Healthcare recruiters are in for a busy decade.
That outlook is according to a new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which reports healthcare jobs will grow at a 14% higher rate than all other occupations from 2018-2028.
That means hospitals and healthcare facilities will add about 1.9 million additional jobs, mainly because of an aging patient population that will ramp up the need for healthcare services.
The most aggressive growth will be for personal care aides, a job expected to grow 36.4%, which means 881,000 more workers over the next decade.
Much like the patient population, the labor force is getting older as well. The BLS says approximately 25% of the workforce will be 55 and older by 2028. That is in stark contrast to 1998, when about 12% of the workforce was 55 or above.
According to 2018 BLS data, the average age of healthcare and social assistance workers was 42.7.
As a whole, however, the employment picture likely will trend downward, according to the BLS, which predicts 0.5% overall growth (8.4 million jobs) through 2028. During the 2008-2018 period, jobs went up at a 0.8% pace.
When it comes to healthcare, BLS predicts these 10 healthcare professions will see some of the most dramatic above average growth through 2028.
#1 — Physician assistants (31%)
The increased demand for healthcare services in rural and urban locations is driving this trend, which is expected to add 37,000 jobs by 2028. The fact that PAs can work in clinics, hospitals, physicians’ offices and other locations is seen as an attractive option.
#2 — Nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners (26%)
As 62,000 more workers join these healthcare roles by 2028, they will work in numerous settings, including hospitals and clinics to provide preventive care and work with a larger number of aging patients.
#3 — Medical assistants (23%)
As physicians’ schedules get more demanding, the need for support staff members will skyrocket.
The medical assistant profession, which usually involves some post-secondary education, such as a certificate, will grow by 154,900 workers, says the BLS. These professionals regularly perform routine clinical and administrative duties.
#4 — Phlebotomists (23%)
Performing bloodwork in a number of healthcare settings — hospitals, blood donor centers, diagnostic laboratories and other locations — has become commonplace. Thus, 29,500 of these healthcare jobs are anticipated to be added by 2028.
#5 — Respiratory therapists (21%)
At 27,900 jobs, this profession’s growth is low on total numbers but high on percentage. So why the need? The BLS says the rise is COPD, pneumonia and other respiratory disorders that can permanently damage or restrict lung function are the major culprits.
#6 — Registered nurses (12%)
With more than 3 million professionals, RNs are a massive group in healthcare. The care they provide for patients with a growing list of chronic conditions will be crucial as our population gets older through the 2020s. RN jobs by 2028 are expected to rise by 371,500.
#7 — Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (11%)
Providing various basic nursing care duties, LPNs and LVNs should surpass 800,000 total professionals by 2028. Over the current 10-year period, a growth of 78,100 jobs is foreseen by the BLS.
#8 — Clinical laboratory technologists and technicians (11%)
Through lab procedures, these professionals diagnose medical conditions, such as cancer or Type 2 diabetes. As the population ages, an increase of 35,100 jobs is expected, according to the BLS.
#9 — Nursing assistants and orderlies (9%)
For these two roles, which involve frequent lifting and moving patients, an increase of 137,800 jobs is anticipated. Workers in these healthcare jobs mainly work in nursing and residential care facilities, along with hospitals.
#10 — Physicians and surgeons (7%)
An aging population of baby boomers will make physicians and surgeons a big area of need in healthcare. The expected growth is 55,400 total jobs, most likely in hospital and office settings.