Healthcare is a booming industry! I hate to say it but people will always need help in this area which creates demand. This means the supply must match and keep up with the demand. With an aging population, and people living longer than ever, now is a prime time to enter the health care industry. Whether you’re new to the workforce or looking for a career change, studying a field within the area of health or social services is set to put you in good stead for future jobs.
In fact, according to a report released earlier in the year by Indeed.com, the job bulletin board, many of the most in-demand jobs for 2015 are actually found in the health care industry. In addition, in the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics’ ten-year projections for industry growth (covering 2012 to 2022), the health care and social assistance industry was pegged to grow significantly. According to the report, it is likely that a whopping one in three of the new jobs in the United States over the next ten years will stem from these fields.
Add to that the Affordable Care Act and it’s plain to see that there are many future opportunities in jobs that concentrate on people’s health and well-being.
Whether you’re considering becoming a physical therapist, physician assistant, or completing further studies in social work, you’re likely to have plenty of career options in the years ahead. Read on for the lowdown on just a few of the top health care and social services jobs that are set to grow well over the coming years.
Physical therapists will find that their jobs are very secure in the future. These practitioners can work in a number of different areas and specializations, as well as with a variety of age groups. Geriatric physical therapist jobs are really going to see a lot of growth though, given the aging population. As people get older, their bones and muscles start to deteriorate, along with the onset of arthritis, balance issues, bone density loss, and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
All of these health problems will see physical therapists who work with the elderly in high demand, since their prescribed exercises and treatments (such as stretching) help patients to improve flexibility, stamina and health in general.
There will also continue to be a demand for pediatric physical therapists who can work with babies, children, and adolescents. In particular, these specialists help young ones with disorders that affect bones, muscles, and joints and, as a result, a child’s balance, agility, and strength levels. Pediatric therapists work with children to develop their motor skills and to help them lead a more active life.
Another specialization that will continue to grow is neurological physical therapy — that is, the treatment that helps sufferers of brain or spinal cord injuries to develop or regain motor and other skills. Neurological physical therapists also work with patients who are faced with diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Lou Gehrig’s, and multiple sclerosis.
In the future there will continue to be a large demand for social workers, in particular those who specialize in geriatric social work — that is, those working with the ever expanding elderly population, especially the baby boomer generation as they age over the coming decades.
With rising government health care costs due to the number of elderly people in the country, more and more private social service agencies will begin to operate. Employment in organizations such as nursing homes, long-term care facilities, hospices, and home care agencies is set to fuel job growth for social workers.
There is also likely to be growing demand for mental health and substance abuse social workers, especially those who work with people in, or released from, correctional systems for substance abuse treatment. In addition, since social workers tend to be less costly to visit than psychologists or psychiatrists, there will be more demand for their services in private practice.
Another job type strongly affected by the aging population, as well as health care reforms, is that of physician assistants (PAs). These professionals work under the supervision of medical practitioners, providing preventative health care services, and clinical diagnostic aid, to reduce the demand on doctors and other personnel. Physician assistants work as part of a health care team and can not only run tests and interact with patients, but also prescribe medications and complete a number of medical services.
PAs will provide vital assistance to doctors as populations both grow and age. The workers are expected to play a large part in alleviating the pressure on GPs, surgeons, and the like. Anyone looking for a career path that will keep them in demand for years to come should consider becoming a physician assistant. Indeed, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for PAs are expected to grow a massive 38 percent by 2022.