In a recent Time magazine article that highlighted "The 5 Best Jobs You've Never Heard Of," a remarkable four out of five were linked to the healthcare industry. In fact, healthcare jobs remain plentiful -- even in the face of economic uncertainty. Let's take a closer look at this phenomenon, along with which positions can expect to see particularly noteworthy growth in the years ahead.
The State of Healthcare
According to the most recent "Employment Situation Summary" from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare continued its juggernaut of job growth, adding 22,000 jobs in March 2015 alone. This brought the 12-month total to an additional 363,000, with ambulatory healthcare services and hospitals making particularly strong showings.
A number of factors have contributed to this growth, including rising demand, retiring workers, and the ever-growing advancement of science and medicine requiring skilled technologists.
No discussion of the changing face of healthcare is complete without acknowledging the massive impact of the aging Baby Boomer generation. Approximately 10,000 Baby Boomers turn 65 every day, and will continue to do so for the next 14 years. By 2030, meanwhile, nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population will be of retirement age.
Not only does this represent a massive outflux of workers from healthcare positions, but it also constitutes a significant burden: the typical American over the age of 65 suffers from a number of chronic conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Research further indicates that just five years from now, 5.6 million new healthcare jobs will exist in everything from pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing to nursing, community, and home healthcare facilities and services.
Add in the increased number of insured Americans due to healthcare reform, and the need for more healthcare professionals becomes even more critical.
Where the Jobs Are
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics "Job Outlook" breakdown, the average anticipated growth rate for all occupations between 2012 and 2022 is 11 percent. U.S. News and World Report highlighted the top health care positions by Job Outlook, including the following:
- Personal Care Aide: 48.8 percent
- Home Health Aide: 48.5 percent
- Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: 46 percent
- Occupational Therapy Assistant: 42.6 percent
- Physical Therapist Assistant: 41 percent
- Esthetician: 39.8 percent
- Physician Assistant: 38.4 percent
- Medical Secretary: 36 percent
- Physical Therapist: 36 percent
- Nurse Practitioner: 33.7 percent
In addition to these positions, emotional health professionals, including substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors and marriage and family therapists, are also expected to see significant gains in job openings due to declines in stigmas which previously prevented people from seeking help.
Other healthcare jobs which will continue to be in demand include dentists, dental hygienists, physicians, pharmacists, medical equipment repairers, dieticians and nutritionists, radiologic technologists, epidemiologists, and opticians.
If a challenging career which allows you to help people while also experiencing unprecedented job security sounds like a good fit to you, there are plenty of healthcare positions to choose from.
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