Youthentity column: Industry snapshot — check out health care, veterinary services jobs and careers |

Youthentity column: Industry snapshot — check out health care, veterinary services jobs and careers

Kirsten McDaniel

In our third installment of the Industry Snapshot series, we’re highlighting the opportunity and growth in the health care and veterinary services industries. In introducing students to possible jobs and careers in a variety of industries through our youth career readiness programs, Youthentity aims to first bring local industries to the forefront.

Our valley’s economy has always included a strong hospitality and construction/building presence, which is why our high school Career Academy career exploration program offers classes in those fields. This spring, we look forward to adding two other industries which provide employment stability in terms of both anticipated projected growth in both wages and job creation: healthcare and veterinary services.

Health care in the US is a powerhouse industry. Since 2014 the sector has seen an average annual growth of 7%; as well, healthcare is almost 20% of the GDP in the United States, and the sector is the US’s largest employer. The average employee in this sector earns $60,976 a year, compared to the national average of $47,060.

When considering veterinary services, if the amount we’re spending on pets is any indication alone (over $72B in 2018!), the industry will continue its upward trajectory as more and more people prioritize the health and wellness of their furry companions.

Profiles of a few top non-physician health-care jobs

Radiologic and MRI Technicians: These professionals perform imaging services such as x-rays. MRI technologists are trained to provide patients with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to help physicians with diagnostics.

Median Salary: $61,240

Predicted Growth: 13% through 2026

Required Education: Most professionals need an associate degree and become licensed or certified in their states.

Dental Hygienist: Dental hygienists are responsible for cleaning patients’ teeth, checking for signs of oral diseases or decay and provide other preventative dental care measures such as fluoride treatment or x-rays.

Median Salary: $74,820

Predicted Growth: 20% through 2026

Required Education: Associate degree required at minimum; all states require licensing. Demand for dental hygienists is expected to grow at a faster than average rate.

Radiation Therapist: Radiation therapists are part of a healthcare team that administers high doses of radiation to help treat cancer or other serious diseases. As the population ages and radiation therapies advance, the demand for radiation therapists is expected to rise.

Median Salary: $82,330

Predicted Growth: 13% through 2026

Required Education: Minimum of associate degree, usually licensed or certified by their particular state.

Veterinary services

While jobs in veterinary science offer less diversity, its opportunities still offer stability in wages and stable employment.

Veterinarian: Veterinarians serve the healthcare needs of animals, including small animals, livestock, avian, and zoo and laboratory animals.

Median Salary: $95,460

Predicted Growth: 16% through 2029

Required Education: Doctorate degree.

Veterinary Technician or Technologist: Veterinary technologists and technicians do medical tests that help diagnose animals’ injuries and illnesses.

Median Salary: $35,320

Predicted Growth: 16% through 2029

Required Education: Technologists usually need a 4-year bachelor’s degree, and technicians need a 2-year associate degree. Typically, both technologists and technicians must take a credentialing exam and become registered, licensed, or certified, depending on the requirements of the state in which they work.

It’s never too early to introduce kids to the possibilities when it comes to careers. As always, our hope is that this program expansion into healthcare and animal services will spark a passion for the field in our students, helping them to find direction and purpose as they pursue a path towards successful, stable and happy futures.

Kirsten McDaniel is executive director for Youthentity and writes a monthly column for the Post Independent.

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