Have you been thinking about making a major career change in your life? Maybe it’s not a change so much as it is your first career. Obviously, picking a path that offers opportunities and growth is ideal, as this is a good way to guarantee a successful future. The good news is that there are plenty of fields and industries that are going through periods of growth right now, but few can compete with the demands that are being – and will continue to be – put on the medical field.
As the baby boomers continue to age and retire, jobs in the field are opening up, and those same baby boomers are relying on medical help more than they were in their younger years. It’s really a double whammy in that sense, which is making for some fabulous career options. While there are certainly any number of streams you can pursue, here we will highlight six healthcare careers that will be very much in demand in 2020 and moving forward past that.
Home Health Aides
As a home health aide, you will be helping people to take charge of their wellbeing. You will visit your patients in the comfort of their own home, offering care for those with disabilities and chronic illnesses. Again, the growing demand for these home health aides can be traced back to the aging baby boomer population. Not all of them require a senior assistance living home, or a nursing home, but many will choose to stay in their own homes and will need assistance.
Between now and the year 2026, this particular job is expected to grow in demand by an incredible 47%, giving newcomers to the healthcare field plenty of employment opportunities.
Physical Therapist Assistants
The role of a physical therapist assistant is to help physical therapists to implement therapies and rehabilitation programs. Physical therapists work with patients of all ages, so this one isn’t just about the aging baby boomer population. Where this one can be especially attractive is for those who don’t have the desire to put in as much time schooling wise, as you don’t require as much college and training as a physical therapist would.
As for the growth rate in this field, it is expected to be about 26% between now and 2028.
This is one of the more traditional and popular routes to pursue in the medical industry, as registered nurses always seem to be in demand. In order to be an RN, you will need an associate’s degree at the very least. Now, even though this career is in demand, it should be noted that it has started to slow somewhat. It is far from stagnant though, and still offers plenty of great employment options.
In terms of salary expectations, the 2018 median pay for nurses in the United States was $71,730, so there is certainly the ability to make a very good living.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Occupational therapists are still a relatively new term for many people, as patients are just becoming more aware of how these medical professionals can help them. And as that knowledge continues to grow and more people start to visit occupational therapist, it will start to put more of a strain on the therapists. It’s for that reason that occupational therapy assistants are also in demand. Over the next seven years, this particular field is expected to grow by 29%, as therapists will rely more and more on the services of their assistant.
The 2018 median pay for occupational therapy assistants and aides was $57,620 and they have the option to work in a variety of settings. These types of assistants can work with schools, nursing care facilities, in hospitals, private clinics, and more. Keep in mind that you may be required to work shifts depending on the location you are working out of.
Physicians and Surgeons
Then we have the very important career of physicians and surgeons, which is expected to grow by about 13% over the next seven years. Unfortunately, because it takes people so long to become a physician or surgeon (due to the length of schooling), this job is even more in demand. Not many people are willing to make such a commitment.
Physicians and surgeons need a doctoral or professional degree. This means four years to complete a degree from a medical school, then three to seven years in an internship or residency program. It’s definitely a career where you are in it for the long haul, and you need to keep your eye on the end goal.
Of course, it is also one of the highest paid careers in the entire medical field – which makes sense. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has physicians and surgeons listed with a median pay of $208,000 in 2018.
Home Healthcare Director
If you already are in the medical field as a practicing nurse, this is a great opportunity to actually advance your career and move into a position that pays a higher salary, offers more responsibility, and allows you to have a sense of personal growth. The position of a home healthcare director will be in demand as home healthcare dependency continues to grow throughout the country.
So, how can you make this move to the director position? The online Masters of Nursing MSN program (Master of Science in Nursing), allows practicing RNs to take their education and skills further and thereby step into a leadership role upon graduation. Because this is an online program, you won’t even have to quit or take time off your job as a nurse, which means you’ll continue to make an income while you are furthering your education.
An Array of Career Options in the Field
As exciting as each of these careers are, the even bigger news is that this is just a small look at the many in-demand healthcare careers at the moment. It is an exciting and rewarding industry to break into, and with so many different types of positions, there is likely to be one that interests you.