5 Growing Health Care Careers
See how the right education could prepare you for a hot career in health care.
Interested in pursuing a career in the health care industry?
Now might be a good time to start preparing.
As an industry, health care is projected to create about 15.6 million jobs from 2012-2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
To help you decide which health care career is right for you, we've highlighted five careers with favorable employment growth through 2022.
Career #1 - Medical and Health Services Manager
Median annual salary: $90,940*
If you've got a passion for management- and health care - you're in luck. Medical and health services managers plan, coordinate, and direct health services and medical services for anything from a small clinical department to an entire health facility, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Employment Growth: According to the Department of Labor, employment of medical and health services managers will grow by 23 percent from 2012-2022.
Education: Medical and health services managers usually need a bachelor's degree at a minimum to enter this occupation. Master's degrees, in fields such as long-term care administration, health services, business administration, public administration or public health are also common.
Career #2 - Registered Nurse
Median annual salary: $66,220*
Want a career that lets you help save lives? As a registered nurse, you could set up treatment plans for patients, administer medicine, and consult with doctors, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Registered nurses show patients and their families how to manage injuries and illnesses and coordinate patient care.
Employment Growth: Nurses are in high-demand. In 2012, there were over 2.7 million registered nurses employed and from 2012 to 2022, 526,800 new RN jobs will open up, according to projections by the Department of Labor. That means employment of registered nurses will grow 19 percent.
Education: The three typical educational paths to a career as a registered nurse are a bachelor's of science degree in nursing, an associate's degree in nursing, and a diploma from an approved nursing program, according to the Department.
Career #3 - Medical Records and Health Information Technician
Median annual salary: $34,970*
Think a career in health care means you have to work with patients? Think again. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, as a medical records and health information technician, it could be your job to work with patients' health information - not the patients themselves.
Employment Growth: Medical records and information technicians are projected to experience 22 percent job growth from 2012 to 2022, according to the Department of Labor.
Education: Don't want to spend years and years in school just to prepare for a new career? This may be a good option for you. According to the Department, a postsecondary certificate is typically needed to enter this position, although some may have an associate's degree. Professional certification will also be required by many employers.
Career #4 - Medical Assistant
Median annual salary: $29,610*
Unlike medical records and health information technicians, medical assistants work directly with patients, often taking their medical histories and vital signs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. If you're more of a people person, a career as a medical assistant could be what you're looking for.
Employment Growth: Medical assisting jobs are projected to grow by 29 percent from 2012 to 2022, according to the Department of Labor.
Education: Medical assistants usually graduate from postsecondary education programs, says the Department. Programs may lead to a certificate, diploma, or an associate's degree.
Career #5 - Pharmacy Technician
Average annual salary: $29,320*
Interested in a health care career, but can do without working in a medical setting? About half of all pharmacy technician positions are in a pharmacy and drug store setting, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The gig itself often involves helping licensed pharmacists provide prescription medications or answer customer phone calls.
Employment Growth: The Department of Labor estimates employment of pharmacy technicians and aides will grow by 20 percent from 2012 to 2022.
Education: According to the Department, some pharmacy technicians learn on the job, while others join the occupation after finishing a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology. Most of these programs grant a certificate, although some could lead to an associate's degree.
If you feel like one of these careers is a good match for you and want to go back to school to prepare for it, you might want to consider joining a health care organization, too. Why? It could provide you with resources and networking opportunities that could help you along the way.
*All salary information is from the U.S. Department of Labor's May 2013 Occupational Employment and Wages data.
Nikki Gaskins also contributed to this article by updating the information on 07/27/2014