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Best Careers in Healthcare for Job Security

This article explores the healthcare professions currently enjoying very high rates of job growth. These occupations offer job security because of the level of need for people qualified to fill these roles.

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Career Options for the Best Careers in Healthcare for Job Security

The most secure jobs in healthcare are careers that have very high job growth rates because this means that there is a high rate of demand for these professionals and employers are actively seeking professionals with their qualifications. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) job growth projections identify the healthcare careers currently experiencing the highest job growth rates. These rates considerably higher than the BLS forecasted job growth average for all occupations, which is 7%.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Outlook (2016-2026)*
Respiratory Therapists $58,670 23%
Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides $56,070 28%
Physical Therapists $85,400 25%
Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides $45,290 30%
Nurse Practitioners $100,910 36%
Physician Assistants $101,480 37%
Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides $22,170 40%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for the Best Careers in Healthcare for Job Security

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists are seeing a 23% rate of job growth in their field, which is much higher than the average rate of job growth for all occupations provided by the BLS and indicates job security due to a high level of demand. Respiratory therapists work with patients who have breathing issues to determine their condition and provide treatment. They perform medical tests and procedures. An associate's degree in respiratory therapy is required and most states also expect respiratory therapists to be licensed.

Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides

Occupational therapy assistants and aides are enjoying a 28% rate of job growth. Occupational therapy aides must have a high school diploma or GED and perform basic tasks such as helping patients fill out insurance paperwork or cleaning. Occupational therapy assistants work with patients during their treatment and show them exercises that can help them improve or regain abilities and are required to have an associate's degree in their field and may also need a license. The patients that occupational therapy assistants and aides work with may have disabilities that affect their motor skills or may have lost functions due to medical issues such as injury or illness.

Physical Therapists

Physical therapists are required to have a doctoral degree and a license. These professionals are seeing a 25% rate of job growth, which indicates job security due to high demand. They treat patients who have mobility issues due to injuries or illnesses and they also help reduce their patients' pain. They are qualified to diagnose patients and oversee their treatment.

Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides

Physical therapy assistants and aides work under the direction of physical therapists to perform a range of duties, including assisting patients, scheduling appointments and leading exercises with patients. The BLS expects these healthcare professionals to enjoy a job growth rate of 30% from 2016 to 2026. Physical therapy aides are expected to have a high school diploma or GED, while physical therapy assistants are required to have an associate's degree because of their role in implementing treatment plans with patients.

Nurse Practitioners

Nurse practitioners can provide primary health services to patients by assessing their condition, providing a diagnosis and determining their treatment. They are required to have a master's degree in their field and a license. Their exact roles may vary state to state and they may work under the supervision or a doctor or they may only need to consult doctors occasionally. They are expected to see a 36% job growth rate from 2016 to 2026.

Physician Assistants

Physician assistants are enjoying a 37% rate of job growth currently, which is the second-highest job growth rate in the healthcare field at this time. These medical professionals are required to have a master's degree in their field and a license. They see patients, update their medical files, perform examinations and also diagnose and treat patients. Their duties may vary slightly based on where they work and state regulations.

Home Health Aides and Personal Care Aides

Home health aides and personal care aides visit patients in their homes so that they can continue to live at home for as long as possible. They may perform a range of tasks, such as taking clients to appointments, cooking, helping patients bathe or providing companionship. They are required to have a high school diploma or GED and may need some on-the-job training; some roles may also be required to complete a training program. With a job growth rate of 40% expected from 2016 to 2026, these healthcare professionals are currently enjoying a very high rate of job stability due to the high level of demand.

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