Careers in health care employment remain as hot as ever. Everybody needs a doctor. Innovations in technology improve the quality of life so that people live longer and better lives. This fact alone drives the industry to constantly evolve and bring new employees into the fold. Therefore, health care employment will always provide the best opportunities and growth potential, especially with the approaching retirement of the Baby Boomer generation.
According to the United States Depart of Labor’s Bureau of Statistics, health care employment constituted the largest industry in 2017, providing 13.5 million jobs nationwide. In fact, 8 out of 20 jobs created were in health care, and most wage and salaried positions projected to increase until 2018 will be in health care employment. Hospitals employ the majority of workers; hospitals constitute roughly 2% of all health care establishments, yet they employ over 40% of all health care workers.
Health care employment enjoys some of the most flexible work schedules of all industries. A large proportion of health care workers are employed part-time, making health care employment a great alternative to students, women, and older workers.
Health care employment requires various degrees of education and training. Some positions demand rigorous and specialized training. Generally, most positions in health care employment require less than four years of college. Specialized positions require additional coursework. Regional occupation and vocation programs provide training for entry-level positions in health care employment, such as licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), emergency medical technicians, and office assistants. Other positions, such as dental or medical hygienists, medical assistants, and paramedics, require a certificate or associate’s degree in the field at a two-year community college. Social workers and therapists require a Bachelor’s degree as a minimum to work within the health care industry. Practitioners of medicine require the most formal training – at least four years of graduate work, followed by an additional two to seven years of practical training in more specialized fields.
Clearly, health care employment leads the pack in education and formal training. In addition to the training and education needed to arrive at the position, state and federal law mandate specific standards of continuing education for nurses, doctors, and other medical personnel.
Today, training programs are designed to recruit and maintain the best workers, guaranteeing a consistent passing down of skills and experiences. For example, because of the shortage of properly trained nurses in the state, Azusa Pacific University in California collaborates with Kaiser Permanente to recruit and train potential nurses in the industry. Kaiser Permanente pays the full tuition of these trainees. In return, these trainees promise to work in the health care industry for a specified period of time, returning to teach and pass on these skills to a future generation of nurses.
Advancements in medical technology and the evolving face of the health care field will always require the extra education and training to stay abreast of current and future trends. Best of all, health care employment won’t suffer the constant outsourcing headaches and pink slip worries of other industries. With continued job growth expected until 2018, there’s no better industry to get into.