Healthcare workers are growing in demand and forecasts expect the growth trend to continue as more baby boomers age. Healthcare careers range from hands-on direct patient contact to behind the scenes clerical positions and pharmacy support staff.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) develops the outlooks for occupational fields each year. In 2011, the BLS put great demand on the need for personal care attendants, medical assistants, and physical therapists, including assistants and aides.
Personal care attendants can work in hospital or residential settings. This is the most popular healthcare field needing new workers. Personal care attendants help people with daily living skills and needs, such as bathing, eating, and homemaker services. These jobs typically require little training and can be performed by inexperienced people. The starting pay is minimum wage, but if personal care attendants take on patients with higher needs and receive positive feedback from patients and families, the attendant can negotiate a higher wage.
The medical assistant field employee works in the doctor’s office and performs many clerical duties. The assistant must also be aware of patient care and medical terminology. These additional skills set the medical assistant role apart from the clerical/receptionist role. These medical professionals can obtain degrees in community colleges and vocational schools. Medical professionals can earn around $26,000 per year.
Careers in physical therapy are expected to increase by one-third and are a top 2011 field. Physical therapists work to improve the daily functioning of people who have physical disabilities, either from birth or through injury. People with chronic pain may also seek the help of a physical therapist. A Master’s degree is typically required for physical therapists in most states, in addition to professional licensure. Physical therapists can expect to make about $66,00 per year.