Allied Health Careers

Learn about allied health professionals such as EMTs, phlebotomists, pharmacy technicians, medical assistants, and more. 

For more information or if you are interested in having us present to your school/organization, email communityengagement@mednet.ucla.edu or call 310-206-1441

What they do

Administrative Clinical Care Partner provides care and assistance to patients with limited physical abilities, which they are unable to complete on their own, such as walking and bathing. Administrative Clinical Care Partners also work with medical technology, like billing software, health information so ware and medical record charting software. Administrative Clinical Care Partners often report to registered nurses (RNs) or licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses (LVNs).

Education needed

As students prepare for the next chapters of their lives, they are faced with the daunting question: What am I going to do with my future? This toolkit will show students possibilities for a profession in healthcare, what opportunities are available and how to go about attaining them.

UCLA Health starting salary

$43,409.52/year or $20.79/hour

Local schools offering this program

American Red Cross, Infotech Career College, Medical Allied Career Center, Platt College, Regan Career Institute

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Child life specialists are pediatric healthcare professionals who work with children and families in hospitals and other settings to help them cope with the challenges of hospitalization, illness and disability. They provide children with age-appropriate preparation for medical procedures, pain management and coping strategies, and play and self-expression activities. They also provide information, support and guidance to parents, siblings and other family members and help patients and their families feel more comfortable in clinical settings.

Education needed

  • Master's Degree
  • 600+ hours of Clinical Internship, Certification

UCLA Health starting salary

$59,382.72/year or $28.44/hour

Local schools offering this program

Azusa Pacific, Loma Linda University, University of La Verne

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Clinical laboratory science, also called medical technology, is the health profession that provides laboratory information and services needed for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Clinical laboratory scientists perform a variety of laboratory tests, ensure the quality of test results, explain the significance, evaluate new methods and study the effectiveness of laboratory tests.

Education needed

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • One Year of a Training Program, License

UCLA Health starting salary

$91,454.40/year or $43.80/hour

Local schools offering this program

Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Los Angeles, Loma Linda University, UC San Diego

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

A registered dietitian evaluates dietary requirements of patients and helps to develop personalized meal plans. Registered dietitians earn a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in nutrition from a college or university, pass a national exam, and complete continuing educational requirements courses. Dietitians often conduct nutritional research and work with hospitals and cafeterias to help develop specific meal plans and promote nutrition through community outreach.

Education needed

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • License, Certificate

UCLA Health starting salary

$81,223.20/year or $38.90/hour

Local schools offering this program

Azusa Pacific University, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State Northridge, Cal Poly Pomona, West Valley College

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

An emergency medical technician (EMT) is trained for immediate response to 911 calls. As the first healthcare provider at the scene of emergency situations, an EMT's primary function is to assess a patient's condition and quickly determine the course of action necessary to stabilize the patient at the scene and while en route to a medical facility. An EMT also collaborates with firefighters and law enforcement to create a safe environment and establish priorities for required emergency care.

Education needed

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • 160 hours of Training Certification

UCLA Health starting salary

$40,089.60/year or $19.20/hour

Local schools offering this program

Cal State Long Beach, College of the Canyons, Pasadena City College, UCLA Prehospital Care

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Laboratory Assistants perform a variety of job functions in support of the operation of a science laboratory. Some of those functions include: preparation of media for research, participation in the construction, assembly, testing and operation of laboratory equipment, preparation of tissues for microscopic examination and assisting in keeping up the cleanliness and maintenance of a laboratory.

Education needed

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Extensive research experience during undergraduate preferred

UCLA Health starting salary

$32,489.28/year or $15.56/hour

Local schools offering this program

Cal Poly Pomona

Professional organizations

American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

A licensed vocational nurse (LVN) provides basic nursing care under the direct supervision of a registered nurse or physician. Typical nursing duties can include administering medications, monitoring patient health (i.e., measuring vital signs), providing basic bedside care to patients and starting intravenous fluids.

Education needed

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Program Completion
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$48,191.04/year or $23.08/hour

Local schools offering this program

Brightwood College, Concorde Career College, Glendale Career College, LA Trade Tech

Professional organizations

Board of Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technicians

National Association of Licensed Practical Nurses

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and other health practitioners. Their duties vary with the location, specialty and size of the practice.

