11May

5 Reasons Certification Can Boost Your Allied Health Career

“Requirements vary widely state by state,” says Mike Johnston, chairman and CEO of the National Pharmacy Technicians Association. “It could mean just registering with the state board of pharmacy, while other states require certification.”

Many allied health careers can benefit from earning a certification, even if such healthcare jobs don’t require certification.

If you aren’t clear about which certifications are optional, it could be because the regulatory landscape is complex. Regardless, obtaining a certificate in your allied health profession is likely a good career move. Here are five reasons to get certified now:

1. You’ll be ahead of the competition.

Even if your skills are in demand without a certification, gaining a credential can give you the leverage to choose your employer. “It’s an advantage in this difficult labor market,” says Dennis Yee, a recruiter with Children’s Hospital Central California in Madera, California. “It certainly adds value to your application.”

For some allied health jobs, such as medical assistants or home-health workers, a certification may be a near-necessity in crowded labor markets—even when regulations don’t require it.

2. You’ll qualify for jobs with employers that set the highest standards.

It’s true that if your allied health skills are in demand, you’re likely to find a job…somewhere. But if you want to work for a major medical center or a prestigious specialist’s office, a certification may help set your candidacy apart. “Many employers require certification even if the state doesn’t,” Johnston says.

Care providers tend to feel much more comfortable when their workers are all certified in allied-health occupations. “Our franchisees would much rather employ those with certification,” says Emma Dickison, CEO of Home Helpers, a franchisor of home health and personal care services with operations in 42 states. “It’s a huge differentiator, to be able to demonstrate that your staff is properly trained for the standard of care.”

3. You can expand your scope of practice.

When an allied health support worker gains an optional certification, the supervising practitioner may be able to expand that worker’s scope of practice substantially. Sometimes such an expansion is explicitly allowed by regulation; at other times, it’s at the discretion of the supervisor.

A certification will increase your flexibility, which will make you more valuable to your organization and is good for job security.

4. You can increase your earning potential.

When you add a certification to your resume, your compensation should reflect your expanded credentials. “Often there are pay increases associated with a certification,” even if it’s optional in your job, says Johnston.

5. You’ll build your reputation in your professional field.

One final reason to consider going for a certification even when it’s not required: You will be admired for achieving a professional level of practice in your chosen occupation. Certification will be an important reassurance for both the people you work with and the patients you care for.

Learn more how AMT certification can advance your allied health career.

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