Health Career Center

The Ever Growing Healthcare Industry

Trying to launch your career during a down economy can be a daunting endeavor. This is especially true for industries that are cyclical in nature or are impacted by current economic conditions. In these industries new jobs and career opportunities become limited at the first sign of economic instability. However, for those pursuing career opportunities in healthcare and medicine, career opportunities abound. Regardless of the state of the economy people require healthcare services. And with an aging population of babyboomers with growing healthcare needs and money to spend, the future for those seeking careers in medicine or healthcare couldn't be brighter.

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests that the healthcare industry and healthcare job markets will experience the fastest employment growth of any career sector in the United States through 2024. By the same year experts predict that healthcare will bypass both government and business to become the largest employment sector in the United States. By 2024, the BLS projects the healthcare industry will have over 5 million new job openings to fill.

The following is list of projected new job openings by healthcare sector:
  • 1,089,000 RNs
  • 1,041,000 Technologists and technicians
  • 311,000 Therapists
  • 290,000 Doctors (MDs) and surgeons
  • 78,000 Pharmacists
  • 75,000 Nurse practitioners
  • 58,000 Dentists
  • 50,000 Physician assistants
Between 2014 and 2024, employment growth in the healthcare industry is projected at 21 percent – substantially higher than the average for all other occupations (6%). This growth can be attributed to more people signing up for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and aging population of babyboomers seeking to improve the quality of live into retirement, and better medical technology leading to longer overall life expectancies.

Within the healthcare industry there are several sectors outpacing all the rest in employment growth. These include the following:
  • Home healthcare services 60%
    The home healthcare industry is booming! The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that by 2020 over 1.3 million new jobs will be added within the home healthcare field. Within the home health sector personal care aides will experience the largest job growth (70%). Growth in this sector will be driven by a growing number of elderly requiring in-home assistance, decreased cost of home health care, the convenience of home health care, and a renewed interest in remaining in ones own home during the later years of life.

  • Outpatient care facilities 50%
    In order to decrease costs and grow their revenues more and more hospitals are turning away from inpatient care and moving their business models to outpatient care services. The outpatient care services sector will be a hotbed of career opportunity for qualified healthcare professionals for years to come.

  • Offices of other health practitioners 45%
    As the healthcare industry as a whole experiences phenomenal growth over the next decade, other health practitioners (except physicians and dentists) will also find that new job and career advancement opportunities will abound. Health practitioners in this sector include chiropractors, optometrists, mental health practitioners, and therapists, among others.

  • Other ambulatory healthcare services 40%
    As of 2012, the ambulatory health care services sector generated over $825 billion, up nearly 24% from 2007. Today, ambultory health care services, in terms of job growth, is one of the fastest growing sectors of the healthcare industry. The ambulatory health care services sector includes various outpatient services, such as dentists, physicians' offices, medical and diagnostic laboratories, home health and nursing facilities.

  • Diagnostics and medical laboratories 32%
    Diagnostic and medical laboratories employ technologists (cardiovascular, nuclear medicine, radiologic, etc.), technicians (serology, pathology, histology, etc.), and medical sonographers. These professionals work together to diagnose, treat and prevent disease. Job opportunities in the diagnostic and medical laboratories sector are project to growth by over 32% through 2024.

Of the 20 fastest growing jobs in the United States, over half are in the field of healthcare. But you don't necessarily have to be a healthcare professional to take advantage of the massive job growth occurring in this field. Everyone – including managers, accountants, marketers, and HR specialists – can find job opportunities working with the myriad of organizations, including hospitals, clinics, and care facilities, that make up this industry.

If you're interested in launching your career in the field of healthcare, we recommend gaining the training, education and experience required to meet the needs of whatever position it is that you're seeking. For aspiring healthcare workers, the minimum entry-level qualification for most positions is a professional certificate or skills oriented associate's degree. For those seeking professional roles (ie. technologist, nurse, etc.) a bachelor's or master's degree is typically required. For upper management, supervisory and specialized positions, a Phd or MD is recommended.

So why are some any people draw to a career in healthcare? The reasons are limitless. The following are just a few.

  • Opportunity to help others
  • Job security
  • Competitive pay
  • Generous employee benefits
  • Advancement opportunity
  • Evolving landscape
  • Ability to relocated
  • Ability to work anywhere
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