Health-Care Hiring Booms in 2015

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Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Lindsey Peters conducts duties as a health services technician at the Coast Guard Baltimore Clinic in Baltimore.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Lindsey Peters conducts duties as a health services technician at the Coast Guard Baltimore Clinic in Baltimore, Nov. 8, 2013. (Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie R.B. Elis/Coast Guard photo)

Whether you're in the process of transitioning or recently left the military, successfully integrating into the civilian world includes securing a stable job.

After years in the military, your first instinct might be to take a load off, but the safest thing to do is to research and plan your next career move. Not everyone has a firm idea of how they'd like to make a living, and that's not a problem. If the follow-your-heart method doesn't inspire you, think about practicality. It may not be glamorous, but researching jobs that provide good salaries and enjoy high growth is an excellent first step.

If you're thinking in pragmatic terms, one industry that's been making waves recently is health care. According to Modern Healthcare, the health-care industry experienced a hiring boom in the last quarter of 2014, and there aren't any signs of it slowing down. During that time alone, 36,000 new jobs were created.

Although the industry experiences some fluctuation, job growth has been steadily increasing. In 2014, there were roughly 14.9 million health-care workers. In other words, health-care professionals composed about one out of 10 jobs in the U.S.

Many sources claim that the upswing in health-care jobs is due to an aging baby boomer population, but Modern Healthcare suggests a few other, more nuanced influences. Health spending took a hit during the recession, and while it slowly recovered, it gained serious momentum only somewhat recently.

The influx of revenue allows various organizations to hire more health-care workers. Although one expert argued that fewer uninsured Americans contributed, an employment analysis through Altarum Institute -- a nonprofit research and consulting organization -- concluded that there was no clearly identifiable correlation between expanded Medicaid and increased health-care job growth.

Despite nationwide influences on growth, local factors play a big part. Conditions such as minimal population change create regions that see little economic growth. Conversely, areas with an influx of new industries tend to see noticeable economic growth that benefits the health-care industry.

North Dakota is currently experiencing an oil boom that is responsible for a minor labor shortage. Because many workers are shifting over to the oil industry, industries like health care are in need of entry-level employees.

In some regions, the need for new workers is grave enough for companies and organizations to take unconventional steps. Sanford Health, the largest rural nonprofit health-care system in the U.S., has experienced a simultaneous drain on local talent and rise in health-care demands. To counteract the problems, Sanford Health is encouraging current employees to take more shifts and contact health-care systems nationwide that have recently endured rounds of layoffs.

Other factors contributing to growth include an increased need in ambulatory care, nursing home and residential care. These sectors contributed more than 230,300 jobs in 2014.

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