Finding a career path in a secure and growing industry can be tough. Finding a career that is fulfilling and gives you the opportunity to help others is even tougher. But a medical career can meet both these requirements, and the opportunities are boundless.
You already know that a medical career would allow you to help people every day. But did you know that healthcare is also one of the fastest growing industries? Employment of healthcare professionals will grow by 18 percent between 2016 and 2026.
The great thing is that you don't have to be a physician or nurse to find your place in the medical field. There are plenty of occupations in high demand, so you can find one that is uniquely right for you. Read on for our list of the 7 fastest growing medical careers in the industry today.
1. Physician Assistant - Work Alongside Physicians and Surgeons
You can work right alongside doctors without having to spend years in medical school and residency. After you earn your Bachelor's degree, you can become a licensed and certified physician assistant within three years. You can even complete an accredited online program online, which is great if you need to work while you study.
Working as a physician assistant involves working in collaboration with a physician or surgeon. A physician assistant can diagnose illnesses, perform procedures, and carry out treatment plans. Still, the law requires that physician assistants work under the supervision of a licensed physician or surgeon.
This a great option for nurses, paramedics, and EMTs who want to for further their healthcare careers. And because of the shortage of physicians, becoming a physician assistant offers great job security. It's estimated that there will be about 40,000 job openings for physician assistants between 2016 and 2026.
2. Nurse Anesthetist -A Career for Nurses Who Want to Specialize
Registered nurses are always in high demand, and there are options for nurses who want to further their careers, too. Nurse anesthetists are responsible for related care and administration of anesthesia. They also provide care before and after procedures that need anesthesia.
To become a nurse anesthetist - or CRNA - you must first earn your Masters of Science in Nursing, specializing in anesthesiology. You can even find an accredited online program so you can work while you earn your CRNA. One year of clinical experience is also required to earn your CRNA credential.
3. Nurse Midwife -An Option for Nurses Specializing in Women's Care
Like nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives are nurses who specialize in a certain area of care. As a nurse midwife, you may work alongside an OB/GYN physician to provide care for women. Nurse midwives care for expectant and delivering mothers and can provide medical and annual exams.
Nurse midwives work in physician offices, hospitals, and outpatient care facilities. They can conduct diagnostic tests, asses and diagnose issues, and develop treatment plans. With their expertise, nurse midwives can even create content for platforms like mobile app BabyCenter.
4. Adult Gerontology Nurse - A Job in High Demand in Caring for the Elderly
One of the main reasons that medical professionals are in such high demand is that we have a growing elderly population. The huge Baby Boomer population now needs care from nurses specializing in gerontology. Gerontology nurses work in physicians' offices, assisted-living facilities, and outpatient care centers.
To become an adult gerontology nurse, you must earn a specialized Masters degree. Licensure and certification are also required. The new APRN Gerontological Specialist Certification (GS-C) is also an option.
5. Physical Therapist - For Medical Professionals with Experience in Kinesiology and Anatomy
Physical therapists develop and deliver rehabilitative programs for their patients. Their patients may have had a stroke or brain injury, or experienced a work-related injury. Physical therapists may also treat people who have neurological disorders like cerebral palsy.
Practicing physical therapy requires a doctoral degree. You should be able to complete this degree within three years. If you are a healthcare professional with interest or experience in kinesiology and physiology, this is a great choice for you.
6. Home Health Aide - Healthcare Professionals Providing At-Home Patient Care
Home health aids support disabled, chronically ill, or cognitively impaired patients. They often treat elderly patients and help with everything from medicine to personal tasks like bathing and dressing. Home health aides also often help with light housekeeping, grocery shopping, and meal preparation.
Home health aides are usually employed by certified home health or hospice agencies. They often consult with therapists, other medical staff, and even social workers. Like those who work in facilities, home health aides can also wear comfortable scrubs - like Blue Sky Scrubs - to work.
7. Veterinarian - One of the Best Medical Careers for Animal Lovers
If you want to help others, but your passion is for animals, you can still find success in the medical field. And luckily, the demand for veterinarians is growing along with the demand for those who treat humans. The growth rate for veterinary jobs between 2016 and 2026 is also 18 percent.
Many people think veterinarians only treat pets like cats and dogs. But farm animals like horses, pigs, chickens, and even livestock need veterinary care, too. Like physicians, veterinarians can further specialize in surgical care or physical rehabilitation.
Find the Perfect Job for You in a Growing Industry
Job security is important, but you also want to enjoy working in a field you're passionate about. We've covered some of the best medical careers that offer both security and fulfillment. If you're not sure healthcare is the right industry for you, there are other fields to explore.
For example, the IT industry is also thriving and expecting huge growth in employment. You can explore some of the most popular career paths in information technology. If this field interests you, also be sure to read up on the cybersecurity skills you'll need to succeed.
Whether you choose healthcare, information technology, or some other field, you should find a job you love. You may not like every moment of every day at work, but a general sense of fulfillment is important. Take your time to research industries and consider your unique strengths to find the job that's right for you.