It’s Allied Health Professions Week: The perfect time to recognize and spotlight our allied healthcare heroes. Therapists and allied health professionals work hard each day to bring complete, specialized care to patients across the country.
So to celebrate this rewarding field, let’s explore the top therapy and allied health professions for 2024. Explore the growing demand, job outlook, and discover exciting opportunities in allied health!
What are Allied Health Professions?
Allied health professionals (AHPs) are a diverse and highly skilled group of healthcare workers who play pivotal roles in patient care and wellness. Moreover, they represent a wide range of specialties, including physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, medical technology, and more.
Most allied health professions fall into two categories:
- Technicians and technician assistants
- Therapists and therapist aides
Altogether, allied health professionals work collaboratively with doctors and nurses to deliver truly comprehensive and holistic healthcare.
Top Allied Health Professions
Looking for top-paying, in-demand allied health professions? Here are the opportunities to look out for in 2024. Take a look at each career’s median salary, in-demand industries, and job outlook:
Physical therapists dedicate their careers to rehabilitating patients, restoring their mobility, and enhancing their quality of life. With an aging population and an increasing focus on preventative care, physical therapy is one of the most promising allied health professions – especially for those with in-demand PT skills!
- Median Salary: $97,720/year or $46.98/hour
- In-Demand Industries: Health Practitioner & Physician Offices, General Hospitals, Home Health Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +15%
Physical Therapist Assistants
Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) work alongside physical therapists to help implement treatment plans, monitor patient progress, and provide hands-on care. Both the benefits and demands for PTAs are high.
- Median Salary: $57,240/year or $27.52/hour
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +19%
Speech-language pathologists (SLPs) work with patients of all ages to overcome communication disorders and speech impediments. As the awareness of speech-related issues continues to grow, the need for skilled SLPs is on the rise. Therefore, the role of an SLP ensures a steady stream of opportunities in this vital allied health profession.
- Median Salary: $84,140/year or $40.45/hour
- In-Demand Industries: Elementary & Secondary Schools, Offices of Health Practitioners, General Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Specialty Hospitals.
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +19%
Occupational therapists are instrumental in helping patients regain independence in their daily lives. Specifically, they provide customized interventions and strategies to help patients cope with physical, cognitive, or emotional challenges. With a strong focus on holistic wellness, this allied health profession promises growth and an impactful career across various settings.
- Median Salary: $93,180/year or $44.80/hour
- In-Demand Industries: Offices of Health Practitioners, General Hospitals, Elementary & Secondary Schools, Home Health Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +12%
Occupational Therapist Assistants
Occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) collaborate with patients and therapists to assist with techniques, training, and equipment. OTAs will be particularly in demand over the next 10 years.
- Median Salary: $63,450/year or $30.51/hour
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +23%
Pharmacists play a crucial role in completing a patient’s healthcare experience. They fill prescriptions, offer expert advice on their use, address potential side effects, and ensure medications align with patients’ health profiles. Additionally, pharmacists are one of the highest-paying allied health professions.
- Median Salary: $132,750/year or $63.82/hour
- In-Demand Industries: Health & Personal Care Retailers, General Hospitals, Food & Beverage Retailers, General Merchandise Retailers, and Outpatient Care.
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +3%
Respiratory therapists specialize in assessing, diagnosing, and treating patients with breathing difficulties. The field offers strong career growth and increasing demand due to a rising aging population and advancements in care techniques and technology.
- Median Salary: $70,540/year or $33.91/hour
- In-Demand Industries: General & Specialty Hospitals, Skilled Nursing Facilities, Employment Services, and Equipment and Supplies Merchant Wholesalers.
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +13%
MRI and CT Technologists
CT (Computed Tomography) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) are both allied health professions that are growing in demand. Primarily, their responsibilities are to capture detailed images to help diagnose and treat various medical conditions. With their expertise in advanced imaging technology, MRI and CT technologists play an important role in delivering accurate and vital information for patients.
- Median Salary: $74,690/year or $35.91/hour
- In-Demand Industries: General Hospitals, Medical & Diagnostic Labs, Office of Physicians, Outpatient Care, and Specialty Hospitals.
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +6%
Radiologic Technologists and Technicians
Similarly, radiology techs use diagnostic imaging like x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to capture detailed images of the body’s internal structures. As healthcare embraces innovation, radiology technology jobs offer great pay and demand with relatively low entry requirements.
- Median Salary: $65,140/year or $31.32/hour
- In-Demand Industries: General Hospitals, Offices of Physicians, Medical and Diagnostic Labs, Outpatient Care, and the Federal Executive Branch.
- Job Outlook (2022-2023): +6%
Explore Your Dream Allied Health Profession
Allied health professionals have a unique opportunity to find a career where they can truly specialize in their skills. And if you’re looking for a therapist, technician or technologist role, your search starts here with CareerStaff!
Whether it’s travel therapy, or local allied health jobs, the healthcare industry is filled with diverse opportunities fit for your lifestyle goals. Search for allied health jobs near you, or complete a quick application to connect with a recruiter below!