There’s no denying that healthcare is one of the fastest growing career sectors in the United States. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the field to grow by 23 percent over the next decade, creating somewhere near 974,000 new jobs.
So what are the best positions at the moment? We’ve rounded up the top five based on salary, stress level, and future growth.
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It’s not uncommon for people to confuse orthodontists with dentists. And while they do both work on teeth, orthodontists have a more specialized focus: They prevent and correct misaligned teeth. In other words, they are the masters of braces and retainers, and the correctors of overbites, under bites — and everything in between.
Responsible for diagnosing and treating illnesses and prescribing medication to patients, a physician assistant’s work is very similar to that of a general doctor. While they’re required to work under the supervision of a licensed physician, their advanced education in general medicine allows them to treat patients with quite a bit of autonomy.
While registered nurses need only a bachelor’s degree in nursing to begin their careers, nurse practitioners take the schooling process to another level. These professionals have both a master’s degree as well as board certification in their specialty, which can range anywhere from women’s health to family and adult care. The best part: They’re also in high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that by 2024, the field will grow by 35 percent, opening up 44,700 new positions.
Dentists do more than simply fill cavities and nag patients to floss. They’re are also responsible for straightening and repairing fractured teeth, performing corrective surgery on gums, and even measuring and modeling dentures. In short, they’re in charge of all things related to the mouth, gums and teeth. And with so many roles, their salary certainly isn’t shabby. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, these healthcare professionals make an average of $173,860 a year.
If you’re wondering what the difference between a nurse anesthetist and an anesthesiologist is, the simple answer is the level of schooling. While anesthesiologists need to go through medical school and then complete a four-year residency, nurse anesthetists have a much shorter educational journey. They need only a master’s degree and one year of critical-care experience. But that doesn’t mean they’re not just as important. After all, these healthcare professionals take care of their patients during all stages of surgery, constantly monitoring every vital body function.