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.
As Dr. Seuss once wrote, "Teeth are always in style." Dentists surely think so. They make their living diagnosing and treating our teeth and gums, and counseling us on how to maintain good oral health. This profession is expected to see 21.1 percent growth up to the year 2020.
Nursing is an indispensable profession in healthcare; one where workers are almost always needed. This year is no different, as the BLS anticipates 26 percent employment growth in this field between now and 2020.
Pharmacists mix technical, organizational, and people skills in a customer-service environment. Each day, more than 274,900 pharmacists dispense medicine and advice to patients at hospitals and retail chains. Their profession is expected to grow 25.4 percent by 2020.
Physicians are the Grand Poobahs of healthcare—it's their responsibility to diagnose and treat patients, and instruct on proper diet, hygiene, and disease prevention. And like other jobs in this industry, physicians will see abundant job growth to 2020.
A physical therapist's job description might include helping a paralytic regain mobility or assisting a cancer survivor renew his or her strength. The profession is expected to grow 39 percent by 2020.
In addition to cleaning teeth, dental hygienists educate patients on proper oral hygiene. Something else of note: They make yearly salaries of about $68,250, although most work part-time.
Not all therapy involves evaluating clients reclining on barcaloungers. Occupational therapists, for instance, help patients with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities assimilate in society. Its one of the occupations that's especially on the rise, with 33.5 percent growth expected between 2010 and 2020.
They're basically animal doctors, but they're also so much more: They protect food supply by inspecting livestock, they promote public health by fighting animal-borne diseases, and they help educate people on how to have a healthy relationship with animals. Given the advancements in this field, expect a 36-percent employment jump between now and 2020.
There's a slightly lower education bar to enter this occupation than to become a physical therapist, but assistants do many of the same tasks, including monitoring therapeutic exercises, observing progress in a treatment plan, and offering proper education for patients post-treatment.
Behind any qualified veterinarian is his or her support team: the technologists and techs who handle lab work, assist in surgery, administer anesthesia, and collect patient histories. Sounds like the field for you? Consider this: Vet techs and technologists also have excellent job prospects and a low unemployment rate.