Job and Wage Growth Outlook for Healthcare Professionals

Whether you are looking for your first job in healthcare or your fourteenth, it helps to stay abreast of the wage trends in the healthcare industry as a whole and in your particular field within healthcare. If you haven’t checked out the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) for details on your particular field, you should. It’s a valuable site for healthcare professionals looking to get comprehensive employment data for entire healthcare industry.

The good news for Healthcare workers is that the healthcare industry continues to be among the strongest sectors in the US economy and is expected to produce the fastest employment growth overall through 2024, according to the BLS. In fact, health care and social assistance occupations make up 8 of the top 15 fastest growing occupations in the nation overall. Increasing longevity and expanded healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are helping push this expansion.

The salary outlook for the healthcare professions is also rosy. What has been clear in recent years is that while wages in other fields may be stagnant, on average, healthcare salaries have continued to rise, primarily in the healthcare support and aide occupations which have typically been lower paying than the national average for all professions. For the foreseeable future, that robust wage growth within the healthcare industry is expected to continue and outpace even other fast-growing professions within the economy as a whole.

Of course wages vary by location, specialty, and facility. A Registered Nurse commands a different salary than a Physical Therapy Aide or a Medical Transcriptionist. Likewise, those working in a hospital can expect a different salary than those working in private practice.

The geographic differences can be striking, and do not always line up with cost of living differences. For example, the mean annual income for a Physical Therapist is $91,560 in Texas (a lower cost of living state) whereas the corresponding number in New York, parts of which are very expensive, is only $84,420.

For a complete report of median salaries for most professions in the industry, consult the Bureau of Labor and Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for all Healthcare Occupations. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of median salaries around the country for a variety of specialties across all facilities. These figures from the BLS represent median income for these specialties in 2014. More detail for each is available by following the BLS links above.

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