Top 20 Best Healthcare Jobs for the Future 2017
June 29, 2017
With the continual advancement of healthcare, and thus the average individual lifespan, its no mystery why many of the best jobs for the future lie in the healthcare industry.
Whether you’re just now about to begin your journey into higher education or someone who’s just unsatisfied with your career and looking for a change, healthcare has great opportunities for all walks of life.
With the overall average growth rate of 7% across all jobs, and most jobs in healthcare boasting a growth rate much higher, you can go into the field knowing there will be ample opportunities for you upon the completion of your training.
We’ve compiled the positions by ranking them by highest growth rate from 2014 – 2024, based on data gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, rather than the highest paid positions.
The number of many of the jobs listed here will continue to rise long after 2024 due to aging populations and further advancements made in medical technology.
Growth rate: 18%
More than likely, you’ve visited a dentist at one point or another in your life (hopefully!). They’re responsible for diagnosing and treating conditions affecting the mouth, gums, and teeth.
In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree, in order to become a dentist you must go to dental school and earn a Doctor of Dental Practice degree and the required state license.
However, upon graduation, you’ll be earning a high salary of roughly $150,000/year!
19. Dental Assistant
Growth rate: 18%
Dental assistants… assist dentists during the procedures that they’re tasked with, depending on the patient. However, they’re also responsible for taking and developing x-rays, taking patient medical histories, taking impressions, and many other tasks.
You can become a dental assistant in a relatively short period of time by graduating from a formal academic program, typically found at local community colleges and vocational schools.
After your training is complete, you can expect to be earning roughly $35,000/year.
18. Dental Hygienist
Growth rate: 19%
Dental hygienists are responsible for thoroughly cleaning the patient’s teeth, applying fluoride and other cavity-preventing treatments.
Becoming a dental hygienist is more stringent than becoming an assistant, but not nearly as much as becoming a dentist. Expect to complete a 2- or 4-year dental hygiene program, as well as any other certifications that may be required by your state.
Dental hygienists earn upwards of $73,000 per year, so it is definitely worth the investment!
Growth rate: 21%
Speech-language pathologists work to evaluate patient difficulties with language, and assess any communication problems with basic reading and speaking skills.
They guide their patients through a step-by-step treatment plan that is created specifically with their needs in mind, typically including teaching the correct sounds, sign language, reading and writing skills, strengthening swallowing muscles, and counseling patients and families on hope to cope with problems and emotional stress that can come with communication issues.
If becoming a speech-language pathologist is in your future, you can expect to complete an accredited speech-language master’s program in addition to your bachelor’s degree. You can expect to earn roughly $74,000 per year once you’ve completed all educational and training requirements.
16. Athletic Trainer
Growth rate: 21%
Athletic trainers are responsible for recognizing, preventing, managing, and rehabilitating injuries that result form physical activities.
If diagnosing and treating bone and muscle injuries in collaboration with other healthcare professionals is something you’d excel at, the low bar of entry makes becoming an athletic trainer an attractive option.
While athletic trainers don’t need anything beyond a bachelor’s degree and the proper licensure & certification, pursuing a master’s degree may open more options. You can expect to earn roughly $41,653 once you being your career.
Growth rate: 23%
Medical assistants work directly along healthcare providers to prepare patients for examinations, handle billing and bother bookkeeping responsibilities, measure vital signs, maintain medical records, collection laboratory specimen, and many other tasks necessary to improve patient outcomes.
With a low bar-of-entry to becoming a medical assistant (completing a medical assistant training program), which takes up to 2 years, aspiring medical assistants can expect to earn roughly $32,000 once they’ve completed their training and start their position.
14. EMT / Paramedic
Growth rate: 24%
Emergency medical technicians (EMTs), or paramedics, respond to emergency situations, and are responsible for administering CPR, oxygen, and glucose, providing intervention in allergic reactions and asthma attacks, and extricating and preparing patients for transport.
To become an EMT, you must only complete a basic EMT course, earn the required certification, and complete an advanced EMT-training course. Expect to be earning roughly $38,833 once its all said and done.
Growth rate: 24%
Diagnostic medical sonographers work with all forms of imaging, including MRI, x-ray, CAT scans, and nuclear medicine.
They’re also responsible for the day-to-day operations of the sonographic laboratory, maintenance of all sonographic equipment, patient schedules, and working to ensure that the laboratory’s accreditation is upheld.
If you want to become a sonographer, you’ll need to graduate from a formal diagnostic medical sonography program and earn the required license and certification. The average salary for DMSs is around $69,794.
Growth rate: 25%
Have you ever donated blood? More than likely the person that was drawing it was a phlebotomist. In addition to collecting samples, phlebotomists are responsible for properly sanitizing all equipment, storing blood components, and carefully transporting samples.
Other healthcare professionals rely on the accuracy of blood test results in order to diagnose patient conditions and assess the effectiveness of treatments.
In addition to the exceptional growth rate, phlebotomy has a low bar-of-entry as you only need to complete a phlebotomy training program (usually 2 years), and you can start earning about $30,000/year!
