Health Care Job Choices

If you are someone looking for a career change, or are just starting to embark on adult life and just don’t know what path you want to take, these are tough times to be in. But one career path that is growing consistently is the health care industry.

According to the latest employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, starting at the beginning of 2011, the trailing 12 months saw health care job creation at a steady 22,000 per month. The Bureau of Labor Statistics also projects a 24 percent growth in health care jobs, with four million new jobs by 2018. In fact, private health care jobs are at an all-time high in its share of the overall job market. Health care jobs are at 10.7 percent of the total employment in the U.S.

If this sort of record growth is enough for you to explore your options for a career in the health care field, here are some careers you can choose from:

Home Health Aides

Home health aides provide routine daily personal health-related tasks for the elderly or disabled. This can include things like bathing, dressing, or grooming at the home of the patient or in residential care facilities. This career only requires short-term job training. Their earnings are somewhere between $7 and $12 an hour.

Medical Assistants

While duties for medical assistants vary from office to office, they usually handle both administrative and clinical duties. That could include anything from updating patients’ medical records to In cases where a medical practice handles its own medical billing duties, the medical assistant may be involved in that as well.

The clinical duties for medical assistants usually take care of recording medical histories and taking vital signs of patients. They may also explain treatment procedures to patients as well. The earning power of medical assistants varies, like any job, based upon their experience. But the upper half of the scale averages roughly between $25,000 and $40,000 a year.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses, or “RNs” for short, assess a patient’s health problems and what they need during an ailment or medical procedure. They administer care to ill, injured, convalescent, or disabled patients. Among their many other duties are developing and implementing nursing care plans, and maintaining medical records. They may also advise patients on how to take care of the health needs during and after their stay in a hospital.

Licensing or registration required and there is room for significant growth within the nurse job ladder. Specialties include nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, certified nurse midwives, and certified registered nurse anesthetists.

The Registered Nurse has been a stable well-paying career for many years. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the middle 50 percent of nurses earned between $51,640 and $76,570.

Physicians and Surgeons

At the top of the career ladder are physicians and surgeons. We all know what surgeons and physicians do, and we also know that as long as people are around they will get sick. In 2008, primary care physicians had a median annual salary of $186,044. Physicians in medical specialties earned a median annual salary of $339,738.