Women in healthcare continue to dominate the profession, holding almost 80 percent of all jobs within the field.
Those include 69 percent of physical therapists and 60 percent of pharmacists, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Women also are making in-roads into administration. While the numbers remain low given the percentage of women working in healthcare, women make up 32 percent of senior vice presidents and 36 percent of vice presidents. Others areas of opportunity include jobs in case management and Health Information Management coding.
Best Careers for Women in Healthcare
With nine of the top dozen fastest growing jobs in healthcare, opportunities abound across the industry. There’s never been a better time for a female healthcare worker looking to break into the industry. Or for a working professional looking to change career tracks within healthcare.
What sort of jobs are available? The following six professions are among the growing fields within healthcare.
Women increasingly are looking to move into top management at hospitals and other medical facilities. This can range from the top executive team, including vice president positions, to directors and heads of departments. This is another area of rapid growth, with a 17 percent jump expected in the field by 2024, according to the BLS.
A growing field in this area is interim hospital leadership. Facing a long road to finding permanent leaders, hospitals often turn to hiring interim leaders. In some cases they are brought in to keep an operation steady during the job search. In other cases, interim leaders with the right expertise come in to guide a hospital during times of transition.
This term covers many of the technology jobs in healthcare, ranging from maintaining systems for electronic healthcare records to developing software that allows sharing of patient information across different systems. Women increasingly are moving into technology, once a field dominated by men. Jobs in this field should grow 15 percent by 2024, according to the BLS.
An area of growth is HIM coding. People in this field assign numerical values to medical services that are used by payment providers to reimburse a hospital for its costs. This job is vital to a successful healthcare operation. HIM coders must have some clinical knowledge, as well as an expert understanding of how to work with healthcare records software systems.
This represents another important area of health informatics. One aspect of maintaining accurate and updated healthcare records is to place qualified patients on nationwide registries for cancer. Cancer registrars collect information on a patient’s medical history, diagnosis, treatments and current health status. Because working in this area requires specialized education, the demand for qualified cancer registrars remains steady.
The same applies to trauma registrars. They collect and maintain detailed records on all the treatments administered by a medical team when a person is admitted into a hospital. This is of vital importance as treatment on a trauma patient is often given quickly in a stressful environment. Trauma registrars also monitor all the treatment given to a patient after the initial admittance to a hospital, as well as the health outcome.
No surprise, here. Women make up a vast majority of the nursing workforce. And their numbers are expected to grow in the coming years. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of jobs to grow with nursing by 16 percent between 2014 and 2024.
That percentage figure is high, but it’s even more remarkable when considering the sheer numbers. The BLS projects more than 439,000 nurses will join the workforce by 2024. Nurses also can get advanced degrees to work as nurse practitioners, physical therapists, occupational therapists or physician’s assistants, all growing fields within healthcare.
This represents another critical position in a hospital. Case managers typically are registered nurses who specialize in coordinating a patient’s care. This can involve services both in a hospital and with specialists outside the hospital. In addition to deep clinical knowledge, case managers must also have a firm understanding of financial issues and plan care in the most efficient way possible that does not impact health outcomes.
Those represent just a few of the many career fields open to women in healthcare. For those considering making a move into the industry or switching career fields, no time has ever offered more opportunities for women in healthcare.