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Most in Demand Medical Field Jobs for the Next Decade

Most in Demand Medical Field Jobs for the Next Decade

The medical sector is going to expand considerably over the next decade in the U.S., according to most forecasts. By the year 2030, research papers believe that spending on healthcare will hit $16 trillion, or 32 percent of GDP. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in healthcare will balloon by more than 16 percent, with medical institutions adding more than 2.6 million workers to their ranks, more than any other sector.

Because of this, jobs in the medical field will likely become more lucrative. Hospitals, clinics, and doctors’ offices will demand people with the skills they need to continue providing high-quality patient care.

 

Demand for Medical Field Jobs are ON FIRE

Demand for medical field jobs is increasing due to both short and long-term factors. On the short end, COVID-19 and declines in living standards post-pandemic are leading to an increase in hospital admissions. Both direct and indirect health issues are becoming more prevalent. Long COVID and displaced medical care in 2020 and 2021 have led to an increase in demand for medical resources.

In the long-term, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the aging population is the driving factor. The U.S. Census Bureau predicts that the number of Americans over the age of 65 will rise by more than 18 million over the next ten years, implying higher spending on medical care. As people get older, their need for healthcare increases significantly. And because boomers are so wealthy, they will likely flood the medical sector with spending, leading to new treatments, and higher wages.

 

Top Medical Field Jobs For the Next Decade

 

1.  Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionists, also known as healthcare documentation specialists, take spoken recordings from doctors and other healthcare providers and turn them into written documents. In some cases, they do this manually by listening to audio and then typing it up on a computer. However, they may also rely on machine learning-driven transcription software and then make edits afterward. (This approach will likely become more common as software improves).

To become a medical transcriptionist, you will need to be an expert typer. You’ll also need the ability to understand grammar, pay close attention to detail, and be willing to learn constantly.

The great thing about becoming a medical transcriptionist is that it does not require a degree. Typically, you only require a postsecondary nondegree award.

*Salary: $34,750

*Required qualifications: Postsecondary Non-Degree Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Occupational Therapist

Due to lifestyle factors and the aging workforce, occupational therapists are in higher demand than before. Patients require help rehabilitating after incurring injuries and disabilities from everyday activities.

As an occupational therapist, you have several duties. These include evaluating patients’ conditions, developing treatment plans to help them recover from injuries, and training assistant caregivers on the use of rehabilitation equipment. Additional roles include things like recommending changes to patients’ homes or places of work and creating medical reports.

To be a good occupational therapist, you will require excellent communication and problem-solving skills. You will also need patience and flexibility. It can take a long time for symptoms to improve.

Like other healthcare professionals, occupational therapists require extensive training. The majority enter the workforce with a master’s degree in occupational therapy, with some choosing to pursue more advanced courses, including doctoral degrees. To begin practicing, you must take the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam.

*Salary: $78,810

*Required qualifications: Master’s Degree

 

3.  Pharmacist

As pharmaceutical demand increases, the need for pharmacists will also rise. Pharmacists dispense drugs, but they also have several other roles. Duties include offering expertise on the safe use of drugs, providing immunizations, offering health and wellness screenings, and providing healthy lifestyle advice. In some cases, lead pharmacists will also deal with health insurance companies, though most leave these tasks to their assistants.

Pharmacists can work in standalone pharmacies. However, more commonly, they work in other healthcare institutions and clinics, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, poison control centers, and medication distribution facilities.

To become a pharmacist, you will need to complete a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. You will also have to complete a couple of years of residency before working on your own. Because pharmacists offer medical advice, salaries tend to be quite high.

*Salary: $120,950

*Required qualifications: Doctoral or Professional Degree

 

4.  Registered Nurse

Registered nurses (RNs) are responsible for coordinating patient care. Their main responsibilities revolve around evaluating, observing, and speaking to patients.

On the medical side, RNs are responsible for administering medications and treatments and creating patient care plans. They may offer wound care, assist in physician-provided medical procedures, take blood and urine samples, and provide patient education. Administrative duties involve updating patient histories and recording symptoms.

Most registered nurses work in hospitals. However, many other medical institutions hire them, including surgical clinics, assisted living facilities, corporations, military institutions, inpatient care, geriatrics care, oncology, and pediatrics and schools.

To become an RN, you must first earn an accredited degree, or get a bachelor’s degree in nursing, depending on the state. You must then pass the National Council Licensure Examination.

*Salary: $66,640

*Required qualifications: Bachelor’s Degree

 

5.  Optometrists

 

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Total glaucoma cases are expected to increase by 2.12 percent per year between now and 2030, with total patient numbers rising to 8.835 million. Because of this optometrists will remain in high demand but in short supply.

Optometrists’ main role is to diagnose and treat visual problems and manage various diseases and disorders of the eye. Duties include diagnosing eye problems, working with LASIK and cataract surgeons, implementing EMDR therapy, and operating various diagnostic equipment.

To be a successful optometrist, you will need to have excellent communication skills and be able to work with precision. You will also need to be able to put patients at ease (who may feel squeamish about any treatment for their eyes) and be able to concentrate, even while performing repetitive tasks.

Training to become an optometrist requires extensive training. You will require a doctoral degree or equivalent.

*Salary: $113,581

*Required qualifications: Doctoral or Professional Degree

 

 

6.  Podiatrist

Over the next ten years, we are also likely to see a rise in demand for podiatrists. As the population ages, the number of foot-related medical conditions will go up.

