The healthcare industry in the United States is expected to grow significantly in the next few years. This guide provides an overview of the industry and its future, as well as reasons to work in healthcare, common job titles and descriptions, salaries, and tips on how to get a job in this industry.
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The U.S. healthcare industry is a major employer, with more than 22 million workers in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That number is expected to grow to 24 million by 2026. The healthcare industry includes a wide variety of jobs, from doctors and nurses to home health aides and medical billing specialists.
The largest subsector of the healthcare industry is ambulatory care services, which includes outpatient care centers, home health care services, and physicians' offices. This subsector employs almost 8 million people, or about 36% of the healthcare workforce. The second-largest subsector is hospitals; they employ 5.5 million people, or about 25% of the workforce. Nursing and residential care facilities make up the third-largest subsector with 2.7 million employees, or 12% of the total healthcare workforce.
The BLS projects that employment in the healthcare industry will grow much faster than the average for all industries over the next years – by about 8% till 2026. This growth is being driven by several factors: an aging population that will need more medical care; an increase in chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes; and expansions in insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
There are many different types of jobs in the healthcare industry; some require a professional degree such as a doctor or nurse, while others only need on-the-job training such as a home health aide or medical assistant. Here's a closer look at some popular job titles in this rapidly growing field:
Doctors and surgeons are among the highest paid workers in America, with a median annual salary of $260,000 in 2021, according to BLS data.
Doctors must complete four years of undergraduate school followed by four years of medical school and then spend three to eight years completing residency training before they can practice independently.
There are many different specialties within medicine including family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN etc., each with its own set of required training and certification exams. Surgeons also need specialized training beyond medical school; most complete a five-year residency program before going into practice independently.
The healthcare industry is one of the most rewarding industries to work in. Here are 7 reasons why:
1. The healthcare industry is growing rapidly.
With an aging population and advances in medical technology, the healthcare industry is expected to continue growing rapidly in the coming years. This means that there will be plenty of job opportunities for those looking to enter the field or move up within it.
2. Healthcare workers make a difference in people's lives.
Healthcare workers have the opportunity to directly improve people's lives. Whether they're providing direct patient care or working behind the scenes in a support role, every member of the healthcare team plays an important part in helping patients receive the treatment they need.
3. Healthcare offers a variety of career paths.
The healthcare industry offers a wide variety of career paths, from hands-on roles such as nursing and medicine to more administrative roles such as health information management and insurance billing/coding. No matter what your interests or skillset, there's likely a role in healthcare that's a good fit for you.
4. Healthcare jobs are stable and secure.
In addition to being recession-proof, jobs in healthcare are generally very stable and secure. With an aging population and advances in medical technology leading to longer life expectancies, the demand for qualified healthcare workers is only going to increase in the years ahead. As long as you're willing to put in the hard work required, you can count on having a job in healthcare for as long as you want one.
5. Many positions offer flexible hours.
Many positions within the healthcare industry offer flexible hours, which can be especially beneficial if you have family or other personal commitments outside of work . Not everyone can work traditional 9-to-5 hours, but fortunately there are many roles within healthcare that accommodate different schedules .
6. There is potential for professional growth.
Unlike some other industries where employees may feel “stuck” doing the same job year after year with little chance for advancement, there is significant potential for professional growth within healthcare . With so many different types of roles and specialties, it's easy to find a path that leads to new challenges and opportunities for advancement.
7. Compensation and benefits are often competitive.
Another big perk of working in healthcare? Compensation and benefits packages are often very competitive, especially when compared with other industries. This is especially true for positions that require highly specialized skills or experience . Considering all these factors, it's no wonder so many people choose careers in healthcare.
The median annual wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations was $75,040 in May 2021, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations in the economy of $45,760.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
The job of a nurse is to provide care for patients. They work in hospitals, clinics, and doctor's offices. They may also work in home health care or public health settings. Nurses must have good communication skills and be able to work well with other members of the healthcare team.
Physicians are medical doctors who diagnose and treat diseases and injuries. They see patients in their office, hospital, or clinic. Physicians may also do research or teach at a medical school. To become a physician, one must complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and three to seven years of residency training.
Surgeons are physicians who operate on patients to treat diseases and injuries. Surgeons must have very good manual dexterity and excellent problem-solving skills. They typically complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and five to seven years of residency training before becoming surgeons.