Medical assistants typically do the following:

  • Take patient history and measure vital signs
  • Help the physician with patient examinations
  • Give patient injections or take EKGs, as directed by the physician
  • Schedule patient appointments
  • Prepare blood for laboratory tests
  • Help patients feel at ease in medical settings

Education needed

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • Certification

Get a UCLA Health Medical Assistant Certificate

UCLA Health starting salary

$34,744.32/year or $16.64/hour

Local schools offering this program

East San Gabriel Valley, Pasadena City College, Southern California Regional Occupational Center, Santa Monica College, West Valley College

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Medical coding is a specialized profession within the wider eld of healthcare administration. Professional medical coders review the documentation contained in patients' medical records, then they translate the written documentation into universally accepted, industry-standard medical code. These codes are used to submit claims to third-party payers and to gather statistical information, both by tracking incidents of specific diseases and by detecting developing trends in treatment procedures. Accurate medical coding is essential to the healthcare industry. It is how claims for payment are reported for appropriate reimbursement of provided medically necessary services.

Education needed

  • Associate's Degree
  • Certification

UCLA Health starting salary

$55,290.24/year or $26.48/hour

Local schools offering this program

Loma Linda University, Glendale Community College, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Monica College, Westchester College of Nursing and Allied Health

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

A nurse practitioner is a registered nurse (RN) who has completed advanced education and training in the diagnosis and management of common and chronic illnesses. Nurse practitioners focus on individualized care by treating their patients and educating them about preventative health measures.

Education needed

  • Master's Degree (Master of Science in Nursing)
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$123,818.40/year or $59.30/hour

Local schools offering this program

Azusa Pacific University, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Los Angeles, Charles R. Drew University, UCLA

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

The role of an occupational therapist is to work with a client to help him or her achieve a fulfilled and satisfied state in life through the use of purposeful activity or interventions designed to achieve functional outcomes that promote health, prevent injury or disability and that develop, improve, sustain or restore the highest possible level of independence.

Education needed

  • Master's Degree
  • License
  • Certification

UCLA Health starting salary

$83,248.56/year or $39.87/hour

Local schools offering this program

Cal State Dominguez Hills, Loma Linda University, USC, West Coast University

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Occupational therapist assistants (OTAs) provide occupational therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed occupational therapist. OTAs help people of all ages afflicted with traumatic injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive disorders learn to live productive lives through the use of meaningful occupations. OTAs employ therapies, procedures and treatments to help restore sight, movement, brain function and productivity.

Education needed

  • Associate degree from an accredited OTA program
  • Graduates must pass the national examination for licensing to be eligible to work

UCLA Health starting salary

$59,591.52/year or $28.54/hour

Local schools offering this program

Azusa Pacific University, CBD College, Santa Ana College, Stanbridge University

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Pathologists' assistants (PAs) are highly trained health professionals who carry out their duties under the direction and supervision of a pathologist to make laboratories more efficient and cost effective. PAs prepare, examine and dissect anatomic specimens to help pathologists make clinical diagnoses. Typically, PAs work with surgical and/or autopsy pathology and help with administrative duties, such as training and preparing for pathology conferences.

Education needed

  • Master's Degree
  • License
  • Certification

UCLA Health starting salary

$40,069/year or $19.19/hour

Local schools offering this program

Loma Linda University

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Pharmacists are health professionals who, in addition to dispensing prescription medication to patients, also provide information about the drugs that their doctors have ordered for them. They explain doctors’ instructions to patients so that these individuals can use the medications safely and effectively. At UCLA, pharmacists see patients in the outpatient and inpatient settings to help with control of problems, such as high blood pressure, and to optimize patients' medication use at the lowest cost possible.

Education needed

Doctoral Degree

UCLA Health starting salary

$147,287.52/year or $70.54/hour

Local schools offering this program

Chapman University, Loma Linda University, UC San Diego, USC

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

A pharmacy technician, also known as a pharmaceutical technician, is a healthcare worker who performs pharmacy-related functions, generally working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist or other healthcare professional. Pharmacy technicians are employed in a variety of locations, usually in community/retail and hospital pharmacies but also in long-term care facilities, pharmaceutical companies, third-party insurance companies, computer software companies, or in government or teaching. Job duties include dispensing prescription drugs and other medical devices to patients and instructing on their use. They may also perform administrative duties in pharmaceutical practice, such as reviewing prescription requests with doctors' offices and insurance companies to ensure correct medications are provided and payment is received. In recent times, pharmacy technicians also speak directly with patients on the phone to make sure they take their medications on time.

Education needed

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$43,785.36/year or $20.97/hour

Local schools offering this program

American Career College, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Los Angeles, LA City College, West LA College

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

The primary function of a phlebotomy technician is to obtain patient blood specimens by venipuncture or microtechniques. The phlebotomist aids in the collection and transportation of other laboratory specimens, and may be involved with patient data entry. A phlebotomy technician also draws blood for transfusions, donations and research.

