Employment of medical assistants is projected to grow 29 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth of the aging baby-boom population will continue to increase demand for preventive medical services, which are often provided by physicians.
As a result, physicians will hire more assistants to perform routine administrative and clinical duties, allowing the physicians to see more patients.An increasing number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities will also need support workers, particularly medical assistants, to complete both administrative and clinical duties.
Employment of pharmacy technicians is projected to grow 12 percent from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Several factors will lead to increased demand for prescription medications.
The population is aging, and older people typically use more prescription medicines than younger people. Higher rates of chronic diseases such as diabetes among all age groups also will lead to increased demand for prescription medications. Advances in pharmaceutical research will allow for more prescription medications to be used to fight diseases.
In addition, pharmacy technicians may be needed to take on a greater role in pharmacy operations because pharmacists are increasingly performing more patient care activities such as giving flu shots. Technicians will need to perform tasks such as collecting patient information, preparing more types of medications, and verifying the work of other technicians, tasks formerly done by pharmacists.
Employment of massage therapists is projected to grow 26 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. Continued growth in the demand for massage services will lead to new openings for massage therapists.
As more states adopt licensing requirements and standards for massage therapists, the practice of massage is likely to be respected and accepted by more people as a way to treat pain and to improve overall wellness.
Similarly, demand will likely increase as more healthcare providers understand the benefits of massage and these services become part of treatment plans. However, demand in some healthcare settings will be tempered by limited insurance coverage for massage services.
Overall employment of home health aides and personal care aides is projected to grow 41 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. As the baby-boom generation ages and the elderly population grows, the demand for the services of home health aides and personal care aides will continue to increase.
Elderly clients and people with disabilities are increasingly relying on home care as an alternative to nursing homes or hospitals. Families may prefer to keep aging family members in their homes rather than in nursing homes or hospitals. Clients who need help with everyday tasks and household chores, rather than medical care, may be able to reduce their medical expenses by staying in or returning to their homes.
Employment of nursing assistants is projected to grow 8 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations. Employment of orderlies is projected to grow 5 percent from 2019 to 2029, faster as the average for all occupations.
As the baby-boom population ages, nursing assistants and orderlies will be needed to help care for an increasing number of older patients in nursing and residential care facilities. Older people are more likely than younger people to have disorders such as dementia, or to live with chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. More nursing assistants will be needed to care for patients with these conditions.
Employment of licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses (LPNs and LVNs) is projected to grow 9 percent from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
As the baby-boom population ages, the overall need for healthcare services is expected to increase. LPNs and LVNs will be needed in residential care facilities and in home health environments to care for older patients.A number of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity, have become more prevalent in recent years.
LPNs and LVNs will be needed to assist and care for patients with these and other conditions. In addition, many procedures that once could be done only in hospitals are now being done outside of hospitals, creating demand in other settings, such as outpatient care centers.