Jobs in healthcare will never run out. There is no sign that career growth related to patient care is slowing down. On the other hand, the arrow of growth is pointing steeper upwards, which means that as years pass by, more people will need healthcare services than ever before. What does this mean to the nursing assistant? The job outlook for healthcare workers, particularly for CNAs is looking very good.
So if you are wondering where your work as a CNA will take you in the next 10 years, brace yourself for this exciting news: You're in for a challenging but rich experience because opportunities are vast. A CNA’s future is promising, and this projection holds true for many years to come.
Here are some thoughts as to why this is so:
1. The number of jobs for CNAs is expected to grow in the next decade, much faster than in other occupations.
According to the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the employment growth rate for CNAs is at 8%, which is much faster than that of other jobs at only 4%. This means that the US will have many jobs open to CNAs even in the coming years. It is projected that each year for the next ten years, there will be about 174,000 job openings for nursing assistants alone.
A career with such a bright job outlook means that you are likely to find work after completing your education and training, or even when you decide to find a new employer.
In job hunting, the odds are in your favor. Many facilities will be hiring and it is unlikely that you will run out of choices when it comes to employer, workplace, shift, and benefits. If fewer workers are taking up CNA courses while there are many vacancies to fill, managers would be scrambling to hire workers. This gives you better bargaining power when negotiating your pay and other benefits.
More employment opportunities means better job security and a more predictable flow of income, too. An excellent job outlook is also one reason why you should stay and continue to grow in your career.
2. CNA jobs are in demand because of the increasing number of older people.
By 2030, there will be about 71 million older adults in the US. This means that by that time, one in every five Americans will be at least 65 years of age. The aging population drives the growing need for additional workers in the field of patient care because more healthcare services come with advancing age.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), 80% of older Americans have at least one chronic health problem, which will make them seek healthcare services. Common health problems in older adults include heart and circulatory conditions, respiratory diseases, arthritis, cancer, and diabetes.
Also, 1 in every 3 of this age population has some difficulty with instrumental activities of daily living, such as meal preparation and housekeeping.
In both cases, CNAs will be very helpful in this regard, and therefore, will also have a variety of employment opportunities that cater to older patients.
3. Looking for job opportunities within or outside big cities can bring in good pay.
Here are the top-paying metropolitan areas: Taking the number one spot is Salinas, California where CNAs’ mean wage is $22.20 per hour and $46,170 annually. It is followed by San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward and Santa Cruz-Watsonville in California, where CNAs receive a mean yearly wage of $45,100 and $44,710 respectively. Not far behind are Fairbanks, in Arkansas and Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina in Hawaii.
The opportunities outside cities are favorable, too. Although the pay is lesser than that of cities, living expenses are not that high in places outside of the metro. The highest paying nonmetropolitan places are (from the top) Alaska, Hawaii, western North Dakota, North Coast Region of California, and Northwest Colorado where mean salaries range from $37,500 to $42,660.
4. There is a silver lining to the high turnovers for CNAs.
A nursing assistant’s job is truly physically demanding and emotionally exhausting. Many leave their job for good while others decide to change employers. As a result, CNA positions quickly become vacant. Although there are negative consequences of high turnovers, job vacancies become opportunities for those who are looking for a job.
The job outlook and work prospects for CNAs in the coming years are looking good. As time goes by, your role will be more in demand and significant. Your contribution to healthcare will be more valuable.
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