UAB School of Health Professions Current News
- Created on April 12, 2012
The UAB School of Health Professions offers eight fields listed as the “Best 100 Jobs in 2012” by CareerCast.com. Four of the programs landed in the top 30.
The Wall Street Journal article listed the “200 Best and Worst Jobs in 2012.” The jobs were selected based on five criteria: physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook. The firm used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and other government agencies to determine the rankings. The 200 jobs were selected for their relevance in the current labor market as well as the availability of reliable data.
Occupational Therapy came out at top at No. 7. Jan Rowe, DrOT, OTR/L, interim chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy, wasn’t surprised by the ranking. She said OT’s want to teach or help people to live life to their fullest.
“People want to work with others to help them learn or relearn daily life skills,” said Rowe. “These skills can be everything from basic grooming and dressing to complicated occupations of work, managing a family and home to participating in the community and social events of their choosing.”
“The scope of practice settings and the overall availability of jobs allow flexibility for physical therapists to choose settings, locations and work hours,” said Shaw. “Physical therapists report the one-to-one relationships established with clients, and the opportunity to see functional improvement as major factors in job satisfaction.”
A Registered Dietitian, ranked No. 17, is a food and nutrition expert who has met academic and professional requirements to qualify for the credential "RD." Susan Miller, MS, RD, LD, interim director of the Dietetic Internship, said the job opportunities for Registered Dietitians are unlimited.
“Registered Dietitians may provide medical nutrition therapy in hospitals, HMOs, private practice or other health-care facilities,” said Miller. “Jobs are available in community and public health settings, academia and research. A growing number of RD’s work in the food and nutrition industry, in business, journalism, sports nutrition, and corporate wellness programs. It is a dynamic and growing field that attracts a wide array of individuals and supports their specific interests, entrepreneurship and desire to be part of a team improving the health of future generations.”
Physician Assistants rounded out the Top 30 at No. 26. A national workforce task force predicts there will be a shortage of 100,000 primary care physicians by 2020 giving Physician Assistants the opportunity to fill those needs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts Physician Assistants jobs will increase by more than 37 percent or 16,900 jobs.
Respiratory Therapists, ranked at No. 46, provide high-tech care in a variety of environments with diverse activities and the choice to work with all ages or specialize for a specific age group. Jonathan Waugh, Ph.D., RRT, professor in the Respiratory Therapy program, said Respiratory Therapists have a variety of work-setting options.
“Most Respiratory Therapists work in the hospital environment which has the benefits of extensive technology and promotes a healthy workplace,” said Waugh. “Critical care settings offer fast-paced excitement while the growing home care practice allows a relaxed setting with a flexible schedule to help people become well.”
Medical records technician or health information technicians, ranked at No. 50, are expected to see more than a 30 percent increase or nearly 13,000 new jobs due to the government promoting the use of electronic health records.
Medical Technologists, also known as Clinical Laboratory Scientists, ranked at No. 55 with Medical Laboratory Technician coming in at No. 71. Clinical Laboratory Scientists analyze blood, tissue and other body fluids using sophisticated state of the art instrumentation and combine that expertise with their specialized knowledge of the pathophysiology of diseases to provide information to all healthcare professionals.
“Laboratory science is a great career for people who want to play a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment of disease, but do not necessarily want to be involved in direct patient care,” said Michelle Brown, M.S., MLS(ASCP), assistant professor in the Clinical Laboratory Science program. “Our graduates are readily hired after graduation. We often have hospitals asking us when students graduate because they are eager to hire another of our excellent graduates.”
Lumberjack was named the worst job for 2012. Physical labor, declining job opportunities, a poor work environment and high stress are all pervasive attributes among those jobs that comprise the 2012 Worst Jobs. The other top 10 worst jobs included dairy farmer, enlisted military soldier, oil rig worker, newspaper reporter, waiter, meter reader, dishwasher, butcher and broadcaster.