There’s no denying that the healthcare industry is constantly changing, particularly in the wake of a global pandemic. In such a transformative and fast-paced sector, it can be difficult to pinpoint which roles are consistently in demand. As a result, if you’re a hopeful medical professional, you may be struggling to decide where to direct your efforts. Fortunately, we’ve got some guidance for you. Here are four in-demand healthcare professions that you’ll want to monitor in 2021 and beyond.
1. Nurse Practitioners
Nurses are consistently one of the most in-demand healthcare positions, and nurse practitioners happen to be high on that list. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the projected increase in nursing practitioner jobs is 52% from 2019 to 2029, making it the second-fastest growing job in the country. If you’re currently completing your undergraduate degree in nursing, it might be worth considering doing your master’s as well to open the door to this lucrative career. The average salary in the United States for nurse practitioners is $111,840 per year (or $53.77 per hour).
Nurse practitioners provide advanced care to patients, including diagnosing and treating various illnesses and conditions, prescribing medication, and executing treatment plans. They can work in just about any healthcare facility, from hospitals to physicians’ offices.
2. Occupational Therapist Assistants (OTAs)
OTAs are an integral component of the healthcare industry. They assist occupational therapists to ensure that the treatment facility runs smoothly and that quality patient care is delivered. They aid in providing treatment and procedures to help patients recover, improve, and maintain the skills they need to carry on with their day-to-day life. Certain key responsibilities include creating treatment plans, documenting progress, and even directing some treatment programs.
The employment rate for occupational therapist assistants is expected to grow by 35% between 2019 and 2029. The average salary for OTAs is $61,880 annually (or $29.75 per hour).
3. Health Services Manager
The role of Health Services Manager is incredibly unique and multifaceted. While the exact responsibilities of a health services manager will vary slightly between institutions and locations, their main responsibility is to direct, plan, and coordinate the health services offered by a healthcare practice. They are required to stay updated on industry changes and to communicate these changes to members of their healthcare business. BLS statistics show that health services manager jobs are expected to increase by 33% from 2019 to 2029 and the average annual salary is roughly $115,160 (or $55.37 per hour).
4. Medical Assistants
For those hoping to break into the medical industry, becoming a medical assistant is one of the easiest and most effective ways to do so, especially since this position typically only requires a diploma or an associate degree. The duties of medical assistants will vary depending on the employers’ and patients’ needs but, in general, they are responsible for both administrative and clinical tasks in a healthcare business. Some tasks include measuring vital signs, recording patient information, scheduling appointments, and assisting with patient examinations.
According to BLS statistics, it is expected that medical assistant employment will rise by 19% between 2019 and 2029. The average annual salary for medical assistants is $35,720 (or $17.17 per hour).
While projected job growth and potential earnings shouldn’t be the only things you base your career decisions on, it certainly helps to know these pieces of information to make a more educated choice for your future.