If you’re looking for a career with strong job prospects, think health care. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 14 of the 30 jobs expected to see the most growth between 2012 and 2022 are related to health care. Some jobs will require extensive schooling, but others will require less time commitment between you and your first paycheck.
1: Personal Care Aide
As the large baby boomer generation ages, it needs workers to take care of their personal needs in nursing homes and care facilities. Personal care aide jobs are expected to grow by a whopping 48.8 percent between 2012 and 2022. While the median annual wage was only about $19,910 as of 2012, the job only requires a brief period of on-the-job training.
2: Home Health Aide
Workers who take care of patients’ individual needs will also be in demand in home settings. The BLS expects home health aide jobs to grow by 48.5 percent through 2022. Like personal care aides, home health aide jobs require only on-the-job training, but the median salary is slightly more at $20,820 as of 2012.
3: Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Whether it’s detecting the presence of a tumor or creating an image of a pregnant woman’s fetus, sonographers are the people responsible for making those images. With a median salary of $65,860, an expected job growth of 46 percent through 2022 and educational requirements limited only to an associate’s degree, this can be a promising career.
4/5: Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides
Occupational therapists help people develop skills necessary to conduct the activities of daily living. Occupational therapy assistants might help patients perform the stretches and strength activities recommended by an occupational therapist, as well as helping maintain patient records and doing other administrative tasks. Growth for occupational therapy assistants is expected to be 42.6 percent through 2022, with the median salary at $53,240 as of 2012. OT assistants are typically required to have an associate’s degree.
Another promising career is that of the occupational therapy aide, who does less of the therapy work and more of the logistical work such as maintaining treatment areas. Requiring only a high school diploma, this job is expected to grow by 36.2 percent through 2022, with a median salary of $26,850.
6/7: Physical Therapy Assistants and Aides
Similar to occupational therapy assistants, physical therapy assistants help patients manage the activities of daily living, typically after an injury or illness. Job growth is expected to be 41 percent for physical therapy assistants, and 40.1 percent for physical therapy aides. Assistants, who need an associate’s degree, earned a median income of $52,160 as of 2012, while aides, who require only a high school diploma, earned $23,880.
8: Physician Assistants
Physician assistants diagnose and treat patients while working under the supervision of a physician or surgeon. The job, which requires a master’s degree, is expected to grow by 38.4 percent through 2022. As of 2012, the median income was $90.930.
9. Teaching Health Specialties
With the enormous growth in health care jobs comes a need for more people to teach students the ropes of each profession. Health specialties teacher jobs are expected to grow by 36.1 percent through 2022. Most of these jobs will require a doctoral or professional degree, and the median salary was $81,140 as of 2012.
10. Medical Secretary
With the growth in health care also comes a need for more people to keep files organized, scheduling patients and handling billing. This job, expected to grow by 36 percent through 2022, typically requires a high school diploma and had an average salary of $31,350 as of 2012.
In general, medical careers are a promising direction that can earn you a living wage and provide plenty of job security.
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