While job prospects may look troubling in many areas for 2009, health care is one field enjoying a substantial growth in

While job prospects may look troubling in many areas for 2009, health care is one field enjoying a substantial growth in available jobs, as well as a great need for new professionals to join the ranks across the country.

If you’re considering embarking on a career in health care, here are a few of America’s fastest-growing fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):

Registered nurses

As the largest health care occupation in America, registered nurses hold more than 2.6 million jobs. A combination of factors, high numbers of retiring veteran nurses, a growing Baby Boomer population and the increasing prevalence of preventative health care, has also made it one of the nation’s fastest growing professions.

In fact, the field is projected to generate more than 500,000 new jobs over the next eight years, among the largest growth for any occupation, according to BLS data.

Home health aides

A growing demand for home-based health services from the nation’s aging population has triggered significant demand for employment of home health aides, resulting in projected growth of more than 300,000 new jobs over the next seven years, according to BLS data.

Home health aides, who help elderly or disabled persons remain in their own homes by providing a variety of health-related services, are also being hired in record numbers as efforts increase to reduce costs by moving patients out of hospitals as quickly as possible.

Medical assistants

One of the nation’s fastest-growing occupations, medical assistants perform a variety of administrative and clinical duties under the direction of a physician, such as scheduling appointments, maintaining records, recording medical histories and administering medications.

This field is projected to create more than 90,000 annual job openings due to a large number of new positions, in addition to the need to replace workers retiring or leaving the occupation. Those with formal training, particularly those with certification, should have the best opportunities.

To read the full article, please go to:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/health/jobs/sns-health-job-opportunities,0,1133062.story

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