Healthcare Jobs on the Rise in U.S. This Decade

September 5, 2013
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This graph is a good visual depiction of how aging baby boomers, advances in technology and shifts in the way healthcare is delivered under reform may influence jobs in the healthcare sector.

This graph is a good visual depiction of how aging baby boomers, advances in technology and shifts in the way healthcare is delivered under reform may influence jobs in the healthcare sector.

In a Labor Day article, PBS directed us to interesting data published last year by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Occupational Outlook Handbook (h/t @VentureValkyrie). Seventeen of the 30 occupations expected to grow the quickest between 2010 and 2020 are healthcare and medicine-related.

healthcare sector growing

As the senior population grows, so will the need for personal health aides and home health aides, the two occupations the BLS expects to see the most job growth in this decade. Physical therapists, physical therapist assistants and physical therapist aides are also all on the list. Fittingly, earlier this year CMS loosened rules on its coverage of physical therapy, extending payment to cases where seniors’ conditions don’t improve.

Close behind personal and home health aides in growth are biomedical engineers, who serve an increasingly important role as medical devices become more complex. Likewise, BLS expects that job opportunities for diagnostic medical sonographers will grow 43 percent this decade as diagnostic technology advances.

Some of the expected impacts of healthcare reform measures also appeared in the BLS numbers, aside from high growth in jobs outside of the acute care setting. As physicians are faced with more administrative work to handle, employment for medical secretaries is expected to grow 12 percent. Mental health counselors and family/marriage therapists were also on the list, amid expanded mental health coverage under Obamacare.

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The full list of fastest-growing occupations as calculated by BLS is available here.

[Graph from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]