Top health care jobs for 2014

Health care

CareerBuilder and MiracleWorkers.com compiled the 10 best occupations in the industry for 2014.

Health care has consistently been a bright spot in today's recovering economy, and 2014 looks to be even brighter. Several factors will serve as boons for health care: Industry standards are changing as the Affordable Care Act comes into effect, emerging technologies will grow more common in health care facilities, and the economy is slated to continue growing. Perhaps most significantly, the aging baby boomer generation will continue to require care, which will affect the number of workers in the field. All of these elements will help one of the labor market's strongest sectors welcome more workers in 2014.

CareerBuilder and MiracleWorkers.com — its job site for workers in a range of health care disciplines and experience levels — compiled the 10 best occupations in the industry for 2014. With increased access to services and an aging population, demand for health care labor will continue to grow this year, which is good news for job seekers in the industry. The best-paying, fastest-growing jobs are often found in allied health occupations, but nursing and certain specialty areas are expected to post strong job numbers, as well.

The list was based on occupations that grew 6 percent or more from 2010 to 2013, are projected to add jobs in 2014, have at least 30,000 total jobs and fall within a higher-wage category of $22 per hour or more.*

1. Diagnostic medical sonographer

  • Total employment in 2013: 60,273
  • Added 5,672 jobs from 2010-2013, up 10 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $31.77

2. Medical scientist (excluding epidemiologist)

  • Total employment in 2013: 100,742
  • Added 9,076 jobs from 2010-2013, up 10 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $37.09

3. Physical therapist assistant

  • Total employment in 2013: 72,445
  • Added 6,388 jobs from 2010-2013, up 10 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $25.08

4. Nurse anesthetist

  • Total employment in 2013: 36,179
  • Added 3,010 jobs from 2010-2013, up 9 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $71.43

5. Marriage and family therapist

  • Total employment in 2013: 42,238
  • Added 3,056 jobs from 2010-2013, up 8 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $22.40

6. Physical therapist

  • Total employment in 2013: 208,096
  • Added 14,975 jobs from 2010-2013, up 8 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $37.96

7. Nurse practitioner

  • Total employment in 2013: 110,545
  • Added 7,832 jobs from 2010-2013, up 8 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $43.26

8. Health educator

  • Total employment in 2013: 58,626
  • Added 3,599 jobs from 2010-2013, up 7 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $23.46

9. Occupational therapist

  • Total employment in 2013: 113,478
  • Added 6,368 jobs from 2010-2013, up 6 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $36.27

10. Respiratory therapist

  • Total employment in 2013: 120,082
  • Added 6,728 jobs from 2010-2013, up 6 percent
  • Median hourly earnings: $26.86

Technology and education changing the industry

Many of these jobs are seeing growth due to more widely available technologies, which enable more facilities to offer new services and hire more workers, accordingly. Similarly, as the Affordable Care Act continues to roll out, these new national health care options will result in more patients with health care providers, and these employers will need to meet the demand.

The addition of these new roles and evolving technology will also result in an emphasis on education and research roles, such as medical scientist or health educator. These rising roles focus on making new advancements in health care and sharing proven care information with the public.

For job seekers who want to be part of a growing field, develop some of today's most sought-after skills and gain experience with the latest technology, health care could be the path to follow. As the economy continues to strengthen and 2014 gets underway, the health care industry will continue to be an important part of job creation and employing in-demand skilled workers.

*Data Source: Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), a CareerBuilder company. EMSI data is collected from more than 90 federal and state sources, such as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and state labor departments. EMSI removes suppressions often found in publicly available data and includes proprietors, creating a complete picture of the workforce.