Blog | Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Primary care ranked as the 9th best job in health care

The health care sector is a good place to look for job opportunities and to plan career goals. The workforce is expected to increase 27% through 2014, compared with 14% for all industries combined, according to the Department of Labor.

But special education is needed to enter the health work force and now CareerCast has posted the top jobs based on stress level, solid job security, work environment, training and income. Here is how the list came out:
1. Dental hygienist
2. Audiologist
3. Occupational therapist
4. Physical therapist
5. Optometrist
6. Pharmacist
7. Physician assistant
8. Chiropractor
9. Primary Care Physician
10. Registered Nurse

Dental hygienists were first based on a median salary of nearly $70,000/year, low stress, a job growth outlook of 38% by 2020 and a small educational investment in a two year associates degree. They set their own schedules, work in comfortable environments and never have to take their work home!

Compare that to a primary care physician who makes more than $200,000 on average a year but they pay expensive malpractice insurance, have patient demands 24/7, have high stress levels and can incur training debt of over $200,000. Additionally the post-graduate training after a college degree is another 7+ years, delaying any income potential that can never be caught up.

Occupational therapy and physical therapy also have high rankings and with the baby boomer's aging, the growth potential is strong. But the physical demands are higher and patience is needed as they are dealing with injuries and disabilities.

The stress level for a Registered Nurse was ranked higher than the PCP. The stress level for a chiropractor was as low as the dental hygienist and the audiologist has the most stress free job of all.This post originally appeared at Everything Health. Toni Brayer, MD, FACP, is an ACP Internist editorial board member who blogs at EverythingHealth, designed to address the rapid changes in science, medicine, health and healing in the 21st Century.