As the economy grows, it’s also changing. Employment opportunities are rising rapidly in certain sectors, which in turn, has led to critical worker shortages in some areas. If you are looking for a new career, you might want to consider opportunities in the healthcare sector as we take a look at the top 5 healthcare jobs in demand.
According to the online recruiter Careercast, jobs in healthcare dominate their top ten list of careers facing an acute shortage of available candidates.
Top 10 Toughest Jobs to Fill
What’s behind this shortfall of qualified healthcare job applicants?
According to the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, part of the reason for the shortage is we are caught in a demographic trap. Healthcare workers from the Baby Boomer generation are retiring in greater numbers while at the same time our overall population is aging, which drives up the need for additional health care services.
Two additional factors are aggravating the situation. First, we’re seeing a marked increase in chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity, both of which can lead to increased rates of heart attacks and stroke. This puts additional demand on our health delivery services, driving up the demand for healthcare workers.
Second, despite efforts to increase the number of programs (or reduce the time needed to obtain a degree), many students wanting to work in the medical field can’t get the education they need to qualify for these healthcare jobs in demand. The problem is particularly acute in nursing. It’s estimated that in 2017 alone nursing schools had to turn aware more than 56,000 qualified applicants due to lack of capacity.
The bottom line is that certain health care positions are among the most demanded jobs in the USA —if you have (or can acquire) the right qualifications.
Let’s take a look at the top five healthcare jobs in demand.
#5. Medical Service Manager Jobs are Expected to Grow by 20%
Projected Job Growth: 20%, Median Salary: $98K, Education Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree or higher, typically in health services or business administration
As the healthcare industry grows, there is a corresponding need for qualified managers who can oversee the business side of the healthcare industry, from managing individual medical clinics within institutions or small health groups, all the way up to the largest hospital systems. The BLS (Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics) estimates that the demand for Medical Services Manager jobs will increase by 20% between now and 2026.
This role, which goes by several job titles, including Medical Service Manager, Health Care Executive, or Health Care manager, typically requires a degree in a related health field, such as public health or health administration, as well as a degree or background in business administration.
Medical Services managers are responsible for making sure their institution’s clinical functions operate efficiently, are compliant with all the relevant regulatory regimes, and stay on a good financial footing. Tasks performed by senior healthcare managers can range the gamut from hiring and managing healthcare professionals to identifying long-term funding sources for the institution, to managing facilities and investments in expensive medical equipment, to making financial projections that justify which service lines to offer, to maintaining the institution’s accreditation, to overseeing patient services, to managing reimbursements from insurance companies and the Federal CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services).
#4. Physical Therapist Careers Will Grow by 28% According to the BLS
Projected Job Growth: 28%, Median Salary: $87K, Education Requirements: Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree (3 years)
Physical Therapists, known as PTs, are the fourth fastest growing career in our list. Demand for PTs is expected to grow by 28% over the next ten years, while a closely related career, Occupational Therapists, is also expected to grow rapidly — by 24% between now and the year 2026.
The growing need for PTs is attributed, in part, due to the large cohort of retiring Baby Boomers who are staying active later in life, necessitating care for sprained joints, pulled muscles, and the like. As this generation ages, however, their therapy needs are expected to shift toward mobility issues associated with geriatric care, such as recovering from accidental falls or debilitating strokes.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the overall shortage of workers overall has hit smaller cities in rural regions especially hard. North Platte, Nebraska recently came up with a $10,000 incentive to attract a physical therapist to move there from Colorado.
Want to avoid a visit to a physical therapist? Formaspace sit-to-stand desks and tables can help you improve circulation and reduce back strain.
Physical Therapist degree programs accredited by CAPTA (The Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education) typically take three years, followed by a one-year clinical residency program. However, it’s very common for aspiring PTs to begin their career as a PT Assistant (or an Occupational Therapy Assistant) as these programs can usually be completed in just two years, allowing candidates to obtain their full PT license at a future date.
#3. The Number of Nurse Practitioner Job Openings Projected to Increase by 31%
Projected Job Growth: 31%, Median Salary: $111K, Education Requirements: RN license plus Master’s Degree or higher
More and more primary care clinics are utilizing Nurse Practitioners as “physician extenders” that allow your physician to see more patients in a day.
In fact, if you’ve been to a healthcare clinic recently, it may surprise you that the individual performing the exam or issuing you a prescription may not have been a physician but a licensed Nurse Practitioner (NP) instead. Indeed, in most states, NPs working under the direct supervision of a physician can perform medical exams, make diagnoses, and write prescriptions.
The typical career path for an NP is to begin work as Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), which requires a year of training, or as a Registered Nurse (RN), which requires two to three years of training, before pursuing the additional training and clinical required to become licensed as a Nurse Practitioner. Some workers pursuing a nursing career also begin as Nursing Assistants or Orderlies.
As we mentioned earlier, getting a place in the queue for training as a nurse is itself major challenge. Demand for nurses at all levels remains high and will only increase in the future. According to the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), these five states — Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Texas — will have the highest increase in demand for RNs, at over 70% between now and the year 2030.
