9 reasons you should be in health care
Jobs in health care offer good pay, flexibility and job security. Find out more reasons why it's worth it to pursue a health care career.
Health care careers can provide the challenge, security and salary you're looking for in a role, while also fulfilling your humanitarian side. Read on for nine reasons the health care industry can offer you the career of your dreams.
1. Job satisfaction
By and large, health care workers are satisfied with their jobs and don't regret their career choices. For example, a 2017 AMN Healthcare survey revealed that 83 percent of registered nurses are satisfied with their career choice.
2. Job security
While legislation will continue to change the health care landscape, the Affordable Care Act has increased the demand for health care – thus leading to the need for more workers in the industry. Likewise, as people age, they typically require more medical care, and America's Baby Boomers are reaching retirement age by the millions every year.
3. Positions for all education levels
While doctors still spend several years hitting the books, health care has many other careers that require far less education. In fact, you can find many positions that pay well and don't require a bachelor's degree. For instance, to become a surgical technologist, you only need a postsecondary non-degree award and it pays $22.68 an hour.
4. Explosive growth
Jobs in health care are projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Here are the expected growth rates for a few of the fastest-growing medical professions:
- Home health aide – 41 percent
- Nurse practitioner – 31 percent
- Physical therapist assistant – 30 percent
- Dental hygienist – 20 percent
5. Free schooling
Within the health care industry, you can find many programs that repay student loans in exchange for a certain number of years of service. For example, the National Health Service Corps asks medical residents to work for two or three years in an underserved area of the country in a primary care specialty. In exchange, the federal government will then repay as much as $120,000 of participants' student loans.
6. Generous salaries
The burgeoning demand for health care has more benefits than just job security – medical careers also pay well. The 2017 median pay for physicians and surgeons is $208,000, while nurse practitioners can make $110,930 per year, according to the BLS. As mentioned before, even health care careers that don’t require advanced degrees can still pay a pretty penny.
The flexibility of health care careers is especially attractive to job seekers. Geographically, health care workers can go almost anywhere they want, provided they have the appropriate licensure. Some programs, like Doctors without Borders, send medical professionals abroad to deliver services where they are needed the most. Similarly, traveling nurses receive assignments all over the U.S. and receive benefits such as relocation and housing allowances.
The variety of occupations and settings in health care allows those in the field to change their environment without necessarily changing careers. For instance, medical professionals typically work in doctor's offices or hospitals, but many also work in laboratories, public health agencies, insurance companies, universities and other varied settings.
9. The chance to make a difference
Although jobs in the medical field can be stressful because lives are often at stake, the profession is unquestionably rewarding. Health care professionals are desperately needed, and they use their education and training to better people's lives.
Want to know more about registered nurses – one of the fastest-growing careers? Find out here.