Medical Careers in Demand

These Medical Jobs Are Projected to Grow the Most Through 2018

Medical jobs are almost always in demand, but these jobs are expected to grow the most in the 10-year period ending in 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics occupational projections report. Of the 30 fastest-growing careers on the list of occupations, six of them were in the healthcare field. Those six top health careers are listed below. For more detailed information about each career, such as salary or educational requirements, click on the job title.


Home Health Aides

Home health aide helping elderly woman on a walk
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Home health aides are projected at the highest rate of growth, with 50 percent growth expected by 2018. While the pay for home health aids can be just above minimum wage, the plus side is the availability of jobs and the fact that no college degree is required.


Medical Assistants

Medical assisting is another health career that does not require a college degree, and it is second on the list with a projected growth of 33.9 percent from 2008-2018. Medical assistants assist nurses and doctors with basic tasks such as drawing blood, giving injections, taking the patient's vital signs, prepping exam rooms, and assisting with minor procedures. While there are certification programs for medical assisting, most medical assistants are trained on the job.


Registered Nurse

Nurse in surgery
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Registered nurses (RN) are third on the list for top growth in medical careers, with a projected increase of 22.2 percent. Over a half million more RN jobs are expected to be added in the ten year period ending in 2018. Registered nursing requires at least an associate's degree, which is the most common education level for RNs according to the BLS, but many RNs also have a bachelor's degree as well. Because they have some college-level education, RNs are paid higher than medical assistants and home health aides.


Physicians and Surgeons

Demand for physicians is expected to grow by 21.8 percent in the ten year period ending in 2018, with the addition of about 144,000 jobs. This is an alarming statistic, as physicians are already in such high demand, and some experts estimate that as many as one out of every ten physician openings goes unfilled. Due to the high level of education (medical doctorate) required to become a physician or surgeon, these professionals are among the highest paid in the healthcare industry.


Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)

LVN/LPN jobs come in at number five on the list due to a projected growth rate of 20.7 percent in the ten year period ending in 2018. Becoming an LPN or LVN doesn't require as much college as becoming an RN. Therefore, the pay for LVNs & LPNs is typically less than that of RNs. LVNs and LPNs are a "step above" medical assistants in terms of pay grade and education level requirements, however.


Nursing Aides, Orderlies, Attendants

Pushing Patient's Bed out of Hospital Room
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With a projected increase of 18.8 percent, nursing aides are also expected to experience a lot of growth from 2008-2018. Nursing aides and orderlies are most commonly found in long-term care homes, or nursing homes, and sometimes in hospitals as well.

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