Job opportunities booming in health care

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

(ARA) – Many Americans are evaluating career directions and considering other options in today’s competitive job market. One industry consistently reported as growing is health care. According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2010-11 Edition of the Career Guide to Industries, 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupations are health care-related. It further states that health care will generate 3.2 million new jobs between 2008 and 2016.

Even if patient care does not appeal to you, you should not disregard looking into health care opportunities. Not all health care workers are directly involved in patient care. According to, a website dedicated to explaining the many health care career options available, “allied health care” is an umbrella term that covers more than 200 careers, employing people with skills in many different areas. Employment options in this growing industry range from doctors and nurses to office managers and insurance coders, to phlebotomists and nutritionists.

What’s more, most health care employment opportunities require less than four years of college. Ronette Messer, allied health instructor at Brown Mackie College — Merrillville, Indiana, helps students of all ages prepare to seek employment in health care. “Allied health careers are wide open today,” says Messer. “It’s not just medical assistants in demand. Everyone from front office receptionists to office managers and even health care translators fall under the allied health umbrella.”

Business and administration skills go a long way in the world of health care. For instance, an office manager in a physician’s practice runs the facility and oversees the scheduling, ordering of supplies, and hiring and firing employees. “This is a behind-the-scenes position for a well-rounded person who is not expected to see patients, except to problem-solve,” Messer says.

Many other options in health care don’t include patient care, such as medical transcriptionists, education professionals, translators and office workers, whose expertise lies in insurance billing and coding. Every type of medical care service requires administrative duties. This includes hospitals, home health care companies, physician and dentist offices and nursing homes, to name a few. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there are about 595,800 establishments that make up the health care industry.

For those interested in patient care, a Medical Assisting program can open the door to a fulfilling career. Medical assistants triage patients, taking patient histories and recording vital signs. They also draw blood, give injections and guide patients through testing procedures. “Medical assistants work under the direction and supervision of a doctor,” says Messer. “More and more physicians are hiring assistants to free up their time for more specific types of patient care.”

Another growing facet of the health care industry is emergency care. There is a 24-hour-a-day need for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and paramedics. “These are adrenaline-rush occupations. Patient assessment begins in the home, where medical professionals collect information and relay it to a doctor. They then carry out the physician’s orders,” Messer says. Formal training and licensure or certification is required for both positions; however, it takes longer to become a paramedic. This training is more highly specialized and as a result, paramedics are authorized to administer a wider range of treatments.

Every career track in the health care industry requires the ability to work with others. “Teamwork is critically important for health care professionals to work as a cohesive unit,” says Messer. Employees must have good communication skills, be open to constructive criticism and keep an open mind to learn different techniques. “Not everybody likes change, and health care is a rapidly changing field,” says Messer. “An open mind is important to success in the industry.”

Courtesy of ARAcontent