Best Healthcare Jobs
Today our focus on preventing disease, illness, and injury is just as apparent as our fight to diagnose and treat them. And as even our youngest baby boomers grow closer to age 50, the need to employ qualified healthcare personnel to both prevent and treat medical conditions intensifies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that we not only need to retain those workers already in the field, but also add a substantial number of new ones, with the most occupational growth expected among healthcare support jobs. That's why for this year's list of Best Healthcare Jobs, we included the usual suspects, like nurses and physicians, but also a few unexpected picks, like diagnostic medical sonographer and veterinary tech. Read more on how we rank the best jobs.
Are you hoping to catch the Outbreak monkey? This fast-growing occupation might be just right for you. Epidemiologists investigate the causes of diseases and research ways to prevent them from spreading.
This job has both social and technical elements. The technical: You have to master using the medical equipment and make sure the patient is properly placed to get a just-right image. And the social: You’re interacting with nervous patients awaiting information on a medical condition. Sonographers made a median salary of $65,210 in 2011, and are expecting liberal openings for the next few years.
Not every scrub-wearing hospital attendant is a doctor, orderly, or nurse. Some are RTs, trained professionals who offer medical care and treatments to patients with heart and lung problems. The BLS forecasts nearly 30 percent employment growth in this career.
Medical secretaries become well-versed in insurance rules, billing practices, and hospital procedures. The reward for their diligence is job security, as the Labor Department projects 40 percent employment growth for this profession.
Technologists use X-ray, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment to assist physicians in diagnosing patients. As with other healthcare posts, this one will also expand—nearly 30 percent by 2020.
Many medical assistants are able to maintain office files as fluidly and meticulously as they draw blood. These healthcare professionals mix administrative and clinical duties in hospitals and private practices each day, where they man front desks and sterilize equipment. Their profession is expected to expand 30.9 percent by 2020.
In many ways, clinical lab techs are the glue that holds our hospitals together. They conduct many of the tests physicians use to diagnose patients and form a treatment plan. The BLS projects this field will balloon 14.7 percent by 2020.
These professionals are often the ones who help us into the dentist chair, sterilize equipment, and assist during dental procedures. And their responsibilities are increasing as much as our population ages. There should be 91,600 new dental assistants by 2020.
By helping with bathing, dressing, and administering medication, home health aides allow the elderly, disabled, and ill to live semi-independent lives. The Labor Department predicts this profession will expand by nearly 70 percent by the year 2020.
Pharmacy techs work side by side with pharmacists, counting tablets, packaging meds, and processing insurance claims. This fast-growing occupation should grow by about 108,000 new positions.