According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare was the second largest industry in 2008- employing a staggering 14.3 million workers. By 2018, healthcare is expected to be the largest industry in the nation and with an anticipated 22% growth rate and a projected 3.2 million new jobs, it’s easy to see why.With online courses offered 24 hours a day 7 days a week, it’s easy for potential students who may already have a job or various other responsibilities to earn a healthcare degree and take advantage of one of the 3.2 million job openings in the nation’s fastest growing field.Let’s take a look at the top 10 healthcare careers by projected growth rate:
Medical Secretary: Medical secretaries have a projected job growth rate that spans from 9-17% and nearly 190,000 new secretarial jobs are projected by 2018. Medical secretaries typically have advanced administrative skills and a highly detailed understanding of medical terminology and procedures.
Healthcare Administrator: Healthcare administrators are the figurative backbone of the healthcare system as they oversee large groups of medical personnel and ensure that overall operations run smoothly in a number of different healthcare settings. Healthcare administrators will also see a 9-17% growth rate or a projected 85,000 new positions by 2018.
Medical Records and Health Information Technician: Medical records and health information techs organize and maintain the countless number of documents that the healthcare industry produces. Because this is such an enormous task, the field is projected to grow by 18-26%, adding 70,000 new jobs by 2018.
RN’s: Registered nurses are consistently one of the most in-demand careers not only in the healthcare field, but also the entire nation. Because RN’s are needed everywhere, the field is expected to see a 23% overall growth rate, adding at least 1 million new RN’s by 2018.
Home Health Aide: Home health aides typically function as caregivers to the many people who are disabled, persistently ill, or unable to leave their homes. Home health aides are expected to see a 27% overall growth rate and an additional 500,000 new jobs by 2018.
Pharmacy Technician: Pharmacy technicians act as aids to licensed pharmacists and perform various administrative duties within a pharmacy setting. Pharmacy technicians are in high demand and a 27% growth rate is expected to yield more than 180,000 new jobs by 2018.
Medical Assistant: Medical assistants are an integral part of the healthcare system and perform a variety of administrative and clinical tasks. The field is expected to grow by 27% and add more than 200,000 new jobs.
Physical Therapist: Physical therapists develop and implement specific treatment programs to help restore limb or body functions, alleviate pain, and prevent injury in patients. Physical therapists are continually in high demand and will follow this trend through 2018. A projected 27% growth rate will lead to almost 80,000 new jobs.
Dental Assistant: RN’s are to medicine what dental assistants are to dentistry, very in-demand. Dental assistants assist licensed dentists and perform a number of different dental tasks including: taking x-rays, updating patient records, and sterilizing instruments. A 27% projected growth rate will produce more than 160,000 jobs by 2018.
EMT and Paramedic: EMT and paramedics are responsible for the vital, first-response care of people with serious injuries or other conditions. Because of this, the EMT and paramedic field rarely experiences a slump in employment. With a 27% job growth rate, EMT’s and paramedics are looking to add a projected 60,000 new jobs by 2018.
With job growth rates spanning from 9-27%, the healthcare field is expanding rapidly. Earning a degree, from an online university or ground school, to pursue one of these top-ten healthcare careers (or the many possible others that aren’t listed here) may be the best step employment in a fulfilling, well-paying role in the nation’s fastest growing field.