Healthcare Jobs considered Fastest Growing and Most Job-Secure in 2016

May 14, 2016

Healthcare Jobs are in great demand because the ‘baby boomer’ generation is aging at a time when people are living longer

It’s become a familiar story – post-secondary students complete their degree or post-graduate studies and prepare to enter the workforce, only to find employment opportunities are few and far between. This holds true in numerous fields, whether due to the highly competitive nature of an industry such as is the case with many technical positions, or careers where the number of positions available is rapidly shrinking, such as journalism. The latter has also affected individuals who have established themselves in their career of choice, only to suddenly be rendered unemployed due to company downsizing or instability in their industry caused by economic downturns.

However, there is one industry that is proving to not only be highly resistant to these issues but actually increasing in desirability year after year. Described as a no-recession industry and “unemployment immune,” the North American healthcare jobs boasts a host of desirable options – many of which are accessible through short courses and on-the-job training.

Rapid Growth of Healthcare Jobs in the USA

To say the healthcare job market is experiencing rapid growth is, quite simply, an understatement. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that 2.3 million of the 9.8 million jobs created between 2014 and 2024 will be in healthcare – approximately one-quarter of all jobs. This growth has been estimated at 19% throughout the same time period – 12% higher than the average.

Growth in healthcare industry

This incredible growth can be attributed to a number of interacting factors. The plentiful ‘baby boomer’ generation is aging at a time when people are living longer. As a result, there will be an increasing number of elderly people needing healthcare. In addition, a greater incidence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and obesity further exacerbates the need for a larger healthcare workforce. At the same time, many of the healthcare professionals belonging to the baby boomer demographic (generally accepted as having been born between 1946 and 1964) are either approaching or have reached retirement age, thus increasing the need for a new influx of employees. The fact that more people than ever have health insurance due to federal reform that has ushered in an era of ‘pay less/get more’ healthcare, meanwhile, means that more people will be seeking out health care services.

It’s quite likely that in time, those seeking unemployment will become aware of the immense opportunity that exists, but currently the demand for these jobs still far exceeds the supply. In its 2016 list of the ‘toughest jobs to fill,’ CareerCast.com listed a number of health care jobs alongside the expected highly skilled positions such as electrical and software engineer.

Unparalleled Accessibility

There’s no doubt, then, that there are healthcare jobs available. There is another significant advantage to considering employment in the field, however, with the wide variety of positions available, there are also varying requirements. While most of the highest paying positions such as nurse practitioner or physician assistant require graduate degrees, a large number of desirable positions require only some manner of post-secondary training or even a high school diploma. In fact, among the fastest growing jobs, those requiring some post-secondary education were shown to be more financially rewarding than those demanding a bachelor’s degree.

Education needed for Healthcare jobs with wages

2014 Statistics of wages for healthcare jobs

Wages of healthcare jobs

This is highly advantageous not only to young people wishing to begin earning quickly but also to those considering switching careers or finding a source of income as they enter retirement or semi-retirement.

Best Healthcare Jobs

With so many options in the healthcare industry, in can be difficult to know where to start. To help you get started, here are some of the most attractive career paths available today.

GERIATRICS AND GERONTOLOGY

Due to the aforementioned increase in the elderly, this career path is one of the most in-demand. In addition to the familiar eldercare, gerontology focuses on aging and the associated issues from the perspective on many disciplines including psychology, sociology, and public policy. These studies can, therefore, be parlayed into a number of different career opportunities.

HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

The use of advanced computerized systems to facilitate the storage and exchange of health information is not just a growing field, it is becoming the standard due to the need for increased security and reliability in order to remain compliant with stringent guidelines. This is an excellent choice for those with experience or interest in the IT field looking for superior job security and upward mobility.

HEALTH INFORMATICS

This field focuses on the use of Health Information Technology (HIT) to improve the ease, performance, and affordability of healthcare services. Encompassing disciplines such as healthcare delivery, computer science, information science, social science and others, this widens the scope of both studies and job opportunities.

HEALTHCARE ADMINISTRATION / HEALTHCARE MANAGEMENT

Image of Hospital Admin staff discussing with doctors

Those with business prowess and adept at management can excel here while avoiding the constant uncertainty found in the corporate world. Responsible for outlining and monitoring concerns such as accounting, policy, human resources and more, job descriptions can range from assisting a single department to overseeing the operation of an entire facility.

HEALTH SERVICES

If you’re at a complete loss as to a specific career path, this may be the place to start. Covering all jobs needed in the sector, there will be health-related ones as well as those otherwise required by institutions ranging from finance clerk to regional coordinator and social worker. Your town, county, or state is sure to have an official health service authority that can inform you of both jobs and courses available.

Many of these jobs have base requirements of certificates or associate degrees, which can be acquired in a year or two. Ambitious individuals need not worry about being stuck at an entry-level – employers will regularly assist employees in upgrading their qualifications in order to avoid having to engage in an external search to fill higher positions. With widespread availability, high accessibility regardless of education level, unparalleled job security, and considerable potential for upward mobility, the healthcare industry is arguably the number one field in which to pursue a career.

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