How the Baby Boomers Will Affect the Future of Health Care Jobs

Posted by on July 15, 2014

baby boomer generationThe health care industry is growing rapidly and the job outlook for health care careers is for continuing growth. If you are looking for a career with lots of potential, health care should top your list. One big reason for this continued growth is the baby boomers.

The baby boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. They are the largest generation, at almost one-third of the U.S. population. The baby boomers began reaching retirement age in 2006, and by 2029 our 65 and over population will exceed 71 million.

As the baby boomers continue to age, the demand for health care services will see significant growth. This means job security for those going into the health care field. Many health care careers are projected to see faster than average growth.


Home Health Aides are seeing some of the highest growth at 48 percent according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.* Home health aides will be needed to provide help for our older adults who are in need of assistance. There are no education requirements to become a home health aide. The median wage in 2012 was just over $20,000 per year.

Nursing Assistants work in hospitals and long-term care facilities like nursing homes. They provide basic care for patients and residents. As the baby boomer population ages, the population needing care will rise. Nursing assistants must complete a state-approved education program and pass a competency exam. The job outlook is for 21 percent growth from 2012 to 2022 with a median wage in 2012 just over $24,000 per year.*

Medical Assistants are projected to see a 29 percent job growth by 2022 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Medical assistants work in medical offices completing clinical and administrative tasks. Most medical assistants complete at least a certificate program. The median wage for 2012 for medical assistants was more than $29,000 annually.*

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians manage our health information data. Electronic health records are becoming very common and health information technicians ensure accuracy and security. They also code and categorize information for insurance, registries and patient histories. These positions are projected to see 22 percent job growth through 2022 with a median wage of over $34,000 per year according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.* Health information technician jobs usually require a certificate or associate degree and professional certification.

baby boomer nurseLicensed Practical and Vocational Nurses (LPN) provide basic nursing care under the direction of doctors or registered nurses. They will be needed in home health care and residential facilities for older patients. The job outlook is for 25 percent growth from 2012 to 2022. Licensed nurses must complete state-approved programs and become licensed. The median pay for licensed practical nurses was over $41,000 per year for 2012.*

Registered Nurses (RN) provide patient care as well as education, advice and emotional support for patients and their families. They may also be involved in coordinating care and managing others. RNs work in a variety of facilities including nursing homes, hospitals, doctor’s offices and home health care services. The job outlook from 2012 to 2022 is for 19 percent growth. The median wage for a registered nurse was over $65,000 per year in 2012.* You will need a bachelor’s or associate degree in nursing from an accredited program as well as a license to get into this profession.

Medical and Health Services Managers are the managers and administrators who plan, direct and coordinate health services. Health care managers need to keep up with the changes in health care regulations and laws as well as the changes in technology. Health care management positions work across the health care industry from insurance companies to clinics, nursing homes and hospitals. A bachelor’s or master’s degree is generally required for these types of positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 23 percent job growth from 2012 to 2022. The median wage for health care managers was over $88,000 annually in 2012.*

Physician Assistants are part of a medical team supervised by physicians and surgeons. They are educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illness and provide treatment. This position is projected to see 38 percent job growth through 2022 with a median wage in 2012 of over $90,000 per year.* Physician’s assistants complete a master’s degree and must be licensed by the state.

The baby boomers are changing health care and the whole industry is being impacted. Pharmaceutical companies are developing new drugs to treat the ailments of this aging population. Medical device companies are improving technology to keep them healthy. Medical staff trained in geriatrics will be in high demand as the over 65 population balloons. All of this means that the health care field offers a variety of growing careers. Consider the possibilities.

* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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