Nearly 17 million Americans work in healthcare, and the aging of the Baby Boomers will increase demand for healthcare services and drive up the number of healthcare jobs in the coming years.
Most jobs in healthcare involve clinical care (working with directly with patients), but nonclinical options, such as medical records and medical transcription jobs, are also available.
Healthcare employment exists for people with nearly every level of education -- from orderly jobs that require only a high school diploma to physician jobs that require a four-year medical degree, internship and residency. Many healthcare jobs also have certification, state licensure and continuing-education requirements.
Healthcare Job Market
Although political changes could alter the employment landscape, the outlook for healthcare jobs is solid. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports from 2010 to 2020:
Physical therapist jobs will grow 39 percent.
Medical assistant jobs will grow 31 percent.
Registered nurse jobs will grow 26 percent.
Pharmacist jobs will grow 25 percent.
Licensed practical nurse jobs will grow 22 percent.
In general, the more education you have, the more you?ll make in a healthcare career. Here are 2011 median salaries for some common healthcare jobs, according to the BLS: