Healthcare is an industry in continuous development, and it has not been immune to the new technologies, innovations, and trends that have been reshaping the global landscape. Crafting a career in this thriving industry has never been as rewarding as today - especially as over 40 million extra healthcare jobs are needed to meet the growing demand.
Factors such as an increase in the worldwide population's lifespan make it easy to see why career opportunities in healthcare will rise in future years. Additionally, the most recent pandemic, and its consequences, have renewed the need for highly trained, motivated, and agile professionals who can cope with such a fast-changing environment.
Naturally, undertaking a career in healthcare does require a significant investment from several perspectives. However, you can rest assured that years of training and study will allow you to pursue a successful and purposeful career.
Below, you will find the best healthcare jobs in terms of forecast growth, the number of positions available, and salary expectations. Whether you are looking to find guidance at the beginning of your studies or wish to move into healthcare from your current career, here, you'll find the best options.
When choosing a healthcare career, your vocation and purpose are factors that do come into play. Nonetheless, it is essential to learn how the industry is developing to understand the opportunities that your career will offer you and how the best jobs in healthcare are changing over time. Here are some of the trends that are reshaping today's healthcare industry.
Technology is becoming a vital part of the healthcare sector - today more than ever. While you might be receiving formal training at your school or University, it is essential to remain curious and informed. Indeed, in as little three to four years, you might have to deal with new technologies and innovations. Ensure that your knowledge remains up to date by committing to life-long learning.
Trends in healthcare technology are also prominent within the hiring process. The use of video conferencing tools for remote interviewing and vetting candidates allows for a faster onboarding process, which will help with better time management, so healthcare workers can spend more time where important, especially with the influx of patients.
Healthcare is an industry at the service of the citizens. Therefore, it is crucial to understand how the population is changing to foresee their needs and be ready for critical upcoming shifts. One of the essential pieces of information you need to have is that the population is aging, and the middle class is growing.
Ultimately, this will drive an increase in personal care aides, nurses, and specialized professionals. At the same time, because of their common lifestyle, the growing middle class might link to an increase in obesity and diabetes, among other conditions.
mHealth - or mobileHealth - has been on the rise for some years, but the pandemic has truly made it mainstream. Today, patients have access to a broad range of information about illnesses, symptoms, and treatments.
They also have access to medical services in retail clinics and pharmacy chains. This trend has been driving the need for a more tailored service to reach patients anywhere and whenever they need it. The answer to this consumers’ need is mHealth, which is changing the way healthcare is delivered to patients.
Over the past years, mental health issues have been steadily on the rise, with a prevalence of anxiety, stress, and depression. While they might be in part a consequence of our lifestyle, these illnesses demand an increased number of professionals to diagnose and treat them. Fields such as psychology, counseling, and psychiatry will be growing over the next years to meet the growing demand.
The last trend to keep in mind is Lifestyle Medicine or a more holistic approach to preventive care. Lifestyle medicine looks into those lifestyle factors related to certain modern disorders and illnesses - including heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and chronic diseases.
According to a Deloitte report, consumers are becoming increasingly aware of how their physical health is connected to their minds.
While specializations in Lifestyle medicine are just becoming more popular today, they are quickly growing, opening up opportunities for professionals to switch towards this career path. Institutions such as the American College of Lifestyle Medicine are leading the way in the field and forming the experts of tomorrow.
Let’s look into the best healthcare jobs in 2021.
With an increasing need for physicians nationally and internationally, it does not surprise that one of the best positions in healthcare is the one of Physician Assistant. These highly trained professionals work as part of a team - usually alongside Physicians, Surgeons, and specialized health workers.
Physician Assistants might work in hospitals or private clinics, sharing essential tasks with the Physician. These tasks might include reviewing patient histories and prescribing treatments. Physician Assistants must have obtained a Master's degree to access entry-level positions, but they can expect a successful career progression as they gain more experience.
Aside from an impressive job growth outlook of over 30% in the next eight years, this position is also desirable because most healthcare facilities and organizations require Physician Assistants. Thus, it is perfect for talents who wish to have the flexibility to work in various environments.
Becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) allows you to have access to some of the highest-paid positions in healthcare as well as a successful career progression. CRNAs usually assist and work with surgeons, anesthesiologists, and other trained medical professionals to prepare and administer anesthesia. The high-responsibility tasks involved, alongside the bright job growth outlook, allow even new CRNAs to access a 6-figure salary.
Additionally, the new technologies and medical treatments available today, as well as the emphasis on preventive medicine, are fueling an increase in the number of operations and surgeries - which require the expertise of CRNAs.
According to 2019 statistics, there were 3.8 million Registered Nurses (RNs) in the US, a number forecast to grow by 200,000 each year through to 2026. And, of the US Registered Nurses, just under 90% were employed in nursing.
As the main pillar of the national healthcare system, RNs are the highly trained professionals working directly with the patient to coordinate care and administer treatment. As the Covid-19 pandemic has shown us, nurses play a crucial role in public health crisis response.
