The healthcare industry is booming alongside the growing elderly population in the U.S. Perhaps due to this, the need for executives and other graduate-level professionals in healthcare has risen dramatically.
Opportunity abounds in the industry and staffing agencies are flocking to fill the needs. If you’re looking for a high paying, graduate-level profession within the healthcare industry, but being a physician isn’t right for you, this list may be just what you are looking for.
The size and complexity of the American healthcare system requires specialists to navigate it. That’s where healthcare administrators come in.
Healthcare administrators are responsible for the business side of healthcare. They may be in control of an entire hospital, specific facilities, units or business areas(i.e staffing, admissions, etc.)
Although there are many specialties within healthcare administration all administrators share the same goal of enabling doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff to provide quality, effective care without being bogged down by the mundane business side of things.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 17% growth rate for the healthcare administrator occupation through 2024, although the position remains under the radar of many students. Healthcare administrators are also some of the most well-paid jobs in healthcare with a Median salary of $99,730, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Pharmacist careers are some of the most stable and well-paid positions in healthcare. Pharmacists can work in grocery stores, drug stores, hospitals or other healthcare facilities where they are responsible for distributing and explaining medications to patients.
According to Monster.com, the number of pharmacists in the U.S rose by some 22% year-over-year in 2019, and the need for new pharmacists is expected to continue rising.
Pharmacists are required to have a Bachelor’s plus a four-year Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Their pay and where their work is dependent on their qualifications.
The majority of pharmacists are community pharmacists who work in retail locations like drug stores. The second most common type of pharmacist is a hospital pharmacist whose duties may include more advising of patients and training of staff.
Pharmacists can also work in more uncommon places like drug development, wholesaling, research, academia, formulary management, the military, and the government. This makes the position a viable, growing option for many young students.
A Physician Assistant(PA) is a health care provider who practices medicine under the supervision of a registered, qualified physician. With the increasing costs and difficulty of medical school, the PA role has greatly expanded over the past few decades.
PA’s are required to have a bachelor’s as well as a two-year graduate degree in medicine in addition to completing a clinical rotation. During their time as a graduate student, PA’s spent over 2000 hours in these clinical rotations with aspiring and board-certified physicians.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 30% growth rate for the physician assistant occupation through 2024, making it one of the fastest-growing professions in healthcare. On top of that, the average annual salary is over $98,000 a year and you can become a PA in just six years vs. an average of ten for physicians.
Healthcare Software Developer
The expansion of healthcare software in the past few decades has led to multiple new career options within the healthcare industry. Healthcare software developers, for example, are responsible for creating quality software which, hopefully, will improve productivity and quality of care.
According to MarketWatch, the healthcare software industry is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 15% over the next three years. Of late, companies like Google have begun entering the industry to compete, recognizing the growing value in the healthcare market.
Even dentists now require software developers. For example, if you want to get a pair of dentures there are now full service dental labs that utilize CAD and CAM systems to design your new teeth and quickly deliver them to your dentist.
Graduate-level careers in healthcare are now easier to find than ever, and often not what you may imagine.
By 2001 human beings successfully sequenced our own genome. The process took some 30 years since the beginning of the first attempts at sequencing human genomes via software in the late ’70s and early ’80s.
Today, the advances made from sequencing our genome have led to a new understanding of genetic diseases. These days genetic counselors can help patients affected by or at risk of genetic disorders understand and adapt to their disease.
Genetic counselors must be approved by the National Society of Genetic Counseling (NSGC) and are able to work in Prenatal and Preconception, Pediatric, Oncological, Cardiovascular, and Neurological units.
Personally, my family suffers from a rare form of late-onset muscular dystrophy. Our family’s genetic counselor helped decide on treatment options for those affected and helped diagnose those who weren’t(me, yay!). The whole process was painless and amounted to a lot of relief for different family members who had always thought the disease could affect anyone in our family.
Executive and graduate-level jobs in the healthcare industry are now more prevalent than ever. Working in healthcare is far more than just being a physician. It’s time students take advantage of this growing opportunity.