10 Health Careers on the Rise
By Aimee Hosler Nov 1, 2010
Health care isn't just one of the most rewarding industries; it's also one of the largest and fastest growing. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 10 of the top 20 fastest growing careers in the country are health care related. There are a number of reasons increasing demand, but aging Baby Boomers and new medical advancements that keep our tickers ticking claim most of the credit.
Want to ride the health care career train? These top 10 growing health careers to can help you get started.
Top 10 Health Care Jobs
1. Registered Nurses (RNs)
The BLS ranks RNs as the fastest growing job in the country. RNs must earn an associate's degrees in nursing (ADN), a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN), or a diploma, and they must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
2. Home Health Aides
Home health aides help those who are disabled, cognitively impaired, or chronically ill living at home. These professionals can look forward to a BLS-projected growth of 50 percent between 2008 and 2018.
3. Dental Hygienists
Dental hygienists clean patients' teeth and show them how to care for them at home. The BLS projects employment among dental hygienists to grow by 36 percent through 2018. Dental hygienists must earn associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, or certificates in addition to other licensure requirements.
4. Nursing and Psychiatric Aides
Nursing and psychiatric aides assist nurses and physicians, providing hands-on care. The BLS projects positions for nursing and psychiatric aides to grow by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018. While a formal degree typically isn't required, classroom instruction through a vocational or career school are mandatory for licensure.
5. Dental Assistants
Dental assistants support dentists by performing a number of patient care, office, and laboratory duties. The BLS expects dental assistant positions to grow by 36 percent between 2008 and 2018. More dentists than ever prefer to hire those who have completed one-year training programs through career colleges.
6. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers
Diagnostic medical sonographers use special equipment to provide physicians with the images or video they need to diagnose medical conditions. Employment is expected to grow by 18 percent between 2008 and 2018. The BLS notes that employers prefer to hire sonographers who have completed two- to four-year training programs.
7. Medical Assistants
Medical assistants perform primarily administrative or clinical duties to ensure medical offices run smoothly. The BLS expects employment among medical assistants to grow by 34 percent between 2008 and 2018. Most medical assistants earn either one-year certificates or two-year associate's degrees.
8. Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs)
According to the BLS, demand for LPNs and LVNs is steep and expected to grow by a 21 percent between 2008 and 2018. Formal education is a requirement for licensure, and programs typically last about one year.
9. Medical Records and Health Information Technicians
Medical records and health information technicians track patients' health information for health care providers. Employment for these professionals is expected to grow by 20 percent between 2008 and 2018. These professionals must earn associate's degrees.
10. Surgical Technologists
Surgical technologists assist surgeons and can expect a 25 percent growth in employment between 2008 and 2018. Training programs last 9 to 24 months and lead certificates, diplomas, or associate's degrees.