Education needed

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$43,555.68/year or $20.86/hour

Local schools offering this program

College of the Canyons, Long Beach City College, Regan Career Institute, UCLA Prehospital Care

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Physical therapists (PTs) provide services that help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients with injuries or disease. PTs work closely with patients and clients to restore, maintain, and promote their overall fitness and wellness for healthier and more active lifestyles. Patients may include accident victims and individuals with disabling conditions, such as low back pain, fractures, head injuries, arthritis, heart disease, strokes and cerebral palsy.

Education needed

  • Masters Degree/Doctoral Degree Preferred
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$81,619.92/year or $39.09/hour

Local schools offering this program

Azusa Pacific, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Northridge, Loma Linda University, Mount St Mary's College, USC

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Physical therapist assistants (PTAs) provide physical therapy services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physical therapist. PTAs provide care to patients with physical impairment through therapy and treatment to help patients restore functional activities in their daily lives. Those therapies and treatments include: exercise for mobility, strength and coordination, and training for activities such as walking with crutches, canes or walkers.

Education needed

  • Associate's Degree
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$59,591.52/year or $28.54/hour

Local schools offering this program

Casa Loma College, Loma Linda University, Stanbridge College

Professional organizations

American Physical Therapy Association

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Physician assistants are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine. They conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, prescribe medication, perform medical procedures, order tests and much more.

Education needed

  • Two years of college education in sciences
  • 1000+ hours of medical experience
  • Completion of Master's PA program

UCLA Health starting salary

$111,791.52/year or $53.54/hour

Local schools offering this program

Charles R. Drew University, Loma Linda University, Marshall B. Ketchum University, USC

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Programmer Analysts are engineers and information technology technicians who support existing networks and information systems while innovating by integrating new systems in a hospital. Some job functions of a Programmer Analyst include: networking, server management, database management and application programming. Programmer Analysts use a variety of web-based programming languages such as SQL, JavaScript, CSS, and coding principles to help translate data into innovations in cutting-edge biomedical applications.

Education needed

Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Statistics

UCLA Health starting salary

$50,320.80/year or $24.10/hour

Local schools offering this program

Cal State System, CalTech, DeVry Institute, UCLA, USC

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

A physician is a doctor who is certified to practice clinical medicine. Physicians receive academic and specialized training at a college or university to prepare them for the responsibility of patient care. Upon graduation, a physician earns a medical doctorate (MD). Physicians examine patients, perform and interpret diagnostic tests, counsel patients on health and well-being, refer patients to other doctors when necessary, and maintain responsibility for a patient's overall treatment and care.

Education needed

Doctoral Degree

UCLA Health starting salary

$109,995/year or $52.68/hour

Local schools offering this program

Loma Linda University, UCLA, USC

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Radiation therapists are skilled medical professionals with in-depth training in physics, radiation safety, patient anatomy and patient care. As part of the medical radiation oncology team, radiation therapists use machines called linear accelerators to administer radiation treatment that helps shrink and eliminate cancerous tumors. These therapist utilizes imaging technology, such as a computed tomography (CT) to help the physician precisely locate a tumor. Success as a radiation therapist requires a positive attitude, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, technological expertise and the ability to manage complex details under challenging working conditions.

Education needed

  • Associate's Degree (Bachelor's Degree Recommended)
  • License
  • Certification

UCLA Health starting salary

$101,643.84/year or $48.68/hour

Local schools offering this program

Azusa Pacific, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Northridge, Loma Linda University, USC

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Radiologic technologists are the healthcare professionals who perform diagnostic imaging procedures, such as X-ray examinations, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and computed tomography (CT) scans. Most technologists work in hospitals, though some work in doctors' offices and private clinics.

Radiologic technologists typically do the following:

  • Adjust and maintain imaging equipment
  • Precisely follow orders from physicians on what areas of the body to image
  • Prepare patients for procedures, including taking a medical history, answering questions about the procedure and putting patients at ease
  • Protect the patient by shielding exposed areas that do not need to be imaged
  • Position the patient and the equipment in the location needed to get the correct image
  • Operate the computerized equipment to take the images
  • Work with radiologists reading the images to determine whether other images need to be taken
  • Keep detailed patient records

Education needed

  • Associate's Degree
  • License
  • Certification

UCLA Health starting salary

$76,232.88/year or $36.51/hour

Local schools offering this program

Charles Drew University, LA City College, Loma Linda University

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Registered nurses (RNs) require a large base of knowledge to assess, plan and intervene to promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness. The RN manages teams in hospitals and clinics. When providing direct patient care, nurses observe, assess and record symptoms, reactions and progress, which provides the basis for care planning and intervention. They are health educators and advocates for patients, families and communities.

