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Healthcare Jobs

Enda Goodwin

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If you were to identify an industry that offered excellent long-term career prospects, could you name one better than healthcare?  Consider the following, all from 2010 Bureau of Labor Statistics information:

  • As one of the largest industries in 2008 (the most recent year with available data), healthcare provided 14.3 million jobs for wage and salary workers.
  • Ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are healthcare related.
  • Healthcare jobs are found throughout the country, but they are concentrated in metropolitan areas.
  • Healthcare will generate 3.2 million new wage and salary jobs between 2008 and 2018, more than any other industry, largely in response to rapid growth in the elderly population.

Clearly, the growth is there, and it’s not going away.  Healthcare workers at all levels of education and training will continue to be in demand.  Job openings should arise in all healthcare employment settings as a result of employment growth and the need to replace workers who retire or leave for other reasons.

Jobs in healthcare run the gamut on pay scales, from minimum wage to six and seven figures, but almost all offer superior medical, dental, and vacation benefits.  Many also offer flexible work schedules, pleasant working conditions in modern facilities, free parking at worksites, tuition reimbursement, subsidized food services, and many other benefits.  While some healthcare jobs are part-time, they are steady for the most part, unlike jobs subject to whipsawing staffing changes, or those being moved offshore. Moreover, many healthcare workers derive a personal benefit from what they do for a living – providing care to others. 

In many cases, it is easier for jobseekers with health-specific training to obtain jobs and advance in their careers. Specialized clinical training is a requirement for many jobs in healthcare and can be an asset even for those jobs that do not specifically require it. At the same time, the required education and training is widely available throughout the U.S. For example, if you already have a bachelor’s degree, you may be able to complete training for many specialized healthcare positions in a year or less, possibly studying in evenings.  Certain other positions (such as in administration, finance, human resources, marketing, sales, and others) are frequently open to those with applicable skills gained outside healthcare. 

So healthcare is clearly an opportunity area, and if you’re motivated, we encourage you to explore further.  But an effective “healthcare career track” job search must also take into account what has proven useful in “general” job search.  You’ll still need to work your marketing plan.  You’ll still need to talk to people.  You must do your research -- explore medical publications, corporations involved with research and development, associations, directories, blogs, and job fairs. And you’ll still need to get interviews and to do well on them.  Don’t abandon your LHH resources – rather, adapt and apply them to your job search effort. 

Finding a Healthcare Job

Healthcare jobs can be found in every area of the workplace and economy today.  One of the best things about working in the healthcare industry is that the skills, talents and experience you have can be applied to obtaining a job.  They can include jobs that:

  • Are traditionally seen as health related such as: medicine, vision care, nursing, social services health care facilities manager and more.
  • Work with the aging population through advances in genomics, preventive care and end-of-life care. Opportunities might include: genomics researchers, preventative care specialist, gerontologists, RNs and other health professionals.
  • Work with new advances in research and technologies to combat traditional conditions; MRI Technologists, and IVF clinic nurses are just a few related jobs.
  • Involve alternative and complementary treatments, such as stress management, acupuncture, homeopathic remedies, or massage therapy.
  • Utilize creativity in public relations, marketing, promotion, advertising, fund raisers and more.
  • Use business skills such as business managers, auditors, attorneys, human resource managers and more.

Searching for a healthcare job is not unlike searching for any other job, and includes the standard components of research, personal marketing, networking, interviewing, and negotiating.  An effective approach to a Healthcare job search will use the resources here on CRN, with a special emphasis on three “uniquely Healthcare” areas:

  1. Understanding the Healthcare Job Market: The healthcare job market is burgeoning, with U. S. estimates as high as five million new jobs over the next 20 years.  But what are they, where are they, and are you qualified?  This is where good research comes into play.  You may want to listen to the Finding a Healthcare Job podcast.
  2. Skills Transfer: You will want to conduct a more thorough personal skills inventory and assessment to determine how to transfer and apply current non-Healthcare skills to Healthcare industry language and usage.  If you do not have Healthcare credentials, you must figure out how to leverage your current background to make yourself attractive.  Review Milestone 2, Determine Your Professional Objective, especially the material on Skills, Accomplishments, and the Transferrable Skills Inventory.  
  3. Interview Skills:  Getting a healthcare job may require that you sharpen and focus your interview skills in areas important to the targeted industry and company.  Many healthcare job opportunities require not just healthcare knowledge, but healthcare commitment.  Do you have it?  Can you demonstrate it?  Review Milestone 2, Determine Your Professional Objective, especially the material on Skills, Interests, and Values, and Milestone 9, Interview, Cultivate Offers, and Negotiate

For more on points 2 and 3, listen to our Healthcare Interviewing Skills podcast

Healthcare Jobs Resources

You may already be thoroughly knowledgeable about the economy and the career opportunities represented there.  But if you are not, take heart, as the information is out there and available with minimal digging. 

Industry Size and General Trends

  • The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics in its Occupational Outlook Handbook provides industry information.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute (HRI) provides new intelligence, perspective, and analysis on health reform and business issues impacting the health industry, including providers, payers, pharmaceutical, life sciences companies, and large employers. This is good place to start on researching the total Healthcare sector and identifying many of its component industry parts. 
  • Fierce Healthcare is great source of medical industry news. In addition to the general healthcare updates, Fierce Healthcare also has a number of sister websites focusing on more specific aspects of the healthcare industry in further detail, such as the pharmaceutical industry (Fierce Pharma), the Healthcare IT industry (Fierce HealthIT), and biotech (Fierce BioTech).
  • HealthLeaders is geared towards healthcare executives, which can include hospital administration, physicians, medical directors, nursing leadership, and more.
  • Riley Guide for Healthcare for career and occupational guides in Healthcare.
  • Medzilla is another place to find career advice in Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology, Medicine, Healthcare and Science.

Information on Healthcare Issues

Healthcare Degrees

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