Pharmacists, phlebotomists and more: Program teaches students about vast array of health care careers

A respiratory therapist shows a student at the health fair how the human respiratory system works.

Many high school students are drawn to the idea of a future career in the health care field but don’t know what steps to take to pursue their goals.

That’s where the UCLA Health Allied Health Job Fair program comes in.

Through interactive presentations students get a chance to learn about dozens of health care professions. The program aims to educate kids from schools in inner-city Los Angeles about hospital careers that are in high demand and projected to continue growing in the near future.

Recently, 115 students from the Huntington Park Institute of Applied Medicine, a pilot school at Linda Esperanza Marquez High School, were invited to learn from health professionals at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Professionals from a variety of fields described their jobs and many did hands-on demonstrations.

The 9th graders learned about the education and training required in a variety of fields and the local schools that provide this training. They also got the dollars-and-cents of UCLA Health's starting salaries in these fields. As the job fair drew to a close, the students were told how to learn more about allied health careers to asking their high school counselors about classes they can take to prepare for a health care career. They were encouraged to get a first-hand view of health care by volunteering at a hospital or shadowing a health care professional on a typical workday.

The Allied Health Job Fair, which also offers a career guide, travels to high schools throughout L.A. In the past year alone, the program has reached more than 26,000 Los-Angeles area students. Plans are under way to expand the program’s offerings to include scholarships, job opportunities and continued mentorship for students.

For more information on the UCLA Health Allied Health Job Fair program, visit

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