July 20, 2010

Health Jobs Among Fastest-Growing Fields For Women

Yesterday, Forbes posted an interesting study by the author of Best Jobs for the 21st Century, Laurence Shatkin. The career expert analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics reports to find the fastest-growing jobs for female workers. These are all fields where 70 percent or more of the workforce is comprised of women. What topped his list?

  1. Home Health Aids
  2. Skin Care Specialists
  3. Athletic Trainer
  4. Physical Therapist Aides
  5. Dental Hygienists

As you can see, fields relating to health are growing especially quickly, and female workers are dominating many of these industries. Other health-related career options in the top twenty list include dental assistants (#7), medical assistants (#8), physical therapist assistants (#9), occupational therapist aides (#10), pharmacy technicians (#11), medical secretaries (#13), occupational therapists (#14), surgical technologists (#15), cardiovascular technologists/technicians (#17), and medical/public health social workers (#20). With the national unemployment rate hovering at about 9.5 percent, getting into the health field could be a great way to find a job, especially if you’re female.

Working in the healthcare industry does require some education, but you can actually get started with just an associate’s degree or diploma. There are even online healthcare degree options for students who want a more flexible education program.

Why is finding a healthcare job, especially in the above-listed fields, so easy in today’s job market, even when other industries continue laying off workers? A number of factors have come into play:

  • In order to cut costs, hospitals and other facilities are hiring more assistants and aids to complete tasks once done by higher-paid workers, like doctors.
  • Medical advances make it possible for people to live longer, so there is a larger senior citizen population. Generally, senior citizens need more medical care than younger patients.
  • The obesity problem in the United States means that more patients need help controlling diabetes, heart disease, and related problems.
  • Even when people are spending less money in other places, healthcare is a necessity that people can’t just give up in order to cut a household budget.

In the next several years, the healthcare industry is going to continue to need more workers of both genders. Going back to school to get a degree in one of these fields is a great way to get started in a new career with a high demand for workers.

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