The healthcare industry is poised for tremendous growth in the years ahead thanks to the influx of insured Americans through the Affordable Care Act as well as the aging Baby Boomer population. Based on figures from the United State Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statics, those looking for careers with unprecedented job security and potential for growth need look no further than these six healthcare jobs.
RNs are responsible for a broad spectrum of patient care duties, including everything from medical tasks to emotional support for patients and their families. RNS work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing care facilities, physicians' offices, schools, prisons, and in-home healthcare.
There are a few different pathways to becoming an RN. Many people opt to pursue a bachelor's degree in the field; associate's degrees in nursing are also offered, as are diploma programs. Regardless of the type of nursing degree, all RNs must be licensed.
According to the BLS, RNs earn a median annual wage of more than $65,000. These salaries are likely to rise in the years ahead as demand grows. Just how strong is the outlook for these healthcare professionals? Employment is projected to skyrocket by 19 percent by 2022.
As demand for health care services continues to increase, home health aides will fill an important void. These trained professionals provide assistance to people who suffer from chronic illness or cognitive impairment; they also help seniors and people with disabilities. Home health aides, who work in a multitude of different settings, require no formal training although most do have high school degrees. However, those working in specific settings -- such as for hospice agencies -- may require formal training and testing.
While home health aides earn an average of nearly $21,000 a year, this may change with demand. In fact, the employment of home health aides is expected to grow by a whopping 48 percent between now and 2022 -- significantly outpacing the average for all occupations.
Nursing assistants, also called orderlies, provide basic patient care in settings ranging from hospitals to nursing homes. They are required by their states to complete an education program, and must also pass a competency exam in order to become certified.
The average annual pay for nursing assistants and orderlies hovers around $24,000, according to the BLS. As the elderly population continues to grow, the need for these skilled professionals will correlate. Experts predict 21 percent employment growth between now and 2022.
Medical secretaries perform basic administrative duties in a healthcare setting. This typically requires specific knowledge of medical terminology and procedures; additional duties may include everything from billing patients to scheduling appointments. Occasionally, medical secretaries also take medical histories, order supplies, and assist patients.
According to the BLS, the median salary of a medical secretary is currently just under $32,000 although salaries can reach as high as $46,420. Even more noteworthy? Jobs for medical secretaries will experience a staggering 36 percent increase by 2022.
Also known as LPNs and LVNs, these skilled healthcare professional work under the direction of doctors and RNs while providing basic patient care, such as checking blood pressure, changing bandages, inserting catheters, and offering basic care and comfort. Work environments are diverse, and range from hospitals to private homes. In addition to licensure, both LPNs and LVNs require the completion of a one-year state-approved educational program.
According to the BLS, LPNs and LVNs earn a median annual pay of just over $41,500. Between 2012 and 2022, jobs are expected to grow by as much as 25 percent thanks to increases in chronic conditions among the aging population.
Medical assistants are responsible for a number of different clinical and administrative tasks in healthcare settings. The specifics of the role, however, vary depending on the specialty, location and size of practice. While it's possible to become a medical assistant with a high school degree, most at least have a certificate. Others learn through on-the-job training opportunities.
While the average salary for medical assistants is $29,370, a growth rate of 29 percent between 2012 and 2022 may lead to greater demand as well as higher salaries.
The healthcare system is currently facing many uncertainties, but one fact is very clear: educated and experienced healthcare workers will deliver much-needed skills in the evolving landscape of the American healthcare system. For more information on the current state of the job market or to harness the power of the RealMatch job search platform, visit The Job Network.
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