Podiatrists are medical professionals who offer treatment and surgical care for the foot, lower leg, and ankle. Their main duties include examining the legs, removing corns, removing bone spurs, and treating some sports-related injuries. Like other physicians, podiatrists should review patient medical histories, provide appropriate pain relief, and be able to administer advanced therapy techniques, such as laser therapy.

To excel as a podiatrist, you will need a high level of patience and empathy for patients, be familiar with environmental and genetic causes of foot conditions, and have the ability to communicate with patients. It is also helpful to stay up to date with the latest technologies in podiatry.

*Salary: $120,700

*Required qualifications: Doctoral or Professional Degree

 

7.  Optician

Opticians and optometrists are not the same. Opticians’ primary role is to help patients fit eyeglasses and contact lenses after receiving a prescription from an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Because of this, entry requirements are lower. Most opticians can obtain work with a high school diploma or equivalent.

Demand for opticians is likely to increase over the coming decade. Sight issues will become more common as the population ages.

In this role, your main duties will be to process prescriptions. However, you will also help patients choose the right style of glasses and lenses for their needs. Direct advice on particular products may be a part of the role.

*Salary: $34,280

*Required qualifications: High School Diploma

 

8.  Pharmacy Technician

Just as demand for pharmacists will go up, so too will requirements for pharmacy technicians. These medical professionals are responsible for dispensing prescription medications to patients. They work with trained and qualified pharmacists in a variety of settings.

Primary duties include processing insurance claims, managing inventory, and filing paperwork. They may also help with unloading new stock, managing a shop front, and preparing medications.

To be successful in this career, you must be adept at interacting with patients. Pharmacists will expect you to provide a degree of customer care (unless you are in the back room).

Entry requirements for this role are low. A high school diploma or equivalent is sufficient.

*Salary: $29,810

*Required qualifications: High School Diploma

 

9.  Radiation Therapist

Cancer rates are expected to rise considerably over the coming years. The current lifetime risk of developing the disease is 40.2 percent in men and 38.5 percent in women. However, this may rise to over 50 percent in the coming years, barring radical changes in lifestyle and reductions in environmental carcinogens.

As a radiation therapist, your role is to administer radiation therapy to patients to destroy cancer cells and treat some other rarer conditions. To do this, you will need to talk to patients about their radiation plans, answer their questions about treatment, and determine the position of tumors for correct radiation administration. You will also need to minimize off-target radiation therapy and preserve healthy tissue.

To become a successful radiation therapist, you need the ability to communicate with patients effectively and professionally, be extremely detail-oriented, and have good technical skills. You should also have skills in using various medical imaging equipment and be able to stand for long periods of time.

*Salary: $80,090

*Required qualifications: Associate’s Degree

 

10.  Surgical Technologists

 

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A surgical technologist is a medical professional who assists surgeons during surgery. Demand for this role is likely to increase significantly as medically necessary and cosmetic surgeries become more common.

The primary duties of surgical technologists include preparing operating theaters for surgery, sterilizing various equipment, ensuring that surgeons have all the supplies they need, and passing medical instruments to surgeons during operations. Some surgical technologists also have sanitation roles, such as cleaning medical surfaces and disinfecting equipment, both during and after procedures.

To excel in this role, you will need to stay calm under pressure. You will also need to react quickly to instructions given by the surgeon.

*Salary: $43,350

*Required qualifications: Postsecondary Non-Degree Award

 

11.  Medical Assistants

As the population ages, the labor requirements in the medical sector will rise (as they have already been doing for several decades). Therefore, openings for medical assistants will also likely rise.

Medical assistants have one of the most varied job roles in the medical field. Responsibilities usually depend on the setting. For instance, medical assistants in doctors’ offices may serve at the reception desk while those in hospitals could take vital sign readings. General duties include doing basic lab tests, instructing patients on how to use their medication, preparing them for examinations, and recording medical histories.

To become a medical assistant, you’ll need to obtain a high school diploma and then complete a required medical assistant program. You’ll then need to pass the CMA.

*Salary: $32,692

*Required qualifications: Postsecondary Non-Degree Award

 

12.  Exercise Physiologists

Lastly, the demand for exercise physiologists is likely to rise as obesity continues to generate morbidity in the U.S. population. These professionals design exercise programs to boost health, reduce cardiovascular risk factors, and improve weight. Most develop custom plans for their patients to help them reach their fitness goals.

Exercise physiologists work in a variety of settings, including athletics teams, weight loss clinics, fitness centers, and physical therapy offices. Rarely, they also work in colleges and universities, government agencies, and rehab centers. Many are self-employed and charge a daily fee for their services.

Duties vary considerably from patient to patient. Primary responsibilities include analyzing patients’ medical history, measuring fitness levels, monitoring vital signs, and identifying patients’ strengths and weaknesses. In many cases, exercise physiologists also educate patients about various injuries and health conditions, including lung disease and diabetes.

*Salary: $32,692

*Required qualifications: Bachelor’s degree

 

Conclusion

Over the next decade, the general demand for healthcare is likely to rise. This means that job seekers have a tremendous degree of choice and opportunities. Practically every area of healthcare is going to see higher demand. Viable careers are available in clinics, hospitals, in non-clinical settings.