Reasons to Work in the Healthcare Field

If you’re passionate about helping people and making a difference in their lives, working in health care can be one of the most rewarding career choices there is. The industry already employs over 18 million people. Here are five key reasons you should consider a healthcare career too. 


Great Job Prospects

Young female nurse and senior woman embracing
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Health care has become the largest source of jobs in the U.S. outside of goods production, and its growth is going to continue.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare occupations are projected to grow by 15%, or 2.4 million jobs, from 2019 to 2029, and eight of the top 20 fastest-growing professions are in the healthcare sector.

As a healthcare professional, this means you'll enjoy more career opportunities—and find employment more easily—than job seekers in other industries. 

Your chances of finding employment and staying employed are also much greater than in other fields, thanks to advances in medicine and the dramatic growth of the aging U.S. population, which continues to increase at an unprecedented rate, boosting demand for medical professionals across the board. 

Also helping to increase the demand for healthcare workers was the passage and implementation of health reform legislation (the Affordable Care Act), which provided medical insurance to millions of additional Americans. 


Great Job Satisfaction

It's not surprising that research shows that healthcare workers are generally satisfied with their career choices. Most U.S. physicians (84%) are "somewhat satisfied", "satisfied", or "very satisfied" with practicing medicine. Physicians in other countries like Canada and Norway have even higher rates of satisfaction. In addition, a 2017 study of nonclinical healthcare staff in the U.S., such as administrators or case managers, found an average job satisfaction score of 77.6 out of 100.

Working in the healthcare industry allows you to nurture your desire to help others while earning a living—talk about a win-win. Indeed, there are few professions where you can touch the lives of others—and make a difference in them—the way you can in the healthcare industry.

You could help save a life or help bring a new one into the world. You can care for patients as they recover, assist families through some of the most difficult times in their lives, or work behind the scenes to keep a medical facility running smoothly. Regardless of your specific role in the industry, you'll play some part in helping people, or even entire communities, and positively affect their lives as a result.


Positions for All Educational Levels

Whether you have a GED or a Ph.D., there's a healthcare career available to you. While you need many years of education to be a doctor or a nurse, there are hundreds of other roles available in the healthcare industry to be explored, including ones for high school graduates, college undergraduates, and just about every other level of education up through the doctorate level.

For instance, careers like pharmacy technicians require only a high school diploma. Dental hygienists, MRI technologists, and respiratory therapists—three careers with a "much faster than average" job growth outlook—require only a two-year associate's degree.


Competitive Earning Potential

Due to the high demand for workers in the healthcare industry, careers in healthcare are among the most lucrative job options available. As expected, the more highly skilled and educated you are, the higher your pay will be. But there are healthcare jobs available at any education level that offer competitive salaries compared to other industries. Health careers are some of the highest-paying careers, with physicians and advanced-practice clinicians topping the list of most highly compensated healthcare professionals. 


There's Never a Dull Day

Why do you think there are so many TV shows about hospitals and medical professionals? Shows like "Grey's Anatomy," "ER," "House," and "Private Practice" are successful because the medical field is exciting, ever-changing, and dramatic in nature. Fast-paced, filled with challenges, and offering the chance to work with new patients from all walks of life, you'll never experience the same day twice.

Is Health Care Right for You?

Even though health care offers a plethora of great career choices, medical jobs are not for everyone. Make sure you do your due diligence and research ahead of time to determine if working in healthcare is right for you, and if so, which medical career is best suited to your skills, interests, needs, and financial situation. Some medical jobs are highly stressful, with long hours and intense, high-pressure situations. If you're not cut out for a clinical position, consider management or administration, or investigate working in another setting like a laboratory, public health agency, insurance company, or university.

6 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment by major industry sector.

  2. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Healthcare occupations. Occupational Outlook Handbook.

  3. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fastest growing occupations. Occupational Outlook Handbook.

  4. Population Reference Bureau. Fact sheet: aging in the United States.

  5. Tyssen R,Palmer KS, Solberg IB, Voltmer E, Frank E. Physicians’ perceptions of quality of care, professional autonomy, and job satisfaction in Canada, Norway, and the United States. BMC Health Serv Res. 2013;13:516. doi:10.1186/1472-6963-13-516

  6. Chang E, Cohen J, Koethe B, Smith K, Bir A. Measuring job satisfaction among healthcare staff in the United States: a confirmatory factor analysis of the Satisfaction of Employees in Health Care (SEHC) survey. Int J Qual Health Care. 2017;29(2):262-268. doi:10.1093/intqhc/mzx012

By Andrea Clement Santiago
Andrea Clement Santiago is a medical staffing expert and communications executive. She's a writer with a background in healthcare recruiting.