Best Healthcare Jobs Include Nursing in 2018
Healthcare is the fastest growing job sector in the workforce. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the population won’t just need doctors and nurses, either. They’ll also need Dentists, Medical Technicians, Lab Specialists, Physical Therapists, Call Center Professionals, Medical Billing Experts, and Dental Hygienists. Collectively, we’re talking about close to 5 million new hospital jobs appearing in the sector between now and 2022.
There will be plenty of opportunities for those interested in a career in health care support, with jobs such as MRI technologist, hearing aid specialist, dental hygienist and occupational therapy assistant. These professionals often work under the supervision of a physician, for example, but their training is typically just as extensive. If you want to be a part of this fast-growing job sector, check out our full list of the Best Health Care Support Jobs.
This is a study according to US News- The Best Jobs methodology is divided into two parts: how U.S. News selects jobs to profile, and how those jobs are ranked against each other.
Selecting the Jobs-To identify the professions that should be included in our 2018 rankings, they started with data on jobs with the greatest hiring demand, or, in other words, those with the highest projected number of openings from 2014 to 2024, as categorized by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The jobs that topped the list were then selected for the 2018 Best Jobs analysis and rankings.
Many people dread the dentist. When they open wide, they’re afraid what the dentist will find. Yet another cavity? Or even worse – will it be time for a root canal? Will the dentist embarrass them about their flossing frequency or their coffee drinking? Will they push procedures that patients don’t want?
According to Ada S. Cooper, a consumer advisor for the American Dental Association and dentist with a private practice in New York City, these concerns are why establishing trust is so important. “Patients have to know that dentists are doing what’s best for them,” Cooper says. And they can do this by being honest, ethical and compassionate. Dentists identify and treat problems concerning a patient’s mouth, gums and teeth. Their duties include extracting teeth, fitting dentures and filling cavities. Some choose to specialize in areas that range from treating serious oral problems and diseases to straightening teeth and performing oral surgeries. They are assisted by dental hygienists.
Median Salary $152,000 Unemployment Rate 0.1% Number of Jobs 23300
2. Nurse Practitioner
Nurse practitioners, also known as advanced practice registered nurses (APRN), are registered nurses with additional education. This extra schooling allows these professionals to take patient histories, perform physical exams, order labs, analyze lab results, prescribe medicines, authorize treatments and educate patients and families on continued care. Nurse practitioners specialize by “population,” such as women’s health or pediatrics. And they can also work in research or academia.
It sounds a lot like the job description for a physician, right? So what’s the difference? The main contrast is the amount of formal education required. Physicians have more, and their breadth of knowledge and their salaries are usually commensurate with their additional work. However, increasingly – and somewhat controversially – nurse practitioners are providing primary care to patients. Many nurse practitioners first worked as registered nurses where their treatment of patients extended to holistic and wellness care, and a NP brings that background to his or her diagnosis, treatment and management of medical issues.
Median Salary $98,190 Unemployment Rate 0.7% Number of Jobs 44,700
3. Physician Assistant
Physician assistants diagnose illnesses, develop and carry out treatment plans, assist in surgeries, perform procedures and guide patients. Jeffrey Katz, president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), says, “I diagnose and treat patients, illnesses and diseases and counsel them on their path to wellness.”
Their work is very similar to that of a general internist or doctor, but they are required by law to practice under the supervision of a licensed physician or surgeon. Often, this supervision is more like collaboration, but there are certain archaic regulations that make life for physician assistants – and their patients – difficult. “To give a real-life example of these arbitrary regulations, in my practice, I can write a patient a prescription for morphine,” Katz explains. “However by law, I cannot prescribe my diabetic patients diabetic shoes.” “Often the stress comes in when PAs are not able to practice to the full extent of their training, education and ability,” Katz says.
But the profession is filled with rewards that come from helping and treating patients. A 2015 AAPA study found that more than 96 percent would recommend their physician assistant career to others. Katz has worked in the same family practice in Taylorsville, North Carolina, for more than 20 years and has seen generations of families. “It is really cool to see the children of children. … I don’t think there’s any better gift,” he says.
Median Salary $98,180 Unemployment Rate 0.6% Number of Jobs 28,700
These professionals responsible for these devices and the beautiful pearly white smiles they create are orthodontists. Robert E. Varner, president of the American Association of Orthodontists, says that some of the most momentous events during the first few decades of life – in addition to getting a driver’s license or getting married – include getting braces taken off. In his office, patients get their pictures taken before and after their orthodontics work. “When we look at the before and after’s, it’s so amazing,” he says. “It’s really one of the most wonderful parts of the job.”
Orthodontists are dental specialists who remedy problems with improper bites and askew teeth. They examine patients’ mouths and jaws to design an orthodontic program for the two-fold purpose of helping patients achieve and maintain proper function jaws while also perfecting their smiles. Orthodontists rely on the use of braces, retainers and other appliances to rectify bites and straighten teeth. They also get the opportunity to foster meaningful relationships with patients over the course of several years, which can be gratifying. “As a job, you can’t beat it,” Varner says.
The BLS reports that this profession will grow by 18 percent from 2014 to 2024, resulting in about 1,500 new job openings.
Median Salary $187,200 Unemployment Rate 0.1% Number of Jobs 1,500
5. Nurse Anesthetist
Anesthesia has come a long way from the chloroform administered by the first nurse anesthetists in the Civil War. “Anesthesia is safer today than it’s ever been,” says Frank Gerbasi, a certified registered nurse anesthetist and executive director of the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs. Modern-day nurse anesthetists can use a number of intravenous drugs and inhaled gasses to administer general or regional anesthesia, so surgeons and other physicians can complete procedures with little to no discomfort to the patient.
You might wonder what the difference is between a nurse anesthetist and an anesthesiologist. One way of answering is the education. Nurse anesthetists are registered nurses who specialize in anesthesiology with at least one year of critical care experience and a master’s degree, which usually take two years to complete. Anesthesiologists are physicians, and their education track includes a one-year internship, three-year residency and sometimes an additional one- to two-year fellowship. “Both anesthesia specialists use the same techniques and procedures to safely deliver the same types of anesthetic drugs for every type of procedure that requires the patient to receive anesthesia,” Gerbasi says.
Gerbasi also describes nurse anesthetists as cost-effective providers because they offer their patients a high quality of health care at a reasonable price. Several factors, including health care reform and the aging baby boom population, are precipitating the demand for more health care providers. And indeed, the BLS predicts that the profession is poised to grow by about 19 percent by the year 2024, which translates into 7,400 new job openings.
Median Salary $157,140 Unemployment 0.7% Number of Jobs 7,400