The Best Healthcare Jobs to Join by 2030, According to Salary and Job Growth

The Best Healthcare Jobs to Join by 2030, According to Salary and Job Growth

5 minute read

It’s no secret that medical and healthcare jobs are in high demand right now. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how much we rely on doctors, nurses, and healthcare providers around the world. And in the next ten years, we’re going to need them more than ever. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that healthcare jobs will grow 16%, adding about 2.6 million new positions by 2030. Plus, they’re jobs that pay well when compared to other industries: the median salary for healthcare professionals was about $70,000 in 2020, almost twice as high as the median wage for all other jobs in the country. Health and medicine fields are growing, and if you’re considering one for a career, there’s never been a better time to start. Whether you’re looking for a high annual wage or the greatest job security, here are the top healthcare professions you should consider:

Healthcare Careers with the Best Job Outlook: Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives, and Nurse Practitioners

The senior adult woman sits quietly as the mid adult female nurse uses a stethoscope to check her heart and lungs during a home health visit. These professionals will likely be in highest demand in the next eight years, with 45% growth expected between now and 2030. It’s easy to see why when looking at what they do: nurse anesthetists, midwives, and other advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) work across the healthcare professions, seeing patients in hospitals, clinics, and physicians’ offices. APRNs can either work with patient physicians or independently, prescribing medicine, diagnosing ailments and ordering tests. There are also many APRNs in research and teaching positions. While you will need to earn a master’s degree to become an APRN, their median annual wage is higher than others at $117,670. (StraighterLine helped Jason Fox earn 21 credits toward his nursing degree, leading him save thousands on his master’s and start his career a full year early. Hear from Jason about his accomplishments, and how our courses can help you achieve yours.) Other healthcare careers with high job growth:

  • Occupational Therapy Assistants and Aides: 34% job growth by 2030
  • Home Health and Personal Care Aides: 33% job growth by 2030
  • Massage Therapists: 32% job growth by 2030
  • Physical Therapist Assistants and Aides: 32% job growth by 2030
  • Physician Assistants: 31% job growth by 2030

Highest Paying Healthcare Jobs: Physicians and Surgeons

Concentrated surgeon performing surgery with her teamIt’s probably no surprise that physicians and surgeons have some of the highest incomes in healthcare—the best out there earn more than $208,000 per year. But did you know that they work in non-clinical settings, too? You can find many physicians working for government agencies, non-profits, and insurance companies. To become a physician, you’ll have to earn a bachelor’s and a medical degree, and then spend another 3 to 9 years in internship and residency programs. (We can help get you started with Anatomy and Physiology I - Once you finish your training, you’ll find plenty of demand for your skills and abilities. Other high-paying healthcare jobs:

  • Dentists: $164,000 median income
  • Podiatrists: $134,000 median income
  • Optometrists: $118,000 median income
  • Physical Therapists: $91,010 median income
  • Occupational Therapists: $86,280 median income

Healthcare Professions with the Biggest Job Pool: Home Health and Personal Care Aides

Caregiver assist senior woman at homeThese professionals hold 3.47 million jobs in the U.S., making them the largest job pool in healthcare today. Home health and personal care aides help patients with disabilities or chronic illnesses throughout their everyday tasks. In addition to helping them with their medication and therapy routines, they also help patients with transportation to and from their doctors’ offices, help them prepare diet-specific meals and keep up with their housekeeping tasks. While they’re usually not able to prescribe medicine or make diagnoses on their own, caregivers often work closely with doctors and nurses to ensure their patients receive the treatment and medicine they need. In addition to a large job pool, another 1.1 million positions are expected to open up in the next 8 years, making caregivers highly sought after. Other healthcare careers with large job pools:

  • Registered Nurses: 3.08 million jobs
  • Nursing Assistants and Orderlies: 1.44 million jobs
  • Physicians and Surgeons: 727,000 jobs
  • Medical Assistants: 720,900 jobs
  • Licensed Practical and Vocational Nurses: 688,100 jobs

The Highest-Paid Healthcare Job that only Requires an Associate’s: Radiation Therapist

Closeup of a CT scan with brain Not all healthcare jobs require postgraduate education. Among those that only require an associate’s degree, radiation therapists make the most, with a median income of $86,850. These professionals work with oncology teams to provide radiation treatments to their patients. Most work in hospitals, but some are attached to physician offices and outpatient care centers. Radiation therapists must be licensed or certified in most states, and often, an associate’s degree will fulfill the education requirement. Other high-paying healthcare jobs that only require an associates:

  • Nuclear Medicine Technologist: $79,590 median income
  • Dental Hygienist: $77,090 median income
  • Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians: $70,380 median income
  • Radiologic and MRI Technologists: $63,710
  • Respiratory Therapists: $62,810

Explore More in Healthcare Careers

All this information can be found in the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, which is a great reference for learning more about the career paths that interest you the most. And if healthcare sounds right for you, we have many online courses to help you earn credits toward your degree.

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