Allied health certifications
Allied Health

Comprehensive Guide to Allied Health Certifications

Allied health professionals play a vital role in patient care. Some deliver services that help identify, evaluate and prevent disorders and diseases. Others administer therapies to manage conditions and help patients recover from injuries and procedures. You can find allied health workers in hospitals, diagnostic imaging centers, clinics, long-term care facilities, private practices and home health services, among others.

Certification and licensing are two key concerns for allied health professionals. A license is a state-issued credential that a professional needs to work legally in allied health careers within that state. A certification is a credential awarded to professionals who meet specific requirements, such as completing an approved education program and passing an examination.

Some states require certification to gain licensure. In other places, certification may be voluntary. However, earning professional certifications can open the doors to higher-paying allied health jobs, as many employers prefer to hire certified allied health professionals. Explore the allied health certifications that are currently available and learn more about the top specialties in allied healthcare.

Top Allied Health Specialties

If you’re interested in allied health careers, seeking certification in a top specialty can lead to a higher rate of pay or an easier time finding employment. Refer to the table below for some of the highest-paying allied health specialties.

Allied health specialty Average annual wages Salary range
Cath Lab Technicians $92,717 $51,500 to $128,500
Occupational Therapists $92,159 $39,000 to $149,000
Speech-Language Pathologists $92,093 $42,000 to $146,500
Clinical Laboratory Scientists $91,309 $31,500 to $147,000
Physical Therapists $89,349 $47,000 to $135,000
Echocardiograph Technicians $89,340 $60,500 to $121,000
Interventional Radiology Technicians $88,807 $52,500 to $129,500
Cardiovascular Surgical Technicians $85,391 $32,500 to $153,500
Nuclear Medicine Technicians $84,341 $48,500 to $125,500
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $81,160 $51,500 to $117,500

Source: Vivian Health

Government agencies expect the demand for many allied health specialties to increase over the next decade. Specifically, the Health Resources & Services Administration or the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies these specialties as those likely to be among the fastest-growing through 2031 with the following increases expected:

  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographers: 14.7%
  • Physical Therapists: 16.9%
  • Physical Therapy Assistants: 26.5%
  • Ophthalmic Medical Technicians: 14.7%
  • Occupational Therapists: 13.9%
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants: 25.4%
  • Phlebotomists: 10.2%
  • Psychiatric Technicians: 10.9%
  • Respiratory Therapists: 13.6%
  • Speech-Language Pathologists: 21.3%

List of Allied Health Certifications

There are dozens of certifications available for qualified allied health professionals. Refer to this table to explore options for various allied health specialties. Select any certification to learn more about requirements.

