapy will look into certification with the American Dance Therapy Association. According to PayScale, Creative Therapists typically earn between $33,000 to $59,000 per year.
In medical research, some of the most effective scientists are creative people who can apply their “outside the box” thinking to solving medical problems and finding solutions to some of humanity’s greatest ills. According to the BLS and their Occupational Outlook Handbook for medical scientists, the median pay for such professionals reaches $82,090 per year, which is substantially higher than the average for all professions.
To become a medical scientist, students must often earn a graduate degree or a Ph.D. in an area like chemistry or biology. One of the areas where creative individuals excel in medical research is in the writing of proposals designed to secure research funding. Medical scientists must not only present creative solutions in their research, but they must also have the skills to communicate their hypotheses and findings with others.
Creative people who find the prospect of laboratory work exciting but who aren’t sure whether they want to earn an advanced college degree may find work as an entry-level assistant after earning a bachelor’s degree. Time spent in the laboratory as a novice researcher will help the budding medical scientist decide whether to apply to a graduate program. Medical Scientists typically earn between $177,000 to $273,564 per year.
One of the most creative endeavors possible in the healthcare industry is the job of a medical illustrator. Medical illustrators are not only artistically inclined, but they’re also highly trained individuals with in-depth knowledge of the medical field. The education of a medical illustrator represents a perfect balance between medical science and artistry with classes like pathology, microanatomy, and neuroanatomy alongside classes in art, drawing, and modeling.
According to the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI), most working medical illustrators have a graduate degree in medical illustration. Programs typically take two years to complete, and students should consider a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP). Accredited programs are rare, and acceptance tends to be quite competitive.
Upon receiving a graduate degree, students may pursue licensure as a Board Certified Medical Illustrator. Maintaining board certification requires continuing professional education, and illustrators can also join the AMI as members to gain access to annual meetings and professional resources for healthcare careers. Medical illustration may offer the ideal route to a profession that requires 50 percent medical knowledge and 50 percent creativity. According to AMI, Medical Illustrators typically earn between $62,000 to $100,000.
Legal and crime dramas like “CSI” and “Law & Order” remain favorites of millions of viewers, and filmmakers commonly use the fascinating world of forensic science to draw in viewers and create wild tales of criminals and the professionals who catch them. Creative people who find true crime fascinating may thrive as a medical forensic scientist, which requires creative solutions and excellent problem-solving skills.
According to the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS), there are many disciplines available for forensic scientists that range from anthropology to jurisprudence to pathology. In most cases, future forensic scientists will obtain a bachelor’s degree in an area of science, and the AAFS recommends that students support that degree with a minor in communication or writing.
The AAFS suggests that the best medical forensic scientists will possess “intellectual curiosity” that will allow them to flourish in creative healthcare careers. Creative people who enjoy learning new things and applying their knowledge to imaginative solutions may want to explore the benefits of becoming a forensic scientist. Every day in the life of a medical forensic scientist won’t play out like an episode of "CSI," but there will still be many opportunities to use one’s talents in creative problem-solving. Medical Forensic Scientists typically earn between $52,000 to $85,000 per year.
Creative people who love science fiction and stories about futuristic technologies may want to learn more about becoming a biomedical engineer who creates artificial organs. According to the Alliance of Advanced Biomedical Engineering (AABE), scientists are currently involved in projects like growing artificial livers, using nanotechnology in organ transplants and using computers to grow heart tissue.
Entry-level jobs are available to college graduates who hold a bachelor’s degree, but healthcare career-seekers may want to consider a master’s degree program or earn a doctorate. Advanced degrees generally help biomedical engineers specialize in an area of their personal interest. Some of the specialties for future biomedical engineers include orthopedic bioengineering, bio-instrumentation, biomechanics, cellular engineering, and genetic engineering. From creating engineered skin tissue to engineering joint replacements, biomedical engineers are at the forefront of some of the most advanced medical technologies in use today.
A creative person may excel in a biomedical career because it’s considered an interdisciplinary field. Not only must engineers take science and mathematics courses, but they must also build their skills in other fields. For example, an engineer must communicate the research ideas and solutions he or she has to other people, which requires skills in writing and communication. According to PayScale, Biomedical Engineers typically earn between $49,000 to $92,000 per year.
As you can see, there are plenty of creative healthcare careers that creative people should pursue if you’re interested in caring for others and driving the healthcare industry forward. Executives and administrators are constantly seeking new creative talent to add to their team to drive the healthcare industry forward, as creative individuals can approach new challenges and problems with a new perspective.
(Article / Content Updated 2018)