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Major Job Growth Predicted for Healthcare Field Through 2018

Considering a big career change into health care this year? Or, are you already in the field, but ready to get a leg up on your career? The U.S. Department of Labor projects a dramatic 22.5 percent job growth for the industry through 2018. As baby boomers drive the need for health care providers up and the Affordable Care Act plays out, you’d be wise to watch the health care career field closely. Here are the hot jobs to pursue now.

Nurse

There is a continuing need for nurses at all levels in the health care hierarchy. We are still in a shortage and the demand for qualified nurses will continue to climb, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The trend to watch—private nursing and assisted living nursing careers. While the Affordable Care Act promises care for everyone, the numbers don’t exactly add up as elderly patients continue to outweigh the number of nurses and staff available across the nation’s emergency rooms. This is especially important because it drives two trends: Hospitals aren’t hiring support staff to meet the growing numbers of baby boomers landing in emergency rooms and smart baby boomers are looking at other settings such as assisted living and nursing home environments to avoid hospital stays.

Medical Coder & Biller

A 2013 survey by the American Academy of Professional Coders suggests that medical coding and billing career opportunities are on the rise because of the expanding salary ranges reported by participants. What drives their salary? The AACP says that the higher level of education and credentials one has equals a bigger annual payout. But remember, not all coding education progams are created equal. Online schools like Penn Foster offers a comprehensive medical coding and billing program and early membership into the AACP, allowing you to choose mentors and interact with other seasoned professionals before you even leave school. Aligning with mentors while completing a thorough program could kick-start your entry into the field with a bit more ease and be reflected in your salary.

Certified Medical Assistant

For people ready to get their feet wet in a little bit of everything health care has to offer, a growing career is found in medical assistants. According to the American Association of Medical Assistants, these jobs are available in hospitals, private practices, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and emergency care settings across the nation. You’ll be responsible for helping things run smoothly behind the scenes by helping physicians and nurses with diagnostics while interacting directly to help with patient affairs.

Health Care Administrator

If you love health care, yet prefer to be out of the spotlight, this could be a rewarding career option for you to explore. You can work in public or private sectors, or influence future health care policies by working in city, state or federal agencies, according to explorehealthcareers.org. If you’re going for the big bucks, an investment into a master’s degree program can earn you top pay in the field over others.

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