The following are links to every Health Career
offered @ STCC and collaborating Colleges. Each link will take you to program information
and contacts. There is also an excerpt from the Department
of Labor Statistics on the outlook for most careers. For a complete list of all health
careers in the United States, see the American Medical Association Health Professions
Click on the the field for a link to STCC programs or collaborating colleges.
Overall employment of science technicians is expected
to increase about as fast as the average
for all occupations through the year 2010. Continued growth of scientific and medical
research, as well as the development and production of technical products, should
stimulate demand for science technicians in many industries. In particular, the growing
number of agricultural and medicinal products developed from using biotechnology
techniques will increase the need for biological technicians. Also, stronger competition
among drug companies and an aging population are expected to contribute to the need for
innovative and improved drugs, further spurring demand for biological technicians. Fastest
employment growth of biological technicians should occur in the drug manufacturing
industry and research and testing service firms.
Science (Medical Technician)
Employment of clinical laboratory workers is expected
to grow about as fast as the average for
all occupations through the year 2010, as the volume of laboratory tests increases with
population growth and the development of new types of tests.
Technological advances will continue to have two opposing
effects on employment through 2010. New, increasingly powerful diagnostic tests will
encourage additional testing and spur employment. On the other hand, research and
development efforts targeted at simplifying routine testing procedures may enhance the
ability of nonlaboratory personnel, physicians and patients, in particular, to perform
tests now done in laboratories.
Although significant, growth will not be the only source of
opportunities. As in most occupations, many openings will result from the need to replace
workers who transfer to other occupations, retire, or stop working for some other reason.
and related services.
Overall employment of barbers, cosmetologists, and other personal appearance workers is
projected to grow about as fast as the
average for all occupations through 2010, because of increasing population, incomes,
and demand for cosmetology services. Job opportunities should be favorable, especially
because numerous job openings will arise from the need to replace workers who transfer to
other occupations, retire, or leave the labor force for other reasons. Competition is
expected for jobs and clients at higher paying salons, as applicants vie with a large pool
of licensed and experienced cosmetologists for these positions. The number of
self-employed, booth-renting cosmetologists should continue to grow. Opportunities will be
better for those licensed to provide a broad range of services.
Employment trends are expected to vary among the different
specialties within this grouping. For example, employment of barbers is expected to decline, due to a large number of
retirements and the relatively small number of cosmetology school graduates opting to
obtain barbering licenses. Employment of hairdressers, hairstylists, and cosmetologists
should grow about as fast as average,
because of continuing demand for coloring services and other hair treatments, such as
perms and waves, by teens and aging baby boomers.
Rapid growth in the number of nail salons and
full-service, day spas will generate numerous job openings for other personal appearance
workers. Nail salons specialize in providing manicures and pedicures. Day spas typically
provide a full range of services, including beauty wraps, manicures and pedicures,
facials, and massages. Employment of manicurists and pedicurists is expected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations, while skin care specialists and shampooers should expect average employment growth.
Job prospects for dental assistants should be good.
Employment is expected to grow much faster
than the average for all occupations through the year 2010. In addition, numerous job
openings will occur due to the need to replace assistants who transfer to other
occupations, retire, or leave the labor force for other reasons. Many opportunities are
for entry-level positions offering on-the-job training.
Population growth and greater retention of natural teeth by
middle-aged and older people will fuel demand for dental services. Older dentists, who are
less likely to employ assistants, will leave and be replaced by recent graduates, who are
more likely to use one, or even two. In addition, as dentists' workloads increase, they
are expected to hire more assistants to perform routine tasks, so that they may devote
their own time to more profitable procedures.
Employment of dental hygienists is expected to grow much faster than the average for all
occupations through 2010, in response to increasing demand for dental care and the greater
substitution of the services of hygienists for those previously performed by dentists. Job
prospects are expected to remain very good unless the number of dental hygienist program
graduates grows much faster than during the last decade, and results in a much larger pool
of qualified applicants.
Population growth and greater retention of natural teeth
will stimulate demand for dental hygienists. Older dentists, who are less likely to employ
dental hygienists, will leave and be replaced by recent graduates, who are more likely to
do so. In addition, as dentists' workloads increase, they are expected to hire more
hygienists to perform preventive dental care such as cleaning, so that they may devote
their own time to more profitable procedures.
