Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing career fields in the U.S. It’s estimated that the American healthcare system won’t have enough nurses and doctors to treat patients by the year 2030.
Healthcare careers go beyond doctors and nurses. If you’re considering a career in healthcare, take a look at these 7 healthcare careers with growth potential.
1. Home Health Aide
One of the fastest-growing health care fields is home health care. The home health industry has to keep up with the aging baby boomer population’s needs for healthcare.
It’s estimated that 1 in 5 adults will be over the age of 65 by the year 2030. They won’t be able to receive consistent treatment in hospitals because of the doctor and nurse shortages.
Home health aides have an opportunity to provide support to aging adults who prefer to skip nursing homes and age at home. This helps hospitals because they’ll be less overloaded with small health issues that can be addressed at home.
Home health is a good option for anyone with a passion for healthcare who doesn’t have a specialized medical degree. Some home health professionals don’t have formal education at all.
This might seem like a great way to save money on higher education, but this limits your job options long term.
2. Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational therapy is another great career field because it relates to aging adults. The large aging population will need more occupational therapy to help them with everyday tasks.
Occupational therapy teaches anyone with limited physical abilities how to get through tasks easier with or without help. Seniors might need this service after surgery or after arthritis symptoms progress too far.
Occupational therapists and their assistants show patients things like how to eat or brush their teeth differently with their new limitations. The median annual salary for occupational therapy assistants is $61,000.
The field will grow by around 30 percent by the year 2028.
3. Physician’s Assistant
Physician’s assistants work just about anywhere doctor’s work. Think outpatient centers, hospitals and doctor’s offices.
The median salary is high for this role at around $112,000 per year but you do need a master’s degree to work in this field. Physician’s assistants aren’t secretaries.
They work with a team of doctors and sometimes perform small medical tasks like doing an exam with a patient or getting vitals. In some states, physician’s assistants can even prescribe medication or diagnose an illness without the doctor’s oversight.
You’ll need to pass a state exam to qualify as a physician’s assistant, check different program options and meet certain ongoing certification standards.
4. Speech-Language Pathologist
A speech-language pathologist is another title for speech therapy. As a speech therapist, you help patients with communication problems.
Most people think of children when they think of speech therapy and language disorders, but speech therapists can also help adults. A senior having trouble swallowing after a stroke might see a speech therapist.
Speech therapists treat other speech-related problems after injuries and illnesses. Almost half of speech therapists work in schools while the other half work in hospitals and doctor’s offices.
The median salary for speech therapy is around $79,000. You’ll need at least a master’s degree and to pass a state exam to qualify.
5. Genetic Counselor
If you’re interested in the field of genetics, consider a career in genetic counseling. This career field is growing at a rate of 27 percent and is only expected to get larger through 2028.
Genetic counselors work with patients to help them understand their risk of inheriting certain illnesses. They can review genetic tests and use the information to be the patient’s advocate.
Genetic counselors usually work in hospitals, but can also work in labs and medical centers as needed. You’ll need a master’s degree in genetics or a related field in order to work in this role.
The median salary for this job is around $80,000 per year.
6. Nursing Assistant
Like doctors, nurses work demanding schedules back to back throughout the week. Nursing assistants help make their jobs easier by taking care of small things like getting patients dressed each day.
Nursing assistant’s take vital signs and sometimes just companionship to patients. This takes the responsibility off the nurse’s shoulders to constantly provide mental and physical support to patients.
If you love caring for people and want to help hospitals run smoothly, consider a career as a nursing assistant. This career option requires a CNA, or certified nursing assistant certification.
You can kickstart your career by prepping for the program at Ultimate Medical Academy.
7. Biomedical Engineer
Shortages of doctors and nurses mean there need to be faster and better ways of treating patients. Biomedical engineers come up with solutions to common treatment problems.
For example, a biomedical engineer might develop a better functioning prosthetic limb that’s more affordable for hospitals to buy. This means the hospital can put more of its resources into improving its other services.
Biomedical engineers need to have in-depth engineering and medical backgrounds in order to really be innovative in this career. The overall goal of this career is to improve the quality of the lives of patients by making better medical equipment and software.
Most biomedical engineer positions require a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering or biomedical engineering.
The Cost of Healthcare Careers
Healthcare careers require more than just passion. Most medical centers won’t hire you without some form of higher education.
The length of time you need to attend school varies based on what you decide to study, but almost all careers require you to do continuing education every year. In addition to the cost of school, continuing education can mean spending a small amount to stay up to date in your field.
But the investment you make gives you access to fast-growing career options that means more job security in the long run. For more information and tips, check our blog for updates.