The healthcare field is one of the fastest growing career fields in the United States at the present time. With the demand for healthcare services growing due to a general population increase as well as the baby boomer generation nearing their elderly years, more and more jobs are being created for individuals interested in a career in the medical field. While you may have personal reasons for wanting a career in the healthcare field, there are actually seven top reasons why most people choose a career in this niche.
Wage and salary earnings are usually at the top of the list for many people who choose a career in the healthcare field. Most jobs in this niche pay a high salary or hourly wage compared to other jobs that require similar amounts of education. For example, a two-year, associate's degree in nursing makes it possible to be a registered nurse (RN) earning $20+ per hour while a two-year, associate's degree in office technology provides an hourly wage between $10 and $15. Wage and salary earnings in this field are expected to remain high in the next decade as shortages in nursing and other skilled, healthcare workers leave medical facilities competing for employees.
In addition to salary, competitive benefits are also a part of the compensation package for many healthcare workers. These benefits often include health insurance, life insurance, vacation days, sick pay, disability insurance and retirement benefits. Many employers also offer free perks such as a discount on meals in a facility's cafeteria, use of an on-site wellness center or discounts at local businesses. Depending on the organization, additional benefits may make your total job package worth several thousand dollars more than just your base salary.
Flexibility is another key reason for choosing the healthcare field when selecting a career. People need medical care and treatment every hour of every day. This requires doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to be available and provide the care and treatment these individuals need. Organizations such as hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living centers must have the proper staff on duty at all times. The fact that people need this care around the clock allows employees in the healthcare field to have the opportunity to choose which shift they want to work. This gives them flexibility to adjust their work schedule as needed to accommodate their lifestyle or the needs or their spouse or children.
Many careers in the healthcare field are expected to grow faster than most other career fields between 2008 and 2018 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Even during economic recessions, healthcare job opportunities exist since people still need the services medical facilities provide. Many researchers predict a significant shortage of healthcare workers in the next decade due to an increased demand for healthcare services and the retirement of baby boomers who work in the healthcare field. While colleges and universities are doing what they can to train students for these job opportunities, competition is expected to remain high among medical employers for the best and brightest employees. This is beneficial to healthcare workers who have more negotiating room for higher wages, better benefits and accommodating schedules.
Thousands of baby boomers are currently employed in the healthcare field, and as they near retirement, companies and medical facilities will need to find their replacements. With years of experience, many hold management or leadership positions within their organization that require advanced training or education. Individuals entering the healthcare field have the opportunity to advance to these positions, which generally offer higher wages and more leadership opportunities.
Some people entering a career in the healthcare field, especially those that are younger, often seek out this line of work because it offers the opportunity to travel. Job opportunities are available in most cities across the U.S. making it possible for a medical field worker to pick up and move to their desired location. There are also medical staffing companies that provide travel nurses, therapists, doctors and other medical professionals. These individuals travel to different cities where they work for a hospital or other medical organization for a few weeks or months.
Make a Difference
The opportunity to make a difference in the lives of their patients is also a primary reason why people choose a career in the healthcare field. While nurses or other healthcare staff may not be able to cure a disease, they can take comfort in knowing they eased the person's pain or helped them during a difficult time in their life. Making a difference is often what provides the most overall satisfaction in their job, more than their earnings, benefits or other perks. It's also what often keeps them working in their current position or at their current place of employment for a long period of time.