Is a Career in Healthcare Right For You?

       By: Eric J Shannon
Posted: 2010-05-08 09:05:47
In today's economy, individuals must carefully consider career ambitions before embarking on academic pursuits. Many professional markets today are oversaturated with degreed individuals, and one must seriously consider that when selecting an intended career path.One career field today experiencing high demand for professionals is healthcare. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are healthcare related. In 2008, healthcare was one of the largest industries in the United States, accounting for more than 14.3 million jobs.Types of health jobsThere is a vast range of career paths in the field of healthcare. Some of the most in demand healthcare jobs include, nursing, physicians, dentists, medical assistants, counselors, pharmacy, ambulatory care, and administrative support including medical secretaries and billing and coding.Educational requirementsEducational requirements for healthcare jobs are as varied as the jobs themselves. Some positions, such as specialized physicians will spend many years in college, medical school, and residency. Other positions may require a 4 year college degree, and some, such as medical billing and coding may only require technical training, while other positions provide on-the-job training.Where are jobs availableHealthcare jobs can be found in nearly every town and city in the United States. In areas where there is a more dense population, more health jobs can be found.Within your town, you will find healthcare professionals in doctors' offices, dentist offices, hospitals, outpatient care centers, psychiatric and substance abuse centers, schools and nursing care facilities to name a few. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 35% of all healthcare jobs are in hospitals.What are healthcare salaries like?Different healthcare jobs have varying pay scales, and wages also reflect the cost of living in a particular area. For instance, nurses make on average $30 an hour, medical assistants make $13.60 an hour, and home health aides make $9.84 an hour. Primary care physicians make a median salary of $186,000 a year, and medical specialists earn a median compensation of $340,000.OutlookThe outlook for careers in the field of healthcare is excellent, and the field is expected to generate more jobs in coming years than any other industry due to a growing elderly population. Job security is good in the field of healthcare, and healthcare workers generally benefit from good benefits, and additional educational opportunities through their employers. Take a careful look at healthcare in your career planning. It's a safe bet for the future!
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