Most people probably think of healthcare as a career when you need medical care. But what they may not know is that healthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. With job opportunities in hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities, it’s no wonder that healthcare is among the most popular careers today.
Many high-paying career options and long-term employment are available in the healthcare industry. Aside from paying well, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects certain medical jobs to rise by up to 32% between 2018 and 2028, far outpacing typical national job growth predictions.
Nursing – A Wide Open Field with Many Opportunities
What began with Florence Nightingale in the 1850s has become one of the most essential and in-demand professions in the healthcare sector today. Nurses make up the largest group of healthcare workers and are employed in various settings, from hospitals to clinics to home health care. As our population ages and medical advances allow us to live longer, healthier lives, the demand for nurses will only continue to grow.
Understanding the growth in the field, many professionals are taking up courses to broaden their knowledge and skills as a nurse. For instance, an online graduate in RN to BSN program is among the most sought-after courses in healthcare. It helps working nurses upgrade their qualifications without sacrificing their current job. Below are the most highly paid nursing positions:
1. Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
It is an umbrella term for nurses who have completed a Master’s or Doctoral degree in nursing. They include nurse practitioners, certified registered nurse anesthetists, and clinical nurse specialists. Nurses working in this field make, on average, $115,800 per year. Their responsibilities range from diagnosing and treating patients to prescribing medications.
2. Gerontology Nurses
Gerontology is the study of aging, and gerontology nurses specialize in caring for older adults. As our population continues to live longer and healthier lives, the demand for these nurses will only continue to grow. There is a requirement for a master’s degree in nursing for this specialty. Gerontology nurses make, on average, $94,000 per year.
3. Hospice and Palliative Care Nurses
Palliative care experts provide a wide range of services that assist in maintaining long-term health. These activities include monitoring symptoms over time and assessing a patient’s health to ensure adequate care is provided daily. Palliative care nurses assist patients in following their drug regimens and procedures while maintaining a constant line of communication with physicians and family members.
4. Healthcare Specialists – The Backbone of the Healthcare System
Various healthcare specialists support the healthcare industry, from medical billing and coding specialists to health information technicians. These professionals play a vital role in keeping the healthcare system running smoothly.
5. Medical Billing and Coding Specialists
A healthcare facility’s billing and coding specialist is responsible for submitting insurance claims and ensuring that the facility is reimbursed for its services. They also keep track of patients’ medical records and code them for insurance purposes. Medical billing and coding specialists make, on average, $45,240 per year. An associate’s degree can earn an entry ticket into this profession. It is a satisfying job considering you get to work behind the scenes and ensure that the hospital gets paid for its services.
6. Information Security Analysts
Cyberattacks and data breaches are a real threat to healthcare facilities. That’s where information security analysts come in. They work to protect patients’ data and prevent unauthorized access to confidential information. Information security analysts make, on average, $99,730 per year. Cybersecurity is a growing field, and there is a high demand for qualified information security analysts. Professionals with bachelor’s degrees in computer and information technology or a related field, such as engineering or math, make the best candidates.
Specialized Doctors – The Heart of the Healthcare System
Doctors are the heart of the healthcare system. They diagnose and treat patients, provide guidance on preventive measures, and support patients and their families. Doctors make, on average, $187,200 per year. There are several areas of expertise that doctors can choose to specialize in.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, podiatrists and specialists specializing in foot and ankle issues earn between $126,240 and $338,760 a year. These medical practitioners conduct physical examinations and x-rays on patients’ feet and lower legs. In 2018, about 10,500 podiatrists were working in the United States. BLS predicts that the number will rise by 6% between 2018 and 2028.
As the world and relationships continue to complicate, the demand for psychiatrists will continue to grow. They are medical doctors specializing in diagnosing and treating patients with mental disorders. On average, psychiatrists make $216,090 per year. A psychiatrist must have a medical degree and a license to practice medicine. In addition, they must complete four years of residency training in psychiatry.
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Oncologists are doctors who specialize in diagnosing and treating cancer. They work with patients to develop treatment plans and support during and after treatment. Oncologists make, on average, $195,320 per year. To become an oncologist, you need to complete four years of medical school and three to four years of residency training.
Additional Degrees You Must Consider
A degree is essential to getting a job in the healthcare industry. There are many different types of healthcare degrees, and each one has its own set of requirements.
- Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing – A four-year program that provides the necessary skills and knowledge to become a registered nurse.
- Doctor of Dental Medicine – An advanced degree that enables dental professionals to provide patients with the highest level of care.
- Doctor of Veterinary Medicine – A four-year degree that prepares individuals to work as veterinarians.
- Master’s Degree in Health Administration – A two-year degree equips healthcare professionals with the business skills needed to manage a healthcare facility.
A healthcare career comes with many rewards. It is a stable industry with a wide variety of job options. You can choose to work behind the scenes or directly with patients. You can find a satisfying job that pays well with the right degree. So, if you’re looking for a new career path, consider healthcare. You can land a satisfying and financially stable job with a little training. And who knows, you may even find a new passion along the way.