What Are the Best Healthcare Careers to Get Into In 2014?

From nursing to therapy and everything in between, careers in the health care are both rewarding and challenging. With the current push toward more advanced health care and technologies, the opportunities only continue to grow. Current statistics show that the health care and social assistance arenas are projected to offer nearly 28% of the new occupations developed from 2010 to 2020, as reported by Forbes. The underlying determinants of that increase include an aging population as well as an increase in overall longevity. Not only are available positions to be on the rise, though. Wages and salaries offered to individuals in the healthcare field and expected to increase by 27% by 2014. Needless to say, the healthcare field is a lucrative place to be at present, but not all jobs are the same. This list offers brief insight into the most promising healthcare careers to get into in the 2014 calendar year.

The Top 5 Healthcare Careers

1. Dentistry—A smile never goes out of style and neither does the individual responsible for providing dental care. Boasting a median salary of $142,740 and a job availability of over 27,000, becoming a dentist is well worth the time spent getting there. Required training includes focused work in chemistry, physics, biology, anatomy, and mathematics, as well as more specialized courses like periodontology. While the actual schooling and training period takes approximately 8 years after high school, the flexibility and pay scale often readily offset this initial commitment.

2. Nursing—Likely the most available and active individuals on the health care scene, nurses account for the widest range of positions in the world of health. From elder care to oncology, nurses work in a variety of locations including hospitals, independent physician’s offices, schools, and other care facilities. Registered nursing offers a competitive median salary of approximately $65,690 and comprises a whopping 711,900 available positions. Registered nursing is currently number 2 on The Best Jobs of 2013 career list and is only expected to progress in the ranks over the next year. The job outlook for nurses is expected to grow by 26%.

3. Pharmacology—A bit of a twist on the traditional idea of health care, pharmacists are just as much a part of caring for the population as doctors, physicians, and nurses. Responsible for dispensing all of the medication prescribed by doctors and hospitals, pharmacists play a huge role in the health care field. As such, the profession is expected to grow by 25.4% by 2020. Another well-paying health care position, pharmacists enjoy a sizeable median salary of roughly $113,000. Recent reports show that pharmacists are also more satisfied with their jobs, particularly in terms of the opportunity for upward mobility and stress level compared to other healthcare positions.

4. General Medical Practice—Largely the most widely appreciated of all health care positions, physicians are responsible for a range of medical functions including treatment, preventative medicine, and universal patient care. Again requiring a great deal of specialization and training, medical practice pays off in terms of getting to care for people as well as being compensated for time spent working. With a current median salary of $183,170 and a job outlook of 24% growth, becoming a physician is another promising option for 2014.

5. Physical Therapy—From working with a paralytic to helping an injured individual regain muscle loss, physical therapy is one of the most diverse health care positions. With a job projection of a 39% increase as well as a median salary of $78,270, physical therapy is a position that offers a range of professional and personal growth opportunities.

In any position, particularly in the health care field, the drive has to be more than just a paycheck. These top 5 health care positions offer not only competitive compensation packages, but strong personal and relational growth opportunities. The health care field is currently a rewarding place to work and will only continue as such in 2014.