The healthcare industry is growing faster than any other in the United States. If you’re looking for a field where you can make a difference, earn a great wage, and find ample job opportunities, this is it. Whether you’re interested in a specialized field like podiatry, or you simply want to work with the elderly as a home health aide, you’ll find that the healthcare industry is a great choice today.
The Affordable Care Act is Insuring New Patients
Image via Flickr by Seattle Municipal Archives
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides accessible healthcare to all Americans. While achieving this goal, it has also had the secondary effect of producing more jobs in the healthcare sector. An estimated 30 million Americans will receive health insurance through the ACA, and the industry’s workforce will need to bulk up to meet that need. In the short-term, patients have complained about a shortage of workers and long wait times. However, over the long-term this expanding coverage will create a growing need for nurses, physicians, and other professionals in the healthcare field.
The American Population is Aging
The baby boomer population is continuing the trend of the last several years and gradually retiring. Between 2000 and 2030, the United States will see a 50% shift in age demographics. With 72 million Americans age 65 or older by 2030, there will be a great need for medical professionals who specialize in the distinct needs of the aging population. Seniors make up just 12% of the U.S. population now but will comprise 21% of the population by 2050. This is due not only to the baby boomer generation but also to medical advances which allow seniors to live longer than before.
Diverse Needs Present Ample Opportunities
The healthcare industry is vast, with thriving career opportunities in many areas. While many healthcare jobs require continuing education, you can also get started with little formal instruction. Employment for personal care aids is expected to grow 49% between 2012 and 2022, making it the fastest-growing occupation in healthcare. Aids can often get started with as little as a high school diploma, giving people the opportunity to work in their chosen field while pursuing further education in nursing or another related field.
Other fast-growing healthcare careers include home health aides, diagnostic medical sonographers, occupational therapy assistants, and physical therapist assistants. These careers all boast growth rates of 41% or more over the 2012 to 2022 decade.
Wages are Higher than Average for Many Areas
The healthcare industry is an excellent choice for individuals who want to enjoy a generous and stable income. According to the Social Security Administration, the national average wage index for 2012 is $44,321.67. Many healthcare careers exceed this number, particularly those in specialized areas. Podiatrists had a median annual salary of $116,440 in 2012. Pharmacists earned $116,670, and dentists made $149,310.
Opportunities in the healthcare industry are plentiful, and candidates with a solid education will rank at the top of the pack. Get started on your path today – find out how online healthcare programs can help.