5 Fastest Growing Jobs in Healthcare

August 25, 2017

Modern medicine has without a doubt extended the average life expectancy of humans. With the recent wave of calls for a battle against aging, the industry is expected to continue to grow in the future. A growing, aging population will require trained medical professionals to keep the quality of life at an elevated level. Being so highly valued by society, medical personnel receive fitting and well-deserved salaries.

In 2014, a study using data from the United States Bureau of Labor uncovered the 20 fastest growing jobs in the country. Fourteen out of the twenty were in the medical field.  Among others, the jobs which saw the highest rise were that of occupational therapy assistant, physical therapist assistant, home health aides, physical therapists and nurse practitioners.

A few years later, some of these jobs fell from the board while others continued to be sought after. Here are 5 of the fastest growing jobs in healthcare today:

 

  • Physician Assistant

 

PAs work full time in physician’s offices, hospitals and other settings, earning around $98,000 yearly. As the medical industry will grow overall, physician assistants will be needed to aid the recovery of patients and to reduce the workload on doctors.

The United States Bureau of Labor projects a 30% rise for the need of PAs in 2024. With a complementary, yet substantial role in physical recovery, physical assistants have become the usual face a post-op patient sees when dealing with a hospital.

 

  • Physical Therapists

 

Physical therapists, or PTs, are essential in the healing process of injured or ill patients. As most Americans work until the late 60s, injuries can become a common occurrence, in need of medical attention. With attributes of diagnosis and treatment, the prospects of growth for physical therapists are very high, at 34%.

These medical professionals treat patients of all ages and help them to move and perform functional activities that healthy people take for granted. PTs are thus active in rehabilitation, prevention, health maintenance and programs that promote health and fitness. They also provide evaluations and diagnoses relating to diseases ranging from sports injuries to cystic fibrosis and brain injury. After 7 years in college, PTs can earn an average salary of $84,000.

Even if those numbers may seem to be discouraging when compared to other specialties, the wage will increase significantly in a few years of experience. Another exponential growth of Physical therapists is seen in private practice sector. A considerable number of young doctors are transferring to this sector for monetary benefits or other personal reasons.

 

  • Neurosurgeons

 

Neurosurgeons are some of the highest-paid specialists in the medical field. According to experience, pay can range from $300.000 to $438.000 per year. As medical service is required from the bottom to top level, even such highly-paid jobs are increasing in number.

Surgical procedures on the brain, considered the pinnacle of medical achievement, are no longer rare or extraordinary events. However, the few trained specialists that can perform them are among the highest earners of the medical industry.

 

  • Radiation therapist

 

After obtaining an associate or bachelor’s degree, a radiation therapist has to pass a national certification exam in order to be able to treat patients suffering from cancer and other diseases. The position is projected to grow by 14% until 2024, as an aging population will need increasingly more radiation specialists in order to cope with the numerous diseases that torment old age.

Radiation therapists deal with one of the most serious diseases of our time – cancer – on an everyday basis. As the disease can manifest itself in an array of forms, diagnosis is essential for radiation therapists, working together with oncologists. A median wage for radiation therapists amounts to $80,000.

 

  • Veterinarian

 

Perhaps a surprising appearance in this list, veterinarians have been acknowledged to play a major role in the health of society. Caring for animal health is definitively caring for human health. For example, aside from those who take care of our beloved pets, there are other specialties with the profession.

The government is one of the biggest employers of veterinarians, incorporating them in the animal protection or disease control agencies. Research, for one, is a field that still provides scientific novelties in the veterinarian field. The army is another government body that hires veterinarians, requiring some advanced training before serving in areas such as food safety.

After 8 years in higher education, vets can work in larger domains such as laboratory animal medicine, toxicology, immunology or even aquaculture and international disease control. Being so demanded, these professionals can reach an average annual salary of $101,000.

 

Medicine is an essential part of organized human life and the people who engage in it have always been extremely valued in all communities. With professionally trained doctors and medical personnel, medicine continues its advance against nature, saving lives and improving human life with each new discovery.

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