A growing population means that the health care industry must grow to support it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), numerous new jobs will be created in the health care and related social assistance in the decade from 2012 to 2022. The BLS forecasts, that by 2022 nearly 5 million new jobs will be produced or at least one in three new jobs. While jobs in other sectors such as retail plateau at a certain point with not much scope for growth, the medical care sector will offer jobs with plenty of growth potential and good salaries. The Affordable Care Act is moving focus towards outpatient services and with aging baby boomers, there is a greater need for home health care. Another reason for job creation is that many people in the profession are approaching retirement age, and fewer people are studying for these jobs despite attractive salaries and good work conditions.
While heart surgeons, oncologists and other top level professionals in the medical field can earn six figure salaries, even the positions of nurse practitioner, podiatrist and pharmacist earn upwards of $50,000 a year. Many of these jobs offer comfortable working conditions free of stress, while others like that of a registered nurse (RN) can be physically demanding but rewarding in terms of the salaries, the growth potential and job satisfaction. Here is a look at some of the top health care jobs as forecast by Simply Hired, CareerCast and Forbes.
Top health care jobs slated to grow in the next decade
When it comes to growth, there will be 36 percent more demand for physical therapists by 2022. A physical therapist earns a median salary of $79,860 annually, and a 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) post-graduate course is required for a license. In some institutes, instead of a Bachelor’s degree a 3-year undergraduate pre-professional course is also accepted to qualify for a DPT course. Physical therapy is a rewarding profession where professionals work one-on-one with people and help them to better health.
The highest paying of these new jobs that you can expect is that of a pharmacist. Pharmacist careers are expected to grow by 14 percent by 2022. The average annual salary a pharmacist earns is $116,670, and the job offers a lot of flexibility after the 4-year PharmD program post bachelor’s or associate’s degree is completed. While drug stores hire pharmacists, hospital pharmacists work closely as clinical analysts with doctors to create therapeutic solutions while the dispensing of drugs is done by technicians and machines, making it less stressful than working at a drug store.
A career as a podiatrist is also rewarding, and expected to have a growth rate of 23 percent by 2022. There are not enough podiatrists to meet current and growing demands, even though salaries are the second highest following that of a pharmacist.
Other well-paying and growing professions include that of a dentist, nurse practitioner, physician, dental hygienist, registered nurse, physician assistant, diagnostic medical sonographer, occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, esthetician, medical equipment repairer, dietitian and nutritionist, radiologic technologist, marriage and family therapist and others. Many of these jobs are stress-free, and offer a lot of flexibility. Hospitals, clinics and private practices are workplace options, and job satisfaction is high when working in an industry that is the backbone of the job landscape in the US today.