According to the Bureau of National Statistics, the industry's size is predicted to grow by 7% between 2019 and 2029 - a percentage that positions it as one of the fastest-growing jobs in the healthcare sector.
Physical therapist assistants work with physical therapists. They provide patients with tailored care to help them recover from an injury or illness. The range of responsibilities of Physical Therapist Assistants is broad, from setting up equipment to helping the PT administer treatment.
If you wish to pursue a career that gives you the chance to help people regain their movement, happiness, and independence, becoming a Physical Therapist Assistant might be the right option for you.
Aside from personal motivations, you might also consider that, due to the increased global population's lifespan and the higher number of surgeries, this field is predicted to grow by 29% by 2029.
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians might not be the first healthcare professionals you see when you enter a hospital, but they do cover a crucial role in the industry. Their job is to keep up with the latest research, technologies, and techniques. So, when they undertake daily tasks such as collecting samples and performing tests, they can provide up-to-date, accurate results to the surgeon or Physician.
This job role is so vital that an additional 24,700 positions are predicted to be created across the country by 2029.
Surgeons are among the highest trained professionals in healthcare, and deciding to become a surgeon is an honorable choice. However, it is important to be clear on what the journey ahead might look like, especially as you will need to undertake several years of schooling and in-depth, on-site training (internship/residency).
While the initial investment is undeniably significant, becoming a surgeon will give you access to a successful career and a 6-figure salary - which usually averages around $208,000 annually.
Becoming a dentist might be a great option if you are looking at opening your own clinic one day. Dentists cover a great range of tasks and responsibilities, including looking after a patient's gums, teeth, and facial structure.
As the population ages and new technologies become available, there is always an increased need for expert dentists who can look after entire families' needs. While the dentist's job growth outlook is only within average, other professions such as Dental Hygienist and Dental Assistants have impressive growth rates of 6% and 7%, respectively.
Speech-language pathologists, or speech therapists, work within a broad field of study and research. Their main aim is to help individuals with communication, speaking, or swallowing disorders. They do so by diagnosing and assessing issues in children and adults, including victims of strokes and children with language delays.
When undertaking a career as a Speech-Language Pathologist, you can expect to work in a variety of environments, from nursing homes to schools and rehabilitation centers.
Aside from giving you access to a respectable salary and job flexibility, working as a Speech-Language Pathologist is a great option if you wish to build long-lasting relationships with your patients.
Physical therapists are among the most in-demand professions in the healthcare industry. These highly trained professionals work with patients of all ages to regain their ability to move freely and independently after an injury, illness, or disease.
They might also help individuals suffering from fractures, arthritis, and disabilities work towards a greater range of movement and manage pain.
Working together with Physical therapists assistants, these professionals review the patients' histories, diagnose the issue, and create a treatment plan for rehabilitation.
If you are interested in becoming a nurse, but you would like to pursue more training and education, you should consider becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP).
These professionals might cover similar functions to the ones performed by Registered Nurses, but they usually have more training and formal education, which allows them to perform more advanced tasks. As an NP, you will be taking patient histories, analyzing lab results, and authorizing treatments.
Similar to Physicians Assistants, NPs are generally considered to be filling the gaps between Registered Nurses and Physicians.
Orthodontists are dentists who specialize in a precise career and training path. The main focus of Orthodontists is to fix irregularities in the mouth, jaws, teeth, or facial structure, such as swallowing problems, overbites, or underbites.
As an increasing number of children require braces and more adults are opting for new teeth straightening treatments, specialized orthodontists' need has increased. Orthodontists might help individuals working towards oral health and a better smile.
An Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon is a surgeon specialized in surgeries and operations regarding the jaw, mouth, or face.
Aside from dental studies, these professionals need to undergo up to 6 years of surgery training, which allows them to perform operations such as fixing cleft lips and cosmetic surgeries.
They can also administer anesthesia, diagnose neck or oral cancer, and prescribe treatments.
The job growth forecast for this profession is around 5%, and it does require years of schooling and training. However, as new and impressive teeth, mouth, and jaw technologies are released, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons find themselves to be the most sought-after specialists in the field of dentistry.
Occupational therapists are skilled professionals who have been trained to help patients regain control over their life after an injury or illness or when dealing with disabilities.
Occupational therapists will devise a treatment plan, and they are committed to helping someone through their recovery journey.
They might help their patients regain control over important aspects of their daily lives, such as eating or bathing. With over 22,700 positions available nationally and internationally, this job might be the right one for you if you love to work in various environments, from schools to hospitals.
Psychiatrists are medical professionals that focus on diagnosing and treating mental health disorders. Aside from meeting their patients for psychotherapy, Psychiatrists are also trained to prescribe and administer a wide range of drugs and medications. While the journey to become a psychiatrist can seem daunting at first, it is worth keeping in mind that these professionals receive a salary as high as surgeons. Additionally, due to the current mental illness epidemic raging across the world, they have never been as in-demand as they are today.
If you are interested in helping people while also keeping up with the latest medical technologies and innovations, becoming an Audiologist might be the right career path for you. The primary responsibilities of these professionals include assessing the quality of hearing and balance in patients.
