How to Get a Job at a Hospital If you have no medical education If you have medical education How to apply for a hospital job Top 3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make The Bottom Line
How to Get a Job at a Hospital If you have no medical education If you have medical education How to apply for a hospital job Top 3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make The Bottom Line
Updated 09/10/2020

How to Get a Job at a Hospital

From entry-level jobs to higher-level positions, the healthcare industry continues to expand and requires more medical professionals than it has now. It creates many opportunities for new works to enter and get a foot in the door. Find out which steps you need to take regardless of whether you have a medical degree or not.

From entry-level jobs to higher-level positions, the healthcare industry continues to expand and requires more medical professionals than it has now. It creates many opportunities for new works to enter and get a foot in the door. Find out which steps you need to take regardless of whether you have a medical degree or not.

There was already a shortage of healthcare workers even before the coronavirus struck back in the winter of 2019-2020. In Europe, the WHO reports “40 million new health sector jobs mostly in the middle- and high-income countries and a projected shortage of 18 million health workers in low- and lower-middle-income countries” within the next 15 years. In the US, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a 15% increase in healthcare jobs from 2019 to 2029, adding about 2.4 million new jobs.

The US and Europe’s adult population is aging faster than the medical industry can recruit and train medical workers. The healthcare workforce is not replenishing rapidly enough to cover the demand for medical services.

However, CNN reports, “Hospitals and other medical facilities are getting so desperate to recruit and retain nurses they're offering pricey perks and incentives, including five-figure signing bonuses.” What does it say to new graduates and people who want to break into a healthcare career? It says, Your chances are high. Go for it!


If you have no medical education

Those who are aware of their willingness to work at a hospital and have gone to med school or nursing school before starting to send out their resumes can read our advice in the next section. But what about those job seekers who have no specific medical education and no experience? Is getting a job at a hospital easy for them too? It depends on your skills and competences.

Hospitals and clinics have many jobs both for clinical and non-clinical support roles. You should not expect to land a senior job right off the bat. But if you are ready to start from the bottom of the career ladder, finding a hospital job is an attainable goal.

To start your career in the medical field without medical education, you need to identify your points of strength and transferable skills. See what types of jobs are out there and how well your skills match.

Here are the top 5 healthcare jobs you can try without special medical education and work your way up.

  • Aide. Typically aids in healthcare jobs are not involved with patient care, like assistants, and are required to have only a high school diploma. Aids deal with equipment and need physical stamina for some jobs. For example, home care aides must lift and move patients when bathing and dressing them. Psychiatric aids may need to restrain patients if they get violent. OT aids (occupational therapy) handle equipment and materials. In all lines of work, aids perform administrative and clerical tasks, including answering calls and emails, filing papers, helping patients with billing and insurance forms, and scheduling appointments.
  • Medical Biller. People working in this role help patients handle their bills and maintain records for the hospital. Medical billers also act as intermediaries between patients and insurance companies, putting together claims, handling claim disputes, and solving discrepancies. The background for a medical biller usually requires some experience in science or math. A high school diploma is usually enough. Besides, neither a license nor a certification is generally required.
  • Medical or Unit Secretary. No medical degree is needed to manage a medical office. If administrative skills are your forte, you may be good at ordering office supplies, scheduling appointments, maintaining medical files and medical records, and helping patients fill out forms.

After you tried yourself in any of the positions mentioned above, you can move up to more advanced and qualified jobs. Several medical jobs require an associate degree. For example, you can start as an OT aid and move to OT assistance. Similarly, you can begin as an aid in an emergency room and learn your way up.

As soon as you start working in a hospital at least part-time, you will learn more about the work opportunities and skills you need to acquire. Sometimes you can even get an internal referral.
  • Assistant. A medical assistant or an OT assistant position becomes available as soon as the candidate gets an associate degree from an accredited training program or a license/certificate. Assistants help with many administrative duties, but they also assist with clinical procedures and patient care.
  • Medical Coder. To start working as a medical coder, one needs thorough knowledge of the health care coding system. If you started as a medical biller, you are skilled enough to move up a rung on the career ladder. Not all medical institutions require medical coders to have an associate degree. You will need to clarify it with HR.

When you are ready to enroll in a nursing school or start an Associate Degree course, check out Nursing School Interview Questions and Answers With Examples.

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If you have medical education

If you know the medical field you want to work in, and have the required knowledge, make sure you are mentally prepared. It means you need to adjust your mindset and find the best ways to navigate the job-hunting process to avoid disappointment and anxiety if you cannot land a medical job right away. Our internal research reveals that it can take 2 to 3 months to get a hospital job on average. Here is a list of tips from a hospital HR on how to get hired in a hospital:


Before you start posting your resume on job sites, check out available vacancies in the field. The same position may differ in salary range according to location. Some job seekers choose to move to a larger city or even the other coast to increase their chances of landing a great job.

