Employment in the health care industry is increasing rapidly. Thanks to the new health care reform laws, more people are able to afford health insurance, meaning that more people will be turning to doctors, nurses and specialists to treat illnesses, injuries and chronic conditions.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the most job openings between 2012 and 2022 will be in the health care industry. Overall, there is an 11 percent increase expected in the employment of medical professionals. That equates to about 15 million new jobs opening for people in the health care field.1 For students who may be enrolled in medical assisting or other health care programs, or current professionals interested in other positions, the list below provides information on the best health care jobs for 2014, according to U.S. News & World Report:
Individuals interested in a career as a dentist can rest assured that the field is growing. According to the BLS, employment of dentists is expected to grow faster than the average of all other occupations, and the unemployment rate is very low, just over 1 percent.2
There are several reasons why dentists will be in such high demand. Seniors today are keeping more of their teeth than previous generations, and are visiting the dentist more often than ever before. Another contributing factor is that the health care reform laws make dental insurance more affordable for many people, meaning they will also be able to visit the dentist for more than just routine checkups. The increasing popularity of cosmetic procedures like teeth whitening is driving up demand for more professionals in the dental field as well.1
As of May 2012, dentists earned a median annual salary of $149,310, which is a major incentive for students or health care professionals to pursue a career in dentistry.2
2. Nurse practitioner
Nurse practitioners are second on the list of Best Healthcare Jobs of 2014.2 This is because nurses are becoming even more important in doctors’ offices as doctors try and focus on more complex procedures. Nurse practitioners are responsible for authorizing treatments, counseling patients about how to take medications and manage their illness or injury, and performing physical exams.2
The unemployment rate for nurse practitioners is projected to stay below 1 percent in 2014, which is an excellent sign for individuals looking into this field. The median annual salary for a nurse practitioner is $89,960 because they are in charge of so many aspects of a patients’ care in hospitals, clinics and private offices.2
Pharmacists are very important in the lives of their patients. Many people see their pharmacists more often than their primary physicians. Pharmacists can talk to patients about new prescriptions they may have to take, what side effects to look out for, and whether they should consult their doctor about any new symptoms. Pharmacists are responsible for administering flu shots, advising patients on topics like diet, exercise and stress management, and filling prescriptions accurately.1
According to the BLS, employment of pharmacists is expected to grow 14 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations, and equates to more than 40,000 new jobs opening by 2022.2
New drug products are being produced thanks to advances in technology and health care, and hospitals, clinics and offices will need pharmacists who are trained to handle those prescriptions. More people being able to afford health care due to the reform legislation also means they too will be able to afford prescriptions, driving up the demand for pharmacists as well. 1
Individuals already working in the health care industry and students looking to begin a career as a healthcare practitioner can feel confident that with more jobs becoming available in the next few years, pursuing a career in a medical field seems to be a very good choice.
1 “Employment Projections: 2012-2022 Summary,” Bureau of Labor Statistics.gov, http://www.bls.gov/news.release/ecopro.nr0.htm
2 Taylor, Evan, “The 38 Best Health Care Jobs of 2014,” U.S. News.com, March 27, 2014, http://money.usnews.com/money/careers/slideshows/the-38-best-health-care-jobs-of-2014