The healthcare job market isn't just thriving - it's soaring in popularity. According to Forbes, nearly 5 million new jobs will be created in the sector by 2022.1 Many often consider the healthcare field as an industry fit for aspiring doctors and nurses, but today a career in healthcare presents opportunities for a multitude of qualified health professionals with varied skill sets. Not only are positions plentiful, but many don't require an extensive educational background. From sectors such as physical therapy and patient care, a two-year degree or a career diploma or certificate can offer career paths that lead to substantial salaries, job stability and career growth.  

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants perform a range of job duties in doctors offices and hospitals including checking in patients, taking vital signs, preparing patients for examination and managing administrative tasks. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the growth of the aging baby boomer population will continue to spur demand for preventive medical services, resulting in higher demand for medical assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties.

Estimated job increase: 31% in available jobs by 20202

Annual salary, hourly wage: $30,550 a year, $14.12 an hour2

Number of jobs in the U.S.: 553,1402

Pharmacy Technician

Working under the supervision of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians are responsible for understanding drug names and uses. Because pharmacy techs are in charge of accurately dispensing medications and determining correct dosages to fill prescriptions, this job requires attention to detail and an ability to focus. This position is often tasked with instructing patients on the correct usage of the prescribed medications or medical devices and therefore, strong communication skills are a must.

Estimated job increase: 20% by 20223

Annual salary, hourly wage: $30,430 a year, $14.10 an hour3

Number of jobs in the U.S.: 353,3403

Physical Therapy Aide

Physical therapy aides assist in therapeutic practices used to improve muscle function, build strength and enhance the immune system.4 This is a hands-on environment with ample room for job growth. This position requires one-on-one collaboration between assistants and physical therapists to help patients recover from injury and illness. According to the BLS, this job is growing at an exceedingly high rate and, even with minimal training, this job practically guarantees work options in the future.

Estimated job increase: 41% in available positions by 20205

Annual salary, hourly wage: $42,290 a year, $20.25 an hour5

Number of jobs in the U.S.: 155,9705

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Resources: Photo 1;  (1) Best Healthcare Jobs in 2015 (2) BLS OOH Medical Assistant (3) BLS OOH Pharmacy Technicians (4) Top 50 Healthcare Jobs (5) Best Entry-Level Healthcare Jobs (6) BLS OOH Physical Therapy Aide