The employment outlook for health care workers as well as salaries for almost all health care related positions is on the rise, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Job opportunities should be excellent in all employment settings because of high job turnover, particularly from the large number of expected retirements and tougher immigration rules that are slowing the numbers of foreign health care workers entering the U.S. Wage and salary employment in the health care industry is projected to increase 27 percent through 2014, compared with 14 percent for all industries combined”
While the baby boomer generation ages and hospitals cut expenditures and limit staffing, many of these new positions will come from the home health care industry. Traditionally, elderly individuals have relied on extended hospitals stays for post surgery care or ongoing illnesses. With many insurance companies limiting the number of overnight stays they will pay for, both procedurally and as a cumulative annual total per policyholder, as well as increased desire from seniors to stay independent in their later years, the shift in patient care has been dramatic.
“Employment growth is expected to account for about 3.6 million new wage and salary jobs—19 percent of all wage and salary jobs added to the economy over the 2004–14 period. Projected rates of employment growth for the various segments of the industry range from 13 percent in hospitals, the largest and slowest growing industry segment, to 69 percent in the much smaller home health care services.”
The bottom line for those considering a career in the health care industry is a positive outlook for the near future. With economic uncertainty making other traditional career choices less attractive, enrollment for health care related educational programs is on the rise. Still, many health care professions require multiple years of training. While some industry needs for personnel can be quickly met, especially at the administrative level, not all positions will be accounted for. Whether the current supply of health care field graduates can meet the current and future demand, especially for positions in nursing, patient diagnostics and other highly technical areas, is truly anyone’s guess.