Education needed

  • Bachelor's Degree (Bachelor of Science in Nursing BSN)
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$90,097.20/year or $43.15/hour

Local schools offering this program

Cal State Long Beach, Glendale Community College, LA Trade Tech College, Mount St Mary's College, UCLA

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Respiratory therapy is the healthcare discipline that specializes in the promotion of optimum cardiopulmonary function and health. Respiratory therapists apply scientific principles to prevent, identify and treat acute or chronic dysfunction of the cardiopulmonary system. Their knowledge of the scientific principles underlying cardiopulmonary physiology and pathophysiology, as well as biomedical engineering and technology, enable them to effectively assess, educate and treat patients with cardiopulmonary disorders. Respiratory therapists administer treatments to help patients with pneumonia, asthma and other diseases breathe easier. They also assist with operating ventilators.

Education needed

  • Associate's Degree
  • Certification
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$72,432.72/year or $34.69/hour

Local schools offering this program

American Career College, El Camino Community College, LA Valley College, Loma Linda University

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

The field of social work utilizes social theories to understand human problems, to enhance people's lives and to improve society as a whole. Many who work in this field specialize in particular areas, such as aiding children, assisting those with life-threatening problems or helping people overcome addictions.

Social workers:

  • Act as advocates for their clients
  • Educate clients and teach them new skills
  • Link clients to essential resources within the community
  • Protect vulnerable clients and ensure that their best interests are observed
  • Counsel clients who need support and assistance
  • Research social problems to look for remedies

Education needed

Master's Degree

UCLA Health starting salary

$62,410.32/year or $29.89/hour

Local schools offering this program

Azusa Pacific, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State Northridge, Loma Linda University, UCLA, USC

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Speech-language pathologists assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent speech, language, cognitive, communication, voice, swallowing, fluency and other related disorders.

Speech-language pathologists work with people who cannot make speech sounds or cannot make them clearly; those with speech rhythm and fluency problems, such as stuttering; those with voice quality problems, such as inappropriate pitch or harsh voice; those with problems understanding and producing language; those who wish to improve their communication skills by modifying an accent; and those with cognitive communication impairments, such as attention, memory and problem-solving disorders. ey also work with people who have oral motor problems that cause eating and swallowing difficulties.

Education needed

  • Master's Degree
  • License

UCLA Health starting salary

$93,584.16/year or $44.82/hour

Local schools offering this program

Cal State Long Beach, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State Northridge, Chapman University, Loma Linda University

Professional organizations

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Staff Research Associates (SRAs) provide administrative and technical support to researchers for clinical studies. Many SRA positions require specialized academic or scientific knowledge, and a background in science, to perform or supervise experimental procedures in support of research and teaching.

Education needed

  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Extensive lab experience during undergraduate strongly preferred

UCLA Health starting salary

$43,305.12/ year or $20.74/hour

Professional organizations

Society for Clinical Research Excellence

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

Surgical technologists assist in surgical operations under the supervision of surgeons, registered nurses or other surgical personnel. ey are members of operating room teams, which most commonly include surgeons, anesthesiologists and circulating nurses.

Surgical techs can work in a variety of locations, including hospitals, physicians', dentists' offices, outpatient clinics or military hospitals.

The main job duties are:

  • Shaving and sterilization of patients
  • Sterilization of operating rooms and all equipment
  • Monitoring patients' vital statistics
  • Making sure all equipment is functioning
  • Handing the surgeon tools during procedures
  • Stocking and restocking operating rooms before and after surgeries

Education needed

Associate's Degree or 12-month Certificate Program

UCLA Health starting salary

$47,669.04/year or $22.83/hour

Local schools offering this program

Concorde Career College, Glendale Career College, Simi Valley Career Institute

Professional organizations

Association of Surgical Technologists

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.

What they do

An ultrasound technician, often called a diagnostic medical sonographer or simply a sonographer, operates special equipment that uses sound waves to help diagnose patients' ailments. They work directly with patients and physicians. Ultrasound technicians may specialize in obstetric and gynecologic sonography, abdominal sonography, neurosonography, breast sonography, vascular sonography or cardiac sonography. They can work in a hospital or a community clinic.

Education needed

Associate's Degree (Bachelor's Degree is recommended)

UCLA Health starting salary

$92,289.60/year or $44.20/hour

Local schools offering this program

Cypress College, Loma Linda University, Orange Coast College, Platt College

Professional organizations

American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography

To learn more about this career and explore job postings, visit UCLA Health Careers.