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The 10 Best Healthcare Jobs that are in Demand

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The 10 Best Healthcare Jobs that are in Demand

What Healthcare Jobs are in Demand?

We’re not going to hide this information from you behind a paywall or login wall like other websites (shame on you). The goal here is to give you an informative list of what healthcare jobs are in high demand in current times. We will be listing off the jobs that are in demand and following this up with details you need to know about each healthcare job. So if you’re looking for job security and solid wages, jobs in the medical field are the way to go.

List of High Demand Healthcare Jobs:

  1. Nurse Anesthetists
  2. Physician Assistants
  3. Nurse Practitioners
  4. Nuclear Medicine Technologist
  5. Speech-language pathologists
  6. Genetic Counselors
  7. Radiation Therapists
  8. Occupational Therapists
  9. Registered Nurse
  10. Certified Nursing Assistant

1. Nurse Anesthetists

A lot of people wonder what nurse anesthetists (CRNA’s) actually do.  Nurse anesthetists often get mixed up with anesthesiologists because they do what most people think the anesthesiologist does. The nurse anesthetists themselves provide anesthetics to patients in collaboration with surgeons, anesthesiologists, podiatrists, dentists, and other qualified health care professionals. They are advanced practice registered nurses that are given the highest degree of autonomy and professional respect.

Patient under anesthesia receiving surgery from two surgeons

They perform the patient’s anesthesia from start to finish of their surgery or delivery of a newborn by:

  • Participating in preoperative teaching
  • Preparing anesthetic for management
  • Maintaining anesthesia intraoperatively
  • Overseeing rebound from being under anesthesia
  • Administering anesthesia to patients to remove pain
  • Performing necessary physical assessments
  • Following postoperative patient courses from the recovery room to the patient care unit

There are currently over 50,000 nurse anesthetists in the United States. In most hospitals, they are the sole providers of anesthesia. This allows healthcare facilities to offer surgical, obstetrical, and trauma stabilization services without an anesthesiologist.

You now know what a nurse anesthetist (CRNA) does, but what about the educational requirements and the salary? As of September 25th, 2020, the average salary for a Nurse Anesthetist is $190,246. This is on track to increase as time goes on, as this is a highly specialized profession. To actually become one, you will need to obtain a graduate (masters) degree in an accredited program that ranges in length from 2-3 years. The average student nurse anesthetist will complete about 2,500 clinical hours and administer 850 anesthetics. They also are required to take a national certification exam, that upon completion you will be required to continue your education by obtaining a minimum of 40 hours of approved continuing education every two years. This will keep you informed and maintain your state licensure.

2. Physician’s Assistants

Physician’s Assistants or PA’s are medical professionals who diagnose illnesses, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and may even serve as a patient’s healthcare provider. They can be found in any healthcare setting and the versatility of this position is why it’s in such high demand.

Depending on where they work, what their experience level is, and their specialty, PA’s may do the following:

  • Conducting physical exams
  • Diagnosing and treating illness
  • Taking medical histories
  • Order and interpreting tests
  • Prescribing medication
  • Developing treatment plans
  • Counseling on preventative care
  • Performing procedures
  • Assisting in surgery
  • Clinical research
  • Making rounds in hospitals and nursing homes

From 2011 to 2014, the demand for PAs grew more than 300%. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the profession will further increase 31 percent from 2020 to 2028. This obscene demand for PAs is backed by the fact that 75% of them receive multiple job offers upon graduation from their respective programs.

To become a PA you must undergo rigorous medical education and training. The curriculum is modeled after various medical school curriculums and involves both didactic and clinical education training. Didactic training has students take courses in basic medical sciences, behavioral ethics, and behavioral sciences. During their clinical phase, they complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in medical and surgical disciplines, from family medicine to psychiatry. But this pays off in the end, because PAs bring in a median annual wage of $112,260.

3. Nurse Practitioners

Nurse Practitioners or NPs for short, are licensed, autonomous clinicians that focus on managing people’s health conditions and preventing diseases. Nurse Practitioners are considered advanced practice nurses (APRNs) who often specialize in pediatric, adult-gerontological, and women’s health. But they can also focus on other areas like dermatology or oncology.

The role was first created in 1965, and has grown to be one of the largest and most pertinent roles out there. Americans make over 916 million visits to Nurse Practitioners annually, making this one of the fastest growing healthcare roles. Demand for this role is expected to grow more than 35% between 2020 and 2024.

