Rock Valley College

RVC Health Con



Event Date: March 14, 2019

Interested? Talk to your high school academy coach for more information. Space is very limited.

Emergency Services – EMT/Paramedic

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics care for the sick or injured in emergency medical settings. People’s lives often depend on the quick reaction and competent care provided by these workers. They respond to emergency calls, performing medical services and transporting patients to medical facilities. You may see them responding to a car accident or other emergency in your neighborhood. Their work can be physically strenuous and stressful, sometimes involving life-or-death situations.


  • 1 semester program, college-based & hospital-based
  • Entry-level/ base level: basic CPR, basic airway management: Oxygen administration, First Aid
  • $31,000-$38,000 salary range


  • EMT required, then an additional 12 months, hospital-based
  • Advanced level: Advanced life support, IV therapy, advanced airway management with intubation, EKG monitoring, administration of critical care medication 
  • $36,000-$46,000 salary range

Surgical Technologists/Surgical Assistants

The common members of the surgical team are:  Surgeon, Anesthesiologist, Surgical Technologist, Surgical Assistant, and nurses.  Each has their own specific role in the OR. 

Surgical technologists support the surgical team in a variety of ways, such as prepping the operating room, sterilizing equipment and instruments needed for the procedure, maintaining the sterile field, patient transport, and handing over surgical tools. 

Surgical Assistants are trained to do the same skills that a surgical technologist can do, but they often have additional responsibilities. Surgical assistants generally spend more time assisting the surgical team with the patient. They also help with specific tasks during the surgery, such as sponging, suctioning, and applying dressings.

Surgical Technologist:

  • 12 months, college-based
  • Entry level: 
  • $39,000-$49,000 salary range

Surgical Assistant (First Assist):

  • Surgical Technologist required, additional 2 years
  • Advanced level: 
  • $55,000-$100,000 salary range


Medical Imaging

Radiology technicians (along with CT Scan Techs, MRI Techs, Echo Techs, and many others) fall under the umbrella of Medical Imaging. Medical imagining is any test looking inside the body with the help of a high-tech device such as X-Ray, CT Scan, MRI, Ultra-Sound, Echocardiograms, etc. This helps doctors learn more about what is going on with the patient.


  • 12-24 months, hospital-based

Associate Degree:

  • 2 years

Bachelor’s Degree

  • 4 years

Salary Range:  $48,000-$58,000

Physical Therapy (PT)/Occupational Therapy(OT)/Speech Therapy

When patients are injured or ill, they sometimes lose the ability to function the way they used to. This is where Physical and Occupational Therapists come in. Physical Therapy help patients regain their strength and mobility and teach them to use muscles again. Occupational Therapy focus more only the functions of daily living; for example, they may help a stroke victim learn to write or button his shirt again. Speech therapy focuses on communication disorders, swallowing difficulties, voice pitch problems and more.

Physical Therapy Assistant (PTA)

  • Entry Level:  works with patients on prescribed therapy
  • Works under the direction/supervision of the PT
  • 2 year Associate’s Degree (College-based)
  • $47,00-$57,00 salary range

Physical Therapist (PT)

  • Advanced Level:  Assesses the clients’ condition, prescribes specific therapy and evaluates the client’s progression
  • DPT: Doctorate degree 3 years beyond a 4-year Bachelor’s degree
  • $76,000-$89,000 salary range

Occupational Therapy Assistant (OTA)

  • Entry Level:  works with patients on prescribed therapy
  • Works under the direction/supervision of the OT
  • 2 year Associate Degree (College-Based)
  • $50,000-$60,000

Occupational Therapist (OT)

  • Advanced Level:  Assesses the clients’ condition, prescribes specific therapy and evaluated the client’s progression
  • Master’s or Doctorate education
  • $76,000-$90,000 salary range
  • Speech Therapist
  • Advanced Level
  • Master’s Degree in Speech Therapy
  • $71,000-$84,000 salary range


Dental Assistant/Dental Hygienists

Dental assistants assist dentist such as handing instruments to dentists during procedures , and applying topical anesthetics. They also do other clerical duties such as obtaining medical records and assist with billing.  A dental hygienist performs tasks that are more advanced and independent. Their duties may include polishing patients' teeth, removing hard and soft deposits from teeth and using several tools to remove tartar, plaque and stains. Hygienists may also develop x-ray film.

Dental Assistant

  • Entry Level
  • Certificate: 6-12 month
  • $31,000-$39,000 salary range

Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)

  • Advanced Level
  • 2 year Associate’s Degree
  • $60,000-$80,000 salary range

Medical Lab (Phlebotomy, MLA, MLT, MLS)

This specialty involves the whole process from drawing blood from patients to the finish product of the lab result of the blood test.  Phlebotomists and Medical Lab Assistants typically draw blood and run other basic tests such as urinalysis, mouth swabs, and glucose. They have direct contact with patients on a daily basis working in either hospital or clinic settings. Medical Lab Technicians/Medical Lab Scientists run a battery of more detailed, complicated tests in areas such as blood bank, hematology, chemistry, and microbiology. They spend the majority of their time in the lab working with high tech, interesting equipment.


