Over the next 10 years, the economy will add 11.5 million jobs, according to projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Healthcare and social assistance are expected to account for nearly 4 million jobs — about a third of new jobs created.
As baby boomers age — and live longer than previous generations of aging Americans — demand for health services grows. According to a report from the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, the number of Americans aged 65 and older will nearly double by 2050. That means a growing need for healthcare workers and an increasing number of jobs in the industry.
But just because these jobs are growing, doesn’t mean that they’re all lucrative ones for workers. For example, the Labor Department estimates that home health and personal care aide jobs will grow 40 percent between 2016 and 2026, adding over a million jobs in this category alone. However, median pay for these roles hovers around $22,000 per year.
Over the next decade, the economy will add 11.5 million jobs. Nearly 4 million will be in healthcare.
Want a High-Paying, Fast-Growing Job? Invest in Education
Whether your next job lies in healthcare or another industry, education is the key to competitive pay. The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that 19 out of the 30 fastest-growing occupations require education beyond high school — and higher-earning occupations are more likely to have this requirement.
For example, the five highest-paying occupations on the list are:
Physician Assistant (Median Annual Salary: $101,480)
Nurse Practitioner (Median Annual Salary: $100,910)
Software Developer (Median Annual Salary: $100,080)
Mathematician (Median Annual Salary: $105,810)
Health Specialties Teachers, Postsecondary (Median Annual Salary: $99,360)
Four out of five of these occupations require at least a master’s degree. Software developer jobs may be open to highly skilled individuals without a great deal of formal education, but many employers give preference to workers with a college degree.
Bottom line: if you want job security and a big paycheck, stay in school.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you work in healthcare? We want to hear from you. Share your story in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.