Allied health certifications

Allied Health Certification Certifying Body Allied Health Specialty Cost Renewal Time Frame
Diagnostic Imaging American Board of Medical Physics (ABMP) Clinical Medical Physicists $880 to $1,600 5 years
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) ABMP Clinical Medical Physicists $880 to $1,600 5 years
Medical Health ABMP Clinical Medical Physicists $880 to $1,600 5 years
MRI for Radiation Therapy ABMP Clinical Medical Physicists $1,240 5 years
Advanced Cardiac Sonographer Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) Echocardiograph Technicians $450 Varies
Advanced Emergency Medical Technicians National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians
(NREMT)
Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics $136 2 to 3 years
Advanced Radiology Life Support Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science Allied health workers in the radiology department $275 N/A
American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists American Registry of Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technicians $350 3 years
Technologist in Blood Banking American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP) Medical Technologists $240 3 years
Board Certified Behavioral Analyst Behavior Analyst Certification Board Behavioral Analysts $245 2 years
Board Certified Pediatric Pharmacy Specialist Board of Pharmacy Specialties Pharmacists $600 7 years
Bone Densitometry Radiologic Technologist American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) Radiology Technologists $225 Annually
Biomedical Equipment Technician Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) Biomedical Equipment Technicians $350 to $400 5 years
Breast Sonography Radiologic Technologist ARRT Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $225 1 year
Certified Associate in Biomedical Technology AAMI Entry-level healthcare technology management professionals $225 to $275 5 years
Certificate in Added Qualifications (CAQ) in Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Physician Assistants $350 10 years
CAQ in Dermatology NCCPA Physician Assistants $350 10 years
CAQ in Emergency Medicine NCCPA Physician Assistants $350 10 years
CAQ in Hospital Medicine NCCPA Physician Assistants $350 10 years
CAQ in Nephrology NCCPA Physician Assistants $350 10 years
CAQ in Orthopaedic Surgery NCCPA Physician Assistants $350 10 years
CAQ in Pediatrics NCCPA Physician Assistants $350 10 years
CAQ in Palliative Medicine and Hospice Care NCCPA Physician Assistants $350 10 years
CAQ in Psychiatry NCCPA Physician Assistants $350 10 years
Certified Autism Specialist International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards Allied health professionals working with patients on the autism spectrum $495 2 years
Technologist in Chemistry ASCP Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians $240 3 years
Certified Ambulatory Surgery Sterile Processing Technicians Certification Board for Sterile Processing and Distribution (CBSPD) Sterile Processing Technicians $128 5 years
Certified Biomedical Equipment Technician AAMI Biomedical Equipment Technicians $375 to $425 3 years
Certified Cardiac Device Specialist International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (IBHRE) Electrophysiology Technicians $1,195 to $1,475 10 years
Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician Nephrology Nursing Certification Commission (NNCC) Dialysis Technicians $225 3 years
Certified Clinical Hemodialysis Technician – Advanced NNCC Experienced Dialysis Technicians $250 3 years
Certified Cardiographic Technician CCI Electrocardiograph Technicians $175 Varies
Cardiac Device Remote Monitoring Specialist IBHRE Electrophysiology Technicians $755 to $799 10 years
Certified Electrophysiology Specialist IBHRE Electrophysiology Technicians $950 to $1,165 10 years
Certified Endoscope Reprocessor Healthcare Sterile Processing Association (HSPA) Sterile Processing Technicians $25 1 year
Certified Flexible Endoscope Reprocessor CBSPD Sterile Processing Technicians $128 5 years
Technologist in Cytogenetics ASCP Cytogenetics Technologists $225 3 years
Certified Health Education Specialist National Commission for Health Education Credentialing Allied health professionals working as educators $225 to $385 1 year
Certified Healthcare Leader HSPA Sterile Processing Technicians $125 1 year
Certified Hemodialysis Technologist/Technician Board of Nephrology Examiners Nursing and Technology Dialysis Technicians $225 to $250 4 years
Certified Healthcare Technology Manager AAMI Allied health professionals specializing in healthcare technology $450 to $525 3 years
Cardiac-Interventional Radiography Radiologic Technologist ARRT Interventional Radiology Technologists $225 1 year
Certified Instrument Specialist HSPA Sterile Processing Technicians $125 1 year
Certified Industrial Sterilization Specialist AAMI Sterile Processing Technicians $600 to $700 3 years
Clinical Laboratory Scientist ASCP Clinical Laboratory Scientists $9,708 to $25,566 3 years
Certified Medical Audit Specialist Council for Certification of Medical Auditors Medical Coding and Billing Specialists $299  3 years
Certified Medical Administrative Specialist American Medical Technologists (AMT) Medical Administrative Assistants $135 3 years
Certified Medical Dosimetrist Medical Dosimetrist Certification Board Dosimetrists $575 1 year
Certified Medical Laboratory Assistant AMT Medical Laboratory Technician $135 3 years
Certified Nuclear Medicine Technologist Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) Nuclear Medicine Technicians $175 1 year
Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy Occupational Therapy Assistants $515 to $555 3 or 4 years
Certified Pulmonary Function Technologist National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC) Respiratory Therapists $200 5 years
Certified Pharmacy Technician Pharmacy Technician Certification Board Pharmacy Technicians $129 2 years
Certified Rhythm Analysis Technician CCI Electrocardiograph Technicians $175 3 years
Certified Registered Central Service Technician HSPA Sterile Processing Technicians $125 1 year
Certified Radiology Equipment Specialist AAMI Biomedical Equipment Technicians $375 to $425 3 years
Certified Respiratory Therapist NBRC Respiratory Therapists $190 5 years
Neonatal/Pediatric Respiratory Care Specialist NBRC Respiratory Therapists $180 to $250 5 years
Sleep Disorders Specialist NBRC Respiratory Therapists $300 5 years
Certified Surgical First Assistant National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting Surgical First Assistants $190 to $225 2 years
Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician CBSPD Sterile Processing Technicians $128 5 years
Certified Specialist in Poison Information American Association of Poison Control Centers Allied health professionals employed by poison control centers $250 N/A
CSPM Certified Sterile Processing Management CBSPD Sterile Processing Technicians $153 5 years
Certified in Thanatology Association for Death Education and Counseling Allied health professionals providing support for terminally ill patients and their families $380 to $599 3 years
Computed Tomography Radiologic Technologist ARRT Computed Tomography Technologists $450 1 year
Cytotechnologist ASCP Medical Laboratory Technician $95 3 years
Computed Tomography NMTCB Computed Tomography Technologists $185 1 year
Cardiovascular-Interventional Radiography RT ARRT Interventional Radiology Technologists $30 1 year
Diplomate in Laboratory Management ASCP Clinical Laboratory Assistant $405 3 years
Certified EKG Technician National Healthcare Association Electrocardiograph Technicians $117 2 years
Emergency Medical Technicians NREMT Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics $98 2 to 3 years
Technologist in Hematology ASCP Clinical Laboratory Technologists $240 3 years
Histotechnician ASCP Histology Technicians $215 3 years
Histotechnologist ASCP Histology Technicians $215 3 years
Licensed Psychiatric Technician National Board for Certified Counselors Behavioral Health Technicians Varies N/A
Mammography Radiologic Technologist ARRT Mammography Technicians $225 1 year
Medical RDCS AE RDMS Adult EchocardiographyTechnologist AMT Medical Technologists $235 3 years
Nuclear Medicine Technology Radiologic Technologist ARRT Nuclear Medicine Technicians $250 1 year
Registered Congenital Cardiac Sonographer CCI Echocardiograph Technicians $365 Varies
Registered Cardiac Electrophysiology Specialist CCI Electrophysiology Technicians $365 3 years
Registered Cardiovascular Invasive Specialist CCI Cardiac Catheterization Technologist $365 3 years
Registered Cardiac Sonographer CCI Echocardiograph Technicians $365 Varies
Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) with Adult Echocardiography Specialty American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) Echocardiograph Technicians $250 5 years
RDCS with Fetal Echocardiography Specialty ARDMS Echocardiograph Technicians $250 1 year
Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (RDMS) with Abdomen Specialty ARDMS Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $250 4 years
RDMS with Breast Specialty ARDMS Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $250 4 years
RDMS with Obstetrics and Gynecology Specialty ARDMS Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $250 N/A
RDMS with Pediatric Echocardiography Specialty ARDMS Diagnostic Medical Sonographers or Echocardiograph Technicians $250 3 years
RDMS with Pediatric Sonography Specialty ARDMS Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $250 1 year
RDMS with Musculoskeletal Sonography Specialty ARDMS Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $250 N/A
Registered Vascular Technologist ARDMS Vascular Technologists $475 1 year
Registered Pulmonary Function Technologist NBRC Respiratory Therapists $160 to $200 5 years
Registered Phlebology Sonographer CCI Vascular Interventional Technologists Varies Varies
Registered Polysomnographic Technologist Board of Registered Polysomnographic Technologists Polysomnography Technicians $450 2 years
Registered Phlebotomy Technician AMT Phlebotomists $125 to $155 3 years
Registered Radiologist Assistant RT ARRT Radiology Technologists $225 1 year
Registered Respiratory Therapist NBRC Respiratory Therapists $350 to $390 5 years
Registered Respiratory Therapist Adult Critical Care Specialty NBRC Respiratory Therapists $300  5 years
Sonography RT ARRT Diagnostic Medical Sonographers $225 1 year
Specialist in Blood Banking ASCP Clinical Laboratory Technicians $290 3 years
Specialist in Chemistry ASCP Medical Laboratory Scientists $290 3 years
Specialist in Cytotechnology ASCP Cytogenetics Technologists $215 3 years
Specialist in Cytometry ASCP Medical Technologists $290 3 years
Specialist in Hematology ASCP Medical Laboratory Technicians or Clinical Laboratory Assistants $290 3 years
Specialist in Microbiology ASCP Medical Laboratory Scientist $290 3 years
Specialist in Molecular Biology ASCP Medical Laboratory Scientist $290 3 years
Radiation Therapy RT ARRT Radiation Therapists $225 1 year
Vascular-Interventional Radiography RT ARRT Vascular Interventional Technologists $225 1 year
Vascular Sonography RT ARRT Vascular Technologists $225 1 year

 

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