The healthcare industry continues to be one of the fastest-growing sectors of the economy with the Department of Labor projecting a 19 percent increase in job opportunities between 2014 and 2024. Working in healthcare isn’t limited to high-profile professions like physicians and surgeons either. In fact, there are many positions that require significantly less education and training with starting salaries above the national average. That’s just one of the benefits of a career in the medical field.
Aging Population Means More Jobs
The two stages of life where we spend the most time at the doctor’s office is when we’re young and when we’re old. With America’s largest generation, the baby-boom generation, entering retirement age, the need for medical care and thus professional opportunities in the field will grow substantially. More specifically, the number of Americans aged 65 or older will more than double from just over 27 million in 2010 to 61 million by 2030. Additionally, the greater emphasis on preventative care with the Affordable Care Act means regular visits to the doctor and more services to promote a healthier lifestyle for patients. As a result, nearly six million new jobs will be created by just 2020.
Easy Qualifications for Many Positions
Not every job in the medical field requires 10 or more years of education and training. Positions like dental hygienist, radiation therapist, diagnostic medical sonographer and medical billing require just an associate degree for a lucrative career. ASA College, for example, offers a medical assisting associate degree program for half the cost of one year’s tuition at an Ivy League school, and job opportunities for this particular position are projected to increase 31 percent by 2030.
High Median Wages
The annual median wage nationally is $35,540. In the medical field, that number is significantly higher at $61,710. Taking a look at some specific jobs, the median salary for a dental hygienist is $71,520. For a nuclear medicine technologist, the individual who operates imaging equipment, it’s $72,100 and for a radiation therapist it’s $80,090. All three positions only require an associate degree. With a master’s degree, a physician assistant can make $95,820 and a nurse practitioner can earn $102,670. These are just a few of the many positions available in the medical field, most of which offer a wage significantly higher than the national average.
Added to the practical benefits listed above is the fact that working in the medical field is one of the most rewarding jobs you can have. Whether you’re the sonographer operating an ultrasound for an expectant mother or a nurse who goes the extra mile for her patients, a profession in the medical field allows you to have a lasting impact on others, which is a priceless reward.