There are more than 18 million people working in the healthcare field today. That number is expected to reach almost 20 million by the year 2028. It’s no wonder why. Healthcare is a thriving field that is (and always will be) needed across the United States.
When you are sick, you need a doctor or nurse. When you are recovering from injury, you need an occupational or physical therapist. When you need your teeth cleaned, you go to a dental office. These needs are not going away. In fact, they are expected to grow.
With increasing job stability, high salary potential, and low unemployment rates, healthcare is becoming one of the best industries to work in today (filling 46 of U.S. News’ 100 Best Jobs of 2020). Still, you may be wondering, “Why should I pursue a career in healthcare now?” or “Why work in healthcare at all?”
We’re here to break it down. Below are the top reasons to work in healthcare in 2020 and beyond:
- A Booming Career.
The healthcare industry has become the largest source of jobs in the United States. And according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is still growing. From 2018 to 2028, employment of healthcare workers is projected to grow 14 percent, with about 1.9 million new jobs getting added to the mix. This is more jobs than any other industry today, and is mainly due to an increasing demand for healthcare services.
You see, the baby boomer population is reaching retirement age. They are demanding more medical attention than before, and increasing the need for all types of healthcare workers, from nurses to occupational therapists. In addition, with new research, technology, and treatment developments constantly coming forth, trained healthcare staff will be needed to assist.
- A Diversity of Choice.
The beauty of a healthcare career is the variety within it. Today, you can become a nurse, a dental hygienist, or even an occupational therapy assistant in under two years’ time. You can also choose to pursue advanced work as a healthcare administrator, a nurse researcher, or a practitioner. No matter your level of education, or your passion areas, there are job prospects for you.
Check out this list of growing healthcare careers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Or, take a look at some of the healthcare career options available through Goodwin University:
- Dental Hygienist
- Respiratory Therapist
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Registered Nurse
- Medical Assistant
- Nurse Manager
- Health Educator
- Medical Biller & Coder
- Healthcare Administrator
- Public Health Nurse
The options are endless within the healthcare field—and so are the places you can work. Healthcare workers are needed in all types of settings, such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, nursing homes, private practices, rehabilitation centers, medical labs, even in patient homes or out in in-need communities. No matter your interests and goals, there is a place in healthcare for you.
- Great Room for Growth.
Not only is the healthcare field growing, it also offers its workers significant room for growth. Because every type of healthcare worker is in-demand today, there is always room for you to step up the ladder and fill new shoes – whether that is pursuing a new specialization, or advancing your job title in your current department. For example, you can begin work as an entry-level RN nurse, and advance into a nursing specialization in less than one year. Or, you can pursue your BSN degree and earn a leadership position in less than two years’ time. In other industries, qualifying for a promotion is typically a longer-haul – and the training support is not always available like it is in healthcare.
- High Earning Potential.
With the potential for growth, comes great salary potential. Healthcare is one of the highest-paying industries today, and actually dominates U.S. News’ list of the best paying jobs in 2019. In 2018, the median annual salary for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations, such as registered nurses and physicians, was $66,440 per year. In comparison, the median wage for all occupations in 2018 was $38,640 annually (42% lower than healthcare).
Healthcare workers are in demand, and they are demanded everywhere. You can rest assured that no matter where life (or your travels) take you, there will be job opportunities there. Not to mention, many healthcare careers support a traveling lifestyle. For example, travel nurses are needed for temporary work in areas and facilities where is a shortage of nurses, to help fill the gaps and deliver patient care. Some healthcare careers also support remote work, such as nurse advocates, medical coders, and medical transcriptionists.
Flexibility also comes with many healthcare work schedules. Hospitals are open 24/7, so workers are needed at all hours of the day and night. This allows more flexibility throughout the week. For example, many nurses work longer-than-average shifts – which may include overnights – and have the benefit of three-day work weeks (i.e. four days off).
Flexibility also applies to healthcare education. If you are considering working in healthcare, but do not wish to spend years in medical school, you don’t have to. There are many flexible healthcare education programs designed for those who have other obligations, or who are making a career change. Goodwin’s healthcare school in Connecticut, for example, offers a combination of day, night, and weekend classes, online and on-campus formats, and part-time and full-time programs for those balancing other priorities, too.
- A Stimulating Work Environment.
In a healthcare position, no day is the same. Every patient you encounter will be difference. Every case will be unique. And as a result, everyday will present new challenges – which is why so many love what they do. This is not your typical 9 to 5 office job, but rather, a career where you will constantly be learning and growing as a professional.
If you choose a clinical career in healthcare, you will be in touch with people on a daily basis – meeting new patients, working with team members, and talking with families whose loved ones are in your care. And no matter which career in healthcare you choose, you will be at the forefront of change (which is perhaps the most exciting part). Healthcare workers are constantly at the leading edge of new technology, new treatment developments, and new discoveries or innovations.
- A Rewarding Career.
Perhaps the most obvious reason why people work in healthcare is for the reward that comes with the job. Healthcare is not just a career – it’s a calling. Those who work in healthcare often feel called to help others in need. That is the basis of their career. They help people who are sick, injured, and disabled. They help improve people’s quality of life. They make a real difference in patients’ lives, and in the lives of their families. They can leave work with the satisfaction that they spent their time helping people in need – and what is more rewarding than that?
If you’ve ever worked a job and felt a lack of reward – if you’ve come home feeling stressed, unmotivated, or unappreciated at the day’s end – you may be considering a career change. You may desire to pursue something more exciting, something more impactful, something that promises both personal and professional reward. If you are asking, “Why work in healthcare?”, the answer is actually quite simple. It is one of the most gratifying career paths out there today.
Explore the healthcare degree programs at Goodwin University today online, or call us at 800-889-3282 to learn why we’re a leader in healthcare education in Connecticut.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.