There are many factors that you should consider as you choose your health care career path. For one, choosing a field that aligns with your passions means that going to work every day won’t feel like a chore. Additionally, keeping job outlook in mind as you plan can ensure that the money and time you spend on schooling pays off in the long run. A growing need for those who provide the service that you are trained to provide means you’ll be able to find employment anywhere that you choose to live. The good news: there’s a growing need for many different types of positions, like veterinarians, recreational therapists and athletic trainers, to name a few.
Turn your love for animals into a veterinary career
Your interactions with veterinarians may be limited to those who take care of your dog or cat, but animal hospitals are just one of the environments where veterinarians can find fulfilling work. You might not know it, but over 3,000 veterinarians work for the federal government. Some work in government agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), helping to ensure that our food is safe. Others work in zoos, overseeing the health of thousands of animals from hundreds of different species. Wherever there are non-human animals, you’ll find veterinarians taking care of them!
Perhaps because of the lack of awareness of veterinary practice beyond what happens at local animal hospitals, the U.S. has been experiencing a shortage in large animal veterinarians for several years, making the job outlook for veterinarians with this specialty great. If this specialization interests you, be sure to look into the government’s loan repayment program for large animal vets who agree to work in rural and lower-paying areas of the country.
Use your craft to make people feel better
According to Nielsen, 12 million copies of coloring books were sold in the U.S. in 2015, as compared to 1 million in 2014. Adult coloring may be trending, but taking to the arts to promote well-being is more than just a trend — it’s a rapidly growing health care field. Recreational therapists use activities that include art, music, crafts or games to improve a patient’s physical, mental or emotional well-being. Art therapists works with patients of all ages to combat depression, provide an outlet for stress or anxiety and help patients learn to express themselves in non-verbal ways. If you’ve benefitted from the catharsis of putting colored pencil to paper and want to help others see this same benefit, consider a career that ties arts and humanities into health care.
Leverage your interest in sports to protect athletes against injury
As we gain more insight into what causes sports-related injuries like concussions and how athletes can avoid them, the demand is growing for professionals with a sports medicine specialization. Take, for instance, Dr. Dennis Cardone’s suggestion for future professional soccer tournaments like the World Cup: The co-director of the NYU Langone Medical Center’s Concussion Center suggests that more serious assessment needs to be made to determine if players should return to the field after getting injured during games. “The [assessors] should be health care professionals, such as an athletic trainer in the stands,” he suggests. If you’ve always been intrigued by sports and athletes, consider a career in sports medicine where you can make a big difference for those who leverage their athletic abilities for their career.
Translate your passion into an in-demand, fulfilling career
Veterinarians, recreational therapists and athletic trainers are just a few of the many health care jobs that are in demand. Take a look at the infographic below to learn about a few others and keep job outlook in mind as you determine which path is the best fit for you.