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Healthcare Jobs Aplenty, But Not All Will Make You Rich

By Scott E. Rupp via Multibriefs

Do you work in healthcare, or want to? You're on the path to seeing the money, Glassdoor reports.

Here are the specifics: Physicians make the most of any profession in the U.S. The median base salary was $187,876, with 7,770 job openings for 2017. But there are others in healthcare who are close behind: pharmacy managers earn $149,064 median base salary; pharmacists average $125,847; physician assistants average $112,529 and nurse practitioners $104,144.

Nurse practitioner made the 25 top-paying jobs list for the first time this year.

However, best pay doesn't always mean best job. Site visitors — Glassdoor is a website where employees anonymously review companies and the jobs they offer — points out that it recent list of 50 best jobs in America for 2017 ranked occupational therapist, nurse practitioner and nurse manager in the top three slots, with physician coming in at 34.

Healthcare as a whole has a bunch of offerings, though, not necessarily related to the Glassdoor report. U.S. News & World Report indicates that paramedics are in high demand with an expected 59,000 jobs expected this year, but the salary is lower than the other more specific career choices listed above at $31,700.

Medical assistants, too, are in extremely high demand, likely because they are inexpensive to hire and don't require as much education. They assist in doctor's offices, working in clerical support roles and performing basic medical tasks. The average salary is about $30,000, but there are expected to be about 140,000 jobs available currently.

Phlebotomists earn about $31,000 and there are about 30,000 vacancies.

For those looking to enter the marketplace or make a change in jobs, physician assistants can expect to see about 13,500 current job openings. Physicians just 7,770 and pharmacy managers a mere 2,400. Nurse practitioners also are in demand with an estimated 12,500 openings expected this year.

Salaries have been rising for most healthcare professions, according to an economic analysis released by Glassdoor last fall. During 2016, average salaries for physicians grew 2.7 percent to $197,297, while registered nurses' salaries rose 3.4 percent to $61,306. Medical assistants saw salaries grow by 6.3 percent to $33,244.

Location also matters, Healthcare Dive notes. A report by 24/7 Wall St. found wide state-to-state variations in primary care physician salaries. At the top end was Alaska, where salaries averaged $235,600, while Oklahoma ranked last at $144,100.

According to LinkedIn, the healthcare sector created more than 400,000 jobs year-over-year in 2016 — more than a fifth of the 2.2 million jobs created last year.

Of this year's 100 best jobs, as noted by U.S. News & World Report, about half of the jobs fall in the healthcare and healthcare support categories. Long-term growth in these fields is propelled by an aging baby boomer population and increased demand for medical services.

"While many healthcare jobs require advanced medical training, a large swath of them do not," the authors of the report note. "Healthcare support jobs, such as home health aide and medical secretary, continue to be in high demand and require less training."

Scott E. Rupp is a writer and an award-winning journalist focused on healthcare technology. He has worked as a public relations executive for a major electronic health record/practice management vendor, and he currently manages his own agency, millerrupp. In addition to writing for a variety of publications, Scott also offers his insights on healthcare technology and its leaders on his site, Electronic Health Reporter.

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