5 Fastest Growing Medical Career Fields

Healthcare occupations remain in demand and are set to grow in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that healthcare occupations are set to grow by 22.5 percent from 2013 to 2018. With the number of valuable opportunities in healthcare, it is definitely a smart field to pursue for a stable, well-paying career. Here’s a look at the five fastest-growing medical career fields according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

1. Healthcare Administrator
Job seekers who find a job in healthcare appealing but would prefer to help from behind a desk might consider a job as a healthcare administrator. The professionals handle medical operations including scheduling appointments, admitting patients, coordinating insurance, billing consumers and purchasing equipment and supplies. Entry-level healthcare administrators may start in small departments and medical facilities with a four-year degree. With a master’s in healthcare administration, more opportunities are available. Median pay for healthcare administrators is $84,270, but with time, they can earn six figures in this field, which is expected to grow by 22 percent by 2018.

2. Medical Assistant
An associate degree is needed to get started in this fast-growing field, which is set to grow by 31 percent by 2018. Medical assistants are always needed to perform miscellaneous tasks in doctor’s offices and hospitals, such as performing medical tests and handling patient appointments. Administrative medical assistants work in offices and take care of billing and supplies while clinical medical assistants may do everything from instructing patients to drawing blood for testing. According to the BLS, medical assistants earn a median salary of $28,860 a year.

3. Health Information Technician
Health information technician jobs are set to grow by 21 percent before 2018. The duties of these professionals vary considerably according to the workplace, but they generally process information collected from procedures and patient histories. Most information is recorded digitally for integration with the system used by the facility. Because of the nature of health information, these technicians carry great responsibility in their daily work. As in other information technician fields, these workers use spreadsheets, databases and computer systems to improve calculations and relay information to appropriate personnel. Most hold an associate degree in information technology, with graduates earning a median salary of $32,350 per year.

4. Registered Nurse
Registered nurses play large parts at the forefront of medical care, offering patient instruction, administering treatments and supporting patients and their families. Nurses plan and carry out patient care, observe patients during treatment and recovery and use medical equipment for diagnosis and treatment. Some registered nurses specialize in a specific field of medical care, such as oncology or heart care. Registered nurses work in a wide range of setting, including hospitals, doctor’s offices and nursing homes. While some registered nurses carry bachelor’s of nursing degrees, many start after earning an associate degree from a community college program. The BLS says that registered nursing is expected to grow by 26 percent by 2018.

5. Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses perform many of the same functions as registered nurses, but their training includes fewer theoretical classes. The field is set to grow 22 percent by 2018. LPNs dress and bathe patients, monitor basic health care, record health functions and report to doctors and registered nurses. Responsibilities, especially in administration of medications and intravenous drips, vary depending on state regulations. Educational programs can be completed in less than a year at most schools, and graduates earn a median salary of $40,380 per year.

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Dana Grady is a health information technician and guest author at Best Medical Degrees, where she has contributed articles about online medical billing and coding degrees that you can read via this link.