The COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for healthcare workers, which was already growing due to the large aging population. The number of healthcare careers is expected to grow more than careers in many other industries over the next decade, adding approximately 2.4 million new jobs by 2029.
While healthcare is a safe field to pursue if you are looking for a stable career, the specific jobs that are in the highest demand will likely fluctuate based on the specific context and needs of the moment. As we begin 2021, here are what appear to be the healthcare jobs in the greatest demand for this year:
Nurse Practitioners. Nurse practitioners have been enjoying a high level of job security for years, and the need for them is expected to continue to grow over the next decade. Nurse practitioners have indeed been critical contributors in the fight against COVID-19 and in caring for critically ill patients. For those considering nursing or those who already have their basic nursing degree, pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing to become a nurse practitioner may be a good route to a steady job or job flexibility.
Medical Assistants. The role of medical assistant is growing quickly. In addition to the opportunity afforded by the huge demand for medical assistants, the nature of the job can vary significantly, meaning that individuals who want to be medical assistants may have the opportunity to choose roles that involve the tasks they prefer. For example, some medical assistants may work more heavily in clinical medicine, whereas others may be more involved in the administrative aspects of their organization.
Physical Therapist Assistants. Physical therapists are in high demand, and the need for physical therapy assistants is growing steadily. Training for these positions usually requires less than two years, and physical therapist assistants get to provide hands-on care to patients with the oversight of a physical therapist.
Occupational Therapy Assistants. Like physical therapy, occupational therapy is a growing field that is accompanied by a large increase in demand for occupational therapy assistants to help the clinics or facilities with their operations. An advantage for the role of occupational therapy assistant is that there is no specific education or training requirement, which offers some flexibility to individuals interested in pursuing this line of work.
One theme that is clear from the healthcare jobs that are currently in the highest demand is that in areas of healthcare that are growing, support staff positions may offer a large degree of job security without requiring extensive courses or clinical training. If you are interested in entering the healthcare space, considering which areas of healthcare may be in need of more employees can help you anticipate the best places to break in. As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves and more is revealed about gaps in our healthcare services, it will become clearer which healthcare careers may be the most fruitful to pursue in the coming years.
Which Jobs Are in the Highest Demand in 2021
- Nurse Practitioner
- Medical Assistant
- Physical Therapist Assistant
- Occupational Therapy Assistant