5 Fast-Growing Healthcare Careers You Can Achieve with an Associate Degree

The demand for healthcare professionals is increasing at rapid rates, with a projected 2.3 million job openings by the year 2024. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “The healthcare and social assistance major sector is expected to become the largest employing major sector during the projections decade, overtaking the state and local government major sector and the professional and business services major sector.”

With an aging baby boomer population and a health insurance reform in effect, the number of individuals seeking professional medical care is bound to climb. As this number grows, so will the demand for qualified healthcare professionals who are ready to take on the job.

If you are currently looking to pursue a healthcare degree in CT, you have undoubtedly chosen the perfect time to do so. The following five healthcare careers are all expected to multiply over the next decade—and all are achievable with an associate degree from Goodwin.

  1. Home Health Aides

With a projected growth rate of 48 percent, home health aides were among the U.S. Department of Labor’s top three fastest growing careers in 2015. Home health aides are primarily responsible for helping those who are sick, disabled, or chronically ill. These aides provide assistance in patients’ homes or residential facilities, helping the infirm carry out day-to-day activities. Many home health aides work closely with the elderly or individuals with cognitive impairments. Some home health aides administer medications or check vital signs as part of their daily regime.

  1. Dental Hygienists

The need for dental hygienists also continues to grow, with 64,200 jobs predicted to open up by 2024. In 2016 alone, the dental hygiene field is expected to grow over 30 percent. Dental hygienists are often your closest means of contact during a bi-annual dentist appointment. They clean teeth, examine signs of oral diseases, and provide preventative dental care. If you are pursuing a dental hygiene degree, you will have the opportunity to work in a private office, school system, public health program, or even pursue a research position in the dental field.

  1. Registered Nurses

The demand for registered nurses (RNs) is ever-growing. RNs coordinate patient care in a variety of settings, and work directly with patients to provide medical, physical, and emotional support. Their day-to-day responsibilities range from administering tests to dispensing medications, advising patients one-on-one to assisting several members of the medical staff. A registered nurse can work in a specific field or environment, or with a specific health condition or part of the body. In order to become a registered nurse, you must first pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, as well as complete an associate nursing degree.

  1. Opticians

Today’s aging population is foreshadowing a brighter job outlook for those pursuing an ophthalmic science program. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for opticians is likely to increase 24 percent in the coming years. This is largely a result of an increasing number of elderly people and a greater need for eye care. Opticians are responsible for fitting clients with the appropriate eyeglass frames or contact lenses. Becoming an optician means more than simply fitting eyeglasses to a face, however, it is also fitting eye wear to a person’s lifestyle. The job entails reading prescriptions, evaluating the appropriate solution, and advising customers on the best possible choice.

  1. Medical Assistants

The medical assistant career field is projected to grow over 35 percent, freeing nearly 162,000 job possibilities by 2024. Medical assistants are the support system in every medical practice, healthcare clinic, and hospital, fulfilling a variety of activities that streamline the daily routine of physicians, nurse practitioners, and patients alike. In a medical assistant role, you will be cross-trained for both clinical and administrative tasks: organizing medical records, managing appointments, and performing lab tests are just some of the many duties. In order to become a medical assistant today, you must complete a two-year medical assisting degree, proper certification, as well as on-the-job training.

With the highest projected job growth across the next decade, health care is a field that will continue to grow for years to come. People will always need health care; people will always need you.

Want to learn how you can advance your career in health care? Call Goodwin College at 800-889-3282.