Health care is currently the fastest growing
job field, with a projected addition of 4.2 million new jobs by 2005. This
includes a wide range of jobs consisting of everything from specialized medical
technicians to office support staff. The continual development of new
technology, combined with the aging of the U.S. population means more job
opportunities for those who diagnose, treat and process all kinds of patients.
Health care careers can include doctors, nurses, nursing scientists,
medical equipment sales, insurance experts, health care managers, nursing
aides, home health care aides, physical therapists, medical assistants,
radiology and other technicians, medical records technicians, medical
secretaries, surgical technologists, pharmacy assistants, dentists, dental
hygienists and anesthesiologists as well as many other related professions.
health care aides and nurses will have the largest increase in jobs, due to the
aging of the U.S. population, and the decline in hospitalization of patients
with non-life threatening conditions. More opportunities will also be available
for medical assistants, and RN's specializing in gerontology, which is the
treatment of the elderly.
Home Health Care Workers
• Take care of patients at home; dressing, bathing, cooking and cleaning, etc.
• May also help with exercise routines for physical therapy patients.
clients on a daily basis, and often act as companions providing
emotional and physical support during recovery which may last for weeks
• Often visit up to four clients per day, under supervision of an agency.
• Can include a lot of hard, physical work with elderly, disabled or sick clients.
• Fastest growing job category with 138% increase expected by 2005.
• Most home health care workers are employed by a home health agency or a visiting nurse association.
• Will continue to grow as more patients are treated on an out-patient basis.
• Pay averages $6 to $10 per hour, depending on employer and location.
• Higher salaries in the Northeast and the West.
• A good entry level health care job which provides practical experience.
• Can lead to administrative and supervisory positions within the agency.
• A good job for students or those considering a degree in health care.
• Minimal education requirements.
• Minimal training or certificate usually provided by employing agency.
• Must be hard-working, responsible, dependable, and cheerful, and in good health.
• Do most of the administrative work for hospitals and doctors' offices.
• Provide clerical and clinical support for doctors and nurses.
• Clerical duties include telephones, appointment scheduling, updating records, handling insurance forms, and billing.
responsibilities include taking medical histories, explaining
treatments to patients, and assisting with patient examinations.
are employed in the offices of physicians, chiropractors, optometrists,
and podiatrists, but some are employed by hospitals or health
• Projected job growth for the field: 71%.
• Growth will continue as cut-backs in the medical field give more job responsibilities to medical assistants.
• Starting salaries can range from $18,000 to $22,000 a year.
• Experienced medical assistants can earn from $28,00 to $30,000 annually.
• Advancement to supervisor or office manager positions possible.
on-the-job training is given, with a high school diploma being the
minimum requirement for an entry-level medical assistant position.
• Courses in math, health, biology, and computers are helpful.
• For advancement, a one- or two-year vocational medical assistant program is suggested.
• Supervisory or university positions generally require a four-year degree.
• Neat appearance and pleasant manner important when dealing with the public.
Registered Nurses (RN's)
• Also known as nurse practitioners.
• Work in hospitals, doctors offices, elementary schools, and university health care centers.
• Provide physical, mental, and emotional support for their patients.
• Duties range from observing, recording, and assessing patient symptoms, to assisting physicians with treatments and exams.
• Currently, two of every three nurses are employed in a hospital environment.
• May require working on weekends, holidays, and at night, although hours are usually flexible.
• Optimistic: 350,000 jobs are expected to be added to the nursing field over the next five years.
demand for nurse practitioners who can prescribe medicine and do many
of the other duties normally associated with a physician (and at a lower
• Many opportunities for nurses who wish to specialize, or those with advanced training.
• Specialty areas such as geriatrics and rehabilitation are expected to grow.
• Full-time staff nurses start at about $35,000.
• Nurses working for temporary health care and staffing agencies earn more.
• Experienced RN's can earn more than $50,000 a year.
• Nurse executives (manage hospital nursing care) earn $42,000 to $170,000 per year.
• Part-time Temp nurses make double the pay of regular RN's.
• On-site child care offered by 11% of hospitals.
• Bachelor's degree from a four-year, accredited university nursing program.
• Must also pass the national exam.
• Some hospitals and vocational schools offer two- or three-year training programs.
• Continuing education to keep up with new advancements is also required.
• Must be able to deal with sick people who may be unpleasant and upset.
• Requires stress-coping abilities, compassion, and the ability to work well under pressure.
American Association of Medical Assistants
20 N. Walker Dr., Suite 1575
Chicago, IL 60606
American Nurses Association
600 Maryland Avenue SW, Suite 100 W
Washington, DC 20024
Foundation for Hospice and Home Care
An affiliate of NAHC
National Certification Program
519 C Street NE
Washington, DC 20024
National Student Nurses Association
555 W. 57th St.
New York, NY 10019
American Health Care Association
1201 L. St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
American Medical Association
535 N. Dearborn St.
Chicago, IL 60610
American Public Health Association
1015 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
The Franklin Search Group-- Medical job placement
The Good Health Web
Health Careers On Line -- a national healthcare employment database.
Pam Pohly's Net Guide: Healthcare Employment Links