  • Entry Level
  • Certificate: 6 month program
  • $29,000-$36,000 salary range

Medical Lab Assistant (MLA)

  • Entry Level
  • Certificate: 12 month program
  • $29,000-$36,000 salary range

Medical Lab Technician (MLT)

  • Advancing
  • 2 year Associate Degree
  • $44,000-$54,000 salary range

Medical Lab Science (MLS)

  • Advanced Level
  • 4 year Bachelor’s Degree
  • Master’s Degree
  • $54,000 salary range

Respiratory Therapy/Sleep Apnea

A respiratory therapist is someone who cares for patients that have trouble breathing; for example, from a chronic respiratory disease, such as asthma or emphysema. They are one of the first responders to an emergency “Code Blue” and are responsible for managing the airway/breathing.  They perform pulmonary function tests and are responsible for the “breathing” machines in patients in the ICUs.

Polysomnography – that’s a mouth full! But it’s a very important job. The quality of sleep any one of us receives can deeply affect our mental and physical health.  Polysomnography, also called a sleep study, is a test used to diagnose sleep disorders. Polysomnography records your brain waves, the oxygen level in your blood, heart rate and breathing, as well as eye and leg movements during the study.

Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT)

  • Advanced Level
  • 2 year Associate Degree
  • $58,000-$70,000 salary range


  • Certificate: 12 month program
  • 2 year Associate Degree
  • $48,000-$59,000 salary range


There are a wide variety of opportunities for nurses! In hospitals, nurses can work in the ER, OR, Cardiac Cath Lab, GI Lab, Pediatrics, OB,  and specialty floors such as : oncology, cardiac, ortho-neruo.  They can also specialize in emergency services and become a transport/flight nurse.  Outside the hospital, nurses can work in schools, insurance companies, pharmaceuticals, health departments, long-term care facilities, and home health. 

Registered Nurse (RN)

  • Advanced level
  • 2 year Associate’s degree
  • 4 year Bachelor’s degree
  • $50,000-$80,000 salary range

CNA – Certified Nursing Assistant

CNA’s can be found in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and many more places. They often support patients by providing some of the most basic needs. They tend to bathing, toileting, and other daily living functions for patients, but also take vitals, draw blood for tests, and generally support patients’ healing. CNA’s must complete a specific program before obtaining their certification and working in direct patient care. Many nurses start out as CNA’s, and this is a great way to get experience and help pay for nursing school!

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

  • Entry Level
  • Certificate: 1 semester
  • $28,000-$34,000 salary range

Pharmacy/Pharmacy Tech

Pharmacists don’t just count out pills; focus on the safe and effective use of medicines and counsel patients on the appropriate use of their medicines. Pharmacists can work in hospital, retail, or many other settings.  Pharmacy Technicians are the people who handle most of the transactions between patients and their pharmacists. The pharmacist is responsible to complete a full review of the patient’s medication and history and then give the “ok” to dispense the medication. 

Pharmacy Technician

  • Entry Level
  • Certificate:  12 months
  • $29,000 $36,000 salary range


  • Advanced Level
  • Doctoral Degree:  4 years after pre-pharmacy college coursework
  • $118,000-$134,000 salary range

Certified Medical Assistant

Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN)organize food and nutrition plan and promote healthy eating habits to prevent and treat illness. They find work in food service businesses, or working with patients in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities. Dietitians also work at colleges and universities, where they may teach nutrition and health classes, do research or focus on public health issues. 

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN)

  • Advanced Level:
  • Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, complete clinical internship, pass CDR exam
  • $53,000-$64,000 salary range

Exercise Science/Athletic Training

Exercise physiologists analyze their patients’ fitness in order to help them improve their health or maintain good health. They help patients with heart disease and other chronic conditions, like diabetes or pulmonary (lung) disease, to regain their health. They also work with both amateur and professional athletes who are hoping to boost their performance.  Using stress tests and other evaluation tools, the exercise physiologist evaluates a patient’s cardiovascular function and metabolism and then designs a fitness plan that will meet the patient’s goals and/or needs, including building endurance and strength and increasing fitness and flexibility.

  • Advanced Level
  • Master’s degree in Exercise Science
  • $44,000-$58,000 salary range

Athletic Trainers

Athletic Trainers (ATs) are healthcare professionals who render service or treatment, under the direction of or in collaboration with a physician, in accordance with their education and training and the states' statutes, rules and regulations. As a part of the healthcare team, services provided by ATs include injury and illness prevention, wellness promotion and education, emergent care, examination and clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention, and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions.

Professional Settings

Professional and Collegiate Sports
Secondary and Intermediate Schools
Sports Medicine Clinics
Hospital ER and Rehab Clinics
Occupational Settings
Military/Government/Law Enforcement
Physician Offices
Dance/Fine Arts

Students become eligible for BOC certification through an athletic training degree program (Bachelor’s or entry-level Master’s) accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Athletic Training Education (CAATE). Students engage in rigorous classroom study and clinical education in a variety of practice settings such as high schools, colleges/universities, hospitals, emergency rooms, physician offices and healthcare clinics over the course of the degree program. Students enrolled in their final semester are eligible to apply for the BOC exam.

  • Entry-level salary $30,000-40,000
  • Average Annual Salary $48,000