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5 Growing Healthcare Fields You Need to Know About


Healthcare is the fastest growing career field in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In their Occupational Outlook Handbook, BLS outlined their projections:

“Overall employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 13% from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations; this increase is expected to result in about 2 million new jobs over the decade. In addition to new jobs from growth, opportunities arise from the need to replace workers who leave their occupations permanently. About 1.9 million openings each year, on average, are projected to come from growth and replacement needs.”

This change reflects our country’s demographics and the massive health system upheaval of the last two years. Along with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, an aging American population and a renewed focus on preventative care is making healthcare jobs more popular and more necessary.

As a result, there’s never been a better time to enter this field. Our world needs qualified, competent, service-oriented individuals in this industry now more than ever. In light of this, the question then just becomes: what kind of healthcare career should I pursue? To help you identify this, here are five of the most rapidly growing areas of healthcare:

1. Athletics and Sports Medicine

Career  Education needed Average salary
Physical therapists Doctoral or professional degree $95,620
Athletic trainer Master’s degree $48,420
Exercise physiologist Bachelor’s degree $47,940

Athletic training and sports medicine is booming in the United States, with positions like athletic trainer seeing a staggering 17% growth rate. Becoming an athletics or sports medicine professional can be a very rewarding career. In working with budding athletes, you will be able to assess injuries, recommend treatments and perform surgical procedures. You can also contribute to the field of research. If you are fascinated by the feats of which the human body is capable, you will likely love this area.

2. Cardiology

Career  Education needed Average salary
Physicians & surgeons Doctoral or professional degree $208,000
Cardiovascular technologists & technicians Associate’s degree $75,380
Surgical assistants Postsecondary nondegree award $48,510

There exists a greater need for cardiologists than ever before. With a geriatric population that continues to expand, along with a growing population in general, cardiology is a bustling field. Taking care of heart health is a huge deal; after all, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Whether your interest lies in assisting surgeries, helping people make lifestyle changes or diagnosing rare conditions, there is a need for professionals in this specialty.

Plus, an exciting aspect of cardiology is that the most rapidly growing positions in this field are not doctors—but cardiovascular technologists and technicians. The average salary for these types of jobs is $75,380, but typically only require an associate’s degree. Talk about a big pay-off!

3. Geriatrics

Career  Education needed Average salary
Physical therapists Doctoral or professional degree $95,620
Occupational therapists Master’s degree $85,570
Home health & personal care aides High school diploma / equivalent $29,430 

The elderly population in the United States, and around the world, is exploding. In fact, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of older Americans is projected to increase by almost 18 million over the next 10 years as the last of the baby boomer generation turns 65. This increase marks a significant shift in our country’s make-up: by 2030, for the first time in American history, older people will outnumber children. Clearly, there is, and will continue to be, a growing need for medical professionals who specialize in geriatrics.

Geriatrics covers a wide range of positions—from in-home aides to physical or occupational therapists. Regardless of what particular job you choose, though, pursuing some form of work in geriatrics is an excellent way to establish a long and fulfilling career in a fast-growing healthcare field.

4. Language and Communication Therapy/Treatment

Career  Education needed Average salary
Speech-language pathologists Master’s degree $79,060
Audiologists Doctoral or professional degree $78,950
Respiratory therapy Associate’s degree $61,830

The ability to communicate is one of the most important aspects of being human. When aspects of our communication ability is impaired—whether it’s our language, breath, or hearing—it can cause a dramatic decline in our quality of life. As a result, medical fields such as speech language pathology, audiology, and respiratory therapy are in high demand. Speech-language pathology, in particular, is projected to grow at a rapid 21%. If you have a heart for serving those who need (or need to recover) their voice, this is a fulfilling and rewarding career path for you!

5. Nursing

Career  Education needed Average salary
Nurse practitioners Master’s degree or higher $123,780
Registered Nurses (RNs) Bachelor’s degree $77,600
Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) Postsecondary nondegree award $48,079

Nursing is possibly the most important field for the future of healthcare. In fact, in recognition of the profession’s essential nature to the pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse. By the WHO’s estimation, the world “needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030.”

The growth rate of nursing positions reflects this importance. Nurse practitioners — highly-trained nurses who coordinate patient care and may provide primary and specialty care — have the highest projected growth rate of any medical profession at an astonishing 40% over the next 10 years. All types of nurses are needed to create a thriving, resilient medical system for our changing population though. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that nursing degrees are some of the most popular healthcare degrees today.

Pursue Healthcare at ACU Online

These are just a few of the many healthcare fields that will be growing rapidly and profitably in the next decade. Interested in diving into a career with great opportunities to serve and grow?  ACU is here to help.

We offer tons of online degrees that will transform your understanding of the medical field and position you to take leadership roles. For more information on how ACU Online can help you pursue your career goals in healthcare, contact us at 855-219-7300 or

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