Anesthesiologists are physicians who administer anesthesia during surgery. Anesthesiologists must be able to assess a patient's risk for complications from anesthesia and be able to manage any problems that may arise during surgery. They typically complete four years of college, four years of medical school, and four years of residency training before becoming an anesthesiologist.
Psychiatrists are physicians who specialize in mental health disorders. Psychiatrists can prescribe medication and provide therapy for their patients. To become a psychiatrist, one must complete four years of college followed by four years of medical school and then three to eight additional years of specialty training in psychiatry.
Pharmacists dispense medications prescribed by physicians and other healthcare providers (for example nurse practitioners). They also advise patients about the proper use of medications (for example how often the medication should be taken). Pharmacists work in pharmacies including those found in grocery stores, drugstores, and hospitals.
Radiologists are physicians who use imaging technologies such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans to diagnose disease. Radiologists often work with other members of the healthcare team such as surgeons to determine the best course of treatment for their patients. To become a radiologist, one must first complete four years off under undergraduate study followed byfour years of medical school. After completing medical school, radiology residency program lasting between four and five years is required.
The average salary for healthcare jobs in the United States is $75,040 (May, 2021). This figure includes all types of medical and health-related occupations, from physicians and surgeons to home health aides.
The highest-paying jobs in healthcare tend to be those that require the most education and experience, such as doctors and surgeons. The lowest-paying jobs are typically those that require less training, such as dental assistants and medical transcriptionists.
Healthcare salaries vary widely by state. For example, physicians in California earn an average of $214,644 per year, while those in Texas make an average of $194,970 annually. And while some states have a relatively high cost of living (such as California), others have a lower cost of living but higher taxes (such as New York).
In terms of specific occupations within healthcare, the highest-paid workers are orthodontists ($292,851 per year), followed by surgeons ($299,383), internists ($231,300), psychiatrists ($272,157), and obstetricians/gynecologists ($208,410). The lowest-paid workers include dental assistants ($35,980), pharmacy technicians ($36,740), medical records and health information technicians ($39,180), massage therapists ($47,180), and physical therapist assistants ($59,440).
While many people enter into the healthcare field because they want to help others or make a difference in the world, it's important to remember that salaries play a big role in determining quality of life. In order to ensure you can live comfortably while working in healthcare, it's important to research salaries for various positions ahead of time.
The healthcare industry in the United States is expected to grow significantly in the next decade. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), healthcare spending is projected to reach $5.5 trillion by 2025, an increase of nearly 20% from 2015 levels. The aging baby-boomer population and rising costs of care are the two primary drivers of this growth.
The number of Americans aged 65 and older is projected to grow from 46 million in 2016 to 98 million by 2060, representing nearly 24% of the total population. This demographic shift will result in an increased demand for medical services as older adults tend to use more health care than younger people. In addition, as people live longer, they will be more likely to experience chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes – all of which are costly to treat.
At the same time that demand for healthcare services is increasing, costs are also rising. Inflation in health care costs has outpaced overall inflation for decades, meaning that Americans have had to spend more and more on health care even as their wages have stagnated. Average annual expenditures per person will rise from $10,348 in 2015 to $13,382 by 2025 – an increase of nearly 30%.
The combination of these trends – a growing population of elderly Americans coupled with rising healthcare costs – means that the healthcare industry will continue to grow rapidly in the coming years. This growth presents both opportunities and challenges for stakeholders across the industry.
If you're looking for a job in the healthcare industry in the United States, here are five tips to help you get started:
1. Start by identifying your goals and qualifications.
What kind of healthcare job are you looking for? What qualifications do you have that make you a good fit for that particular role? Having a clear understanding of your goals and qualifications will help you focus your job search and make it more likely that you'll find a position that's right for you.
2. Network with people in the healthcare industry.
Talk to your friends, family, and acquaintances who work in healthcare or who have connections to the industry. They may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help you get your foot in the door at a particular company or organization.
3. Get experience.
If you don't have any experience working in healthcare, consider volunteering at a local hospital or clinic, or completing an internship with a healthcare provider. Even if these roles are not directly related to the job you're seeking, they will give you valuable experience working within the healthcare system and could make your resume more attractive to potential employers.
4. Do your research.
When applying for jobs, take the time to learn about each company or organization beforehand so that you can tailor your application and interview responses accordingly. Showing that you have a genuine interest in working for a specific employer will increase your chances of being hired.
5. Finally, don't give up!
The process of finding a job can be long and frustrating, but it's important to stay positive and keep trying until you finally land that perfect position.