Drug & Alcohol Rehab (Available through Asnuntuck Community College, Enfield, CT. )
Employment of emergency medical
technicians and paramedics is expected to grow
faster than the average for all occupations through 2010. Population growth and
urbanization will increase the demand for full-time paid EMTs and paramedics rather than
for volunteers. In addition, a large segment of the populationthe aging baby
boomerswill further spur demand for EMT services, as they become more likely to have
medical emergencies. There will still be demand for part-time, volunteer EMTs and
paramedics in rural areas and smaller metropolitan areas. In addition to job growth,
openings will occur because of replacement needs; some workers leave because of stressful
working conditions, limited advancement potential, and the modest pay and benefits in the
Most opportunities for EMTs and paramedics are
expected to arise in hospitals and private ambulance services. Competition will be greater
for jobs in local government, including fire, police, and independent third service rescue
squad departments, where salaries and benefits tend to be slightly better. Opportunities
will be best for those who have advanced certifications, such as EMT-Intermediate and
EMT-Paramedic, as clients and patients demand higher levels of care before arriving at the
(Available through Asnuntuck
Community College, Enfield, CT. )
Services and Human Services Management (Available through Asnuntuck Community College, Enfield, CT.
Massage customers for hygienic or remedial
- 2000 employment: 34,000
- Projected 2000-10 employment change: Faster than average
(Certificate and Associate Degree available)
Employment of medical assistants is expected
to grow much faster than the average for
all occupations through the year 2010 as the health services industry expands because of
technological advances in medicine, and a growing and aging population. It is one of the
fastest growing occupations.
Employment growth will be driven by the increase in the
number of group practices, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that need a high
proportion of support personnel, particularly the flexible medical assistant who can
handle both administrative and clinical duties. Medical assistants primarily work in
outpatient settings, where much faster than average growth is expected.
In view of the preference of many health care employers for
trained personnel, job prospects should be best for medical assistants with formal
training or experience, particularly those with certification.
Medical Coding and Billing
Job prospects for formally trained technicians
should be very good. Employment of medical records and health information technicians is
expected to grow much faster than the
average for all occupations through 2010, due to rapid growth in the number of medical
tests, treatments, and procedures which will be increasingly scrutinized by third-party
payers, regulators, courts, and consumers.
Hospitals will continue to employ a large percentage of
health information technicians, but growth will not be as fast as in other areas.
Increasing demand for detailed records in offices and clinics of physicians should result
in fast employment growth, especially in large group practices. Rapid growth is also
expected in nursing homes and home health agencies
Medical Imaging / Nuclear Medicine
Employment of nuclear medicine technologists
is expected to grow faster than the average
for all occupations through the year 2010. The number of openings each year will be very
low because the occupation is small. Growth will arise from an increase in the number of
middle-aged and older persons who are the primary users of diagnostic procedures,
including nuclear medicine tests.
Technological innovations may increase the diagnostic uses
of nuclear medicine. One example is the use of radiopharmaceuticals in combination with
monoclonal antibodies to detect cancer at far earlier stages than is customary today, and
without resorting to surgery. Another is the use of radionuclides to examine the heart's
ability to pump blood. Wider use of nuclear medical imaging to observe metabolic and
biochemical changes for neurology, cardiology, and oncology procedures, also will spur
some demand for nuclear medicine technologists.
On the other hand, cost considerations will affect the
speed with which new applications of nuclear medicine grow. Some promising nuclear
medicine procedures, such as positron emission tomography (PET), are extremely costly, and
hospitals contemplating them will have to consider equipment costs, reimbursement
policies, and the number of potential users.
Medical Imaging /
Although physicians are enthusiastic about the
clinical benefits of new technologies, the extent to which they are adopted depends
largely on cost and reimbursement considerations. For example, digital imaging technology
can improve quality and efficiency, but remains expensive. Some promising new technologies
may not come into widespread use because they are too expensive and third-party payers may
not be willing to pay for their use.
Employment of radiologic technologists and technicians
is expected to grow faster than the average
for all occupations through 2010, as the population grows and ages, increasing the demand
for diagnostic imaging. Opportunities are expected to be favorable. Some employers report
shortages of radiologic technologists and technicians. Imbalances between the supply of
qualified workers and demand should spur efforts to attract and retain qualified
radiologic technologists and technicians. For example, employers may provide more flexible
training programs, or improve compensation and working conditions.
