Healthcare is a vital industry that affects the lives of every one at some point throughout their lives. Because of this, there is a wide variety of interesting career paths within or related to the healthcare field that tend to pay very well and can be very fulfilling and satisfying.
Of course, roles in the healthcare field are always changing, with new trends emerging every year. If you’ve been considering pursuing a career in healthcare, here are 4 popular health careers that are expected to grow in 2018.
1. Nurse – Average salary: $66,640
Although nursing has been a popular career choice for people interested in the healthcare industry, as of late there has been an increased need for nurses. While becoming a nurse does involve rigorous training, it’s less grueling than becoming a doctor and is a great choice for compassionate individuals who love helping others.
Nurses manage and monitor patients in different settings and are often responsible for dispensing medications, providing wound care, taking vitals, and ensuring patients get the customized care they need. Nurses must communicate with many different healthcare professionals to coordinate each patient’s individual care plan and make important decisions under pressure.
In order to practice, nurses must go through training and become certified. Most people pursue an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and some even go on to earn a master’s degree. Prospective nurses must complete their training before taking the certification exam.
2. Assisted Living Director – Average salary: $78,737
The number of elderly people globally is growing quickly, resulting in a growing need for assisted living facilities and elder care. People are living longer thanks to improved healthcare, and the percentage of people worldwide over age 65 is expected to grow from 8.5% in 2016 to around 17% by 2050.
In 2018 and beyond, assisted living directors will play a crucial role in caring for the aging population, yet that won’t be their only duty. Directors will also help in educating family members on signs that their loved one could benefit from assisted living. Peggy Flannigan, Associate Professor of Nursing at Bradley University, highlights a number of factors to look out for including confusion with medication, frequent falls and unexplained purchases (read more to find out additional signs).
Becoming an assisted living director may or may not require licensure, depending on the state. The CALA exam is a blueprint that can be used to help ensure that individuals are ready to become assisted living directors. There is no federal oversight for this career, but candidates should take the time to scrupulously learn best practices and preferably learn under an experienced director in an assisted living facility.
3. Psychiatrist – Average salary: $196,342
Mental health is becoming a big issue worldwide as more people each year are seeking help for depression and other mental illnesses. Awareness of how common mental illness is has created a need for more psychiatrists to help patients find relief and live happier, safer lives.
Psychiatrists are doctors who diagnose, treat, and help prevent emotional and behavioral disorders. They often combine physical and psychological medicine in order to treat their patients, since mental illness is often related to physical symptoms. Psychotherapy and medication are often used to help patients control their disorders and live their lives normally.
Because psychiatrists are physicians, rigorous educational requirement apply. Candidates must complete a bachelor’s degree before moving on to medical school and completing standard residency requirements. After this, candidates need to become licensed in their state in order to practice legally.
4. Healthcare Manager – Average salary: $86,459
Not all medical careers involve medicine directly, of course. Healthcare managers are an important part of every healthcare organization, responsible for overseeing the business side of the industry. As more healthcare organizations are founded, more openings for healthcare managers will emerge in the next few years.
Healthcare managers are responsible for ensuring that the finances and operations of their organization runs smoothly. They must coordinate with staff to manage the quality of patient care and resolve personnel issues, perform or delegate budgeting and accounting tasks, and carry out strategic planning. Roles differ in their responsibilities, and healthcare managers need to be adaptable, organized, and have strong leadership qualities.
Different states have different requirements for healthcare managers, and not all require certification. However, most healthcare managers have a master’s degree in a business-related field such as healthcare management, patient services, nursing administration, or human resources.
If you’re looking to enter the healthcare industry in the coming years, consider these 4 careers that are projected to be trending in the coming years. That said, there are a ton of other career options within the health field, so don’t be afraid to do some additional exploring yourself.