The current healthcare system in the United States is inadequate to handle the increasing demand of healthcare services. This is creating a high demand for workers in the healthcare field, with an estimated shortage of over 90,000 physicians by the year 2020, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The nation's need for healthcare workers, such as licensed nurse practitioners and physician assistants, will only continue to grow in the coming years while trying to alleviate the shortage of physicians. Here are four great jobs in the health and wellness field that you should consider.
The role of nurse practitioners (NPs) is expanding, and many licensed NPs are now running their own private practices, providing services that are typically offered by a family doctor. Now is a great time for current registered nurses to further their careers by completing a more advanced degree and becoming a certified nurse practitioner. In 2012, the median average annual salary for NPs was approximately $90,000.
One of the most convenient ways to become an NP is through an online family nurse practitioner program. Maryville University is one example of an accredited program, offering online family nurse practitioner programs. It's a degree program that you can complete while still working full time. Once licensed, as a family nurse practitioner, you can provide similar services to that of a family physician.
Physician assistants (PAs) make slightly more than nurse practitioners, with an average salary of about $102,000. These numbers are significantly lower than the salary of a physician; many healthcare facilities are employing NPs and PAs over physicians to cut costs. The abilities of a PA will vary by state, but in many cases, PAs can provide many of the same services that a doctor would, such as diagnosing medical issues and prescribing medications.
Nutritionists assist their clients with creating healthy meal plans and reaching their health goals through balanced diets. They must have at a minimum a bachelor’s degree with a post-graduate dietetic internship. Most nutritionists also have a master’s degree.
The median salary for nutritionists is approximately $53,000 and can reach as high as $76,000 or more.
Professors are employed by colleges and universities worldwide. A professor of public health teaches those students who are looking to start a career in the health and wellness field. With the increase in demand for healthcare workers also comes the increase in demand for instructors to teach those future workers.
The requirements for becoming a professor will vary based on the educational institution, but most professors hold at least a master's degree. The salary range for professors varies greatly as well, ranging anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000 or more annually, based on the school.