Technology, medicine and mass education through television, radio, print and digital programs have helped to extend Americans’ life span. While the extended life expectancy may serve as evidence that the country’s medical systems are moving in the right direction, it also creates the need for more trained healthcare professionals. According to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) healthcare is one of the largest growing industries in the private sector. In fact, as of 2009 about 11 percent of private sector workers were employed in the healthcare industry. Organizations that hire these workers include hospitals, clinics, surgery centers, medical laboratories, medical billing agencies, health insurance companies and private physician offices. Rates of pay and job opportunities open to college students who major in healthcare fields vary, some jobs offering more opportunities and annual wages than others.
Registered nurses (RNs) fill a large number of healthcare jobs. In fact, as of 2010, about 2.7 million American workers were employed as a RN. In addition to completing an undergraduate degree, RNs must take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). From 2010 through 2020, the BLS expects jobs for RNs to grow by as much as 26 percent. This represents an additional 711,900 new jobs being created for RNs. Furthermore, the median annual income RNs took home in 2010 was $64,690.
Home Health Aides Career
About 1.8 million home health aides were employed in the United States as of 2010. More than 1.3 million new jobs are expected to be added to the field from 2010 through 2020. This represents a 70 percent job growth rate, a growth rate that is much higher than what is expected for other occupations. Regarding pay, in 2010 home health aides earned a median annual income of $20,170.
Some Things to Think About Regarding Medical and Health Services Manager
There were approximately 303,000 medical and health service managers employed in 2010. Jobs for medical and health service workers are expected to grow by 22 percent from 2010 through 2020. Over the decade an additional 68,000 jobs are expected to be created for the healthcare professionals. Median annual income earned by medical and health service managers was $84,270 as of 2010.
What Should You Know About the Healthcare Social Workers Field?
In 2010, there were 650,500 healthcare social worker jobs in the country. Over the coming decade, jobs for the occupation are expected to grow by 25 percent, adding 161,200 new jobs. This growth rate is faster than what the BLS expects for other career fields. Furthermore, as of 2010, healthcare social workers earned a median annual income of $42,480.
Mental Health Career
Mental health counselors work in schools, hospitals, clinics and other learning and medical facilities. As of 2010 there were approximately 281,400 counselor jobs in the country. Approximately 53,400 new mental health counselor jobs are expected to be added from 2010 through 2020, which represents a 19 percent growth rate. In 2010 mental health counselors earned a median annual income of $53,380.
Across the aforementioned healthcare jobs, the lowest growth rate from 2010 through 2020 is expected to be 19 percent for mental health counselors, the highest 70 percent for home health aides. Nearly 2.3 million new jobs are expected to be created across the five occupations. Additionally, employers generally require college degrees to work in all but one (home health aides) of the occupations.