Health Care Career Field

Health Care Careers Outlook

Health Care CareersAccording to U.S. government projections, employment in the health services industry is projected to increase 27 percent through 2014, adding about 3.6 million new jobs over the 2004–14 period. Projected rates of employment growth for the various segments of this industry range from 13 percent in hospitals, the largest and slowest growing industry segment, to 69 percent in the much smaller, but fastest-growing home health care services segment.

The U.S. Department of Labor also says that six out of the 10 occupations projected to grow the fastest are concentrated in the health services industry. By the end of 2014, employment of medical assistants is projected to increase by 52 percent, physician assistants by 50 percent, home health aides by 56 percent, medical record and health information technicians by 47 percent, and physical therapist assistants by 44 percent. There may be a general perception that careers in health care require advanced education; however, most jobs require less than four years of college.

Employment growth for physicians is expected to be faster than for the average occupation. More doctors will be needed because the population is both growing and aging. Also, many new technological improvements require the expertise of greater numbers of medical specialists. However, the need for primary care providers will be far greater than the need for medical specialists. Job prospects will be best in internal medicine, family practice, geriatrics, and preventive medicine.

Since managed-care programs are growing because of their cost efficiency, employment opportunities in hospitals are expected to decline, especially in administrative and support jobs. Some observers expect that consolidations and closings will reduce the number of community hospitals by as much as 10 percent. Remaining hospitals are likely to cut costs, reduce staff, curb the use of advanced technologies, encourage outpatient care, and reduce paperwork. In the next decade, most health care workers will be employed in some kind of corporate, group, or network environment.

One of the fastest growing job categories in the industry is home health care. Home health care workers include nurses, physical therapists, and consultants, as well as lower-paid workers who cook, clean, bathe, and dress homebound patients, such as the elderly and disabled.

Opportunities are excellent for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, too. They will begin to assume many of the functions of primary care physicians in the next few years, including taking patient histories and making preliminary diagnoses.

The employment outlook for all kinds of nurses is very favorable. Many hospitals don’t have enough nurses; the demand is bigger than the supply. Also, as health care services expand, even more nurses will be needed. Currently, there are about 2.4 million registered nurses. The U.S. Department of Labor projects the occupation of registered nurse to be one of the top 25 occupations with fastest growth, high pay, and low unemployment. Nurse practitioners are in very high demand, with recent graduates having an average of four job offers from which to choose.

The employment outlook for physical therapists is also excellent. Occupational and physical therapy are expected to remain among the top growth careers in the United States. Other health care jobs with a promising outlook include dental assistants and hygienists, cardiovascular technologists, emergency medical technicians, and respiratory therapists.

Related Career Fields:

Related Career Cluster:

Related Careers:

  • Adult Day Care Coordinators
  • Advanced Practice Nurses
  • Allergists/Immunologists
  • Anesthesiologists
  • Biomedical Engineers
  • Biomedical Equipment Technicians
  • Cardiologists
  • Cardiovascular Technologists
  • Child Life Specialists
  • Chiropractors
  • Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • Community Health Nurses
  • Creative Arts Therapists
  • Critical Care Nurses
  • Dental Assistants
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Laboratory Technicians
  • Dentists
  • Dermatologists
  • Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
  • Dialysis Technicians
  • Dietetic Technicians
  • Dietitians and Nutritionists
  • Dispensing Opticians
  • Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialists
  • Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists
  • Emergency Medical Technicians
  • Emergency Nurses
  • Endodontists
  • Epidemiologists
  • Ergonomists
  • Gastroenterologists
  • General Practitioners
  • Geriatric Care Managers
  • Geriatric Nurses
  • Geriatric Psychiatrists
  • Geriatric Social Workers
  • Geriatricians
  • Grief Therapists
  • Health Advocates
  • Health Care Managers
  • Hematologists
  • HIV/AIDS Counselors and Case Managers
  • Holistic Dentists
  • Histologic Technicians
  • Home Health Care Aides
  • Home Health Care and Hospice Nurses
  • Hospice Workers
  • Kinesiologists
  • Legal Nurse Consultants
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Medical Assistants
  • Medical Ethicists
  • Medical Laboratory Technicians
  • Medical Record Technicians
  • Medical Technologists
  • Medical Transcriptionists
  • Microbiologists
  • Music Therapists
  • Neonatal Nurses
  • Neurologists
  • Nuclear Medicine Technologists
  • Nurse Anesthetists
  • Nurse Assistants
  • Nurse Managers
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Nurse-Midwives
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Nursing Instructors
  • Obstetricians/Gynecologists
  • Occupational Health Nurses
  • Occupational Safety and Health Workers
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides
  • Oncological Nurses
  • Oncologists
  • Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians
  • Ophthalmologists
  • Optometrists
  • Oriental Medicine Practitioners
  • Orientation and Mobility Specialists
  • Orthodontists
  • Orthotic and Prosthetic Technicians
  • Orthotists and Prosthetists
  • Osteopaths
  • Pathologists
  • Pediatricians
  • Pedorthists
  • Periodontists
  • Perfusionists
  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacologists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physical Therapy Assistants
  • Physician Assistants
  • Physicians
  • Podiatrists
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Psychiatric Technicians
  • Psychiatrists
  • Psychologists
  • Radiologic Technologists
  • Recreational Therapists
  • Registered Nurses
  • Rehabilitation Counselors
  • Respiratory Therapists and Technicians
  • Science and Medical Writers
  • Senior Care Pharmacists
  • School Nurses
  • Social Workers
  • Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists
  • Special Procedures Technologists
  • Sports Physicians
  • Sports Psychologists
  • Surgeons
  • Surgical Technologists
  • Toxicologists
  • Transplant Coordinators
  • Urologists
  • Veterinarians

For More Information: