Check out these hot health care careers that are projected to grow at a rapid rate from 2012 through 2022.
Loving what you do is great, but knowing your career will be there tomorrow is even better. And when it comes to booming fields, the health care industry is one that's primed for growth.
Furthermore, the U.S. Department of Labor estimates that the health care and social assistance industry should create almost 5 million new jobs between 2012 and 2022.
Want to prepare to take your place in the health care field? Check out these five in-demand health care careers - and their educational paths.
Career #1 - Medical and Health Services Manager
If you want to take your leadership skills into the growing health care field, consider pursuing a career as a medical and health services manager.
As a medical and health services manager, you might plan, direct, and organize health services in an entire health care facility, or a specific department or clinical area, says the U.S. Department of Labor. Daily duties could include handling a facility's finances, creating work schedules, and making sure that health care services are delivered efficiently.
Growth by the numbers: The Department of Labor projects 23 percent job growth for medical and health services managers between 2012 and 2022. This is faster than average for all occupations the Department tracks. The increased number of facilities will require more managers to run them, says the Department.
Education options: Look into earning a bachelor's degree in health administration. According to the Department, prospective managers should have this credential. Master's degrees in health services, long-term care administration, public health, or business administration are also common, says the Department.
Career #2 - Medical Assistant
If you are interested in working in a doctor's office, consider preparing for a career in the in-demand field of medical assisting.
As a medical assistant, you could play a role in helping patients' visits go smoothly from when they first walk in the door. Your duties might include measuring vital signs, assisting the physician with examinations, recording health information, and scheduling appointments, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Growth by the numbers: The need for medical assistants should continue to expand, as the Department of Labor projects 29 percent job growth between 2012 and 2022.
Education options: Even though medical assistants can learn on the job, some employers may prefer candidates with formal education such as a certificate or associate's degree in medical assisting, says the Department.
Career #3 - Registered Nurse
Ready to put your helpful nature to use in a huge health care field? Look into prepping to pursue a career in registered nursing.
As a registered nurse, you could work closely with patients by providing care, education, and emotional support. You might give patients medicines and treatments, observe their conditions, or perform diagnostic tests, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Growth by the numbers: But even with such a large number of nurses, the Department of Labor projects the nursing field will continue to add 526,800 jobs between 2012 and 2022, an increase of 19 percent. A rise in preventative care and advancements in technology are expected to keep nurses in high demand, adds the Department.
Education options: To pursue a registered nursing career, you could earn a bachelor's of science degree in nursing (BSN), an associate's degree in nursing (ASN), or a diploma from an approved nursing program, says the Department. From there, you'll need to take the national licensing exam, NCLEX-RN. University.com, a comprehensive research and rating site for students interested in studying online, explains that this test is used to assess your ability to make critical decisions in patient care scenarios and that the correct answer is usually the safest approach.
Career #4 - Physical Therapist Assistant
Want to enter an in-demand health care field where you could really play a hands-on role in helping patients restore their physical functionality? If so, a career as a physical therapist assistant could be a good fit.
Under the supervision of a physical therapist, you could help patients regain movement as they recover from injuries, illnesses, or surgery. Your role in the rehabilitation process could include assisting patients with techniques, such as massages and stretching, as well as with therapeutic methods, like electrical stimulation and ultrasound, says the U.S. Department of Labor.
Growth by the numbers: The Department of Labor projects the employment for physical therapist assistants will increase by 41 percent between 2012 and 2022. An increased number of elderly patients for therapy services could be a major factor in the rising need for physical therapy assistants, adds the Department.
Education options: To get ready to pursue a physical therapy assistant career, most states require candidates to earn an associate's degree in physical therapy assistance from a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, according to the Department.
Career #5 - Pharmacy Technician
Prefer a health care career that is less hands-on? Consider pursuing a career in the growing pharmacy technician field.
Pharmacy technicians could be responsible for counting pills, labeling prescriptions, taking customer phone calls, and taking information needed to fill a prescription, under the supervision of a licensed pharmacist, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Growth by the numbers: The Department of Labor projects 20 percent job growth between 2012 and 2022. A continued increase in older customers who tend to buy more prescriptions could play a role in this booming field.
Education options: Although most pharmacy technicians learn their duties on the job, some candidates earn a certificate through a pharmacy technician program, according to the Department.
Chloe West also contributed to this article by updating the information on 7/27/2014
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