Today our focus on preventing disease, illness and injury is just as apparent as our fight to diagnose and treat them. And as the youngest baby boomers celebrate their 50th birthdays this year, the need to employ qualified health care personnel to both prevent and treat medical conditions intensifies. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports we not only need to retain those workers already in the field, but also add a substantial number of new ones, with the most occupational growth expected among health care support jobs. That’s why for this year’s list of Best Health Care Jobs, we include usual suspects like nurses and physicians, but also a few unexpected picks like diagnostic medical sonographers and veterinary technicians. Read more on how we rank the best jobs.
(8.2 out of 10)
As Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Teeth are always in style.” Dentists surely think so. They make their living diagnosing and treating our teeth and gums, and counseling us on how to maintain good oral health. This profession is expected to add 23,300 new jobs up to the year 2022.
(8.1 out of 10)
It’s a nurse practitioner’s array of capabilities, coupled with the fact they can work independently of physicians when treating patients, that makes our No. 2 Health Care Job an attractive career choice. The BLS predicts 37,100 new positions for these professionals between 2012 and 2022.
(8.1 out of 10)
Pharmacists mix technical, organizational and people skills in a customer service environment. Each day, more than 281,560 pharmacists dispense medicine and advice to patients at hospitals and retail chains. The profession is expected to grow 14.5 percent by 2022.
(7.8 out of 10)
Physicians are at the top of the health care food chain – it’s their responsibility to diagnose and treat patients, and instruct on proper diet, hygiene and disease prevention. Like other jobs in this industry, physicians will see abundant job growth. The BLS forecasts 123,300 new job openings for physicians from 2012 to 2022.
In addition to cleaning teeth, dental hygienists educate patients on proper oral hygiene. Something else of note: They make yearly salaries of about $70,700, although most work part time. Expect 33.3 percent employment growth for this field from 2012 to 2022.
(7.6 out of 10)
Working under the supervision of doctors, physician assistants interpret X-rays and blood tests, record patients’ progress, conduct routine exams and treat a range of ailments. When you couple growth projections for 33,300 new jobs with a razor-thin 1.2 percent unemployment rate – one of the lowest on our Best Jobs list overall – the job outlook for physician assistants is quite strong.
(7.5 out of 10)
Not all therapy involves evaluating clients reclining on Barcaloungers. Occupational therapists, for instance, help patients with physical, mental and developmental disabilities to assimilate in society. Its one of the occupations that’s especially on the rise, with 29 percent employment growth expected between 2012 and 2022.
(7.3 out of 10)
Anyone who chooses this field has to be comfortable with blood, needles, databases, test tubes and blood vials. Top-notch people skills don’t hurt, either. The BLS forecasts growth of 27,100 new positions for this occupation between 2012 and 2022.