Allied Health is an incredibly important area of medicine that includes health professionals who are not doctors, dentists or nurses. If you have a strong desire to work with people, learn about medicine and become part of the health care community, a career in Allied Health may be an excellent option.
Where Can a Career in Allied Health Take You?
There are countless career opportunities for those who qualify with a qualification in Allied Health. You could end up working in a hospital or private clinic, in a rehabilitation centre, community clinic or even at a university or school.
What’s a Career in Allied Health Like?
Careers in Allied Health can be highly rewarding and you’ll find yourself coming in contact with a range of both long-term and short-term patients.
Professionals who work in Allied Health are generally very caring and compassionate people, with good communication (listening, speaking) skills and a high attention to detail and accuracy. You’ll need to be able to cope with the pressures of attending to patients, being on the go and often dealing with difficult or challenging patients or situations.
Salaries can vary greatly in Allied Health, particularly depending on what field you choose and where you are employed. However, these stats may give you an overall idea of income:
- Aged and Disabled Carers working full time can earn around $900 per week (before tax)
- The average base salary for a full-time Occupational Therapist is around $63,000 per year + super
- A Dietary Aide could make $800+ a week or more if they are employed full-time
- A sports physiotherapist can expect to earn around $42,000 per annum, with highly successful professionals earning $100,000 a year or more
Studying Allied Health
If you’re keen to get into Allied Health, it can be a good idea to begin with a Certificate III qualification in your chosen field. Throughout the certificate course, you’ll learn about the basics of the body (anatomy, physiology), become familiar with medical terminology and learn how to provide care for patients in your area.
Some courses will also teach you how to conduct health interventions, create programs and effectively communicate with the people you’ll be looking after, even if they can’t communicate fully with you.
Many certificates will also involve a practical or work placement to help you build your skills.
How to Choose Your Field – Types of Allied Health Jobs
While getting into Allied Health can be an exciting career move, how can you decide which field is best for you? Especially when you’ve got no experience?
We’re put together this list of potential Allied Health positions to give you more of an idea of the areas open to you – and what each involves. Keep in mind that you can develop a career as any one of the below or you can be employed as a support worker or assistant to a qualified physician.
Occupational Therapist: Occupational therapists assist children and adults with illnesses or disabilities to function in their daily lives and activities. They can help with everyday duties like eating and dressing, or with other things like exercise and recreational activities. Occupational therapists are in high demand, making career prospects strong.
Audiologist: Audiologists help people with hearing disabilities. They conduct hearing tests, determine causes of hearing or balance loss and provide solutions. They can work in hospitals and clinics, and be involved in research and development, too.
Pharmacist: Pharmacists most often work in chemists/pharmacies and help customers by dispensing and advising them on medications. Pharmacists can also be involved with pharmaceutical research.
Podiatrist: Thinking you’d like to know more about feet, legs, toes and how they work (or don’t work)? Podiatrists treat various foot conditions, from skin or nail conditions to muscular conditions.
Nutritionist or Dietitian: Nutritionists and dietitians work with patients to advise them on good health and/or manage illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, obesity or an eating disorder. In Australia, dietitians require additional dietetic qualifications and study, and are qualified to work in a medical capacity.
Music therapist: Love music? A music therapist’s role is to provide mental health care and therapy to patients by using music and assessing responses to music. A music therapist can work with patients 1-1 or in a group setting. Music therapy is used in treating both adults and children.
Speech Pathologist: Speech pathologists also assist children and adults in overcoming speech and swallowing difficulties. They can help treat disorders such as autism or stuttering, or work to rehabilitate patients after strokes or similar.
Orthotist: An Orthotist is responsible for orthotics or prosthetics, otherwise commonly known as artificial limbs. Orthotists work with a range of people in fitting, managing and getting used to prosthetics.
A career in Allied Health can be extremely rewarding no matter what field you choose to go into. All you need is a desire to care for others and a willingness to learn as much as you can!
Learn more about the Allied Health courses we offer here.