Top careers in the healthcare industry to watch out in 2021

Updated on January 18, 2021
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The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Students and aspiring professionals are attracted by its potential to offer extrinsic and intrinsic motivations for growth and career advancement. Healthcare is a field that provides superior job security and stability and lucrative opportunities to generate a reliable income. 

Healthcare professionals can continue advancing their careers with training, skill-building, and higher education pursuits. Economic recessions do not influence their jobs, and they don’t have to worry about layoffs and salary cuts. But make no mistake, building a lucrative career in healthcare is no easy feat. It requires dedicated years of training and education and the ability to grow in highly-stressful work environments. 

Keep reading to explore the top healthcare careers expected to grow exponentially in 2021. 

  1. Physical Therapist 

Are you surprised to spot a physical therapist on the top of this list instead of surgeons and general physicians? Does this indicate that physical therapy is a more lucrative work line than surgery and traditional medical care? Yes, indeed.

A physical therapist is one of the fastest-growing healthcare careers, expected to witness remarkable growth in the coming years. It is a career that offers flexibility and a healthy work-life balance. The academic and training requirements are less rigorous and demanding, with lucrative growth and financial stability opportunities. 

On average, the median salary for a physical therapist is around $89,000 a year. Experts believe that physical therapists’ demand will increase by a striking 18% by 2029. 

  1. Healthcare Administration 

Healthcare facilities, hospitals, pharmacies, and clinics are all businesses, which must breakeven, cut wastage, and ensure profitability. Healthcare organizations hire experienced and skilled professionals for administrative positions to enhance productivity and eliminate inefficiency. 

There are numerous opportunities to explore leadership positions and financial stability in healthcare administration. Aspirants are advised to focus on academic advancement, training, and skill-building. If you’re currently working in an administrative post, consider pursuing an online Master of Health Administration

Hospitals hire several administrative professionals, from communication experts and administrators to CFOs, PR specialists, and more. Pursuing higher education and training will help you stand out in your department and get noticed by your superiors. Academic advancement will ideally position you for promotions and career advancement. 

  1. Dental Hygienist 

A dental hygienist is another lucrative career path expected to witness impressive growth in the years to come. Statistics reveal that by 2029, over 13,000 new dental hygienist jobs expect to emerge in the US alone. It is a career that offers flexibility, stability, and a faster than average growth rate of 6%. 

Dental hygienists manage their hours and usually work in self-employed practices and clinics. They typically pursue associate degrees as opposed to rigorous training and higher education. On average, they earn a median yearly income of over $76,000. 

  1. Physician Assistant 

Here’s another surprise: how can a physician assistant enjoy more growth and popularity than a physician? People who pose such questions are blissfully unaware of the shifting dynamics of patient care and healthcare processes. They also tend to confuse physician assistants with medical assistants. 

You see, physician assistants are highly qualified and skilled healthcare professionals with advanced education. They work closely with physicians and specialists to diagnose illnesses, treat patients, and undertake preventive interventions. Given the shifting dynamics of healthcare models, physician assistants spend more time interacting and assisting patients. 

On average, physician assistants’ median salary is over $112,000, with superior job security and stability. It a challenging career but also one of the most lucrative and rapidly growing career paths.  

  1. Nurse Practitioner 

Nurses are the driving force behind quality patient care in any healthcare facility, be it a hospital or a clinic. They work in numerous healthcare settings, serving as a vital facilitator for patients and doctors. Nurse practitioners are highly skilled and qualified and licensed to perform most of a physician’s responsibilities. 

In recent years, the demand for nurse practitioners and highly skilled nurses is rapidly growing. It may come as a surprise, but this career path is much more lucrative than a physician assistant. The demand is certainly going to rise by a whopping 52% in the next ten years. 

On average, nurse practitioners earn a median annual salary of $115,800, and they operate in various healthcare specializations. Some of the most in-demand nursing specializations include pediatric, emergency care, neonatal, adult care, and gerontology. 

  1. Physician 

A physician enjoys a prestigious and highly-esteemed position in the top-tier of healthcare professionals. Physicians hold immense significance in the medical hierarchy, increasing with additional training and in-demand specialization. However, this career requires a massive investment of time, effort, and financial resources. Most physicians begin their careers with enormous amounts of student loan debt. 

While the path to becoming a physician is challenging, the career comes with an abundance of tangible rewards. On average, physicians earn a median annual salary of over $208,000. After a 15 year journey of schooling and training, they enjoy superior financial stability and job security. 


People aspiring for a healthcare career fail to realize that there are numerous careers aside from physicians and surgeons. Nursing is one of the most lucrative and rapidly growing fields, while occupational therapists’ demand is also rising steadily. Several career paths do not demand years of rigorous training but offer financial security and job stability. 

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Throughout the year, our writers feature fresh, in-depth, and relevant information for our audience of 40,000+ healthcare leaders and professionals. As a healthcare business publication, we cover and cherish our relationship with the entire health care industry including administrators, nurses, physicians, physical therapists, pharmacists, and more. We cover a broad spectrum from hospitals to medical offices to outpatient services to eye surgery centers to university settings. We focus on rehabilitation, nursing homes, home care, hospice as well as men’s health, women’s heath, and pediatrics.