Radiologic technologists who are educated and credentialed
in more than one type of diagnostic imaging technology, such as radiography and sonography
or nuclear medicine, will have better employment opportunities as employers look for new
ways to control costs. In hospitals, multi-skilled employees will be the most sought
after, as hospitals respond to cost pressures by continuing to merge departments.
Hospitals will remain the principal employer of radiologic
technologists and technicians. However, a greater number of new jobs will be found in
offices and clinics of physicians, including diagnostic imaging centers. Health facilities
such as these are expected to grow very rapidly through 2010 due to the strong shift
toward outpatient care, encouraged by third-party payers and made possible by
technological advances that permit more procedures to be performed outside the hospital.
Some job openings will also arise from the need to replace technologists and technicians
who leave the occupation.
/ Disgnostic Medical Sonography (Ultrasound)
Employment of diagnostic medical sonographers is
expected to grow faster than the average
for all occupations through 2010 as the population grows and ages, increasing the demand
for diagnostic imaging and therapeutic technology. Some job openings also will arise from
the need to replace sonographers who leave the occupation.
Ultrasound is becoming an increasingly attractive
alternative to radiologic procedures as patients seek safer treatment methods. Because
ultrasoundunlike most diagnostic imaging methodsdoes not involve radiation,
harmful side effects and complications from repeated use are rarer for both the patient
and the sonographer. Sonographic technology is expected to evolve rapidly and to spawn
many new ultrasound procedures, such as 3D-ultrasonography for use in obstetric and
ophthalmologic diagnosis. However, high costs may limit the rate at which some promising
new technologies are adopted.
Hospitals will remain the principal employer of diagnostic
medical sonographers. However, employment is expected to grow more rapidly in offices and
clinics of physicians, including diagnostic imaging centers. Health facilities such as
these are expected to grow very rapidly through 2010 due to the strong shift toward
outpatient care, encouraged by third-party payers and made possible by technological
advances that permit more procedures to be performed outside the hospital.
Job opportunities for RNs are expected to be very good.
Employment of registered nurses is expected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through 2010, and because the occupation is very large, many new jobs will
result. Thousands of job openings also will result from the need to replace experienced
nurses who leave the occupation, especially as the median age of the registered nurse
population continues to rise.
Some States report current and projected shortages of RNs,
primarily due to an aging RN workforce and recent declines in nursing school enrollments.
Imbalances between the supply of and demand for qualified workers should spur efforts to
attract and retain qualified RNs. For example, employers may restructure workloads,
improve compensation and working conditions, and subsidize training or continuing
Faster than average growth will be driven by technological
advances in patient care, which permit a greater number of medical problems to be treated,
and an increasing emphasis on preventive care. In addition, the number of older people,
who are much more likely than younger people to need nursing care, is projected to grow
Employment in hospitals, the largest sector, is expected to
grow more slowly than in other healthcare sectors. While the intensity of nursing care is
likely to increase, requiring more nurses per patient, the number of inpatients (those who
remain in the hospital for more than 24 hours) is not likely to increase much. Patients
are being discharged earlier and more procedures are being done on an outpatient basis,
both in and outside hospitals. However, rapid growth is expected in hospital outpatient
facilities, such as those providing same-day surgery, rehabilitation, and chemotherapy.
Employment in home healthcare is expected to grow rapidly.
This is in response to the growing number of older persons with functional disabilities,
consumer preference for care in the home, and technological advances that make it possible
to bring increasingly complex treatments into the home. The type of care demanded will
require nurses who are able to perform complex procedures.
Employment in nursing homes is expected to grow faster than
average due to increases in the number of elderly, many of whom require long-term care. In
addition, the financial pressure on hospitals to discharge patients as soon as possible
should produce more nursing home admissions. Growth in units that provide specialized
long-term rehabilitation for stroke and head injury patients or that treat Alzheimer's
victims also will increase employment.
An increasing proportion of sophisticated procedures, which
once were performed only in hospitals, are being performed in physicians' offices and
clinics, including ambulatory surgicenters and emergency medical centers. Accordingly,
employment is expected to grow faster than average in these places as healthcare in
In evolving integrated health care networks, nurses may
rotate among employment settings. Because jobs in traditional hospital nursing positions
are no longer the only option, RNs will need to be flexible. Opportunities should be
excellent, particularly for nurses with advanced education and training.
