If you like making things or working with equipment, there are careers for you in Kentucky healthcare, from biomedical engineering to making eyeglasses and repairing medical equipment.
Biomedical engineers design and develop a variety of equipment, devices, computer systems, and software used in healthcare. They can create artificial organs, replacements for body parts, and machines for diagnosing medical problems. You need a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering or bioengineering, or a related engineering field such as mechanical and electrical engineering.
- Bioengineers and biomedical engineers, 7.78 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 90 to 97 jobs. Median wage is $61,410.
Orthotists and Prosthetists
Although their numbers are few, the demand for orthotists and prosthetists is growing quickly. These professionals design and fabricate artificial limbs, braces, orthopedic footwear, and other medical support devices. You need a master’s degree for this work.
- Orthotists and prosthetists: 15.18 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 112 to 129 positions. Median wage is $51,583.
For a listing of accredited programs for orthotists and prosthetists, or any other health science occupation, see the website of the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.
Hearing Aid Specialists
Hearing aid specialists not only fit hearing aids for customers, but also take ear impressions and prepare, design, and modify ear molds. You can learn this work with on-the-job-training. You must pass an exam to be licensed in Kentucky. Median wage as of May 2020 was $63,310, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which ranks Kentucky among the top five states for pay for this work.
Dental and Ophthalmic Careers
Dental laboratory technicians make dentures and other dental devices. Ophthalmic laboratory technicians make prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. You can begin this work with on-the-job training.
- Dental laboratory technicians: 7.06 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 453 to 485 positions. Median wage is $44,058.
- Ophthalmic laboratory technicians: 12.58 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 310 to 349 jobs. Median wage is $29,522.
The Kentucky Community and Technical College System offers associate degrees in engineering and electronics technology as well as biomedical technology systems. These programs can prepare students for successful careers working with medical equipment.
Medical equipment repairers install and maintain patient care equipment as well as repair it. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that employers generally prefer candidates who have an associate degree in biomedical technology or engineering.
Repairing more sophisticated equipment like CT scanners may require a bachelor’s degree.
- Medical equipment repairers: 8.81 percent increase from 2018 to 2028, from 874 to 951 positions. Median wage is $41,503.
Figures from the Kentucky Occupational Outlook to 2028.