5 Health Care Jobs on the Rise


This article is part of our new series on the Future of Health Care, which examines changes in the medical field.

Economists at the Labor Department project that from 2019 to 2029 employment in health care in the United States will grow 15 percent, much faster than the average for all occupations, adding about 2.4 million new jobs during that span.

The health care and social assistance sector is expected to add the most new jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (B.L.S.), with six of the 10 fastest growing occupations. Spurring the expected growth: care for the aging baby-boom population; longer life spans; and persistent growth in the number of patients with chronic conditions.

A recent report by McKinsey & Company similarly expects the greatest growth in labor demand by 2030 among health aides, technicians, wellness occupations and health professionals.

As the world adjusts to the coronavirus pandemic, this figure could expand even more, as “demand for workers in the health care and STEM occupations may grow more than before the pandemic, reflecting increased attention to health,” according to the report.

Among the fastest-growing health care occupations are physician assistants, nurse practitioners (52 percent job growth rate is predicted from 2019 to 2029; the quickest in the field) and occupational therapy assistants.

Researchers at LinkedIn analyzed in-demand jobs pushed by the pandemic’s shock to develop a list of 15 “jobs on the rise.” LinkedIn’s data scientists looked at over 15,000 job titles to uncover the positions that have grown the most, compared with 2019 levels, Andrew Seaman, senior editor for job search and careers at LinkedIn News, said in an interview. “While there was already demand for some of these health care positions, the pandemic intensified that. Since 2019, hiring for health care positions has increased more than 34 percent.”

Here are five health care jobs on the rise.

Overall employment growth of nurse practitioners is projected to top 50 percent from 2019 to 2029. The increase is mainly because of an increased importance on preventive care and demand for health care services from an aging population, according to the Labor Department’s forecast.

According to the B.L.S., registered nursing — a related but distinct job, involving separate state licenses and, in some cases, degrees — is listed among the top occupations in terms of job growth from 2019 to 2029, though it is an understaffed field. The B.L.S. projects that 11 million additional nurses are needed to avoid a further shortage.

There’s typically formal training and a competency test to work for certified home health or hospice agencies that receive reimbursement from Medicare or Medicaid. Requirements vary from state to state. Some employers may require a certified nursing assistant certification and a criminal-background check is standard. CPR training and a driver’s license are helpful, too.

Job openings are generally posted by local care facilities. There are a few big caregiving networks for job seekers. CareLinx, based outside of San Francisco, operates like an online matchmaking site for families. The network, which began in 2011, operates nationwide with over 500,000 professional caregivers ranging from certified nurse assistants all the way up to registered nurses and nurse practitioners.

Employment of substance abuse, behavioral disorder and mental health counselors is likely to grow 25 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the Labor Department — further boosting current growth.

“According to our listing data, jobs in the mental health sector have risen 28 percent since 2019,” said Sara Sutton, chief executive and founder of the job board FlexJobs. “Jobs like behavioral health care manager, risk reduction manager, social worker and case manager fall under this category. Regarding therapy jobs specifically, the board saw a whopping 56 percent increase in 2020. Titles include therapist, psychologist, counselor, and mental health clinician.”

LinkedIn data shows nearly 24 percent year-over-year job growth among mental health professionals. Fast-growing positions include behavior therapist, mental health technician and psychotherapist. Most of these roles require an associate degree or higher, and training in areas like play therapy for children, mindfulness and cognitive behavioral therapy.

Educational requirements vary but most positions require at least a bachelor’s degree. All states require mental health counselors to be licensed, after completing a period of post degree clinical work under the supervision of a licensed counselor.



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