Americans spend approximately $1 out of every $5 on healthcare in the United States. Spending on healthcare has almost doubled as a share of gross domestic product since the 1980s, and demand for healthcare services is expected to rise dramatically due to the aging of baby boomers and due to longer life expectancies for many demographic groups.
As the population grows older and people live longer, their consumption of healthcare services will grow exponentially. This, in turn, means there will be an increased demand for healthcare workers. This is great news for people with the professional credentials to find work in this field.
Demand within the healthcare sector is also increasing for myriad other reasons, in addition to the aging of the population. Some of this rising demand for healthcare services is occurring for reasons which are positive and some is occurring for reasons which are negative.
On a positive note, advancements in medicine and increased knowledge of the importance of preventative care and disease screening are making it possible for many more people to survive serious conditions which used to be fatal. Job opportunities exist to provide these screening services, to administer the care necessary for patients with chronic conditions, and to tend to the needs of individuals who live longer-than-expected lives with serious illnesses.
Unfortunately, at the same time, a rise in lifestyle-related conditions such as diabetes and obesity-related illnesses are also driving an increase in demand for healthcare services. While these lifestyle-related conditions decrease quality of life for affected individuals, they also result in an increased need for skilled healthcare professionals.
As the healthcare industry changes and evolves to meet the needs of an aging population, the bottom line is: now is a wonderful time to work in the healthcare industry.
Why Now is an Ideal Time to Work in the Healthcare Industry
For individuals with healthcare experience, endless career opportunities await. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare industry is expected to be one of the fastest growing industries in the United States economy for a long time to come.
The industry is expected to add more jobs than any other industry in the country through 2022. The growth in demand for qualified healthcare workers is significantly greater than projected growth in other industries. The healthcare industry is expected to add more than four million more jobs than any other career field by 2022.
Many of these jobs are in fields where the pay is significantly above national averages for all workers. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates the median annual wage for all healthcare practitioners and technical workers within the healthcare field was $62,610 as of May, 2015. By comparison, the median annual wage for all occupations during that same year was $36,200.
Because of rising demand for healthcare workers, salaries are projected to rise for healthcare professionals. Workers in the healthcare industry also typically receive competitive workplace benefits packages that can include valuable benefits such as employer-subsidized health insurance coverage.
Job Growth in Healthcare Industry Sectors
Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies different sectors within the healthcare industry. In 2013, more than 15.8 million people were employed in these five subsections of the healthcare industry. Industry sectors include:
Hospitals: Approximately 39 percent of healthcare workers were employed in hospitals in 2013.
Medical offices of healthcare providers: 26 percent of healthcare workers were employed in medical offices.
Nursing care facilities and residential care facilities: 20 percent of healthcare workers were employed in nursing care facilities.
Home healthcare: Eight percent of healthcare workers were employed in home healthcare positions.
Laboratories and ambulatory care services: Eight percent of healthcare workers had jobs at labs or providing other types of ambulatory care services.
Demand will grow in each sector, but not by uniform amounts. Between 2012 and 2022, Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that more than 1.2 million new jobs will be created in offices of healthcare practitioners. Hospitals will see the second highest levels of job growth, with 826,000 new jobs created. There will be approximately 761,000 new jobs created in nursing homes and residential care facilities for the elderly, and approximately 522,000 jobs created in laboratories and with ambulatory service providers.
Many healthcare professionals have a diverse array of choices regarding a preferred work environment. For example, registered nurses can choose to work in nursing care facilities, hospitals, medical offices, and ambulatory care centers. Personal care aides can work in hospitals, nursing homes, and home healthcare, among other settings.
Because there is a wide array of opportunities available, healthcare employees can balance competitive pay and benefits with quality-of-life concerns to determine which work environment best suits their professional development goals.
Finding Work in the Healthcare Industry
Some work in the healthcare field requires more extensive training and qualification than other professions. Home health aids, for example, typically require limited training while nurse practitioners require extensive educations and have strict licensing requirements.
Are you looking for a new career opportunity in the healthcare industry?
The McIntyre Group provides assistance to workers in the healthcare field with varying levels of skill and ability. Our goal is to help you to find work within this growing sector of the U.S. economy. To learn more about how our staffing service assists healthcare professionals in finding rewarding and lucrative work opportunities, contact us today.