UAB School of Health Professions Current News

SHP Programs Rank Top 20 in Best Healthcare Jobs

Top 20 U.S. News & World Report
“Best Healthcare Jobs" for 2014

  • #5 Physical Therapy
  • #8 Physician Assistant
  • #9 Occupational Therapist
  • #14 Clinical Laboratory Technologist
  • #15 Dietitian & Nutritionist
  • #20 Respiratory Therapist

U.S. News & World Report came out with its 2014 list of “Best Healthcare Jobs” and six programs in the School of Health Professions made the top 20 list. That is one more than made the list in 2013.

The article says "as the youngest baby boomers celebrate their 50th birthdays this year, the need to employ qualified health care personnel to both prevent and treat medical conditions intensifies." Ranked at number five for the second year in a row are physical therapists. The position is expected to grow 36 percent, adding more than 73,500 jobs by 2022, according to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The reported median annual wage for a PT was $79,860 in 2012.

The highest debut in U.S. News' list in 2014 is physician assistants who jump in at number eight. U.S. News says "couple growth projections for 33,300 new jobs with a razor-thin 1.2 percent unemployment rate" then the future for PAs is "quite strong." The median annual salary according to BLS for a PA in 2012 was $90,930.

Physician Assistants debut #8 U.S. News' "Best Healthcare Jobs"Physician Assistants debut at #8 in U.S. News' "Best Healthcare Jobs" for 2014Ranked number nine, occupational therapists help patients perform daily living and working tasks so they can lead independent, satisfying lives. The BLS expects OT job growth to be 29 percent between 2012 and 2022. The reported median annual wage for an OT was $75,400 in 2012.

U.S. News calls number 14, clinical laboratory technologist, "the glue that holds our hospitals together." Whether uncovering diseases such as diabetes and cancer, typing patients and blood products for transfusion, or determining what bacteria is causing a patient’s infection and which antibiotic will be most effective, CLTs provide critical information in all areas of health and medicine. This field will add 47,900 more jobs between 2012 and 2022 according to the BLS.

Another SHP group debuting on this list are dietitians and nutritionists. The review says the rise of this field is due to the "growing number of health-conscious parents, as well as increased national attention on the heightened numbers of obese Americans and skyrocketing health care costs...." BLS expects job growth of 22 percent between 2012 and 2022.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are more than 15 million adults in the U.S. who are living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the name for conditions that limit air flow and cause breathing problems. Respiratory therapists, ranked 20th, provide care for patients with lung and heart problems. The expected growth in this occupation is more than 22,700 new positions by 2022. In 2012, the median salary for a RT was $55,870.

The criteria for the rankings are based on the number of openings, the chance to advance and be professionally fulfilled and the ability to meet financial obligations. U.S. News starts with data on jobs with the greatest hiring demand as categorized by the BLS.