Many Americans may take it for granted, but the health care industry is considered one of the largest economic sectors in the United States.
A simple thought experiment can make anyone realize that there are many medical professionals in the health care sector. At a regular doctor’s appointment, one might notice the many secretaries and staff people who organize the business-side of the practice. Then, there are nursing staff and technologists/technicians who are trained to perform simple medical procedures and check-ups. Then, there are building staff, such as cleaners, and other administrative professionals. All of this does not include the actual doctors and medical professionals at a facility.
Beyond employing lots of professionals, the health care industry is growing at an expansive rate due to the demands of society. With an aging population and the consistent need to provide medical care for all citizens, the health care industry is growing to meet these 21st-century demands. The results have been astounding: statistics show that 1 in 8 Americans are employed in the U.S. health care industry.
16 Million Medical Jobs According To BLS
Overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that there are 16 million medical-related jobs out there and the profits this sector generates calculates to about $2.7 trillion a year. In terms of GDP, the health care industry constitute one-sixth of the U.S. GDP.
It should be noted that none of these figures, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, count the insurance or pharmaceutical industries. Counting those sectors with the health care industry would greatly inflate the percentages and numbers. At the same time, many of these professions are being filled with female employees. This is helping many women enter the workforce more than ever.
Many experts wonder if this surge of health care jobs will keep on growing. For example, the health care industry remains one of the more highly qualified sectors professionally. Although some workers can be employed with an associate’s degree, most workers in the health care industry need extensive training, bachelor’s degrees, or medical degrees to work at medical facilities.
In addition, health care technology and medicine are becoming more complex.
This ends up serving and saving more people from medical issues, but it also increases the demand for a higher quantity of workers who are highly qualified.
The health care industry is also facing interesting political realities. The inequality of access to medical care and the rising costs of health care has made the U.S. government respond with a plethora of legislation, such as the Affordable Care Act. Such policies are still new and are being instituted over the next decade. It is uncertain how the sector will respond to such policies.
However, these credentialing thresholds, increasing complexities, and political realities have not limited job growth. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that, in total, about 320,000 new health care jobs were added to the economy in 2012. Overall, one can expect that job growth will continue in the health care sector. At the end of the day, people still need to go to the doctor.