Having a career in healthcare is something to be proud of, regardless of your role. Your passion is to help people, and you’ve worked hard to get where you are.
But sometimes, you need a change. The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that in 2022, healthcare workers stayed at their jobs for an average of 4.6 years. Maybe you’re approaching that mark, or perhaps you’re just ready for something new. It might be time to join 60% of workers who switched jobs from April 2021 to March 2022 and led the Great Resignation.
There are many ways to use your education and experience in healthcare. You could be a nurse working in the emergency department and looking to switch to a long-term care facility or hoping to do administrative work at a hospital.
Regardless of why you want to switch, it’s time to start thinking about what you want your career path to look like. This article provides insights into the best careers in healthcare for the next 10 years and tips on how to succeed in your workplace.
Healthcare careers in high demand for the next 10 years
Looking at future jobs in demand helps you set long-term goals and create action plans for success.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides insightful data on things like the job market and what’s required for each job, but here are six of the most in-demand jobs for the future for you to review:
1. Registered nurse
Median salary: $77,600
Education requirements: Nursing license and bachelor’s degree in nursing
Healthcare workers of all kinds will always be valuable, but registered nurses (RNs) are in high demand with a projected growth rate of 6% (which is average). As an RN, you would be responsible for providing and coordinating patient care plans and can work in hospitals, long-term care homes, or as an agency nurse.
Median salary: $37,380
Education requirements: Certificate from a phlebotomy program and on-the-job training.
Answer these questions first: Are you afraid of blood? Does the sight of it make you squeamish? If you answered no, then consider being a phlebotomist. As a phlebotomist, you’ll be responsible for drawing blood for tests, researching, and carrying out blood transfusions. Phlebotomists do mostly on-the-job training and work in labs, hospitals, blood donor clinics, and doctor’s offices.
3. Dietitian or nutritionist
Median salary: $61,650
Education requirements: A bachelor’s degree in human nutrition and dietetics, passing the Commission on Dietetic Registration’s exam, and a license
How often do you think about the food you put in your body? If you’re in tune with your diet, you will make a great dietitian or nutritionist. You’ll be responsible for planning and monitoring patients’ diets to live healthy lives. Be prepared to problem solve in case certain diets don’t work for people. You could work at a hospital, nursing home, clinic, or cafeteria.
4. Massage therapist
Median salary: $46,910
Education requirements: High school diploma, certificate degree from a massage therapy school, and a license.
Massage therapists apply pressure on the body to release tension from tissues and joints, which is important for physical health and relaxation. But be aware that you need a thorough understanding of anatomy and physiology to be in this position, and you must complete a certain amount of training before practicing on your own.
5. Medical assistant
Median salary: $37,190
Education requirements: High school diploma, medical assisting diploma, or an associate of applied science degree in medical assisting.
A helping hand is always needed in healthcare facilities — medical assistants do just that. As a medical assistant, you’ll handle both clinical and administrative tasks.
These tasks include preparing exam rooms, sending samples to labs, scheduling appointments, and calculating bill amounts. Expect to work in clinics and hospitals, with the occasional opportunity to work in long-term care homes.
6. Physical therapist’s assistant
Median salary: $49,180
Education requirements: Associate’s degree from a program approved by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy.
A physical therapist’s assistant helps a physical therapist carry out treatment plans. They’ll help patients regain strength after injuries, develop better movement, and manage pain. Be prepared to be on your feet a lot and move equipment and patients around. You’ll also receive lots of on-the-job training and gain insight into what a physical therapist does.
The highest-paying healthcare jobs for the next 10 years
It’s no secret that some jobs pay more than others. Being financially independent might be a goal for you, meaning you’re looking for a high-paying job. And while some jobs fluctuate in pay, certain careers rarely falter because of their value to society.
Here are six high-paying healthcare jobs worth considering:
1. Nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist
Median salary: $123,780
Education requirement: Master’s degree in an advanced practice registered nurse role and a license.
All of these roles have one thing in common: Patient care is of the utmost importance. As a nurse practitioner, midwife, or anesthetist, you’ll coordinate with physicians to ensure that each patient receives the best care possible. You’ll either provide primary care related to general medicine or specialty care for patients requiring specific treatment.
Median salary: $128,570
Education requirements: Doctor of Pharmacy, a 4-year professional degree, and a license.
As a pharmacist, you’ll write and dispense prescribed medication to patients. You’ll also offer your expert opinion on how to use the medicine safely. Your work environment could be healthcare facilities like hospitals, stand-alone pharmacies, or grocery stores with pharmacy sections.
3. Physician and surgeon
Median salary: $208,000
Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree in healthcare-related fields, a 4-year medical degree, a residency program, and potentially a fellowship.
Physicians and surgeons diagnose illnesses and treat any injuries or health concerns. Landing this job takes at least a decade of education, but it pays off. Depending on your interests, you could work in a hospital, private practice, or with a nonprofit organization.
Some surgeons have specialties like neurosurgery, orthopedics, or trauma. Be prepared to put in long hours, and know that it might feel like you’re always working when you’re on call.
4. Medical and health services manager
Median salary: $101,340
Education requirements: Bachelor’s degree in health sciences and work experience in health-related administrative offices.
Medical and health services managers coordinate, plan, and execute business amongst healthcare providers. You’ll facilitate the business and administrative end of patient treatment in hospitals, long-term care homes, or clinics. This position will require you to have strong organizational, leadership, and time management skills to manage incoming patients and their needs.
Median salary: $163,220
Education requirements: Associate’s degree from an accredited dental program and dentistry license.
As a dentist, you’ll treat your patients’ teeth and gums to ensure they’re healthy. You might have your own practice or work with other dentists at a larger office. You’ll also have hygienists and dental assistants to support you.
Median salary: $145,840
Education requirements: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine degree, completion of a residency program, and a license.
As a podiatrist, you’ll specialize in medical and surgical care for patients who experience issues with their feet, ankles, or lower legs. Podiatrists usually work in medical offices or hospitals.
Go the extra mile: Tips to succeed in the workplace
It’s one thing to check out the best careers for the next 10 years in healthcare, but how will you succeed at them?
Succeeding at work also means knowing what high-demand skills for the next 10 years and beyond will serve you well. These skills help you better yourself — personally and professionally.
Here are four valuable things to focus on:
Having a positive attitude. Your positive attitude will motivate you and others to do better when times are tough. Find effective positive affirmations and practice viewing mistakes as learning opportunities.
Being a team player. Teamwork is working together with your coworkers to achieve the collective goal of caring for everyone’s health and wellness. It comes in handy when faced with adversity at work.
Meeting your deadlines. Continuously meeting them shows you have proper time management skills and are organized with your schedule. If you struggle with this, try setting reminders around your workspace.
Avoiding burnout. Studies have found that burnout amongst American workers in 2020 and 2021 reached new heights. Respect your energy levels and know when to say “no” to extra work if you need to rest.
Choosing a career that’s meaningful and beneficial for you isn’t easy. But learning what you’ve learned here helps you make a more informed decision.
When the time comes to choose your healthcare career, always remember to do your research and never leave your values behind.
Hard work pays off
You might see some of the fastest-growing careers in healthcare and think you would be a perfect fit. Like any other career, these jobs demand a lot of hard work.
But hard work is never wasted. It deepens your self-awareness and builds resiliency in the process. Following your passions and purpose is a beautiful thing. It helps you live a more meaningful life. Opportunities to practice your passion each day don’t fall into your lap, so it’s up to you to seek them out and make them happen.