Don’t hesitate to start at entry-level

Having a diploma from a great med school gives you an incentive to aim high. However, more than hard skills are necessary for senior positions. Whether you are a doctor or a nurse, don’t hesitate to start at a medium position to acquire the essential interpersonal skills and behavioral patterns required at the top. Many medical facilities are willing to offer upward mobility if their employees demonstrate perseverance and competence.

Be honest

If job seekers want to play tricks on recruiters and exaggerate their experience on the resume, it may cost them a job interview and eventually a job. Recruiters are skilled at spotting lies. They can do the math and see if you correctly indicated your work experience as a medical assistant, including the years you were a student.

Have a current resume

Some candidates are unaware of how essential a resume is in today’s medical job hunt. “A good CV is like a good advertisement,” reports Nursing Times. “It makes you stop for a moment and look at that product differently.”

Expand your networking

No matter how many people you know in the healthcare industry, you should want to know more. Your connections can land you a great job within days. If you don’t know how to get a job in a hospital with no experience but with a degree, networking can help you. Especially If you had no opportunity to make ties within the healthcare community through education, volunteering, or joining medical associations. After all, networking can be a valid reason to enroll in a nursing school or get a certification.

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How to apply for a hospital job

Nowadays, applying for a job has relatively rigid and specific requirements. As soon as you have found a position you’re interested in, you should send a resume showing you are an excellent fit. Next, you should write a cover letter, briefly telling the main points of your resume. This two-stage process may seem redundant, but it isn’t. Each document, if done correctly and effectively, increases your odds of landing a job interview.

Writing your first resume is rarely a breeze. You vaguely know the rules, and you want to be done with it quickly. You can always outsource your resume writing. Many professional services offer to write resumes from scratch. As soon as you get your first professional resume, you can re-use it many times, tailoring it for each job to which you apply.

Why Do You Need a Resume?

First and foremost, all hiring managers expect job seekers to apply for a position by sending a resume. If you skip this step, there is no way a recruiter will know or remember your candidacy. A resume gives you an excellent opportunity to list all your relevant degrees and certificates and word your work experience in the most flattering way.

Second, you show you are capable and smart. Is it wise to deliver what an employer is looking for? Absolutely. Employers give clear-cut descriptions of the skills and qualities prospective employees are expected to have. By submitting a compelling resume, you show that you read the job description and can offer relevant points on your resume.

Next, you show you fit the job description. By tailoring your application to the job description, you cut to the chase and show that you mean business. As Mary Pennell, seasoned recruiter and lecturer in palliative care at King’s College London, says,

“I’m a busy person and want to know if this person has at least some relevant skills. If you are a student nurse applying for a D-grade surgical job and had one surgical experience in your second year, what made you want to come back to that area? Don’t tell us how much you love medicine or older people.”

Finally, you show enthusiasm. You should avoid trite and banal phrases in your resume. Don’t copy-paste from the Internet. Recruiters encourage job seekers to use emotive words such as “passionate” or “caring.” It will make your application memorable and humane.

Why Do You Need a Cover Letter?

Resumes are typically attached to an email you send to a recruiter. In contrast, a cover letter is a piece of writing that accompanies that attachment in the message’s body. That way, a cover letter is the first thing a recruiter sees when he or she opens an email. That is why it is essential for a cover letter to be to the point and concise, leaving all the right hooks for the recruiter to take the bait and finally open your resume.

Get a general idea of how a cover letter should look for an OT assistant, medical coder, and other healthcare industry positions.

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Top 3 Mistakes Job Seekers Make

To make sure you have correct takeaways from this article, let’s review the Top 3 Mistakes job seekers typically make when looking for a job in the healthcare industry:

  • Refuse to take a step back. Especially if you change a career, you simply cannot expect to take the same pay and perks as you had in a non-medical career. However, you will catch up as soon as you get established in your new medical profession.
  • Put all your hopes into one basket. Job hunt and job interviewing is a two-way process. While they look at you, you look at them. If a company you like and want to work with has a painstakingly slow screening process, you are strongly advised to keep exploring your employment options. Don’t get bogged down by one prospective employer.
  • Disregarding rules and conventions for resumes and cover letters. Your application is not a place and time to show off your independent critical thinking. Don’t try to change the rules of the game. If you want to write a resume on your own, use a decent resume template and a well-written sample. Recruiters quickly notice if the font or layout is off, or a candidate fails to use bullet points and goes over 1 page: design, pronouns, content, all those details matter. However, you can avoid being rejected just by using our cover letter builder.


The Bottom Line

The healthcare industry is in constant need of fresh blood. Whether you have a medical education and experience or not, you have a real chance to start a hospital career. For this purpose, arm yourself with our article's recommendations, flawless application documents, patience, and perseverance. Remember, your sincere desire to unleash your potential in healthcare will help you overcome all the difficulties of finding a job and lead you to the desired position.

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