Fastest-Growing Health Care Jobs

While the U.S. workforce is projected to grow 4.4% from 2013 to 2017, some health care jobs are expected to grow three to five times as fast during that time period.

While the U.S. workforce is projected to grow 4.4% from 2013 to 2017, some health care jobs are expected to grow three to five times as fast. More than half of the 50 jobs projected to grow the fastest in five years are health care jobs, according to projections from CareerBuilder and Economic Modeling Specialists.

Only two of the health care jobs on the list require a bachelor’s degree or higher, though, but they all will see job growth of between 13% and 23%. Several of the fastest-growing health care occupations are medium-wage jobs.

“Projections provide an important look at the future of the labor market, and can be used to spot emerging trends that have implications for students and job seekers, as well as businesses and economic planners,” Matt Ferguson, chief executive officer of CareerBuilder, said in a statement. “Barring any major shocks to the economy, the short-term job outlook in the U.S. will likely continue developments seen during the recovery -- specifically, significant growth for jobs that require a college education and occupations in health care, energy and technology.”

In 46 of 52 metro areas the fastest-growing job between 2013 and 2017 is health care related, although there are a few exceptions. Austin, will have a need for educators (teacher assistants took the top, followed by elementary school teachers and middle school teachers). Detroit and Pittsburgh need gaming dealers; Phoenix needs plumbers, pipefitters and steamfitters; Raleigh needs management analysts; and Tucson needs telemarketers.

Half (23) of the 52 largest metro areas are projected to outpace the national rate of job growth with Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Raleigh, and Phoenix, expected to led the way.

Here are the 10 health care jobs with the highest projected job growth rate over five years.

10. Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

Job growth from 2013-2017: 13%

Median hourly earnings: $15.28

There are already 238,658 jobs for emergency medical technicians and paramedics in 2013, but by 2017 there will be an additional 30,234 jobs. Emergency medical technicians fall within the medium-wage category.

9. Medical Secretaries

Job growth from 2013-2017: 14%

Median hourly earnings: $15.17

Another of the medium-wage health care jobs, there are currently 537,064 medical secretary jobs and CareerBuilder projects there will be an additional 76,386 by 2017. Medical secretaries are projected to be one of the 10 fastest-growing occupations in 38 of the 52 largest metro areas.

8. Physical Therapist Aides

Job growth from 2013-2017: 15%

Median hourly earnings: $11.56

Physical therapists themselves will see a slightly slower job growth rate from 2013 to 2017, but still plenty fast at 13%. Jobs for aides will grow by 7,615, but they earn more than a third less than physical therapists.

7. Medical Scientists (Non-Epidemiologists)

Job growth from 2013-2017: 15%

Median hourly earnings: $36.95

Unlike the majority of the jobs on this list, here is one that requires something higher than a bachelor’s degree. As such, it is a high-wage job, earning more than all of the top 10 except for the job that took the top spot. The occupation is projected to add another 15,194 jobs by 2017.

6. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Job growth from 2013-2017: 15%

Median hourly earnings: $32.09

Another high-wage job, but diagnostic medical sonographers don’t need anything higher than a bachelor’s degree to perform the job. With 60,273 jobs currently, CareerBuilder is projecting an additional 9,271 will be added by 2017.

5. Occupational Therapy Assistants

Job growth from 2013-2017: 15%

Median hourly earnings: $25.65

With just 30,817 jobs currently, occupational therapy assistants have the least amount of jobs out of all the occupations in the top 10. By just adding 4,693 jobs by 2017, occupational therapy assistants will have seen a 15% jump in jobs.

4. Physical Therapist Assistants

Job growth from 2013-2017: 16%

Median hourly earnings: $25.14

They make more than double the median hourly earnings of a physical therapist aide and jobs for assistants will grow slightly faster from 2013 to 2017. There will be an additional 11,320 jobs for physical therapist assistants by 2017, bringing total jobs up to 83,765.

3. Home Health Aides

Job growth from 2013-2017: 21%

Median hourly earnings: $9.97

By 2017 the number of jobs for home health aides will break the million mark. There are currently 950,273 jobs, but CareerBuilder expects there to be 1.2 jobs in 2017, a change of 200,067. However, home health aides have the second-lowest median hourly wage out of all the fastest-growing health care jobs.

Out of 52 metro areas in the U.S., home health aides are expected to be the fastest-growing occupation in 27 of them.

2. Personal Care Aides

Job growth from 2013-2017: 21%

Median hourly earnings: $9.77

There are already more than 1.3 million jobs for personal care aides, but with the aging population CareerBuilder estimates there will be 1.6 million jobs in 2017, an increase of 275,898 jobs in the next four years.

Unfortunately, despite the demand for personal care aides, they earn the least out of the 10 fastest-growing health care jobs.

1. Biomedical Engineers

Job growth from 2013-2017: 23%

Median hourly earnings: $41.66

Another job that requires something higher than a bachelor’s degree — and the job pays well for the extra schooling. Biomedical engineers get paid the most out of all the jobs in the top 10. Only a few jobs pay better, such as $63.67 for petroleum engineers and $72.70 for nurse anesthetists.