Health Job Overview
Health jobs can include a wide range of positions in the health care industry. People who excel in these positions are often interested in subjects such as medicine, anatomy, and health science. Since there are numerous types of health jobs available, educational requirements, salaries and job markets vary significantly.Some popular positions for people interested in health jobs include:
- Mental health counselors
- Registered nurses
- Nurse practitioners
- Health educators
- Patient advocates
- Physical therapists
People interested in health jobs should review the industry to decide which positions match their interests.
Health Job Education Requirements
Most health jobs require undergraduate or graduate degrees. Depending on which states they work in, health assistants and aides may not need to attend college. States set their own certification requirements for health care professionals.
Students who wish to work as doctors need to complete medical school after earning excellent grades as undergraduates. Dietitian and nutritionist jobs, however, only require bachelor's degrees, although they must complete residencies or internships before getting state certifications.
Health Job Market
Most positions in the health care industry are expected to grow rapidly between 2012 and 2022. Behavioral health nurses can expect to see a 29 percent increase in positions. Nurse practitioner jobs are expected to grow by 31 percent.
Before committing to a course of study, individuals may want to review the job market where they live. They will likely find that some positions grow at faster rates than others. States with large health care industries include:
- New York
Note that more positions does not necessarily make the job market less competitive. States governments set extensive educational and certification requirements to make sure people working in health care are properly trained to treat patients.
Health Job Salary Information
There is considerable diversity in salaries for people working in health care. The 2012 median pay for physicians and surgeons was $187,200. During the same year, physical therapy assistants and aides had median salaries of $39,430.
Health care professionals who want to earn higher salaries should pursue specialized careers that require higher levels of education. Those who earn the highest wages are usually those who have specializations that few people possess. Since jobs with fewer requirements usually have a larger number of qualified applicants, employers don't have to pay them as much. Those with rare skills, however, can demand greater compensation from hospitals, physician groups and other employers.