For years, experts have predicted that the field of medicine and healthcare would see a steep climb in job opportunities. That prediction has come true, and the growth is anticipated to continue by as much as nearly 20%, according to some estimates, through the year 2026. This makes healthcare the fastest growing sector compared to all other occupations. As automation continues to deplete workers of job opportunities, the field of medicine is an attractive area of study.
Careers at all Levels
The fields of healthcare and medicine encompass a wide range of careers. Many entry-level positions, such as sterilization technicians, don’t require any formal training beyond on the job. Anyone seeking an entry-level opportunity in the healthcare field should have no trouble obtaining one.
For higher wages, job seekers might consider a career in nursing, which would require a minimum of two years of study, and as much as four years of study. For salaried positions at the top, expect to spend as many as 8 years, and possibly more, studying in a specialized area such as pediatrics or oncology.
A Field Encompassing Many Specialities
Because the healthcare industry is so expansive, other areas of specialization that don’t necessarily require interaction with patients will also see growth. For people who have higher aptitudes outside the field of medicine, they might consider a career in food service. This can start as a cafeteria worker, but can also include dietitians and specialty chefs.
As hospitals increase in size, they will require more support services such as janitorial and maintenance. Retail in healthcare is also growing as hospital gift shops enlarge and require more employees. Security, parking attendants, administration and accounting are also positions healthcare institutes will seek for employment.
Factors for the Growing Demand.
The healthcare industry hasn’t grown simply because the population has gotten larger, though that is one of the lesser reasons. It’s due to a combination of factors new to the last century and this one that people have more medical needs.
One factor for the continued growth of the healthcare field is the aging population. As people live longer, more specialized services such as geriatric medicine and cancer treatment centers are required. The aging population also requires more care, such as home health aids and prescription medicines. As people age, they’re more likely to experience a disability that puts them in a position for more needed outside resources. They also become more prone to high blood pressure, different cancers and osteoporosis.
Another reason for the fast pace of growth in healthcare is obesity. The American population is heavier as a whole than it was even 20 years ago. With extra weight comes additional health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and fatty liver disease. People who battle obesity require more care from healthcare workers than their healthier counterparts.
There is some concern that there may be shortages of physicians who are able to meet this growing demand. There are so many issues affecting the population, that the supply may not be able to keep up with the needs of the population. As older physicians retire, they are being replaced by younger physicians who may choose to only work part-time, or in a specialized area of medicine.
Healthcare Workers From Abroad
The United States has a high number of healthcare workers from other countries. As physicians, they make up nearly 30% of the current workforce. Other popular areas of employment immigrants found in the U.S. include therapists, registered nurses, home health aides and technicians.
Immigrant healthcare workers are more likely than American healthcare workers to have obtained a university education, which plays a role in their high employment numbers. Immigrants are expected to continue to have abundant employment opportunities in the healthcare field of the United States.
The American healthcare workforce will see continued growth through to the next decade and most assuredly beyond as people continue to live longer and cancer becomes more prevalent with that longevity of life. Because there is concern regarding shortages of healthcare workers, the United States offers an opportunity for immigration in the many fields of specialty in the healthcare sector. From entry-level positions, to more specialized training, careers in healthcare will saturate the future job market, offering opportunities to people of many different backgrounds and cultures.