Healthcare has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade — aided by new technologies, mechanisms like the Affordable Care Act that bring insurance to the masses and a general growing interest in maintaining healthy lifestyles. On top of that, the baby boomer generation is increasingly demanding continuing care services that have caused the healthcare job market to balloon in recent years.
With all these developments, an astounding number of opportunities await anyone willing to pursue them. In 2016, more people than ever will put themselves up to the task. Here are the top five healthcare jobs they will be seeking:
With a median salary of $73,000 and a projected growth rate of 29 percent between now and 2024, it would be safe to say that audiologists have relatively secure, comfortable jobs. An increasing awareness of conditions like sensorineural hearing loss and advances in hearing aid technology has led to a rise in the audiology industry.
On the other hand, state licensure has been getting harder to obtain. Most programs are doing away with Master’s equivalent educations, forcing aspiring audiologists to enroll in a Doctor of Audiology program (Au. D.)
#2 Biomedical Engineer
Biomedical engineering is the one of the most promising frontiers in the realm of healthcare. Those that pursue an advanced degree in biomedical engineering could be privy to $87,000 a year or more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job outlook is also quite rosy, with a 23 percent growth projected between now and 2024.
#3 Dental Hygienist
While they are subjected to the occasional noxious maw, dental hygienists are spared from some of the more gruesome duties in healthcare. For their trouble they are compensated handsomely — median pay for a dental hygienist ranges from $68,000 to $71,000 depending on the source.
Note, though, that experiences, pay and benefits can vary greatly depending on the practice. Candidates are encouraged to pursue a bachelor’s degree or higher in order to remain competitive for the more desirable positions out there.
Pharmacists enjoy a low-stress job setting relative to most healthcare professionals. They also have more options for employment since neighborhood pharmacies are popping up along nearly every major intersection in towns of all sizes.
A median salary over $100,000 and a miniscule 2.3 percent unemployment rate also spell positive career prospects for anyone looking to enter the field.
#5 Nurse Practitioner
As the healthcare industry grows, so does the pressure it mounts on its labor force. Many doctors, especially those still in residency, are being asked to tangle with a record patient load. Luckily, an emerging team of highly-qualified nurse practitioners (NPs) has their back.
With the equivalence of a master’s or doctoral degree under their belt, they are capable of ordering lab tests, performing exams, taking patient histories and even prescribing medications or authorizing treatments. Many patients may now visit the same PCP or specialist for years, having all of their needs met by NPs with the doctor making only the briefest of cameos.
For their trouble, NPs boast an annual salary of $85,000 to $92,000 a year and a scant 0.7 percent unemployment rate.
Reach for the Stars and Aspire to the Top Healthcare Jobs in 2016
While the end of the career path for one of these jobs may be years down the road, starting your first steps today will see you that much closer to success. Along the way, you have access to entry-level positions that will help you gain on-the-job skills to bolster your classroom education.
In short, the journey to becoming a healthcare professional is long but with the promise of great rewards at the end. Let TheraEx be there for you in the beginning.