Just How Fast Is the Healthcare Industry Growing Nationwide?

Updated By Staff Writer on March 30, 2020

With an ever-growing and aging population in the United States, healthcare professionals are increasingly in demand. If you’re considering a career change or trying to decide on a major, choosing a future in healthcare is definitely something to think about.

But just how has the healthcare industry grown in the past few decades? Keep reading to get more information on growing fields in healthcare, from long-term care facilities to physical therapy. Learning about the fastest growing healthcare occupations will help you decide whether a career in healthcare may be the right choice for you.

Why Is Healthcare a Growing Industry?

There are many reasons why this industry is growing so quickly. People are living longer than ever before, and according to the World Health Organization, chronic illness is expected to be more common in our times. Another one of the main reasons for the recent boom is because the Affordable Care Act has opened up access to healthcare for all Americans.

This means thousands of people who would have previously avoided going to the doctor because of a lack of coverage are now coming in as new patients. As a result, clinics and hospitals are hiring more providers to keep up with the increase in new patients.

Another reason the healthcare industry is growing is because of the aging baby boomer population. More Americans are 65 years or older, meaning they’re more likely to seek medical care as they develop the health problems that come with old age.

Shortages in Nursing

One of the top healthcare industries for the past few years is nursing, thanks to an aging population and a need to care for those senior citizens with health problems.

In 2008 and again in 2019, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing issued a statement drawing attention to a nursing shortage that’s expected to become even more pronounced in coming years. Over the past decade, this shortage of nurses has remained in the forefront of public view, making nurse practitioners one of the fastest-growing occupations. The projected growth in nursing in general is 11 and 12 percent for LPNs/LVNs and RNs respectively, “much faster than average.”

Given this nursing shortage and a demand for professionals in other areas of healthcare, the need for employees in healthcare is unlikely to diminish any time soon.

Fastest-Growing Careers

While nurses remain in high demand, nursing is not the only position in healthcare with an abundance of jobs that need to be filled. So, what industries are growing in healthcare? Here are some other careers expected to experience growth in coming years:

  • Registered nurses
  • Health techs
  • Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Surgeons
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Dentists
  • hysician assistants

These shortages range anywhere from a need for 50,000 to over 1,000,000 new professionals per career by 2024.

How Does the Healthcare Industry Work?

The healthcare industry is a system created to meet the health needs of our society. There are many sectors of healthcare, including science, biotechnology, medical equipment, pharmaceutical development and sales, and more.

But when most people think of the healthcare industry, they think of providers such as doctors, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses. These providers play an important role in treating patients. They use a combination of preventive and diagnostic care to keep people healthy and treat sickness and disease. These providers may be employed by a private, public, or volunteer organization.

The industry is heavily influenced by the health insurance system and laws and policies made by the government. Many states have their own regulations regarding health insurance, but some policies are made on the federal level.

Why Is the Healthcare Industry so Important?

Even with all of the growth happening in the healthcare industry, you may be wondering if this is the right path for you. After all, if you don’t enjoy your work, all the job security and opportunities in the world won’t change how you feel. But if you’re someone who enjoys making a meaningful impact on the world and affecting the everyday lives of the people around you, healthcare could be a fulfilling role for you.

Healthcare doesn’t just affect the individual patients you see, it also impacts the country’s economy. A healthy, reliable workforce creates a good economy, and in turn creates more jobs. Healthy people are more productive and able to contribute to society as a whole. Taking a job in medical care will allow you to have a positive impact on this cycle.

Other Benefits of the Healthcare Industry

According to Health Carousel, the healthcare profession is set to become the largest and fastest-growing sector in the U.S. economy. “Employment Projections—2018—2028” from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states, “Of the 30 fastest growing occupations, 18 are in healthcare and related occupations. Increased demand for healthcare services from an aging population and people with chronic conditions will drive much of the expected employment growth.”

This means that now could be the best time to finish your education so you can benefit from this industry boom. The demand for employees in the healthcare field could keep increasing for many years.

Consider a Career in Healthcare Now

Unlike many other career fields that may become oversaturated with qualified professionals, the number of professionals entering the healthcare field might not be enough to keep up with available jobs. If you’re looking for a rewarding and fulfilling career, give some thought to earning a degree in healthcare. This could help you strengthen your chances of securing a career in an exciting industry.

At Independence University, we offer many excellent online degree programs in our School of Healthcare. Contact us today to learn more about our Associate’s, Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, and see how we can help prepare you for a successful future in healthcare.