The outlook for healthcare careers continues to be strong. If you are considering a new career or a career change, investigate these fast-growing careers. For those currently working in one of these fields, here’s an update of what you can expect in the coming year.
Occupational therapists help patients who are disabled, injured or ill navigate the basic skills of daily living. They typically work in hospitals or medical offices, but may also work in schools, assisted care facilities and in patient homes. Occupational therapists typically have a master’s degree in occupational therapy. All states require occupational therapists to be licensed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for occupational therapists is $80,150. Employment of occupational therapists is projected to grow 27 percent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations.
Speech-Language Pathologists work with patients with communication and swallowing disorders. Many SLPs work in schools, but they are also needed in healthcare facilities including hospitals. Speech-language pathologists typically need at least a master’s degree. They must be licensed in most states. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for speech-language pathologists is $73,410. Employment of speech-language pathologists is projected to grow 21 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Physical therapists focus on rehabilitation of patients with chronic conditions, illnesses or injuries. They typically work in private offices and clinics, hospitals and nursing homes Physical therapists entering the profession need a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree. All states require physical therapists to be licensed. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for physical therapists is $84,020. Employment of physical therapists is projected to grow 34 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Cath Lab Techs fall under a category that includes diagnostic medical sonographers and cardiovascular technologists and technicians. The techs in this group typically work in hospitals, physicians’ offices and medical and diagnostic laboratories. Formal education is required, usually an associate degree. Many employers also require professional certification. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for cath lab techs is $63,630. Employment is projected to grow 24 percent from 2014 to 2024.
Surgical technologists or operating room technicians, assist in prepare operating rooms, arrange equipment and help doctors during surgeries. Most surgical technologists work in hospitals and typically need an associate degree or certification to be the most marketable. Some states regulate surgical technologists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for surgical technologists is $44,330. Employment of surgical technologists is projected to grow 15 percent from 2014 to 2024.
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