The number of healthcare jobs increased during 2013, in large part because of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In December, however, employment growth in the sector slowed—a trend rightfully lamented by jobseekers. Fortunately, the slowdown is likely to be a temporary one, based on the industry's financial adaptation to ACA criteria. Thankfully, entry-level jobs in the healthcare sector remain fairly abundant in the interim.
Careers in medicine interest many individuals—and it's not tough to see why. Healthcare jobs are often interesting and can pave the way to a rich professional life. You're in a social setting and have the chance to make a real difference in peoples' lives on a daily basis. Entry-level jobs provide the opportunity to get into the bones of the medical world and to gain experience from the inside out.
Big changes are happening in the industry: staff members' roles are being redefined to suit a brand new infrastructure. Many medical practitioners are in the midst of a palpable squeeze as they learn to cope with fewer aides and a smaller budget. This pressure is probably transitional, though, rather than permanent. Entry-level employment openings don't always require a four-year college degree and often create a portal into other healthcare jobs. Consider the following three entry-level options, for example:
- Pharmacy technician: Work closely with a pharmacist; learn about medicines and dispensary techniques, and gain experience in a medical setting.
- Occupational therapy assistant: Support an occupational therapist and help rehabilitate patients as they prepare to return to independent living.
- Medical coding and billing administrator: Help keep track of medical records, submit insurance claims, and handle patient billing. This healthcare job does require certification, but training is easy to obtain.
Alternatives include home health aide, medical assistant, and certified nursing assistant positions. Because of the ACA, healthcare jobs are going to become more abundant. A health-related career, therefore, is likely to remain a solid foundation for professional growth in the years to come. If everything goes to plan, the initial reorganization will give way to a modified structure, which—because of the greater number of individuals with insurance—will grow exponentially in the next few years.
As Americans gain access to affordable health insurance, they are more likely to seek help for chronic conditions as well booking routine checkups. If you want to land a healthcare job and choose an entry-level option, you're likely to find employment in the current industry structure. The number of jobs in healthcare will increase as ACA implementation continues, so you may end up on the road to success sooner than you think.
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