Responsibilities for this position vary largely on their specializations and the state in which they practice, but here are some of their job duties:

  • Diagnose and treat illnesses
  • Run diagnostics tests
  • Examine medical histories
  • Prescribe treatments
  • Perform physical examinations

Many people choose to become an NP because the cost of going to school is 20-25% of what it is to become a licensed physician. When asked about satisfaction, 88% of NPs that were surveyed responded that they get satisfaction from their work, making this one of the happiest medical careers. Maybe because it’s one of the few medical fields that doesn’t need a doctorate degree to practice. Most NPs have a master’s degree, specifically the master of science in nursing (MSN). They also bring in a solid salary of $101,260 annually.


4. Nuclear Medicine Technologist

A nuclear medicine technologist (NMT) is a highly specialized health care professional who looks at the body’s functions to help diagnose and treat a range of conditions and diseases. They usually combine imaging, chemistry, patient care, physics, mathematics, medicine, and computer technology together. They administer small amounts of radioactive substances known as radiopharmaceuticals, as well as other medications, to patients for diagnosis and treatments.

The NMT’s responsibilities include:

  • Evaluating new medical protocols
  • Evaluating images to determine the technical quality and calibration of instrumentation
  • Providing images, data analysis, and patient information for diagnostic interpretation or therapeutic procedures
  • Processing data and enhancing digital images using the latest computer technology
  • Monitoring the patient’s physical condition during the course of the procedure
  • Administering radiopharmaceuticals and medications for patient imaging and therapeutic procedures
  • Putting the patient at ease, obtaining medical history, describing the procedure, and answering the patient’s questions

To become an NMT you will need to take an accredited program. These include Post-baccalaureate one-year certificate programs, a two-year associate degree, and a four-year bachelor degree. Requirements vary by location, but an associates degree is the minimum. You will also need to pass a certification exam to be licensed as one. This career requires less schooling than most other medical positions and the average annual salary is $65,000. Not bad for an associate degree, if I do say so myself.


5. Speech Language Pathologist

Speech language pathologists, or SLPs for short, work with people of all ages in treating their communication and swallowing problems. These problems can be for a multitude of things, such as speech sounds, language, literacy, social communication, voice, cognitive communication, feeding, swallowing, and fluency.

The typical responsibilities for a SLP are as follows:

  • Diagnosing, treating, and preventing speech, language, and swallowing disorders
  • Creating treatment and therapy plans to suit the individualized needs of a diverse population of patients
  • Performing screenings to detect voice or speech disorders
  • Educating patients and family members about speech disorders, their causes, and disabilities and traumatic events
  • Report progress and current status to the appropriate parties
  • Keep detailed records relating to patients

Becoming a SLP is a very rewarding career and the schooling required for the position reflects in it’s high average annual salary of $87,256. The educational requirements for this job are a Bachelor’s degree in communication sciences and disorders or a related major with an emphasis in arts and science. You will then need to attend a master’s or doctoral program and receive an accreditation from the Council on Academic Accreditation in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology (CAA). Following this, you will be required to obtain 400 hours of supervised clinical experience and 375 hours of direct client and/or patient contact.

6. Genetic Counselors

Genetic counselors do exactly what you think they do and much more. They are healthcare professionals with specialized graduate degrees and experience in the areas of both medical genetics and counseling. They often work as members of a healthcare team, providing risk assessment, education, and support to people and families with a risk for or diagnosed with a variety of inherited conditions.

Their job is important, because they help people to understand and adapt to the medical, psychological, and familial implications of genetic contributions to disease. So what do genetic counselors do on a daily basis to facilitate that?

  • Show how to make the most informed choices about Healthcare
  • Communicate how family and medical histories may impact the chance of a disease occurrence or recurrence
  • Display to the patients how inherited diseases and conditions might affect them or their families
  • Advise on which genetic tests may or may not be right for them, and what those tests may or may not tell

There are many different kinds of genetic counselors and they are becoming an increasingly integral part of healthcare as the average lifespan of humans increases. Most work in clinical or hospital settings. With this being said, the demand for them is sky high and since 2006, the amount of genetic counselors has increased by 85%.

So how do you become one? GCs typically receive a bachelor’s degree in biology, social science or a related field, then go on to receive more specialized training. Master’s degrees in genetic counseling are offered by programs accredited by the Accreditation Council for Genetic Counseling (ACGC). There are over 40 schools in the United States and Canada. The salary for this position has been slowly increasing and is currently sitting at an average of $69,540 per year.


