Job Openings & Education Requirements – General Outlook
The medical field is growing fast, with 3.2 million new health care jobs expected to become available between 2008 and 2018. The type of job you’ll land will depend on the nature of the education and training you pursue.
Medical Job Openings and Education Requirements: General Outlook
Interested in becoming a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or health care specialist? Students pursuing a career in the medical field can take heart: There’s plenty of room at the top, and an education in nursing, pharmacy, physical therapy, or nutrition is sure to serve you well when you enter the work force in the next few years.
The type of job you’ll land will depend on the nature of the education and training you pursue. With careful research and foresight, you can focus your studies on a particular medical career, paving the way to a well-suited position after graduation.
Medical Job Openings and Predictions
The medical field is growing fast, with 3.2 million new health care jobs expected to become available between 2008 and 2018. Half of the 20 fastest-growing occupations are in medicine, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and more new jobs are being created in this field than in any other.
Why the sudden growth in the medical industry? The aging baby boomer population accounts for most of it, as members of this large, wealthy generation transition into their golden years. With increasing numbers of baby boomers facing retirement and age-related health conditions, there’s more need than ever for qualified, trained medical workers to provide compassion and support, treat chronic and short-lived conditions, and improve their quality of life.
Below are some of the quickest growing positions for which students are seeking education:
1. Home Health Care Aides
Nearly 7 percent of medical jobs in 2008 were in home health care services, and that number is expected to grow by an additional 50 percent by 2018. Home health aides, nurses, and therapists will likely be in high demand in the foreseeable future.
Depending on whether you’d like to go straight to work and train on the job as a home care aide, spend 1-2 years in medical studies, or pursue a 4-year nursing degree, there are a variety of different approaches to home care jobs, and a range of salary levels based on training, education, and level of experience.
2. Medical Assistants
Perhaps the least recognized of workers in any hospital or health center, medical assistants are everywhere that other health care professionals work, helping doctors, nurses, and researchers to better serve their patients. Medical assistants typically study for 1-2 years and undergo much of their training on the job. The BLS predicts a 34 percent increase in medical assistant jobs between 2008 and 2018.
3. Physical Therapists
The employment of physical therapists is expected to rise by 33 percent, as the aging population seeks expert help in remaining fit, active, and mobile after experiencing injury or stress. Physical therapists focus their studies on obtaining a 4-year bachelor’s degree, or pursue a longer post-secondary education program to become proficient in their area of expertise.
4. Pharmacy Technicians
With constant new advancements in drugs and treatment approaches, pharmacy technicians never stop learning. This career specialization is slated for ample growth in the next few years, as research advances and new hospital procedures are developed. Pharmacologists can expect to study in at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree program, usually obtaining more education after its completion.