It’s no secret that health care professions are the fastest growing and steadiest career sector in the United States and probably the entire world.
In the past few years, while manufacturing, construction, and finance were hit hard, with jobs in production dropping by almost 15% and finance by 33%, health care professions maintained there steady baby-boomer generation propelled growth.
Every year, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports their projected fastest growing jobs. It was no surprise that this year, most of the fastest growing jobs were in health care. In this article, I will go over the fastest growing health care professions, their education requirement and expected salary, personal feedback on them as a health career student, and summary of the job outlook.
1) Home Health Aides
Growth: 5% a year
Projected Openings: 35,000 per year
Education Required: On-site training, no degree required
Salary: $9.84 an hour ($18892 a year)
My feedback: I don’t think the salary for this job is going to go up much because of the availability of labor since education is not an issue, but it’s a great job to have while in college or during a career transition.
2) Medical Scientists
Growth: 4.2% a year
Projected Openings: 6,000 per year
Education Required: Ph.D required
Salary: $72,250 per year
My feedback: Medical Scientists will be in very high demand in the next decade for a variety of reasons. Ph.D’s aren’t as common in health as they were 30 years ago so the few that graduate with a doctorate in any applicable field will be heavily recruited. Furthermore, medical scientists will be needed to work in growing drug companies to test new medicine.
3) Physician Assistants
Growth: 3.9% a year
Projected Openings: 3,900 per year
Education Required: Master’s equivalent (PA degree)
Salary: $81,000 per year
My feedback: Physician Assistants are become ubiquitous in hospitals around the nation. A Master’s equivalent is required to become a PA, thus there is going to be a limited shortage of PA’s. However, it won’t be as much as those health care jobs that require Doctorate’s (Pharmacists, Dentists, Ophthalmologists) so salary growth will be slightly above average.
4) Physical Therapist Aides
Growth: 3.6% a year
Projected Openings: 1,700 per year
Education Required: On-Job Training
Salary: $46,000 per year
My feedback: Physical Therapy is a very fast growing fields (number 28 fastest growing in the US), so naturally, the number of assistants needed will also be high. However, since the education requirement is limited, don’t expect job salary to skyrocket.
5) Dental Hygienists
Growth: 3.6% a year
Projected Openings: 10,600 per year
Education Required: Dental Hygiene Degree (2 Years + Requirements)
Salary: $66, 000 per year
My feedback: Dental Hygienists are a very important health care occupation and, from my experience, will become a big part of dentistry in the coming decade. Salary growth should be above average or superb depending on demand, which rests on the economy.
6) Veterinary Technologists & Technicians
Growth: 3.5% a year
Projected Openings: 2,800 per year
Education Required: Associate’s Degree
Salary: $28,000 per year
My feedback: Veterinarians are always in demand because of the lack of vet schools in the United States. I believe there are around 30 in the country at the moment, so in any year, only about 3,000 veterinarians graduate. With this in mind, its pretty safe to assume that there will always be a need for vet technicians to help out the outnumbered vets. Salary growth looks promising.
7) Medical Assistants
Growth: 3.4% a year
Projected Openings: 16,000 per year
Education Required: Some classes required, mostly on job training.
Salary: $29,000 per year
My feedback: With health care being the fastest growing industry in the nation, its no surprise that medical assistants are needed for every day jobs like keeping medical histories, clerical duties, or providing moderate health care aid. Medical assistants are always in demand but due to the limited education necessary, their salary is not really stellar. It will probably increase on pace with other health care jobs.
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