What Can You Do With a Healthcare Degree?
Updated August 18, 2022 • 1 min read
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The thriving healthcare field offers some of the best career opportunities in the United States. If you're seeking a personally and financially rewarding occupation, consider the healthcare industry.
As a well-paid healthcare professional, you'll work with caring coworkers to improve people's lives. Salaries of nonsupervisory employees in most healthcare fields are higher than the average pay for all private industry. Plus, you have more than 80 healthcare occupations to choose from.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the healthcare field to create more new jobs than any other field. The BLS forecasts a 33% employment growth for the healthcare and social assistance industry from 2010 to 2020, providing 5.7 million new jobs. The BLS forecasts continued demand for healthcare workers at all education levels.
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The top five healthcare growth sectors are shown below:
- Home healthcare services
- Non-physical healthcare practitioner offices
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories
- Outpatient care centers
- Physician offices
What Type of Healthcare Job is Right for You?
If you enjoy working with people, consider careers such as physician, nurse, occupational therapist, or physical therapist. If you're a little shy, consider a job in a medical laboratory or a pathology job.
Many healthcare occupations only require a two-year degree or a certificate. For example, a physical therapist assistant only needs a two-year associate degree. The median wage for physical therapist assistants in 2016 was $45,290.† Moreover, physical therapist assistant is one of the fastest growing occupations: The BLS forecasts 40% employment growth rate from 2014 to 2024.
Shown below are some healthcare jobs, together with their rankings, from the 2012 U.S. News & World Report's "25 Best Jobs" list:
- Registered nurse (#1)
- Pharmacist (#3)
- Medical assistant (#4)
- Physical therapist (#8)
- Occupational therapist (#10)
- Clinical laboratory technician (#13)
- Speech-language pathologist (#14)
- Paramedic (#15)
According to U.S. News & World Report, jobs were selected based on the hiring demand forecast by the BLS for occupations from now until 2020, as well as employment growth potential, average salary, current unemployment rate for each industry, and job satisfaction.
Shown below are some of the healthcare jobs from the 2011 U.S. News & World Report's "50 Best Careers" list:
- Dental hygienist
- Massage therapist
- Physician assistant
- Physical therapist assistant
- Radiological technologist
Here are some good-paying healthcare jobs that only require an associate degree:
- Cardiovascular technologist and technician
- Dental hygienist
- Diagnostic medical sonographer
- Licensed practice/vocational nurse
- Massage therapist
- Occupational therapist assistant
- Radiologic technologist
- Respiratory therapist
The following are some good-paying healthcare jobs requiring only a bachelor's degree:
- Clinical laboratory technician
- Medical and health services manager
- Medical technologist
- Mid-level office manager
- Recreational therapist
- Registered nurse
- Transplant coordinator
†US Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm ⮭
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