11. Personal Care Aide
Growth rate: 26%
A personal care aide helps clients/patients with everyday tasks, acts as a companion, assists with patient hygiene, arranges transportation, and basically manages the lives of their clients.
Sometimes they’re also referred to as “homemakers,” “caregivers,” or “personal attendants” as well. However, unlike Home Health Aides, they cannot provide any kind of medical treatment or services.
Other than some short training, no other degree is necessary to obtain this position and you can expect to earn roughly $20,000/year, depending on location and experience.
Growth rate: 27%
Optometrists provide counseling to patients regarding treatments, handle both pre- and post-operative care. Although optometrists carry out some surgical procedures, they usually refer patients to a skilled ophthalmologist.
Becoming an optometrist is more difficult than most of the others on this list, considering that you must complete a 4-year optometry program once you’ve earned your bachelors. However, once you’ve earned all of the required prerequisites, optometrists can expect to earn well over $100,000/year!
Growth rate: 27%
Occupational therapists evaluate patient conditions and develop treatment plans for specific types of activities. Much of their work is with the disabled.
They perform tasks like demonstrating exercises to strengthen key areas of the body, identify improvements that can be made in a patient’s environment, and evaluate the home and workplace needs of the patient.
In order to become an occupational therapist, you must first earn a bachelor’s degree and then go on to complete a master’s program and the required certification.
A master’s degree is required before you can pursue this position and you can expect to earn around $75,000/year, depending on location and experience.
Growth rate: 29%
These professionals work with DNA, analyzing it to discover any abnormalities or to identify patients at risk of particular disorders that may have been inherited.
By diagnosing patients via DNA, they can produce treatment plans and options for managing any complications that may arise.
In order to become a genetic counselor, plan on earning a master’s degree as well as the required state license. Genetic counselors can expect to earn around $67,000/year, depending on location and experience.
Growth rate: 29%
Audiologists focus on patient’s hearing and balance issues by performing inner-ear examinations, diagnosing problems or complications, and fitting patients with devices to enhance their hearing.
Other responsibilities include research, counseling on communication methods like lip reading, and monitoring the progress of their patients.
To become an audiologist, you must go on from a bachelor’s an earn a Doctor of Audiology degree and the required license or certification. Audiologists typically earn $65,000 – $70,000/year, depending on location and experience.
Growth rate: 30%
Physician assistants review patient histories, order diagnostic testing, provide treatment like immunizations, prescribe medicines, and record patient progress.
They’re also usually the ones responsible with educating the patient’s family on medical conditions and the proper use of medical treatments.
In order to become a physician assistant, expect to earn a master’s degree in addition to your undergraduate education. Physician assistants can expect to earn roughly $96,000/year, depending on location and experience.
Growth rate: 31%
These nurses differ from registered nurses as they take on much more responsibility and require much more training as you have to obtain a master’s degree.
Their responsibilities include everything from recording patient histories to performing tests to research. If you’re someone who enjoys a wide array of responsibilities, pursuing one of these options may be the right career choice for you.
These positions require at least a master’s degree, but you can expect a salary of round $96,000/year, depending on location and experience.
Growth rate: 31%
Nurse practitioners are generally known as those that fill the healthcare gaps between registered nurses and physicians. They’re responsible for the identification and treatment of acute illnesses and injuries, immunizations, management of chronic health conditions, and others.
Becoming a nurse practitioner requires significantly more education, with most being required to earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) in addition to their undergraduate studies.
Although it takes much more education to become an NP, they also earn significantly more at about $100,000/year!
Growth rate: 34%
Physical therapists are responsible for reviewing patient histories, diagnosing any dysfunctional movements when the patient walks or stands, and addressing the issue.
They compose care plans to correct any abnormalities using stretching and exercises to increase the patient’s mobility, prevent pain and injury, and help them get back on their feet.
To become a physical therapist, you must obtain either a doctoral degree or professional degree from an accredited institution. You can expect to earn roughly $80,000/year, depending on location and experience.
Growth rate: 38%
Home health aides primarily work with the disabled or chronically ill by administering medications, performing daily tasks, and providing basic health services.
They’re responsible for arranging medical appointments for the patients they oversee as well as taking care of patient housekeeping, if they are unable. This position requires no degree to start and you can expect to earn around $21,000/year, depending on location and experience.
Growth rate: 40%
Occupational therapy assistants, not to be confused with occupational therapy aides, work with clients to perform exercises based on the treatment plan devised with the overseeing occupational therapist.
Their responsibilities generally include monitoring patient activities, providing encouragement, working with the disabled, and assisting in the recovery of traumatic injuries.
In order to become an occupational therapy assistant, you need only to earn an associate’s degree and complete the required license or certification, depending on your state. Occupational therapists, on average, earn about $54,000/year!
As you can probably tell, many of the positions in this list are going to continue to grow even further as our average lifespans continue to improve with medical advances.
If you’re thinking about taking up a career in the healthcare, these are definitely great options for someone of any level of education who wants to secure their future and make sure that there will always be a job waiting for them.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!