March 2, 2015

Top 10 In-Demand Healthcare Occupations

The healthcare industry is one of the few career fields that, despite hard economic woes, is hiring at an alarming rate. Healthcare jobs are expected to grow faster than any other industry roughly 22%, or 3.2 million new jobs, by 2018. As baby boomers age, and Generation X has children, healthcare professionals will become more in-demand than ever. What are the hottest healthcare fields, and who are hiring these much-needed professionals? Find out now.

#1 Registered Nurse

One of the most in-demand careers in the entire US, registered nurses are projected to generate over 580,000 new jobs by 2016. This does not count the hundreds of thousands of jobs that will become available when older nurses retire. Those following the path toward becoming a registered nurse will find abundant job prospects and ample opportunities.

Current Employment: 2.5 million

Projected Employment, 2016: 3,092,000

Projected Need: 1 million employees

Overall Job Growth: 23%

Job Growth by Industry:

Offices of Physicians: 39%

Home Health Care Services: 39%

Outpatient Care: 34%

Employment Services: 27%

General Medicine and Surgical Hospitals: 22%

Nursing Care Facilities: 20%

Employment Change by 2016: 587,000 new jobs

#2 Home Health Aide

Home health aides function as caregivers to the many people who are unable to leave their homes or live on their own. Home health aides may check vital signs, administer medicines, and help with daily tasks. The job outlook for home health aides is excellent, especially as baby boomers age and home health aides retire or advance into other careers.

Current Employment: 787,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 1,171,000

Projected Need: 454,000 employees

Overall Job Growth: 27%

Employment Change by 2016: 384,000 new jobs

#3 Medical Assistant

Medical assistants perform administrative and clinical tasks in a variety of work settings. A staple of the healthcare industry, medical assistants are in demand all over the US. Employment for medical assistants is estimated to grow much faster than average, and job opportunities should be abundant for medical assistants with formal training or certification.

Current Employment: 417,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 565,000

Projected Need: 199,000

Overall Job Growth: 27%

Employment Change by 2016: 148,000 new jobs

#4 Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists in providing medication and health care products to patients. Technicians don’t answer questions regarding prescriptions, but they do count tablets, label bottles, and perform administrative duties. Responsibilities ultimately vary depending on state laws. Because there is currently few state, and no Federal, requirements for formal training, a career as a pharmacy technician, many employers have on-the-job training, which is appealing to individuals who want to further their education without attending multiple years of school.

Current Employment: 285,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 376,000

Projected Need: 178,000

Overall Job Growth: 27%

Employment Change by 2016: 91,000 new jobs

#5 Medical Secretary

Medical secretaries and medical transcriptionists must have a detailed understanding of medical procedures as well as a high level of administrative experience. Employment is expected to grow faster than average, and job opportunities should be especially good for those who are certified. Employment in hospitals and physician’s offices will continue to grow significantly.

Current Employment: 98,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 112,000

Projected Need: 133,000

Overall Job Growth: 9-17%

Employment Change by 2016: 13,000 new jobs

#6 Dental Assistant

Dental assistants are the most in-demand job in the field of dentistry. They perform numerous tasks including sterilizing instruments, educating patients on dental care, and taking x-rays. Dental assistants typically have very flexible schedules, allowing them to work a second job or go to school. As more schools begin to offer dental-assisting programs, the field of dental assistants is expected to grow.

Current Employment: 280,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 362,000

Projected Need: 130,000

Overall Job Growth: 27%

Employment Change by 2016: 82,000 new jobs

#7 Healthcare Administrator

As the backbone of healthcare systems, healthcare administrators take on the duties of overseeing vast expanses of medial personnel. As the structure and financing of the healthcare industry changes, healthcare administrators must be able to adapt to new environments. However, administrators are still in great demand despite the evolving industry.

Current Employment: 262,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 305,000

Projected Need: 92,000

Overall Job Growth: 9-17%

Employment Change by 2016: 43,000 new jobs

#8 Medical Records and Health Information Technician

Medical records and health information technicians maintain the millions of documents the healthcare industry produces. Paperwork includes x-rays, medical histories, lab tests, and treatment plans. Every patient has detailed medical records, and it is necessary that these records be kept organized and confidential. Even with the proliferation of online and electronic health records, the medical records field is expected to grow faster than average.

Current Employment: 170,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 200,000

Projected Need: 76,000

Overall Job Growth: 18-26%

Employment Change by 2016: 30,000 new jobs

#9 Physical Therapist

Physical therapists have the unique ability to work on all manners of patients from the disabled, to the elderly, to those with general pain. Physical therapists impart their knowledge of the body onto their clients and aide them in becoming stronger and more able-bodied. Physical therapy is a growing occupation, especially for those who was interested in pursing an advanced medical degree but do not want to be physicians. Currently, the number of of physical therapy jobs is greater than practicing physical therapists because many physical therapists hold more than one job such as having a private practice and also working part time at another healthcare facility.

Current Employment: 173,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 220,000

Projected Need: 68,000

Overall Job Growth: 27%

Employment Change by 2016: 47,000 new jobs

#10 EMT and Paramedic

EMT and paramedics are relied upon to have quick reaction times and the ability to handle large amounts of stress. They work in a variety of settings, from ambulances to hospitals to helicopters. Because EMTs and paramedics are almost always the first on scene, this field rarely sees a slump in employment. Like many healthcare industries, EMT and paramedic employment is expected to grow faster than average over the next eight years.

Current Employment: 201,000

Projected Employment, 2016: 240,000

Projected Need: 62,000

Overall Job Growth: 18-26%

Employment Change by 2016: 39,000 new jobs