Health care job growth is continuing to skyrocket in 2012, in spite of concerns about Medicare payments and slow growth in other sectors. Recruitment experts say that nurse practitioners, general practice doctors and registered nurses will continue to find new job opportunities thanks to the growing senior population, among other factors.
Healthcare Jobs for Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants
There's a growing need for doctors in community medical centers, senior-care facilities and related agencies, but not enough doctors to fill the positions. Since it takes longer for doctors to be trained and educated, many facilities are considering hiring nurse practitioners and physician assistants to help fill the shortage.
These are hot jobs for many considering work in the health care field. The education can usually be completed in a few years after a bachelor's degree, and compensation can be substantially better than for nurses with either an associate's degree or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. And, of course, graduating medical school students will also find a lot of options in the health care sector, since there simply won't be enough to meet the demand.
Elder and Senior-Care Nurses and Assistants
The strongest growth for registered nurses is in areas that are traditionally under-served by medical facilities, such as rural towns and counties. When you take into account the rapidly growing population of Americans over age 50, jobs are abundant for those considering work in geriatrics or at senior-care facilities.
While some job experts note that nursing and nursing assistant shortages do vary by region, there is still an ongoing need for about 100,000 new nurses each year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the greatest number of job opportunities will be available for those who can relocate.
Health Care Business and Support Staff
Health care in the U.S. is a business, and that means that as the government tries to cut costs and reduce payments, having business savvy will play an important part in maintaining quality medical services.
There is a growing need for people who have experience in marketing, finance and business administration to improve operations at health-care facilities.In addition to generalists in these fields, there is a growing need for health informatics technicians and others who understand how to move the nation's health-care records into an electronic format for ease of storage and access for medical professionals.
These types of positions can pay more than $40,000 per year and only require a post-baccalaureate certificate or an associate's degree. Other business positions may require a bachelor's degree or a master's in business administration, depending on the size of the facility.
Physical Therapists and Dental Hygienists
Not all positions that are poised for growth in 2012 are in doctor's offices or hospitals. There is a strong need for physical therapists to help patients of all ages rehabilitate injuries and recover following surgeries. Like nurse practitioner programs, a post-baccalaureate program is usually all it takes.And unlike other sectors of health care, physical therapy is a hot job simply because there is such a high demand for therapists' services.
Considering the growth in the aging population, this demand is likely to increase in future years.Dental hygienists also can expect a large uptick in the number of job openings, with a growth of more than one-third between now and the end of the decade, and salaries that average close to $70,000 annually.
In addition, dental hygienists have the advantage of working in dentists' offices, where the schedule is closer to 9-5 than some other health-care professions.
The Bottom Line
In spite of worries about reform and the recession, hot jobs in health care are the norm rather than the exception. Depending on your level of education, you may find that the right medical job for you is just a few years away, and could provide you the professional and financial satisfaction you want in a career.