7. Radiation Therapists

Radiation therapists work in coordination with radiologists to administer treatment plans for patients. They administer radiation therapy to patients under the instruction of oncologists and radiologists. They also work to locate tumors, measure the amount of radiation given, and update treatment reports. Typically RTs work in hospitals, physician’s offices, cancer hospitals, outpatient care centers, colleges and universities.

Here is a glimpse of what the day in the life of one is like:

  • Keep detailed records of treatment
  • Monitor the patient to check for unusual reactions to the treatment
  • Operate equipment that treats the patient with radiation
  • Check the computer programs to make sure that they will give the correct dose of radiation to the correct area of the patient’s body
  • X-ray the patient to determine the exact location of the area that requires treatment
  • Explain treatment plans to the patient and answer questions about treatment
  • Quality check machines for safety
  • Follow safety procedures to protect the patient and themselves from overexposure

After reading this, you might think that becoming a radiation therapist is exactly what you’re looking for. To become one, you’ll need an associate’s degree or certificate in radiation therapy to start. The programs to become one can range from 1 to 2 years. You may also be required to become a certified radiation therapist, but in some cases, this isn’t necessary. Becoming a radiation therapist is one of the highest paying careers in healthcare with little education; bringing in an average salary of $80,570 annually.


8. Occupational Therapists

Occupational therapists often ask what matters to people. Occupational therapists and occupational therapists assistants help people in any stage of life participate in the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of activities, or in other words, occupations. Most commonly, they are found helping children with disabilities participate fully in school and social situations, help people recover from injuries, and provide the support necessary for older adults experiencing cognitive and physical changes.

Services offered by OTs typically include:

  • Outcomes evaluations to ensure that the goals are being met and make changes to the intervention plan
  • Customized intervention plans to improve a person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach their goals
  • Evaluate individuals and help to determine what their goals are

To become one, you’ll need to obtain a masters degree. But becoming one is well worth it, given the projected job growth for the next ten years is 27%. They also bring in a strong average annual salary of $76,448.


9. Registered Nurse

There’s a distinct reason that most people, when giving suggestions for healthcare jobs, they suggest becoming a registered nurse (RN). RNs are the largest healthcare occupation for a good reason; they are the pillar of medical care. They have the most opportunity to travel out of any healthcare profession (travel nursing) and they have pretty flexible schedules and may work nights, weekends, and holidays. They also work in a variety of settings; like doctors’ offices, hospitals, home health services, and nursing homes.

doctor-consult

So what does an RN do?

  • Consult with doctors and other health care professionals
  • Oversee the work of other nurses and assistants
  • Observe and record patient’s condition
  • Give medical care to patients
  • Educate people about their health issues
  • Offer emotional support when people need it most

The career also doesn’t have a super high barrier of entry to become a nurse either. You will need to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing, an associate’s degree, or a diploma from an accredited nursing program. You must also become licensed. Some nurses do go on to obtain a master’s or doctoral degree to work in management, research, or academic settings. The pay is also really solid for RNs, bringing in an average of $62,027 annually.


10. Certified Nursing Assistant

Certified nursing assistants or CNAs, are a vital component of the healthcare industry. It’s considered a very rewarding entry-level career right out of high school. In fact, there are over 1.5 million nursing assistants employed in the U.S. and the majority of them work in nursing care facilities. Others also work in hospitals, retirement communities, and home healthcare services.

What does a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) do?

  • Work under the guidance of RNs or LPNs
  • Help patients on an emotional, physical, and personal level
  • Perform daily activities for patients like bathing, preparing meals, and transferring them into their wheelchairs
  • Take vitals for patients such as recording their weight, blood pressure, and temperature
  • Listen to and address patients concerns

The beauty of becoming a CNA is that you can work full-time or part-time. Environments may be demanding at times and require long stretches of time on your feet. As one gains more experience as a nursing assistant, one can advance to some of the top industries for CNAs such as skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, and home health aide agencies.

To become a CNA, as mentioned previously, you can start right out of high school. They do not need a college degree and can work in their respective field after completing a year long training. The average annual for this salary sits at $28,540 in the United States.

Healthcare Careers In Demand For 2020 and The Future

After reading through this, you should have a good understanding of the fastest growing medical specialties and what medical jobs have the most growth potential in the future. If you’re looking to find a new position for any reason, we’d love it if you joined our job board here at Healthcare Consultant. We link the highest quality applicants with the best employers out there. What job appealed most to you on this list?

The 10 Best Healthcare Jobs that are in Demand
Jake Tilk

Jake is the Digital Marketing Manager for OptyConnect and Healthcare Consultant. He holds a B.B.A. in Marketing with a minor in Business from Western Michigan University and has a certification in Software Development.

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