Employment of occupational therapist assistants and
aides is expected to grow much faster than
the average for all occupations through 2010. Federal legislation imposing limits on
reimbursement for therapy services may adversely affect the job market for occupational
therapist assistants and aides in the near term. However, over the long run, demand for
occupational therapist assistants and aides will continue to rise, with growth in the
number of individuals with disabilities or limited function. Growth will result from an
increasing population in older age groups, including the baby-boom generation, which
increasingly needs occupational therapy services as they become older. Demand also will
result from advances in medicine that allow more people with critical problems to survive
and then need rehabilitative therapy. Third-party payers, concerned with rising health
care costs may begin to encourage occupational therapists to delegate more of the hands-on
therapy work to occupational therapist assistants and aides. By having assistants and
aides work more closely with clients under the guidance of a therapist, the cost of
therapy should be more modest than otherwise.
(Available through Springfield College)
Employment of physical therapist assistants and aides
is expected to grow much faster than the
average through the year 2010. Federal legislation imposing limits on reimbursement
for therapy services may adversely affect the job market for physical therapist assistants
and aides in the near term. However, over the long run, demand for physical therapist
assistants and aides will continue to rise, with growth in the number of individuals with
disabilities or limited function. The rapidly growing elderly population is particularly
vulnerable to chronic and debilitating conditions that require therapeutic services. These
patients often need additional assistance in their treatment, making the roles of
assistants and aides vital. The large baby-boom generation is entering the prime age for
heart attacks and strokes, further increasing the demand for cardiac and physical
rehabilitation. Additionally, future medical developments should permit an increased
percentage of trauma victims to survive, creating added demand for therapy services.
Licensed physical therapist assistants can enhance the
cost-effective provision of physical therapy services. Once a patient is evaluated, and a
treatment plan is designed by the physical therapist, the physical therapist assistant can
provide many aspects of treatment, as prescribed by the therapist.
Physician Assistant (
Employment opportunities are expected to be
good for physician assistants, particularly in areas or settings that have difficulty
attracting physicians, such as rural and inner city clinics. Employment of PAs is expected
to grow much faster than the average for
all occupations through the year 2010 due to anticipated expansion of the health services
industry and an emphasis on cost containment.
Physicians and institutions are expected to employ more PAs
to provide primary care and to assist with medical and surgical procedures because PAs are
cost-effective and productive members of the healthcare team. Physician assistants can
relieve physicians of routine duties and procedures. Telemedicineusing technology to
facilitate interactive consultations between physicians and physician assistantsalso
will expand the use of physician assistants.
Besides the traditional office-based setting, PAs should
find a growing number of jobs in institutional settings such as hospitals, academic
medical centers, public clinics, and prisons. Additional PAs may be needed to augment
medical staffing in inpatient teaching hospital settings if the number of physician
residents is reduced. In addition, State-imposed legal limitations on the numbers of hours
worked by physician residents are increasingly common and encourage hospitals to use PAs
to supply some physician resident services. Opportunities will be best in States that
allow PAs a wider scope of practice.
Job opportunities are expected to remain good. Employment of respiratory therapists is
expected to increase faster than the average
for all occupations through the year 2010, because of substantial growth of the
middle-aged and elderly populationa development that will heighten the incidence of
Older Americans suffer most from respiratory ailments and cardiopulmonary diseases such
as pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and heart disease. As their numbers increase,
the need for respiratory therapists will increase, as well. In addition, advances in
treating victims of heart attacks, accident victims, and premature infants (many of whom
are dependent on a ventilator during part of their treatment) will increase the demand for
the services of respiratory care practitioners.
Opportunities are expected to be favorable for respiratory therapists with
cardiopulmonary care skills and experience working with infants.
Although hospitals will continue to employ the vast majority of therapists, a growing
number of therapists can expect to work outside of hospitals in respiratory therapy
clinics, offices of physicians, nursing homes, or homecare.
Employment of surgical technologists is expected to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the year 2010 as the volume of surgery increases. The number of
surgical procedures is expected to rise as the population grows and ages. As the
"baby boom" generation enters retirement age, the over 50 population will
account for a larger portion of the general population. Older people require more surgical
procedures. Technological advances, such as fiber optics and laser technology, will also
permit new surgical procedures to be performed.
Hospitals will continue to be the primary employer of
surgical technologists, although much faster employment growth is expected in offices and
clinics of physicians, including ambulatory surgical centers.
Mass. Community College Health Programs
List of all
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