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Healthcare continues to lead as a primary industry job seekers should target in 2021.  Based on factors related to growth, demand and economic conditions, the industry provides a robust opportunity in various skill levels.  Considering a career in healthcare provides job seekers good potential income and job security.

We have listed some of the top healthcare careers based on current demand, pay and potential growth.  While the recommended education expectations are listed, note that there may also be board exams and licensure requirements that are not listed in this article.  

1.  Nurse

Job Summary - Provide direct patient care and maintain documentation of care under the supervision of a physician.

Education: L.P.N. Graduation from a Licensed Practical Nursing program (1 year),  R.N. Graduation from a Registered Nursing program (2years), B.S.N. Graduation from a Bachelors of Science Nursing program (4 years), M.S.N. Graduation from a Masters of Science Nursing program (6 years)

Median Income: L.P.N. $46,240, R.N. $55,360/yr, B.S.N. $75,484, M.S.N. (varies based on specialty) average range $80,000 - $120,000 


2. Nurse - APRN

Job Summary - Specialized Professional Nursing to include: Certified  Nurse Midwives (CNM), Nurse Practitioners (NP), Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA), Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS)

Education - Registered Nurses with at least an MSN, specific to their specialty and who sit for the specialized nursing exam (APRN).

Median Income - $113,930


3.  Nuclear Medicine Technologist

Job Summary - Prepare and administer radioactive drugs for the purpose to diagnose and treat patients through therapeutic measures.

Education - Associate's degree

Median Income - $76,820


4. Physician Assistant

Job Summary - Direct patient care including examining, diagnosing and treating patients under the supervision of a physician or surgeon.

Education - Master's degree

Median Income - $108,610


5. Phlebotomist

Job Summary - Draws blood for tests and blood donations, performs transfusions, conducts research, educates patients and assists patients upon adverse reactions.

Education - 1 year Certificate from an Accredited College 

Median Income - $34,480


6. Occupational Therapist

Job Summary - Treat patients with injury, illness or disability in order to develop the skills needed to maintain a daily routine in their living and working environments.

Education - Master's degree

Median Income - $84,270


7. Occupational Therapist Assistant

Job Summary - Work under the supervision of an Occupational Therapist in order to provide therapy directly to patient's who require assistance in developing skills related to living and working environments. 

Education - Certificate or Associates degree Program

Median Income - $57,620


8. Physical Therapist

Job Summary - P.T.'s help injured, ill or aging patients maintain movement and gain mobility. They are an essential part of the therapeutic process for rehabilitation and recovery for patients with chronic conditions, illnesses or injury.

Education - Doctoral or professional degree

Median Income - $87,930


9. Physical Therapist Assistant

Job Summary - Work under the supervision of a Physical Therapist to provide care to patients who have been ill, injured and/or in need of rehabilitation in order to improve movement and manage pain.

Education - Certificate or Associates degree program

Median Income - $48,090


10. Dental Hygienist

Job Summary - Cleans teeth, examines patients, performs preventative dental care, educates patients on good oral hygiene.

Education - Associate's degree

Median Income - $74,820


11. Optometrist 

Job Summary - Examine eyes for the purpose of diagnosing and treatment of visual problems, disease, disorders and injuries.  Optometrists may also prescribe eyeglass and contact lenses' prescriptions.

Education - Doctoral or professional degree

Median Income - $111,790


12. Respiratory Therapist

Job Summary - Care for patients who have trouble breathing due to heart disease, pulmonary disfunction or disease, injury or drowning.

Education - Associate's degree

Median Income - $60,280


13. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer (AKA Diagnostic Imaging Workers)

Job Summary - Operate imaging equipment for the purpose of conducting medical testing ordered by a physician.

Education - Associate's degree

Median Income - $67,080


14. Cardiovascular Technologist (AKA Vascular Technologist)

Job Summary - Operate imaging equipment for the purpose of conducting cardiovascular testing ordered by a physician.

Education - Associate's degree

Median Income - $67,080


15.Genetic Counselor

Job Summary - Provide individuals, family members and health care providers information related to risk of inherited conditions.  Assess risk of individuals and families for genetic disorders or birth defects.

Education  - Master's degree

Median Income - $80,370


 References Include: www.bls.org (Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Department of Labor), www.bls.org (Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupation Outlook Handbook), www.nightengale.edu