By Margaret Hansen
The healthcare industry is the top choice among job seekers, according to a past JobsIntheUS.com poll, and with good reason.
Why So Popular?
More than just a handful of job types, the healthcare industry has a wide array of jobs, settings, education requirements and choices for those wishing to pursue a healthcare career. Because of its diversity and constant growth, it attracts a wide range of candidates.
Where Do Healthcare Employees Work?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the healthcare industry can be split up between the following nine workplace segments:
- Nursing and residential care facilities
- Physician offices
- Dentist offices
- Home healthcare services
- Offices of other healthcare practitioners
- Outpatient care centers
- Ambulatory healthcare services
- Medical and diagnostic laboratories
Growth Despite Layoffs
Healthcare has not escaped the recession's mass layoffs and cut backs, so what is driving its explosive growth? Despite economic pains, healthcare continues to reshape itself and grow. The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education contributes this to the following:
- Technological advances and clinical developments such as: less invasive surgical techniques, advances in reproductive technology and gene therapy for cancer treatment
- Advances in medical technology, improving the survival rates of trauma victims and the severely ill, which, in turn, increases the need for extensive care from therapists and social workers
- Advances in information technology, improving patient care and worker efficiency (e.g. the increasing use of hand-held computers that record notes on each patient will reduce record-keeping errors, eliminate the need for paper and create an instant electronic transfer of information to a database on such things as vital signs and orders for tests)
- Focusing on preventive care, reducing the potential cost of undiagnosed, untreated medical conditions
As advancements in healthcare continue, some new trends are emerging. Here are some facts from the BLS to note:
- 7 of the 20 fastest growing occupations are healthcare related
- 3 out of every 10 hospital workers are nurses
- Healthcare will generate 3 million new wage and salary jobs between 2006 and 2016 - more than any other industry
- Most healthcare workers have jobs that require less than 4 years of college education, but health diagnosing and treating practitioners are among the most educated workers
- More than 85 percent of non-hospital health services establishments employ fewer than 20 people
- About 75 percent of healthcare workers are in either a professional occupation (nurse, physician, surgeon, dentist, social worker) or a service occupation (nursing aides, home health aides, building cleaning workers, dental assistants, medical assistants, and personal and home care aides)
- Wage and salary employment in the healthcare industry is projected to increase by 22 percent through 2016, compared with 11 percent for all industries combined
- Specialized clinical training is a requirement for many jobs in healthcare and is an asset even for many administrative jobs that do not specifically require it