Demand for Registered Nurses by State, 2015-2030
#2. Physician Assistants are Emerging as a High Demand Career Growing by 37%
Projected Job Growth: 37%, Median Salary: $105K, Education Requirements: Master’s Degree
In many ways, the function of a Physician Assistant (PA) in a care setting is very similar to that of a Nurse Practitioner (NP) — in most states, both are licensed to examine patients, make diagnoses, and issue prescriptions under the supervision of a physician.
The education path is generally what distinguishes a PA from an NP. Physician Assistants are trained in what might be termed a “medical school track” which is more focused on a “disease-centered” model, e.g. understanding the underlying systems in the body and associated ailments. NPs, in contrast, are educated in nursing schools that typically follow a more “patient-centered” model of care that focuses on disease prevention and treatment.
In order to be licensed as a PA, candidates need to obtain a Master’s Degree from an accredited medical school — typically requiring 1,000 didactic hours of instruction credit — followed by more than 2,000 hours of clinical experience.
Are there entry level positions available while you work your way up to becoming a PA or NP?
The answer is yes.
Consider some of these roles: Medical Assistants who perform tasks such as taking vitals from patients, scribes (also known as Medical Transcriptionists) who enter data into medical record systems, and technicians who help manage medical record and health information systems.
#1. Demand for Home Health Aide and Personal Care Aide Positions is Skyrocketing by 41%
Projected Job Growth: 41%, Median Salary: $23K, Education Requirements: High School Diploma
Our top-ranked in-demand healthcare jobs are Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides providing individual assistance to those who need help looking after themselves, such as those recovering from an illness, such as a stroke. The primary distinction between the two is that the former requires providing basic health-related care services (such as taking vitals or assisting with medical equipment, such as oxygen bottles) while the latter is purely a caregiver or personal attendant role providing non-medical assistance, such as preparing meals or driving the patient.
Both Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides are in tremendous demand. According to the Federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), 3.4 million direct care workers will be needed by 2030, with one half of the demand for home or community-based care, one quarter for residential care facilities, and one quarter for nursing homes.
The training and certification requirements for these jobs vary state by state. However, in nearly all settings, the major drawback is the low salary: the median annual full-time compensation for home health and personal care aides is only $23K, which is significantly below the median income among all jobs in the USA, which the BLS calculates to be $37.7K.
Something will have to change to find enough workers in the future to care for each of us in our old age. Stay tuned.
Discover More about Formaspace’s Healthcare and Biotech Projects
Did you know that in addition to promoting health literacy and healthy living in the workplace, Formaspace is also a key partner on many high-profile healthcare and biotech projects?
We’d like to introduce you to a few of our recent projects.
The Chan Zuckerberg Laboratory BioHub
We recently created custom lab furniture for the new BioHub facility located on Mission Bay in San Francisco. Officially known as The Chan Zuckerberg Laboratory (thanks to generous funding from Facebook’s CEO and his wife), the BioHub laboratory is a joint venture between Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and UC San Francisco.
Among the well-known advisers on BioHub’s Science Advisory Group is Jennifer Doudna, the UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and chemistry, whose pioneering work on CRISPER-Cas9 gene editing we’ve written about several times before.
BioHub’s laboratories are dedicated to “uniting the greatest minds to solve the toughest problems.” We’re proud to work with BioHub to equip their labs with Formaspace laboratory furniture.
Formaspace Laboratory Furniture at the new BioHub facility
For the BioHub laboratory, we built back-to-back Benchmarx workstations topped with our chemically-resistant black Phenolic worksurfaces for maximum durability. The steel frames and storage units provide strong, long-lasting protection for BioHub’s valuable laboratory equipment. The clear, gloss powder-coat finish allows the weld marks to show through – for a refined, industrial aesthetic.
Cryogenics Laboratory at The University of Toronto
For students at the University of Toronto, Formaspace built a modern cryogenics physics laboratory that’s used to study the effects of materials at very low temperatures. As it turns out, the physics department at the University of Toronto has a storied history in cryogenics thanks to Sir John C. McLennan, whose pioneering research in liquid helium, superconductivity, atomic spectroscopy, natural radioactivity, and the study of atmospheric conductivity helped pave the way for our understanding of condensed matter and quantum optics, subatomic and atmospheric physics.
Formaspace is Your Healthcare Career Partner
Formaspace is proud to be a leading provider of modern furniture solutions for your diagnostics or research laboratory, healthcare facility, or educational institution.
Don’t just take our word for it. Talk to our satisfied customers. For example, L. Davis of Mission Health Hospital raves about the Formaspace furniture we created for their lab.
“Thanks to Formaspace for the efficient, timely and perfect furniture for our lab! We love the flexibility of the modular design that gives us the flexibility to address the never-ending changes that occur in laboratory medicine.”
— L. Davis, Mission Health Hospital
If you can imagine it, we can build it.
Try our free online system, called the Virtual Workbench Builder, to design your own personalized workstation, including all your preferred material choices, storage options, and accessories.
We can also build completely custom furniture for your facility as well, here at our Austin, Texas factory headquarters.
Want to learn more? Contact your friendly Formaspace Design Consultant today.