When students graduate from institutions of higher learning, often the next step is finding a rewarding career that allows them to give back to the community. For some graduates with a degree in a healthcare field, their career path may take them to traditional job settings, such as hospitals or private practices. While there is great demand for candidates to fill vacancies within healthcare organizations, many opportunities exist in schools, providing different levels of care to students. When most people think of health careers in schools, they often think of school nursing. There is no doubt that school nurses are vital to the health and safety of students. However, other career opportunities in schools are available for new graduates, such as speech-language pathologists (SLPs), behavior technicians, board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs), occupational therapists (OTs), and special educators.
One of the many health jobs in schools for new grads is a speech-language pathologist. SLPs, also known as speech therapists, work with students to overcome a range of communicative disorders, such as stuttering, articulation, phonics, and vocalization. Speech-language pathologists conduct screenings to assess students’ communication skills and diagnose any speech disorders, then use this information to create individualized education plans (IEPs) to outline student benchmarks and goals.
With a typical school year spanning over 39 weeks and usually experienced SLPs working in each district, the school setting is a perfect opportunity for newly graduated speech-language pathologists to meet their 36-week clinical fellowship year (CFY) requirement. Speech-language pathologists in schools have the benefit of seeing the progress that their students make with their communication skills and helping young people verbally express their thoughts and ideas.
With the increase in mental health disorder diagnoses across the country, behavior technicians are in great demand, especially in educational facilities. Behavior technicians support students in educational settings by implementing behavior support plans to manage challenging behavior and embedding applied behavior analysis (ABA) principles to structure learning.
Unfortunately, many children and teens do not have access to private mental health treatment, so behavior technicians in schools are often depended upon to provide these crucial services for students. The intrinsic reward of working with young people every day and giving them the strategies they need to enjoy life makes working as a behavior technician one of the best health jobs in schools for new graduates.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts
While a behavior technician practices under the supervision of a certified therapist, a board certified behavior analyst has a higher level of certification and can therefore provide services without therapist supervision.
Board certified behavior analyst responsibilities include:
- Observing students and determining their challenges
- Using reinforcement and conditioning to lessen unwanted behavior
- Developing plans to increase desired behavior
- Learning new ABA techniques and methods
There are many reasons to become a board certified behavior analyst, including that recent graduates can enter this field with just a bachelor’s degree. Also, BCBAs who work in schools have a flexible schedule, as they work during regular school hours and have school holidays off. Finally, due to the high demand for board certified behavior analysts, there is job security in this field, which can be a bonus for recent graduates in an unsteady job market.
Occupational therapists not only help children learn necessary motor skills, but they also improve young people’s happiness as well. Some students might have difficulty developing age-appropriate skills, such as holding a pencil correctly or tying shoelaces, and occupational therapists work with young people to improve these skills.
Seeing students gain skills that will enhance their quality of life and give them the tools they need to be more independent makes being an occupational therapist an excellent opportunity for new graduates. Also, when children and teens go through occupational therapy sessions, they often gain more confidence in their social abilities, which allows them to make new friends.
Special Education Teachers
Not only is being a special educator one of the most in-demand career opportunities available, but the profession also produces a high level of satisfaction for these essential workers. The bonds that are formed between special educators and the students they serve are fulfilling for all involved. Educational facilities across the country desperately need special educators, so new graduates with degrees in the special education field can find employment locally or across the country. This freedom to choose where they work makes special education especially attractive for those who recently graduated and might be ready for a change of scenery.
Discover Available Health Careers in Schools for Graduates with Maxim
Health careers in schools are available to recent graduates across the country, and Maxim Staffing has the knowledge and expertise to match qualified candidates with the work that matters. If you’re a recent graduate interested in accelerating your career, our Maxim team can help you find the right role in an educational setting. Make a difference in young people’s lives by using your skills in an educational setting through Maxim.