They might also help individuals with hearing impairment with hearing devices. Being developed only after World War II, Audiology is a relatively new field compared to other practices, but technology is developing as fast as ever. So, there are thrilling innovations to look forward to in this field!
Dietitians and nutritionists are medical professionals dedicated to improving their lifestyle through a healthy and appropriate diet. They might play a key role in helping patients lose or gain weight. However, they can also create a treatment plan for individuals affected by nutrition-related disorders such as diabetes. Dietitians are becoming increasingly in demand following the gripping obesity epidemic raging across Western countries in particular.
While the first research in the field only happened in the early 1900s, Respiratory Therapy has developed fast.
Generally, Respiratory Therapists help patients with lung, heart, and respiratory issues, such as asthma, emphysema, cystic fibrosis, sleep apnea, and chronic bronchitis. Depending on experience, they might also be trained to administer advanced life support and airway management treatments.
During Covid-19, Respiratory Therapists have been those professionals on the frontline.
Optometrists are professionals who look after the eyesight and eye health of patients. They might perform a range of tests to determine nearsightedness, farsightedness, and eye diseases such as glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy.
The need for specialized professionals in this field has always been stable, but a faster-than-average growth rate is foreseen over the next years, especially as the population continues to age.
Chiropractors are healthcare professionals trained to address issues with the musculoskeletal system, including nerves, bones, ligaments, and tendons. Chiropractic studies are not a new discipline, but they had gained popularity over the last few years when patients started to prefer more natural, non-invasive solutions for their health issues.
Chiropractors are experts in anatomy and will perform spinal adjustments and manipulations to ease pain and restore balance. They might also recommend treatments and lifestyle adjustments to their patients.
If you are looking to enter the healthcare industry, but you wish to do so quickly and be at the center of the action, you might consider becoming a Paramedic or Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
These professionals are trained to respond to emergencies and be the ones to administer first aid in certain situations. EMTs have been on the frontline during the fight against the current pandemic. Depending on where you live, this job can be extremely stressful - but also rewarding!
Personal and athletic trainers work closely with their patients to help them regain physical health. They can also suggest preventive care and treatments in order to address bone and muscle-related injuries.
Personal Trainer might work alongside physicians to administer a specific kind of training. However, they also work in various environments, including schools, gyms, and professional sports teams. The new global trends merge wellness with healthcare, positioning personal trainers at the center of this new market.
Phlebotomists are technicians who are trained in essential medical tasks such as drawing blood, transfusions, blood research, blood tests, and donations. Since most medical exams and treatments require blood tests to start with, Phlebotomists are always in demand. Phlebotomists are also in charge of calming the patient and maintaining a relaxed atmosphere around those who might feel nervous - so this is a great job if you are a people’s person!
Home health and personal care aides are trained professionals who provide individualized care to disabled, injured or not-independent patients in their daily lives. Home health aides might help patients change bandages, receive medications, and complete daily tasks.
A home health aid has to report on the patient's changes and improvements. Home Health Aides are among the healthcare industry’s professions in the highest demand, and the field is predicted to grow by 34% over the next years.
Healthcare is one of the few industries that have been able to continue thriving during the Covid-19 pandemics. Nonetheless, the immense strain that the pandemic has put on nurses and healthcare professionals around the world has highlighted severe staffing shortages.
Therefore, while undertaking a career in healthcare today might require a significant initial investment, it is likely to offer you rewarding job positions - from financial and purpose-related viewpoints.
Nonetheless, it is important to understand what career to pick to remain relevant and in-demand over the next years. Two of the main factors to consider are the possibility to work remotely and the increased incidence of pandemics.
When picking a career in healthcare, you might not always be in control of where you will work. Sometimes, to work in the best hospitals or clinics, you even have to move to another city or country. Additionally, there are some of the United States and some European cities that are more suitable for professionals looking to work in healthcare.
Nonetheless, this sector is so broad and varied that it allows you to work remotely and lead a more location-independent lifestyle while also saving lives. For example, working mothers might find the perfect work-life balance by choosing to deliver healthcare services through virtual channels. As seen above, mobile Health and technology are opening up several opportunities for professionals who prefer home-based.
As the vaccine is becoming more than just a distant mirage, we have all started thinking about social-distancing-free times and the new normality. Nonetheless, pandemics are a serious threat that is more present than ever.
Indeed, as the world's population increases viruses find it easier to spread faster - and on a global scale! Additionally, our relationship with animals and the environment has been increasing the chance of new zoonotic diseases.
So, while it might feel like this pandemic is coming to an end, the next one is likely to be around the corner. Deciding to undertake a career in global health and epidemiology allows you to be on the front line when it comes down to protecting future generations.
Healthcare is always changing and innovating, and the most recent pandemic has highlighted some essential needs. Nurses, Paramedics, Physicians, and Respiratory Therapists have proved themselves to be the frontline fighters in the current pandemic.
However, global trends are also pointing towards a need for mHealth and lifestyle medicine. Looking at these factors and finding out what you wish to pursue in your career can help you pick a suitable journey for your needs.