If you’re looking for a job with significant job growth, a career in the medical field is well worth considering. The top 10 fastest growing jobs run the gamut from entry-level jobs to careers that require a master’s degree, but each one of them promises steady growth throughout the next decade.
Personal Care Aide
Of all the jobs in health care, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the largest growth for personal care aides in health care facilities. This is an entry-level job that’s expected to grow by 48.8 percent through the year 2022. As of 2012, personal care aides earned a median annual wage of $19,910.
Home Health Aide
Home health aides do many of the same tasks that personal care aides do -- but they just do it in patients’ homes instead of health care settings. With an aging population, the demand for home health aides is expected to huge, and BLS expects the job to grow by 48.5 percent through 2022. Personal care aides earned a median wage of $20,820 as of 2012, and training is typically provided on the job.
Medical secretaries might study in a secretarial school or trade school, but often, the job is an entry-level one that involves handling medical records, making appointments and managing patient intake. BLS expects the job to grow by 36 percent through 2022, and the median annual wage in 2012 was $31,350.
Perhaps the highest-paying profession among the fastest-growing jobs in health care is that of the physical therapist. Becoming one requires three years of school after earning your bachelor’s degree, but the median annual wage was $79,860 as of 2012. BLS expects the profession to grow by 36 percent through 2022.
If you’re looking for a high-paying job that doesn’t require quite so many years in school, consider a career as a dental hygienist. After earning an associate’s degree -- meaning about two years in school -- you could earn a median salary of $70,210, as of 2012, with an expected 33.3 percent job growth through 2022.
With about one year in a trade school or community college, you can also earn a certificate as a medical assistant, helping to take blood pressure, checking in patients and generally assisting medical professionals. The median income as of 2012 was $29,370, and the job is expected to grow by 29 percent through 2022.
Occupational therapists help patients master the activities of daily living. As of 2012, they earned a median income of $75,400. The job requires a master’s degree, but the job growth is expected to be about 29 percent through 2022.
Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses
Nurses assist with patient care and carry out the medical protocols prescribed by doctors. While they earn less than registered nurses, LPNs and LVNs don’t need to attend as much school in order to start working. As of 2012, LPNS and LVNs earned a median income of $41,540, with job growth of 24.8 expected through 2022. Training programs for these professions take about one year to complete.
Nursing assistants work alongside nurses, helping make patients comfortable. To become one, you’ll typically only need a few weeks or months of training. Job growth is expected to be about 21.1 percent through 2022. Nursing assistants earned a median income of $24,420 as of 2012.
While becoming a registered nurse requires a bachelor’s degree, you’ll be rewarded with a significantly higher salary than other types of nurses. RNs earned a median income of $65,470 as of 2012, and job growth is expected to be about 19.4 percent through 2022.
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