20 of the Fastest Growing Health Care Jobs

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated May 24, 2021 | Published April 17, 2020

Updated May 24, 2021

Published April 17, 2020

Related: Job Cast: Jobs in Nursing and Health Care - Industry Insights + Tips

In this webinar celebrating National Nurses Week, subject matter expert Keith Carlson joins Indeed to discuss the health care industry today, with a focus on nursing.

When you look for a job in the healthcare industry, it's important to find a position you're not only interested in, but also one with steady growth. This is because a fast-growing job can provide you with both job security and stability. Knowing what jobs have promising outlooks can help you make a more strategic decision regarding your future employment. In this article, we explain the benefits of joining the healthcare industry, highlight 20 of the fastest-growing jobs in this field, share their national average salaries and primary duties, and give you tips to help you solidify your career path in the healthcare industry.

Related: Top 25 Best Healthcare Jobs

Why should you join the healthcare industry?

The healthcare industry has a wide variety of opportunities for you to consider. Not only does this field offer lucrative careers, but it gives you a chance to make a difference in your local community or the world. Here are some benefits of working in the healthcare industry:

  • Job security: The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the healthcare industry to grow 14% from 2018 to 2028. This means that as a professional in this field, you'll have an easier time finding a job.

  • Location options: Both the nation and world need healthcare professionals, meaning you have the option to work in many locations. For the most part, you can choose where to live and the setting you work in.

  • Education levels: The education requirements in this industry vary. This means you can get a job with an extensive amount of educational requirements, such as 13 years of specialized education, or find an opportunity that only requires two years of a community college education.

  • Career advancement: As a medical professional, you have many opportunities to grow in your career. For example, if you start as a certified nurse assistant, you can continue your education and become a registered nurse. You can also obtain certifications or get a specialty to help you stand out to hiring managers. Sometimes, employers may reimburse you for your educational expenses because they'd prefer to promote a trusted employee instead of find someone new for a higher-paying position.

  • Competitive salaries: Healthcare professionals tend to have high-paying salaries. Even with a competitive entry-level salary, the more experience, training and education you receive, the more lucrative your career can be.

  • Rewarding: The healthcare industry plays a vital role in the well-being of the human race. Professionals in this field help diagnose, treat and monitor a variety of patients. Regardless of their specialty or specific position, they make a difference in the lives of many people and in many cases, save patients' lives.

Related: 32 Career Paths in the Medical Field to Explore

Fastest growing healthcare jobs

The healthcare industry has several positions for you to consider depending on your interest and skills or expertise. The rise of healthcare roles not only helps stimulate the economy but also increases your chances of finding a job in this sector. Here are 20 of the fastest-growing healthcare jobs, their national average salaries and primary duties:

1. Home health aide

National average salary: $25,064 per year

Primary duties: Home health aides provide supportive care to patients in their homes. They prepare and serve meals to their patients, provide medical services such as vital sign checks or medicine administration, organize their schedule and arrange transportation to their doctor's office. Home health aides also perform a variety of personal care tasks for patients, including bathing, dressing and assisting with housekeeping duties such as laundry or dishwashing.

Related: Learn About Being a Home Health Aide

2. Phlebotomist

National average salary: $25,376 per year

Primary duties: Phlebotomists draw a patient's blood by puncturing a vein with a cannula and preparing it for testing, research, transfusions or donations. As they draw blood, they aim to ease patient nerves and may help patients should they feel faint or weak after the blood draw.

Related: Learn About Being a Phlebotomist

3. Occupational therapy aide

National average salary: $29,370 per year

Primary duties: Also known as "occupational therapy assistants," occupational therapy aides help their patients through various therapeutic activities such as light exercise or stretches. They prepare equipment for occupational therapists, transport patients from room to room, prepare and clean treatment areas and perform some clerical duties such as answering the phone or scheduling appointments. Occupational therapy aides also teach patients how to use certain equipment and track their progress.

4. Medical secretary

National average salary: $30,701 per year

Primary duties: Medical secretaries have many secretarial duties using their knowledge of medical terminology and healthcare procedures. Some of their clerical duties include appointment scheduling, patient billing and medical chart recording.

Related: Learn About Being a Medical Secretary

5. Medical assistant

National average salary: $31,990 per year

Primary duties: Medical assistants have a wide variety of clinical and administrative responsibilities. Depending on their employment location, they gather patient medical information and history, monitor their vital signs, record their findings, assist physicians with exams and schedule patient appointments. Medical assistants also file patient records and handle correspondence and schedule patient appointments.

Related: Learn About Being a Medical Assistant

6. Physical therapy aide

National average salary: $35,818 per year

Primary duties: Supervised by physical therapists, physical therapy aides assist patients recovering from injuries or illnesses. Their goal is to help them manage their pain and regain movement through exercise, massages and stretching. Physical therapy aides set up therapy equipment, observe patients, wash linens and document their progress. They also perform a variety of clerical tasks such as patient scheduling and answering phone calls.

7. Medical services manager

National average salary: $36,109 per year

Primary duties: Also known as health services managers, medical services managers arrange medical and health services. These healthcare professionals work alongside insurance agents, patients and various medical staff such as doctors or nurses. Their goal is to ensure the prompt and accurate delivery of medical care. Medical services managers do this by overseeing staff recruitment and training, maintaining budgets, coordinating care and services by a healthcare team and communicating with medical leaders.

