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    • Healthcare Jobs Overview

      People in healthcare jobs provide medical care, advice and support to patients who are ill, injured or interested in improving their health. Most healthcare jobs, like doctor and nurse positions, involve providing clinical care directly to patients. There are also many non-clinical positions in healthcare, such as medical transcription, medical records, healthcare administration and management jobs.

      People in healthcare jobs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, doctor offices, nursing homes, physical therapy and rehabilitation clinics, emergency departments, diagnostic laboratories, dental offices and pharmacies. Some work in patient homes as home healthcare providers.

      Healthcare Education

      Education requirement vary between healthcare jobs. Orderlies are usually required to graduate from high school while nursing assistants must pass a state competency exam. There are several levels of nurse jobs, including licensed practical nurses that go to school for a year and registered nurses that earn associate degrees. Physicians and surgeons must earn a doctoral or other professional degree.


      Many healthcare jobs require education along with certification or state licensure along with continuing medical education.


      Healthcare Job Market

      More than 18 million people work in healthcare jobs in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).


      BLS expects healthcare jobs and industries to add the most new jobs between 2012 and 2022, when the bureau predicts total employment within the industry to grow 10.8 percent to reach 15.6 million workers.


      BLS predicts job growth percentages from 2012 to 2022 for several positions in healthcare, including:

      • Physical therapists: 36 percent
      • Nursing assistants: 21 percent
      • Licensed practical nurses: 25 percent
      • Registered nurses: 19 percent
      • Physicians and surgeons 18 percent


      The aging population of the United States supports growth in the healthcare industry, as older people are more likely to need medical services. The baby boomers began turning 65 in 2011, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. By the time all of the baby boomers turn 65 in 2029, more than one in five people in the U.S. will be 65 or older. By 2056, seniors will probably outnumber people under the age of 18. This significant portion of the population will need medical services provided by trained healthcare professionals of all levels.


      Healthcare Salary

      Healthcare salary is usually dependent on the level of education and certification required to perform the job. BLS reports the following median salaries for healthcare occupations in 2012:

      • Pharmacist: $116,670
      • Physical therapist: $79,860
      • Registered nurse: $65,470
      • Licensed practical nurse: $41,540
      • Medical assistant: $29,370

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