The health care field offers opportunities for workers in a variety of jobs that involve differing levels of skill and educational preparation. Workers who acquire the necessary education, training, and other credentials (licenses are needed for many health care occupations) have excellent opportunities for advancement. If you enjoy caring for people, an occupation in the health care field may be a good choice for you.
Health care workers perform duties that are physically demanding and emotionally stressful, and that may expose them to various contagious diseases. They sometimes work overtime and rotating schedules.
Central New York health care employment is at a record high level, 39,827 workers were employed by 1,487 health care establishments during January - March 2009. More than one out of every 10 Central New York jobs is in the health care field.
||There are many different kinds of industries and work environments in which health care jobs can be found. The ambulatory health care services sector employs the most workers (37 percent), followed by hospitals (32 percent) and nursing and residential care facilities (31 percent). Examples of ambulatory health care services include offices of physicians, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists, mental health practitioners, podiatrists, outpatient care centers, medical and diagnostic laboratories, home health care services, ambulance services, and blood and organ banks, among others.
||Health care occupations in great demand in Central New York include medical and health services manager, physician and surgeon, dentist, registered nurse, physician assistant, licensed practical and licensed vocational nurse, home health aide, medical records and health information technician, pharmacist, physical therapist, surgical technologist, occupational therapist, occupational and physical therapist assistant and aide, nursing aide, orderly and attendant, speech-language pathologist, radiologic technologist and technician, cardiovascular technologist and technician, pharmacy technician, medical assistant, dental assistant, personal and home care aide, medical and clinical laboratory technician, and medical transcriptionist.
Many factors contribute to the strong demand for health care workers. Turnover (retirements, promotions, moves, and so forth) creates a great deal of demand. Other factors include the emphasis on preventive medicine, the aging population that needs more services, and the growth in health insurance coverage enabling people to afford the care they need. In addition, not enough students are entering the health care field to meet the growing needs in this industry.
Factors that will cut into the demand for workers and create or sustain keen competition in educational programs in the field include consolidation in the health care industry, cost-cutting measures, and new health care legislation. As hospitals consolidate to control costs and shift from inpatient to outpatient care, demand for health care will continue shifting to clinics, nursing homes, home care, managed care, doctors' offices, and other non-hospital sites.
The average gross weekly paycheck in Central New York's health care industry is $804 - $44 more than the region's average paycheck. Hospitals pay the highest wages, followed by ambulatory health care services and nursing and residential care facilities.
||Average wages paid in the field depend largely on the industry and occupational mix of the particular employer. Also, large employers generally pay higher wages for a given occupation than small employers. For example, nurses working in hospitals tend to earn more than nurses working in doctors' offices.
Some resources available to workers who seek employment in the health care field follow:
- The New York State Department of Labor web page (www.labor.state.ny.us)
- Local New York State Department of Labor offices and One-Stop Centers - look in the Blue Pages of the phone book under State Government , Labor Department
- The Yellow Pages in the phone book list health care organizations - look under such headings as:
- Physicians and Surgeons
- Health Maintenance Organizations
- Home Health Services
- Nursing Homes
- Residential Health Care Facilities
- Rehabilitation Services
- Dental Laboratories
- Laboratories - Medical
- Occupational Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Speech & Language Pathologists
- Health-related professional organizations such as the American Medical Association
- Medical journals
- Daily newspapers
- People working in the health field