The Future Employment Outlook for Careers in Healthcare

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Healthcare is known for being a resilient and relatively recession-resistant sector of the economy. However, that doesn’t mean that every possible career path in healthcare is a viable one. There are some healthcare roles that are experiencing a huge upswing in demand for services, while others are in a state of decline.

If you’re considering the feasibility of getting started with a healthcare career, or changing careers, it’s crucial to be aware of these trends before you invest your resources in getting trained; there’s no sense in training for a career that won’t be in high demand in the long term. Before choosing a position to train for, you’ll want to consider the employment outlook for the following careers in healthcare:

High-Demand Healthcare Careers

Home Health Aides, Personal Care Aides and Disabled Care Workers

Because a sizable portion of the global population is aging, there’s growing demand for the services provided by disability support workers. These professionals provide care for clients with disabilities or chronic illnesses, which people tend to become more vulnerable to as they age. Analysts at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipate that employers will be hiring 34 percent more disability support workers by the year 2029.

Nurse Practitioners

There’s currently a widespread shortage of nurses in most mainstream specializations; however, nurse practitioners are in particularly high demand. Analysts at the BLS are forecasting a 45 percent increase in available job opportunities for nurse practitioners by the year 2029.

Speech-Language Pathologists 

Along with an aging population comes increased risks that more people will suffer from conditions such as dementia, which can result in speech impairments. Furthermore, with autism being the fastest-growing childrens’ developmental disability, there are increasing numbers of autistic children who need assistance with their speech. Because of these and other factors, there has been growing demand for the services that speech-language pathologists can provide. The experts at the BLS predict a 25 percent increase in the numbers of available job opportunities for speech-language pathologists by 2029.

Declining Healthcare Careers

Pharmacist 

Pharmacists have historically played an extremely important role in the healthcare system, but overall demand for their services in some settings has begun to decline.

There are multiple reasons for this. For starters, pharmacy technicians have begun to assume some of the tasks that pharmacists used to do. It is far less expensive for an employer to hire a pharmacy technician than it is to hire a pharmacist, so there is strong incentive for employers to hire a pharmacy tech rather than a pharmacist whenever possible.

You might think that this would result in an increase in demand for pharmacy technicians – but there isn’t a huge amount of growth happening in the future employment outlook for pharmacy techs either. By 2029, analysts at the BLS anticipate only a 4 percent growth rate for employees in this role.

This may be because increasing numbers of people are filling their prescriptions online or via the mail. This means that fewer numbers of pharmacists and pharmacy technicians will need to be available at drug stores and retail stores.

However, there’s one continuing bright spot for pharmacists who work in a hospital setting. These professionals are still very much in demand.

Medical Transcriptionist 

In the course of day-to-day operations, doctors and other healthcare workers sometimes make voice recordings that need to be transcribed. Historically, medical transcriptionists were hired to do this work.

However, technological advances are now reducing the available workload for medical transcriptionists. We now have speech recognition software that can automate this job. Furthermore, most healthcare practices are now using electronic health records (EHR), and healthcare workers have largely become proficient at inputting records directly rather than needing to have them transcribed. This situation is likely to result in a 2 percent decline in job opportunities for medical transcriptionists by the year 2029.

These are a few of the healthcare specializations that fall at the high and low ends of the projected future demand spectrum. There are plenty of other great careers available in healthcare, many of which have either a stable or favorable future employment outlook.