Health Care Industry Expected to Lead U.S. Job Growth

Health Care Industry

Educated health care workers may become the most desirable asset for employers in the coming decade, according to December 2015 data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency, which monitors and predicts employment trends, reported that health care related industries and occupations would experience the fastest growth and add the most jobs through 2024, largely due to the Baby Boomer generation’s transition from the workforce into retirement.

“The health care and social assistance major sector is expected to become the largest employing major sector during the projections decade, overtaking the state and local government major sector and the professional and business services major sector,” the agency announced in its report.

New Opportunities

One third of the occupations expected to see the most job growth into 2024 were health care related, according to the BLS. Those included personal care aides, registered nurses, and nursing and medical assistants. Growth in these sectors outpaced much of the list, which included customer service representatives, food prep workers, and retail salespersons.

Degrees Matter

While the number of job opportunities will increase, so will the competition. The BLS estimates that the civilian labor force will grow at an annual rate of 0.5 percent, reaching 163.8 million by 2024. That means employers will have their pick of the best and the brightest, and college degrees will be paramount.

In the agency’s list of the 15 fastest growing occupations, 11 would require some level of higher education. Jobs related to health care on the list included physical therapist assistants, home health aides, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners.

Paycheck Growth

Workers in the health care and social assistance sectors will also see the largest boosts in their paychecks through 2024, according to the BLS. The report cited the home health service, nursing, and outpatient care industries are among those predicted to see the largest wage and salary employment growth. Industries on the decline included the U.S. Postal Service, textile manufacturing, and newspaper and periodical publishing, the agency reported.

Thinking about a career in health care? Explore unique opportunities and what you should study if you’re pursuing a job in a growing field.

Written by Jason R. Latham, Content Manager for Bridgepoint Education.

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