If you’ve had enough of your current industry or job and know you need a change, you might be keen to start searching or studying for a new role this coming year. Alternatively, you might be a recent graduate or a university student trying to decide on a major.
Either way, it pays to keep an eye on the trending career paths that will provide growth opportunities over the coming years. Here are some of the top contenders worth learning more about.
With so many doctors and other critical medical personnel flat out these days, physician assistants can take some of the workload off their shoulders and help patients be attended to sooner. Known as “PAs” for short, these workers aid and get supervised by medical practitioners and complete tasks such as speaking with patients and taking detailed records, running tests, prescribing medications, and the like.
They typically work in hospitals or clinics and must be able to work well with others, as part of a team. Physician assistants handle duties from across both clinical diagnostic and preventative healthcare services, so enjoy a variety of tasks in their work life.
Home Health Aide
If you’d prefer to see patients in their own homes, you might like to become a home health aide. This job involves assisting those you care for to manage their day-to-day tasks, such as washing clothes, cleaning the home, preparing meals, and other tasks. They also administer care as needed by cleaning people up and bathing them, bandaging scrapes and cuts, etc.
With an aging population in many countries around the world, including in the United States, as well as many injured and chronically ill citizens, increasing numbers of people will need some help at home to stay in their preferred environments and avoid having to move to care facilities.
If you like the idea of working in a pharmacy so you can help people but not have to worry about seeing blood or doing other hands-on patient work, you might consider becoming a pharmacy technician. You can enroll in a course to study how to become a pharmacy technician online or on-campus and, once complete, work with pharmacists to locate, dispense, pack, and label prescribed medications. Typically, pharmacists supervise and review these tasks before any medicine is given to patients.
In this role, you can also find yourself handling admin jobs, such as filing paperwork, tracking or ordering inventory, and processing insurance claims. You might work with doctors and nurses in hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, or other clinics and environments, and even fill automated dispensing machines or repackage bulk medications occasionally.
If the sight of blood is no issue for you, consider training to become a phlebotomist. This in-demand role involves extracting blood from patients with a sterilized needle. This “venipuncture” procedure is generally used to evaluate the health of those the blood is taken from, or health organizations keep the blood for future blood transfusions.
Phlebotomists can be tasked with taking samples of urine, saliva, or other bodily fluids, too, and they sometimes assist nurses or doctors in hospitals and other settings. Typically, though, they work in medical centers, blood collection facilities, labs, and clinics. They must ensure that samples are correctly taken and labeled to avoid mixups of results or inadequate storage.
If you’d prefer to work in a leadership role in the healthcare sector, why not work your way up to a healthcare management position? These personnel must combine leadership and management skills with proactive, hands-on knowledge and experience. If you become a healthcare manager, you’ll work in hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, health centers, or government organizations.
You’ll need to work with various people, including medical personnel, equipment suppliers, government liaisons, custodial staff, and more. Healthcare managers can oversee departments or entire organizations and handle staffing and budgetary matters, strategic planning, media requests, and center operations, to name just a few tasks.
Counseling is another growing field, with so many people struggling in various ways and for different reasons. In particular, there’s significant demand for more crisis counselors. These specialists help patients who have been through intense, traumatic, or emotionally exhausting events or periods such as rape, kidnapping, terror attack, at-home violence, or other types of horrific accidents, violent outbursts, or planned attacks.
Crisis counselors generally only work with people short-term, with most aid lasting from one to three months. They conduct patient assessments and administer treatments, providing emotional support and helping patients understand their feelings and beliefs. Counselors assist people in learning how to create new structures to recover from and move past the crisis they saw or were involved in.
These are just some of the top healthcare career paths worth considering this year and beyond. Many fields are growing and will provide excellent opportunities for employment over the coming decade, so do your research and consider your skills and interests to determine what job type might best suit you.