The Fastest Growing Health Care Occupations in 2021 and Beyond was originally published on uConnect External Content.
According to a May 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, health care occupations will rise by 15% between 2019 and 2029. The report revealed that health care jobs are growing at a faster rate than any other industry. Approximately 2.4 million new health care workers will be needed by 2029. Much of the growth is due to the aging population of US citizens. Older adults need more health care.
The median annual wage for workers in technical healthcare positions and health care practitioners was almost $70,000 in May 2020. However, salaries for support staff remained low at $30,000 annually. In comparison, the average annual median wage for all occupations was $42,000. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)
Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
Job opportunities for advanced practice registered nurses are growing at the second-highest rate of any industry nationwide. The need for nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and nurse midwives is expected to grow by 45% by 2029. Increased emphasis on preventive care for aging adults is one reason why healthcare workers are increasingly needed. Advanced practice registered nurses work in a wide array of inpatient and outpatient settings. The median pay for advanced practice registered nurses is 118,000 per year. A master’s degree and, increasingly, a doctorates degree are needed to enter the professions. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)
Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides
In May of 2020, the annual median wage for occupational therapy aides was $30,000. The salary for occupational therapy assistants was $63,000. The overall growth of employment is projected to increase by 32%. Occupational therapy aides need a high school diploma or equivalent to enter the field. Occupational therapy assistants must possess an associate’s degree in occupational therapy assisting. Employment is typically in hospitals, long-term care facilities, occupational therapists’ offices, and home care settings. (US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)
Home Health and Personal Care Aides
Even though the 2020 median pay for home health and personal care aides was only $27,000 annually, the job outlook is excellent. The industry is going to grow 34% by 2029. Home health and personal care aides work in private homes, specialized day programs, and group homes. Most employers require that workers possess a high school diploma or GED. Some companies and jurisdictions require certification and formal training. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)
Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides
Physical therapy assistants and aides work in hospitals, physical therapy offices, and long-term care facilities. The annual median wage for physical therapy aides was $28,000 in 2020. Physical therapy assistants averaged $60,000 that same year. Employment is expected to rise 29% by 2029. The increasing number of older adults with chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes contributes to the growing need for physical therapy assistants and aides. Physical therapy assistants need an associate’s degree from a physical therapy program to enter the job market. Physical therapy aides must possess a high school diploma or equivalent in addition to on-the-job training. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)
Medical and Health Services Managers
Medical and health services managers direct, coordinate, and plan activities within health care systems. Median pay was $104,000 in 2020. A 32% increase in jobs is expected by 2029. The minimum educational preparation for a typical entry-level medical and health services managerial position is a bachelor’s degree; however, many organizations require that applicants possess a master’s degree and experience in administration or expertise in a clinical role. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)
In 2020 the median pay for physician’s assistants was $115,000 annually. A master’s degree and licensure are needed to enter the profession. Between 2019 and 2029, the job market is anticipated to grow by 31%. Physician assistants frequently work in offices, clinics, and hospitals. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021)
The entire healthcare field is expanding. The need for speech-language pathologists is rising. Opportunities for substance abuse counselors, behavioral disorder clinicians, and mental health counselors are expected to expand 25% between 2019 and 2029. Employment opportunities for nurses continue to grow steadily.