8. Licensed practical nurse

National average salary: $50,835 per year

Primary duties: Licensed practical nurses provide care to a variety of patients who are ill, injured, disabled or elderly. Throughout their day, they monitor a patient's health and provide patients with basic care such as dressing changes and vital sign checkups. They also educate them on their medication, basic home care and preventative measures regarding their lifestyle.

Related: Learn About Being a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

9. Massage therapist

National average salary: $62,462 per year

Primary duties: Massage therapists treat clients by altering their body's soft-tissue muscles through physical touch. This helps them relieve patient pain in a designated area, improve circulation, ease stress and heal injuries. Massage therapists aim to aid their clients' overall wellness.

Related: Learn About Being a Massage Therapist

10. Respiratory therapist

National average salary: $67,371 per year

Primary duties: Respiratory therapists use their pulmonary medicine training to assist patients suffering from pulmonary disease through therapeutic techniques. Some of their responsibilities include examining patients, consulting with physicians, performing diagnostic tests and treating patients using various methods. Some of their added duties include maintaining their patients' natural or artificial airways and performing hemodynamic monitoring.

Related: Learn About Being a Respiratory Therapist

11. Registered nurse

National average salary: $68,536 per year

Primary duties: Registered nurses are medical professionals who perform a wide variety of patient care. They monitor and record patient symptoms, maintain patient health records and administer medication and treatment based on their healthcare needs. Registered nurses also monitor any changes in patient symptoms, including side effects or reactions to medication or ongoing treatment.

Related: Learn About Being a Registered Nurse (RN)

12. Audiologist

National average salary: $79,220 per year

Primary duties: Audiologists use their scientific knowledge to diagnose and treat patients with hearing, balance and other ear-related disorders. They examine patients, administer treatment and fit and distribute hearing aids. Audiologists work in a variety of healthcare settings, including audiology clinics, hospitals and physician offices.

Related: Learn About Being an Audiologist

13. Prosthetist

National average salary: $79,715 per year

Primary duties: Also known as "orthotists," prosthetists evaluate patients and measure them for orthopedic and prosthetic support devices. They design a variety of devices, including artificial limbs, braces and other medical devices. To design these devices, they take a mold of a patient's body part, select materials and fit, test and adjust them according to their patient's needs. If needed, they repair these devices to ensure their workability.

14. Dental hygienist

National average salary: $80,080 per year

Primary duties: Dental hygienists are dental professionals who assess the oral health of their patients. Some of their duties include removing plaque from teeth, polishing teeth, performing routine checkups, referring to their patient's oral health history and teaching them proper brushing and flossing techniques.

Related: Learn About Being a Dental Hygienist

15. Physical therapist

National average salary: $88,858 per year

Primary duties: Physical therapists diagnose and treat patients with limited mobility. They help patients of all ages regain movement to perform basic and functional life tasks. Physical therapists also consult with patients to learn about their conditions, develop a treatment plan and promote healing through massage or other techniques.

Related: Learn About Being a Physical Therapist

16. Radiation therapist

National average salary: $98,540 per year

Primary duties: Radiation therapists administer radiation to patients with a cancer diagnosis. They do this through various methods to help shrink cancerous tumors or eliminate cancer cells altogether. Radiation therapists use various machines to deliver high doses of radiation and locate tumors before providing treatment.

Related: Learn About Being a Radiation Therapist

17. Physician assistant

National average salary: $106,204 per year

Primary duties: Physician assistants are healthcare professionals who practice medicine alongside physicians. Some of their responsibilities include ordering and interpreting tests, advising patients on preventive care, recording a patient's medical history, conducting exams, treating and diagnosing illnesses and writing prescriptions based on their findings.

Related: Learn About Being a Physician Assistant

18. Nurse practitioner

National average salary: $114,680 per year

Primary duties: Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses who assess patient needs and provide them with primary care. They do this by performing exams, recording patient medical histories and symptoms, diagnosing conditions, developing treatment plans, ordering and administering tests and operating medical equipment.

Related: Learn About Being a Nurse Practitioner

19. Optometrist

National average salary: $123,909 per year

Primary duties: Optometrists provide care related to a patient's eyes or vision. These eye care professionals perform vision tests and determine patient eyesight conditions, including nearsightedness, farsightedness and various eye diseases. Based on their findings during patient exams, they prescribe eyeglasses, contact lenses and eye medications. They also educate patients on eye health and provide various treatments.

Related: Learn About Being an Optometrist

20. Nurse anesthetist

National average salary: $180,826 per year

Primary duties: Nurse anesthetists are advanced practice nurses who administer anesthesia for various medical procedures, including surgeries. They also monitor patients during these procedures and evaluate their post-anesthesia and post-surgical reactions during recovery.

Related: Learn About Being a Nurse Anesthetist

Tips for finding success in the healthcare industry

Throughout your career, it's important to heed advice that can help you advance in your field. Here are some tips for a prosperous career in the healthcare industry:

  • Find a mentor. Having a mentor can help you gain added knowledge and experience. Attend networking events to widen your professional connections in the healthcare industry.

  • Be confident. Throughout your career, it's important to believe in yourself and your abilities. This can help you provide the best patient care.

  • Improve your time-management skills. Because many healthcare jobs require a great deal of multitasking, it's important to manage your duties properly. This helps you use your time effectively.

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