How hot is health care? It never cooled down during the recession, and it is still going strong.
Jobs in health care are growing by double digits, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports, with California, Texas, New York, Florida and Pennsylvania leading the way for openings. The top-paying areas include California (San Jose, San Francisco, Santa Cruz, Oakland, Santa Barbara, Sacramento and Vallejo), plus Bethesda, Md.; Corvallis, Ore.; and Danbury, Conn.
You don’t even have to have a health care-related degree to get started with top employers. At McKesson, for instance – which delivers medications to pharmacies and hospitals and provides software and other services – the five hottest jobs require only bachelor’s degrees: operations supervisor, operations manager, change management and organizational development staff, and its sales force. McKesson is also recruiting for its junior military officers program.
“Service members do a very good job at leading from the front,” says Veteran Outreach Specialist Kelsey Anderson, “and are extremely successful in these positions.
Combine health care with another hot job sector – the tech industry, for instance – and it’s
the greatest jobs juggernaut out there. Cerner, a global leader in health care technology, has hired more than 300 veterans and reservists and has a dedicated military recruiting program, which offers an online military decoder to match enlisted positions to jobs at the company.
Right now, Cerner is looking for medical billing specialists who help clients with charges, payments and medical coding – a post that requires only a high school diploma and pays $34,834 per year, according to the Salary.com.
With a bachelor’s degree, you can join Cerner as a system engineer, working in the remote hosting services group and supplying technology needs for hospitals around the world; or a software engineer, who creates applications for clinical settings. The company needs nurses to help design software using their clinical knowledge or to provide care at the company’s clinics, and implementation consultants who work in project management, teaching Cerner technology and creating better clinical workflows.
Top insurer Kaiser Permanente is hiring veterans most often for jobs in nursing, information technology, project management/consulting services, facilities services and customer service, with educational requirements ranging from a high school diploma for customer services jobs to a bachelor’s or master’s degree for project management.
You might expect the VA Palo Alto Health Care System to be looking for doctors and dentists, and you’d be right. But they’re also looking for veterans to fill other vital positions, says Dr. Ngan Huang, assistant professor in the Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Stanford University, which is associated with the hospital.
For starters, they’re looking for veterans to be VA nurse practitioners who perform tasks normally done by doctors. Nurse practitioners can earn $100,000 a year, Huang says, as can physical therapists, who help patients improve their motor coordination skills and regain mobility.
Another top post at the VA is biomedical engineering research scientists, who integrate biology and engineering disciplines to help cure people of diseases and provide other unmet medical needs. Their work spans laboratory bench research, animal studies, computational analysis, molecular imaging and mathematical modeling. A BS is required – an MS or Ph.D is encouraged – and the job pays $45,000-$90,000 annually.
“These careers are well-suited for veterans,” Huang says, “because they utilize critical thinking skills” and discipline, he says.
Health care careers are more open to veterans than you might think.
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