15.6 Million Jobs in Healthcare — Go Grab ‘Em!

It’s raining jobs, literally, in the world of healthcare.


Well, maybe not literally, but you get the drift. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the healthcare and related industries are expected to add over 15.6 million jobs through 2022.


We all know the reasons, but let’s do a quick rundown anyway:


  • An increasingly older population that will need medical attention in the coming years
  • A recovering economy that is allowing professionals to finally retire from the workforce, thus creating new vacancies
  • Technological advances in the medical field requiring trained professionals to front the information technology functions in healthcare
  • Landmark legislations bringing more people under the purview of health insurance translating in to more people seeking medical care
  • And finally, a bigger push from the government towards healthcare innovation to reduce costs and create more jobs in the sector

Yes, millions of healthcare jobs are up for grabs offering people the opportunity to work for an industry that continues to be the one of the strongest pillars of our economy and community. But are cold numbers and hard facts enough to drive people towards this industry? Maybe, maybe not!


What should definitely do the job is looking at some compelling reasons for joining healthcare that have a direct impact on you.


Years of schooling not for you? No, problem


Going through years of pre-med and medical school to become a doctor is not everyone’s cup of tea. Same goes for graduate studies required for some other healthcare professions like pharmacists, occupational therapists, speech and language pathologists, etc.  But that doesn’t mean a healthcare career is off the table.


There is a whole range of ancillary healthcare jobs that require very little schooling. Training for these careers can last anywhere from three months to two years. Many of these healthcare training programs can also be pursued online. A case in point is medical transcription, which is expected to grow 8 percent in the 2012-22 decade. You can train to be a medical transcriptionist in as little as four months at schools like Career Step.


Taking a job that exposes you to blood, gore, injury, and illness? No, thank you!


Many of us seek meaningful work, which makes healthcare a natural career choice. But not everyone can handle the sight of blood, bodily fluids, and the insides of a human body. Add to that the risk of contracting deadly infections (remember Ebola?), and a lot of us will have no problems saying, “Thank you, but no thank you,” to a healthcare job ending the dream before it even begins.


Well, it doesn’t have to be so. There are plenty of healthcare jobs that do not involve direct patient care. In fact, there are jobs that may never even bring you in contact with patients (such as medical billing and coding). There is a 20 to 30 percent shortage of medical coders at any given time and the deficit is expected to increase to 50 percent when the industry adopts the new ICD-10 coding system this October. With the employment rate projected to increase 22 percent through 2022, the timing could not be better to start a career in medical coding and billing.


Need flexibility, incentives, perks and benefits? You’ve got it


Since there is a shortage of skilled professionals to meet the rising demand of healthcare workers, hospitals are offering attractive incentives to fill these positions. Retention bonuses, loyalty payments, reward programs, paid time off, etc. are the kind of incentives being offered to recruit and retain medical coders. Many medical billing and coding professionals are also given the flexibility to work part-time or from home so far as they fulfill certain requirements.


Sharing her experience on the Career Step website, medical coding professional Kate says the hospital she is employed with allowed her to work at the office one day a week and the rest of the time remotely after a 90-day probationary period.


Once trained, always employable


Most healthcare professions are extremely portable in nature. Just think about it, once you become a doctor or nurse, you can pretty much take your skills anywhere with you. The same is true for healthcare professionals like medical assistants and pharmacy technicians, for example. The licensure and/or certification requirements may vary from state to state, but the skills you gain through healthcare training in these fields make you employable everywhere.


With 162,900 medical assistant and 70,700 pharmacy tech jobs projected to be added through 2022, these portable careers could be the best bet for people on the move (like military spouses).


Put the numbers aside for a second. Forget about the facts for a while. Just think about the above reasons and see if they are enough for you to join the healthcare industry. The jobs are there and they will continue to be there for some time, but do you have reason to go after them?


I think we all know the answer now!


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