How to Get a Career Foothold in the Booming Healthcare Industry

Researcher working in a lab

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 2.3 million new healthcare jobs will be added between 2014 and 2024.

Need further proof that the healthcare industry is booming?

How about this: the BLS also reported that, as of 2015, the median annual wage for healthcare technical occupations was nearly 73% higher than the median annual wage for all jobs. Job opportunities in healthcare are some of the most in-demand occupations in the country right now.

But what does that mean for you? Twelve years of education?

Nope. There are things you can do — right now — to qualify for employment in some of these in-demand healthcare professions. We asked Aerotek’s hiring experts for advice on which skills and professions are best for candidates who want to gain a foothold in one of America’s most rapidly growing industries.

Hard skills

Aerotek Account Manager Raphael Ambar says, “ICD-10 coding, medical terminology, billing and insurance accounts receivable follow-up has been in high demand within physician groups and hospitals. And the ability to understand various payer contracts — Medicare, Medicaid, Commercial, etc. — and their denial process is critical for increasing collection efforts and maximizing reimbursement.”

Ambar adds, “Understanding the shift from ‘fee for service’ to quality-driven Medicaid reimbursement will also be paramount. A focus on quality measures will continue to increase demand from payers to providers.”

That’s a lot of information to unpack, but the gist is that administrative professionals with billing experience can increase their value exponentially by familiarizing themselves with the specifics of medical billing. How? By exploring free tools such as the World Health Organization’s ICD-10 training module.


The jargon you’ll see in healthcare job offerings can seem confusing, but not all healthcare careers are exclusively for specialists with years of education and training.

Aerotek Market Research Analyst Kerry Heffner says, “Candidates can enter certain healthcare occupations with less than a bachelor’s degree, particularly with those jobs that provide tests and scans, offer patient care, assist with therapy and dental care and keep medical records.”

See for yourself. There are any number of viable healthcare occupations to choose from which don’t require a bachelor’s degree.

Jobs in the highest demand

If you’re seriously considering moving into healthcare, there are many career options. So which one is the best?

Aerotek Director of Scientific Divisional Operations Michele Cook says, “Case managers in behavioral health are creating more jobs, and trained medical laboratory professionals (MLP) have been in high demand based on the limited availability of qualified candidates.”

MLPs and medical technologists in diagnostic imaging occupations earned a median of $55,000 to $69,000 in 2015, a number that could easily grow if the skills required remain in low supply.

The best part? You can earn a certification for a technologist position with an associate’s degree.

Soft skills

Of course, seeking out a career in the healthcare industry isn’t just about boosting your salary. It also offers the chance to care for people who need it. It’s rewarding.

When we asked what soft skills healthcare employers are looking for most, Ambar responded, “Demonstrating an understanding of the ‘patient-first’ approach to service and a passion for the healthcare industry. It’s really not just a job. It’s more of a calling.”

Are you interested in growing into a rewarding healthcare career?

There’s no better time than now. Talk with an Aerotek recruiter in your area about what opportunities are available. They’ll be willing partners on your path to career growth.

If you’re looking for a job, visit our job board to find your next great opportunity or create a free career account today to customize your search.

Aerotek’s Raphael Ambar, Kerry Heffner and Michele Cook contributed to this report.

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