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Medical / Nursing Careers - Future Outlook

Services is the largest and fastest growing major industry group and is expected to add 13.7 million new jobs by 2010, accounting for 3 out of every 5 new jobs created in the U.S. economy. Over two-thirds of this projected job growth is concentrated in three sectors of services industries-business, health, and social services. Health services-including home healthcare services, hospitals, and offices of health practitioners-will add 2.8 million new jobs as demand for healthcare increases because of an aging population and longer life expectancies.

Employment in service occupations is projected to increase by 5.1 million, or 19.5 percent, the second largest numerical gain and second highest rate of growth among the major occupational groups. Healthcare support occupations are expected to grow the fastest, 33.4 percent, adding 1.1 million new jobs.

Dental Assistant
"Job prospects for dental assistants should be good. Employment is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2010. In addition, numerous job openings will occur due to the need to replace assistants who transfer to other occupations, retire, or leave the labor force for other reasons. Many opportunities are for entry-level positions offering on-the-job training."

Medical Assistant
"Employment of medical assistants is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2010 as the health services industry expands because of technological advances in medicine, and a growing and aging population. It is one of the fastest growing occupations."

"Overall employment of nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides is projected to grow faster than the average through the year 2010, although individual occupational growth rates vary. Home health aides are expected to grow the fastest, as a result of growing demand for home healthcare from an aging population and efforts to contain healthcare costs by moving patients out of hospitals and nursing facilities as quickly as possible.

Nursing aide employment will not grow as fast as home health aide employment, largely because nursing aides are concentrated in the relatively slower-growing nursing home sector. Nevertheless, employment of nursing aides is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations in response to increasing emphasis on rehabilitation and the long-term care needs of a rapidly growing elderly population. Modern medical technology will also increase the employment of nursing aides.

Numerous openings for nursing and home health aides will arise from a combination of fast growth and high replacement needs for these large occupations. Turnover is high, a reflection of modest entry requirements, low pay, high physical and emotional demands, and lack of advancement opportunities. For these same reasons, many people are unwilling to perform this kind of work. Therefore, persons who are interested in this work and suited for it should have excellent job opportunities. "

Source: U.S. Department of Labor - Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook 2003

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