Jason Whitmer says he considers himself a creative type by nature, but he’s also quick to point out that he knows “a fair share of starving artists.” So, he went looking for something different.
It’s a fair assumption to say the 35-year-old Ann Arbor native won’t worry about his next meal once he begins his new career. Plus, he’s found an outlet for his artistic desires in an unusual place – a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner.
“There is nothing that can create images of the human body like an MRI. It’s almost like a high-definition look inside. You see things nobody else can see.”
Whitmer went straight into Washtenaw Community College’s one-year MRI Post-Associate Certificate program after spending the prior two years completing an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Radiography. His final semester includes 32 hours of clinical work per week at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor. After completing the national exam, Whitmer will become a registered MRI technologist – which has a median annual salary of $69,930, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Completion of the Radiography program at WCC not only prepares students for an entry-level career in that field – which itself has a median annual salary of $58,400, according to the DOL – but also opens multiple doors to other specialties.
Radiography graduates may pursue training in MRI, computed tomography (CT) or mammography imaging at WCC. The college also has an articulation agreement with Eastern Michigan University for students who wish to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Health Administration.
Whitmer became a certified and registered radiographer in June 2017, but said he decided midway through the program that he was going to continue down the MRI path because he’s intrigued by the physics behind the scanner and enjoys the challenge of running the software, which he compares to sitting in the cockpit of an airplane.
“It’s just a great feeling to finally feel like I’m on the path I want to be on,” Whitmer said. “It’s really exciting.”
New Class Allows Students to Explore Health Care Careers
The nation’s nursing shortage receives plenty of national headlines, but other health care positions are facing their own severe lack of future employees. As the country’s population ages, the demand for health care providers of all kinds is skyrocketing.
Studies indicate the U.S. needs to produce as many as 2.5 million health care workers by 2025 and that nurses are the third most in-demand, following home health aides and medical and lab technologists and technicians. According to the Workforce Intelligence Network (WIN), over 2,400 online job postings for health care employees occurred in the first quarter of 2017 in Washtenaw County.
Beginning this fall, WCC is offering a onecredit course titled Healthcare Exploration (HSC 103) to introduce a variety of health care careers and WCC programs to students who might not be sure which career path is best-suited to their skills. The class includes a self-assessment and an opportunity to connect with health care professionals and current WCC students in various health care programs.
OVER 2,400 JOBS for health care employees were posted online in the first quarter of 2017 in Washtenaw County.
SOURCE: Workforce Intelligence Network
Explore all these health programs to see what works best for you!
Medical Billing & Coding
Nursing Assistant Skills Training
Physical Therapist Assistant
Sterile Processing Technology
For more information, visit health.wccnet.edu.