Revised February 9, 2006 The region's health care sector is in jeopardy. Health care occupations are growing rapidly but people are choosing health careers less frequently. Combine this trend with demographic changes that have increased the need for more qualified workers. The result is that the region faces a health workforce shortage well into the future. Vacancy rates of over five percent have already been reported in a wide range of health careers, from certified nurse assistants to radiology technicians. This presentation provides a close-up view of the opportunities in healthcare in Southwest Pennsylvania.
While occupations like doctor and nurse are “top of mind” when most envision who works in healthcare – there are many different types of positions. In fact, there are more than 250 different kinds of healthcare jobs. (Please note that the actual number of “physicians” in the region is greater than 1320. Many of these professions are highly specialized and reported as separate occupations. The term “doctor” may refer to an internist, anesthesiologist, radiologist, obstetrician, pediatrician, etc.)
Now let’s check out a few more occupations that are not as visible….this is the tip of the iceberg. Many good healthcare jobs are going unfilled because people are unaware of the labor need and the educational and training requirements they demand. As expected, there are doctors and nurses -- but did you realize that there are many different types of doctors and nurses? Also, we have positions such as radiology technicians and health information technicians. Can you think of some of the other 200+ occupations you would find in a healthcare facility?
Healthcare is a hot field and is getting even hotter…..
Healthcare is the fastest growing occupational sector in the United States as well as in Pennsylvania. Our region shares this fast growth due to the large number of health care institutions and the research . As a result, many attractive career opportunities are available for new high school graduates as well as people who want to change their job fields.
These opportunities are broader and more rewarding today because research and technology have transformed how healthcare services are delivered. A shortage of skilled workers means that salaries and benefits have become competitive and that a variety of pathways now exist to get into the field. There is no wrong door for the person who wants to enter the field as long as he or she is willing to continue to learn new skills.
Over 15% of all workers in Southwest Pennsylvania are in the healthcare sector—yet more are needed. Here’s why: (NEXT SLIDE)
The perfect storm has been created: as we age and live longer, our healthcare needs grow proportionately. In a region like ours, well-known for its large older population, the need has become even greater. And, as one of the largest medical research and healthcare centers in the country, Southwest Pennsylvania’s universities and healthcare facilities have a continuous demand for skilled workers in many healthcare fields.
In our region, more than half of the healthcare jobs are in high growth areas. Without additional workers with the skills and training for these jobs, income and career opportunities will be lost and may even move elsewhere. People with diverse educational and professional experiences can find the right career in health care with plenty of room for advancement or change in specialty.
This table shows job vacancies for 2005 (data provided by the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania’s 58 member healthcare facilities.) This list shows the top ten positions with the highest vacancies rates—these are the jobs that were budgeted but remain unfilled due to a lack of qualified applicants. For example, for nurse practitioners, there is a 13% difference between actual budget and employees. The implications of these vacancies are of great concern at many levels.
A healthcare job is more than a job—it is a career. Careers in this sector pay well and generally provide benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. Most offer opportunities for additional training, advancement, and earnings potential. Take a look: CLICK TO NEXT SLIDE
Health care salaries and wages provide good incomes. This slide shows the opportunities for these earnings. 60% of healthcare jobs pay $25,000 or more and 45% of them pay $35,000 or higher. Fewer than 1% earn less than $15,000 a year. This is a remarkable statistic because a much greater percentage, 10% of all other jobs in the region, pay less than $15,000.
Keep in mind that most health care jobs offer progressive career pathways in growth areas. This section highlights some of these opportunities by income range.
(Note that Athletic trainer wage information was not available for 2004. Salary data from 2000 was used.)
Healthcare careers have unique characteristics that make it a dynamic occupational area. Access and familiarity with cutting edge technology and the use of high tech skills make healthcare workers valuable and competitive. They are sought after and their careers grow as their skills and experience increase. Most people are surprised to learn that 66% of healthcare jobs require only two years of training and education.
Here are three in demand occupations that offer entry points for advanced learning and earnings.
Healthcare careers may develop through a series of progressive jobs. The term “pathways” is used to describe this progression because, as this slide illustrates, starting at an entry level or a technical level position does not rule out career advancement. In fact, just the opposite can happen and in many cases, the employer pays for the additional training and education.
Healthcare careers are attractive because they offer a level of control over employability that is becoming rare in the global economy. These occupations are easily transferable among other healthcare facilities, cities, and states. No matter where you live, there is probably a healthcare job waiting for you.
Some of the best sites we’ve found are at these addresses !
These are the five most important things to remember: READ SLIDE
Ask any healthcare professional why they do this work and 9 times out of 10 they will tell you “because I love it”! Some love the people aspect, others are captivated by the data and information, and still others are attracted by the cutting edge technology. Healthcare may be the only field where you actually can choose to work with people, data, or things! Whichever one you choose, you’ve picked a winner!
Healthcare Careers in Southwest Pennsylvania RIGHT TIME, RIGHT PLACE! February, 2006
1,320 Physicians & Surgeons $127,560 / yr Who’s Employed in the Healthcare Industry of SWPA? 3.300 Medical Secretaries $24,420 / yr 26,260 Registered Nurses $49,780 / yr 40 Anesthesiologists $105,700 / yr 3,560 EMT & Paramedics $22,970 / yr
1,940 Radiology Technicians $37,260 / yr 1,350 Medical Records & Health Information Technicians $27,220 / yr 6,370 Licensed Practical Nurses $32,840 / yr 1,320 Physicians & Surgeons (including Radiologists) $127,560 / yr Who’s Employed in the Healthcare Industry of SWPA?
What Do Healthcare Workers Earn? 1% Less than $15,000/yr 39% Between $15,000 and $25,000 15% Between $25,000 and $35,000 33% Between $35,000 and $50,000 9% Between $50,000 and $75,000 3% Greater than $75,000
Promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness
Observe, assess, and record symptoms, reactions, and progress in patients
Assist physicians, administer medications, and develop and manage nursing care plans
Pharmacy Technician $20,000/yr
Pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists provide medication and other healthcare products to patients
Prepare prescribed medication for patients, such as counting tablets and labeling bottles.
Prepare coverage claims with health insurance providers
Radiology Technician $37,000/yr
Administer non-radioactive materials into patients’ bloodstreams for diagnostic purposes
Keep patient records and adjust and maintain equipment.
Example of a Healthcare Pathway: Registered Nurse
$22,000 / year
On the job training
Frontline workers in nursing homes and long-term care facilities. Work directly with patients.
Licensed Practical Nurse
$33,000 / year
Typically 1-year training program and licensure
Provide basic bedside care such as take vital signs, give injections, apply dressings and insert catheters. Those employed in nursing homes may also evaluate residents’ needs, develop care plans, and supervise nursing aides.
$50,000 / year
Associates degree and licensure
Nursing is a very diverse profession with a wide array of roles, but all work toward a common goal of: promoting health, preventing disease and serving the patient.