While each profession is unique, each of Georgia's top three fastest-growing careers are in the health industry. In this article you can learn about the various challenges of each of the three occupations, and gain information regarding their respective job outlooks and salary information.
Georgia's fastest-growing occupations include a diverse group of jobs requiring a variety of skill sets and educational requirements. At least a bachelor's degree is typically needed to begin in many of these careers, while a master's degree could be a requirement for advancement in these fields. The top three fastest-growing occupations in Georgia are biomedical engineers, marriage and family therapists, and home health aides.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree (for biomedical engineers); master's degree in social work, psychology or counseling (for marriage and family therapists)|
|Other Requirements||Licensure and certification for therapists and home health aides varies by state and employer|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||23% for biomedical engineers; 15% for marriage and family therapists; 38% for home health aides|
|Median Salary (2015)*||$86,220 (for biomedical engineers); $48,600 for marriage and family therapists; $21,920 (for home health aides)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
Those living in the state of Georgia who are seeking careers in growing and in-demand fields could look to areas of counseling, healthcare and engineering for these types of positions. The three top careers listed below all have high job growth predictions over the next several years, according to the BLS.
Biomedical engineers design and implement technologies in the medical field that are aimed at improving healthcare quality in all areas of medicine. Employed by research universities, hospitals, biomedical manufacturers, and government entities, these professionals design new medical tools, ranging from devices to software. Many choose to specialize in one of the field's subdisciplines, which include genetic engineering, bioinstrumentation, biomechanics, and medical imaging, among others.
This career field typically requires a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering. Alternatively, an individual holding a bachelor's degree in another engineering discipline can obtain a master's degree in biomedical engineering as an entry path to the career. According to the BLS, biomedical engineers nationwide averaged $91,230 per year. In Georgia, however, the average yearly salary was lower, at $76,630. New job opportunities in this field is expected to increase 23% between 2014 and 2024, the BLS reports.
Marriage and Family Therapists
Marriage and family therapists counsel families, couples, children and adults, individually or as a group, on issues such as divorce, substance abuse, raising children, household differences and financial matters. They may also help families who are coping with mental, emotional or behavioral disorders and provide guidance on improving communication and conflict-resolution skills. They frequently work in private practice or in community-based healthcare facilities. Sometimes marriage and family therapists will refer patients to other specialists if necessary.
Marriage and family therapists often hold a master's degree and sometimes a doctoral degree. A state license or certification may be required to practice. In May 2015, the BLS reported that marriage and family therapists nationwide earned an annual mean income of $53,520 and could expect a job growth rate of 15% from 2014 to 2024. Marriage and family therapists employed in The Peach State earned an annual mean salary of $47,790 in 2015.
Home Health Aides
Home health aides provide services to people requiring residence-based health care assistance. Home health aides work for hospices, home health services, government-funded agencies or directly for the patient. Home health aides typically work under the guidance of a licensed nurse or other health care professional, unless they're hired directly by the patient or the patient's family. Specific duties vary but typically include basic personal care such as help bathing, cooking, dressing and grooming. They also help with household tasks to ensure the patient is living in sanitary conditions. Home health aides keep records of patients' condition by checking vital signs and ensuring that medications are taken properly. They may dress wounds, take patients to medical appointments, help them exercise and assist with medical equipment.
Home health aides may have a high school diploma and typically receive on-the-job training. They may also pursue voluntary state licensing or certification. Nationwide, home health aides earned an annual mean income of $22,870 in May 2015, reported the BLS. The industries that paid home health aides the most were psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals and state government agencies. The mean wage in Georgia was a bit lower than the national average at $20,960.
While Georgia's workforce is as diversified as the rest of the nation, these three occupations are certainly worth looking at for anyone seeking employment in the Georgia area. Take some time to research these positions and others you may be interested in, so that you can make an informed decision about your career goals.