Reasons to Work in the Healthcare Field
If you’re passionate about helping people and making a difference in their lives, working in healthcare can be one of the most rewarding career choices there is. The industry already employs over 18 million people. Here are five key reasons you should consider a healthcare career too.
Great Job Prospects
Since 2017, healthcare has become the largest source of jobs in the U.S., and its growth is going to continue.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are projected to grow by 18 percent, or 2.4 million jobs, from 2016 to 2026, and eight of the top-20 fastest-growing professions are in the healthcare sector.
As a healthcare professional, this means you’ll enjoy more career opportunities—and find employment more easily—than job seekers in other industries.
Your chances of finding employment and staying employed are also much greater than in other fields, thanks to advances in medicine and the dramatic growth of the aging U.S. population, which continues to increase at an unprecedented rate, boosting demand for medical professionals across the board.
Also helping to increase the demand for healthcare workers was the passage and implementation of health reform legislation (the Affordable Care Act), which provided medical insurance to millions of additional Americans.
Great Job Satisfaction
It’s not surprising that research shows that health care workers are generally satisfied with their career choices: Working in the healthcare industry allows you to nurture your desire to help others while earning a living—talk about a win-win. Indeed, there are few professions where you can touch the lives of others—and make a difference in them—the way you can in the healthcare industry. You could help save a life or help bring a new one into the world. You can care for patients as they recover, assist families through some of the most difficult times in their lives, or work behind the scenes to keep a medical facility running smoothly. Regardless of your specific role in the industry, you’ll play some part in helping people, or even entire communities, and positively affect their lives as a result.
Positions for All Educational Levels
Whether you have a GED or a Ph.D., there’s a healthcare career available to you. While you need many years of education to be a doctor or a nurse, there are hundreds of other roles available in the healthcare industry to be explored, including ones for high school graduates, college undergraduates, and just about every other level of education up through the doctorate level. For instance, careers like patient care coordinators and pharmacy technicians require only a high school diploma, and dental hygienists, registered nurses, and respiratory therapists—three careers with a “much faster than average” job growth outlook—require only a two-year associate’s degree.
Competitive Earning Potential
Due to the high demand for workers in the healthcare industry, careers in healthcare are among the most lucrative job options available. As expected, the more highly skilled and educated you are, the higher your pay will be. But there are health-care jobs available at any education level that offer competitive salaries to other industries. Health careers are some of the highest-paying careers, with physicians and advanced-practice clinicians topping the list of most highly compensated healthcare professionals.
There’s Never a Dull Day
Why do you think there are so many TV shows about hospitals and medical professionals? Shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “ER,” “House,” and “Private Practice” are successful because the medical field is exciting, ever-changing, and dramatic in nature. Fast-paced, filled with challenges and offering the chance to work with new patients from all walks of life, you’ll never experience the same day twice.
Is Healthcare Right for You?
Even though healthcare offers a plethora of great career choices, medical jobs are not for everyone. Make sure you do your due diligence and research ahead of time, to determine if working in healthcare is right for you, and if so, which medical career is best suited to your skills, interests, needs, and financial situation. Some medical jobs are highly stressful, with long hours and intense, high-pressure situations. If you’re not cut out for a clinical position, consider management or administration, or investigate working in another setting like a laboratory, public health agency, insurance company, or university.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fastest Growing Occupations. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/fastest-growing.htm.