The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that health care is expected to generate more new jobs than any other industry over the next several years.
As Baby Boomers age there will be a need for more home health care services, residential care facilities and nurses to staff them. Medical group practices and integrated health systems are predicted to become larger and more complex, resulting in an increased need for office and administrative support workers. High job turnover, additional anticipated retirements in the industry and the slowing number of foreign healthcare workers being allowed to enter the country also contribute to the growth of this sector.
Health care jobs - part -time schedules for more flexibility
One of the appealing aspects of working in health care is that many occupations offer a part-time schedule, allowing for more flexibility. Also, a lot of shift work is available because most health care establishments operate around the clock and need staff at all hours. Students preparing for careers in health care can enter a wide variety of programs leading to a certificate of degree at the associate, baccalaureate, or graduate level.
The number of new positions in the following health care occupations is expected to grow by approximately 30 percent over the next few years.
Counseling in the Health Care Profession
Professionals in counseling positions assist people with personal, family, educational, mental health, and career problems. Their duties vary greatly depending on their occupational specialty, workplace setting, and the population they serve. Education and training requirements for counselors are often very detailed and vary by state and specialty. A master’s degree is often required and salaries can vary considerably. Counseling positions include:
Licensed Professional Counselor
Licensed Professional Counselors administer individual and group therapy. They may be involved in crisis prevention or aiding with adjustment issues following a major life event. Salaries average approximately $35,003.
Chemical Dependency Counselors
Chemical Dependency Counselors act as a mediator between patients, relatives, medical staff and outside agencies when counseling patients in chemical dependency programs. The average salary is $46,681.
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors provide vocational rehabilitation services to help people deal with the personal, social, and vocational effects of disabilities in order to facilitate employment. The average annual salary is $59,593.
Home Care Aides
Home Care Aides provide and support patients with personal care. They assist and train patients with daily living activities such as bathing and grooming. Annual salaries can vary depending upon the type and number of years of previous experience and generally range from $23,000 to $25,000 a year.
Human Services Workers
Human Services Workers help social workers, health care workers and other professionals provide services to people. A bachelor’s degree usually is not required for these jobs, but employers increasingly seek individuals with relevant work experience of education beyond high school. The work, while satisfying, can be emotionally draining. Understaffing and relatively low pay may add to the pressures. The average annual salary is $22,608.
Medical Assistants assist in the examination and treatment of patients under the direct supervision of a physician. This position requires a high school diploma and medical assistant certificate. The average annual salary is $29,712.
Physician Assistants are trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative health care services, as delegated by a physician. Some are also trained to assist surgeons during surgery. All states require physician assistants to complete an accredited education program and pass a national exam in order to obtain a license. Physician assistant programs usually last at least 2 years and admissions requirements vary by program, but many require at least 2 years of college and some prior health care experience. The average annual salary for a medical physician assistant is $89,719.
Physical Therapy Attendants
Physical Therapy Attendants prepare patients for treatment under the direction of a physical therapist. They may be responsible for the operation and maintenance of equipment. These positions usually require a high school diploma and 0 – 2 year of experience. The average annual salary is $26,661.
Pharmacy Technicians help licensed pharmacists provide medication and other health care products to patients. Under direct supervision, they compound and dispense medical prescriptions and may perform clerical duties to assist the pharmacy function. Most pharmacy technicians are trained on-the-job, but employers favor applicants who have formal training/certification or previous experience. The average annual salary is approximately $35,000.
Demand for dental care will rise due to population growth, greater retention of natural teeth by middle-aged and older persons, and greater awareness of the importance of dental care. Dentists will need hygienists and assistants to help with increased workloads.
Dental Hygienists require a degree from an accredited dental hygiene school and a State license. They remove soft and hard deposits from teeth, teach patients how to practice good oral hygiene, and provide other preventive dental care. Some work chair side with the dentist during treatment. More than half of all Dental Hygienist work part time, and flexible scheduling is a distinctive feature of this job. The average annual salary is $61,801.
Dental Assistants assist with oral surgery and other dental procedures. They prepare and arrange tools need during scheduled procedures. These positions generally require an associate’s degree from an accredited program. The average annual salary is $32,774.
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