Whether you’re interested in medical billing and coding, medical assisting, diagnostics, or one of the many other allied health programs, now is the time to get started. As much as 60% of the healthcare workforce in the U.S. is comprised of allied health professionals, and jobs are continuing to grow. There are many schools across the country that offer degrees in various allied health fields. In many cases, online programs may be sufficient to obtain your degree.
Allied Health Programs
Allied Health programs offer degrees in a variety of medical fields, excluding those for physicians, nurses, and dentists. These programs train individuals to diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide array of physical ailments. There are 12-18 month certificate programs, Associate’s degrees, and bachelor’s degrees in allied health. When choosing your program, cost, entrance requirements, proximity, and job placement are all important factors to consider. It is also important to make sure that the allied health program you are considering has been accredited.
Accreditation of Allied Health Programs
Some of the different fields have their own accrediting agencies, but there are a few that encompass a wide field and whose accreditation is important. Here are some of the primary accrediting agencies for allied health programs:
Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
The CAAHEP accredits over 2100 individual programs in 32 health science occupations.
25400 US Highway 19 North Suite 158
Clearwater, FL 33763
Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)
The CHEA database includes over 8,200 institutions and over 44,000 programs in the U.S.
One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20036
Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT)
The JCERT accredits programs specific to radiography, radiation therapy, magnetic resonance, and medical dosimetry.
20 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 2850
Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: (312) 704-5300
Allied Health Associates Degree
A degree in allied health is a generalized Associates of Applied Science (AAS) degree. Courses include math, science, communication, and other general and specialized classes.
Holders of the AAS degree are eligible to work in many entry-level allied healthcare fields . Associates of Applied Science Transfer degrees (AAS-T) are intended to provide a base level of education with credits that can be transferred to a 4-year institution for pursuit of a more specialized bachelor’s degree or certificate. It can also help meet the entrance requirements of many advanced degree programs. The degree can provide access to many different career pathways.
Some schools will use the term “Allied Health Degree” as an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of fields in which to specialize, such as Diagnostic Medical Sonography , Radiologic Technology, or Cardiovascular Technology.
If you’re considering pursuing the Allied Health transfer degree, do some research to make sure that all of the credits are transferrable and will be accepted by the school that you hope to eventually attend.
Online Health Science Degree Programs
Online health science schools are a great way to get a formal education without putting your life on hold. Whether you are working full time, attending to a family at home, or just prefer to work at your own pace, on your own time, an online allied health school can be the solution. Online degrees are now commonplace and widely accepted. Technology has made it possible to work with your professor and your fellow students in a real-world environment, where you can chat and get feedback for your work.
The healthcare industry is one of the fastest growing in the nation, with almost 2 million positions expected to open by 2028. While not all healthcare careers are well suited for an online education, there are many that are, from nursing and healthcare management, to medical transcription or billing and coding.