Many jobs are available in healthcare right now and that employment growth is only projected to continue to trend upward in the next decade with an estimated 2.6 million new jobs added to the healthcare industry between 2020 and 2030. Here’s what you need to know about healthcare employment trends and the current healthcare jobs in demand.
More healthcare jobs than people
An overall employment summary from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the number of job openings at a high of 11.5 million, however, the number of hires at only 6.7 million. With more people leaving jobs and less people entering the workforce, the gap between jobs and people filling those positions only continues to increase. The same U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics summary also reported a high of 4.5 million people quitting their jobs, demonstrating the record level of staff leaving positions we’ve seen trending, otherwise known as the “Great Resignation.”
In fact, healthcare was among the top three industries hit by the latest wave of resignations, creating a large shortage of healthcare workers. As we progress into the third year of COVID-19, the healthcare staffing shortage is only becoming more apparent. Many healthcare professionals are battling burnout, transitioning to roles in non-hospital settings, or retiring from the profession entirely, according to recent surveys. Other healthcare workers are staying in the profession but leaving their permanent positions for travel healthcare jobs, in search of better-paying, more flexible contracts.
Meanwhile, the pipeline of new healthcare workers is insufficient in meeting the growing demand for the coming years. This is partly the result of tens of thousands of qualified nursing students being turned away during the pandemic due to a shortage of clinical sites, faculty, or other resources.
Continued demand for healthcare workers
As a result, the demand for healthcare workers is skyrocketing, with a projected growth of 16 percent in the next decade, which is much faster than the average for all other occupations. In nursing alone, the American Nurses Association predicts over 100,000 registered nurse jobs will be available annually. In addition to the staffing shortage, the demand is growing to accommodate an aging population in need of health care services. There will be a need to find ways to retain healthcare talent in the industry.
While employment numbers may be down from previous months, the need for health professionals is still on course to steadily increase throughout the next decade. For instance, 66,400 healthcare jobs were added in February and 18,000 were added in January. However, more recently the healthcare industry added 8,300 jobs and hospital and health system employment grew by 5,100 in March, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Though the pandemic has leveled out and hiring has calmed down along with it, the need for the healthcare travel industry is still existent, especially as elective surgeries ramp back up to pre-pandemic levels again.
Fastest growing healthcare jobs
Although all areas of healthcare are booming in terms of employment, there are certain in demand healthcare jobs expected to grow tremendously over the next decade including:
|Physical therapy assistants||32 percent||About 23,800 openings for physical therapy assistants are projected each year, on average, over the decade.|
|Respiratory therapists||23 percent||About 10,100 openings for respiratory therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.|
|Phlebotomists||22 percent||About 19,500 openings for phlebotomists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.|
|Physical therapists||21 percent||About 15,600 openings for physical therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.|
|Occupational therapists||17 percent||About 10,100 openings for occupational therapists are projected each year, on average, over the decade.|
These growing healthcare jobs directly correlate to needs of the aging population and COVID-19. For example, the demand for respiratory therapists is not shocking in the wake of COVID-19 with breathing complications as well as health issues older adults often face such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other illnesses affecting the lungs. Additionally, the demand for occupational therapists is also growing alongside the aging baby boomer population with older adults being prone to conditions like arthritis and strokes, which can affect their ability to perform daily tasks and require the need of occupational therapy.
Travel pay rates are leveling off
The one element of the healthcare job outlook some job seekers may not be prepared for — the pay gap between travelers and permanent staff is beginning to even out. Healthcare travelers have recently expected higher than usual pay rates, especially as crisis pay and staffing shortages were present. However, as COVID-19 hospitalizations in the U.S. reach record lows and hospital staffing levels slowly improve, travel pay rates have leveled out and the days of larger lucrative contracts are diminishing.
So, while travelers can still expect to make more than their permanent staff counterparts, travelers should brace themselves for travel pay to come back down to pre-COVID rates. On the bright side, some health systems are offering sign-on bonuses rather than higher salaries, in efforts to attract and retain health professionals amidst the persistent staffing shortage. In fact, salary data showed small changes to hourly rates nationally, but a 162% increase in offers with signing bonuses.
More jobs with a Fusion Marketplace profile
With the projected healthcare job growth, there’s never been a better time to get active in your traveling healthcare career. And with a multitude of jobs available, the best way to go about your job search is using an online job search platform like Fusion Marketplace. With Fusion Marketplace, you can find high-paying travel jobs, compare jobs and agencies, and connect with recruiters, all on one place. To get started, create and complete your Fusion Marketplace profile. If you have a completed profile, you’re four times as likely to be placed in a travel assignment!
After you create a full profile, complete with job preferences and qualifications you can easily share with recruiters, you can apply for jobs on Fusion Marketplace. You’ll find in demand healthcare jobs are often listed with multiple agencies, so you can be competitive and take advantage of the demand for healthcare workers. With the combination of job growth in healthcare and Fusion Marketplace as a tool at your disposal, there’s nothing stopping you from taking control of your travel career!
The healthcare job market offers new opportunities and job security for years to come in the healthcare sector. If you’ve been waiting to get into healthcare traveling, now is the moment to complete and leverage your Fusion Marketplace profile to find your ideal travel assignment!