“[I recently found] over 200 jobs for medical assistants within 25 miles of Cartersville, over 100 jobs for pharmacy technician and 11 jobs for phlebotomy,” Bev Peterson of Achieve Healthcareers said Friday, Oct. 4, during the regular GHC Continuing Education Advisory Council meeting.
While students can acquire state and national accreditation through the programs, which range in cost from $1,595 to $2,995 and take two to four months to complete, the programs do not count toward college credit.
“You’ll find that the technical colleges have a lot of these courses on the credit side and it takes a full semester, up to two semesters, maybe more, to complete these programs and it’s the 9 [a.m.] to 3 [p.m.], Monday/Wednesday/Friday or Tuesday/Thursday, and these [courses] are really designed to get people in a job quickly,” Peterson said. “... We feel like we’re meeting community needs, providing the training at a reasonable price and providing quality training.”
She said while the classes have been designed to cater to full-time working adults, the careers may be appealing to people in various stages of their professional and academic lives.
“... For medical assistant, the mean [income] is about $30,000 a year, phlebotomy might be a little lower, and pharmacy technician is starting out around the range of $10 an hour, so it’s higher than retail and it’s honestly a great thing,” Peterson said. “These courses would all be good for someone who has just graduated high school and is going off to college and doesn’t want to make minimum wage, and for all of these [careers], the hours are really flexible.”
Anne Rapp, career advisor for the Georgia Department of Labor, said financial aid is available for those who qualify.
“As a community agency, we can offer clients that are income eligible and motivated to change their lives and become self-efficient, we can offer them different things — gas cards, help with educational expenses, that type of thing,” Rapp said. “There’s a full assessment for each individual client to see where they are and how motivated they are to become self sufficient.”
For additional program information, visit www.highlands.edu. Rapp can be reached by phone, 770-387-5487, or by email, firstname.lastname@example.org.