The Top 10 Healthcare Careers

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Healthcare continues to be one of the top employers. All types of healthcare professionals will be needed to meet the demand for healthcare services for aging baby boomers and the rest of the general population. Unlike other professions, technology can’t completely replace the need for caring, skilled doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. Choosing a career in healthcare can provide an interesting job and bright future. Obamacare will bring change, challenges and opportunity.   

If you’re thinking of entering the healthcare field, changing careers or just want job stability, check out the list of the best healthcare jobs for 2013 compiled by U.S. News. The jobs were rated using criteria such as job growth, stability, volume and work-life balance. 

Dentist came in as number one, with registered nurse and pharmacist coming in as two and three. All three have projected growth rates of 21 to 25 percent or better. A career as a pharmacist combines healthcare, customer service, retail and opens up the opportunity to run a business. Pharmacies are no longer just for filling prescriptions. They are expanding into drop-in healthcare facilities. Customers can get a flu shot, check their blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol and pick up a loaf of bread for and a gallon of milk. Instead of waiting at the Emergency Care Center, parents can bring in kids with sore throats or fevers for some medical advice and over-the-counter medications. 

Physicians will always be in demand (number four) but physical therapists take top honors in predicted job growth – 39 percent by the year 2020. Occupational Therapists, who focus on helping those hurt on the job, could see job growth over 33 percent in the same time period. 

Americans are crazy about their pets. They are more and more like part of the family. Some pets hold the same (or close) position in the family as children. Pampered and loved, they need the best medical care, making veterinarian number eight on the U.S. News list. All this attention to Fido and Fluffy will drive 36 percent job growth for veterinarians by the year 2020.

All the growth in these professions will require trained assistants to handle the volume. Physician assistants and veterinarian assistants come in at nine and 10. 

Top jobs offer low unemployment, growth and the ability to work in any part of the country. Unlike some jobs that are regional or area specific, healthcare is needed wherever there are people. The more dense the population, the greater the need for services. Physicians need hospitals, labs, physical therapists, imaging centers and pharmacies to complete healthcare and treatment. 

The Association of American Medical Colleges reported that 87 percent of medical school graduates leave college with an average of $166,000 in debt. With a new degree and lots of debt, there are choices to make. With debt to repay, it makes sense to choose your career path well, with an eye to stability, high income and growth. The U.S. News list can help choose the right field now with the hope for a bright future.

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