The Healthcare Industry Continues to Grow


July 15th, 2009

Healthcare is one of the largest industries in the U.S., accounting for 10 of the 20 fastest growing occupational fields, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In 2008, healthcare provided 14.3 million jobs for workers and is expected to generate over 3 million new jobs by 2018.  The healthcare industry is made up of several different organizations such as offices of dentists, physicians, and health practitioners, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing care facilities, and home healthcare services, amongst others.  Aside from being diverse, the healthcare field occupations cater to a variety of different people with various background training and skills.  Additionally, professional and service occupations make up 76% of jobs in the industry, while office and administrative support make up 18% of the industry.

Employment projections estimate that healthcare occupations, as a whole, will see a 23% increase of jobs by 2018.  The largest growths in the healthcare field are expected in occupations associated with home healthcare services, which are expected to increase by 46% by 2018.  Medical and diagnostic laboratories are expected to see a 40% increase in job opportunities, while outpatient care centers are estimated to bring a 39% increase of jobs.  Additionally, occupations in physician offices are expected to increase 34%, occupations in dentist offices by 29%, and nursing and residential care facilities by 21% by 2018.  Rapid growth is also expected in health practitioner offices, pharmacy technicians and personal and home care providers.

The healthcare field covers so many occupations that there are related jobs for many different types of candidates.  While many physicians, surgeons, therapists, and specialists have gone through various degrees and training, there are jobs for most degree and training types.  Most workers in the field have jobs that require less than 4 years of a college education, such as health technicians, which are in one of the fastest growing occupations.  In most cases, health technicians have completed a 1-2 year training program.  Several other fast growing occupations in the field that don’t require specialized training include medical and dental secretaries and assistants, and medical record and health information technicians.

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