The healthcare and social assistance industry is Australia’s largest and fastest growing industry. There are more than 1.7 million people employed in this area, and that number is set to soar to 1.9 million by 2024.
As our population continues to grow and there is increased demand for aged care services, the healthcare industry is one of the most stable industries in Australia.
In a recent report from the National Skills Commission, they listed the healthcare industry the most resilient of all sectors in Australia. The top four most resilient jobs in Australia also fell under healthcare.
Read on to discover what the future of the healthcare industry looks like and what kind of career you could follow in this growing industry.
What is the employment outlook for healthcare professionals?
The stats today look promising for those who work in, or are looking to join, the healthcare industry. But will the healthcare industry still be growing in 5, 10 or 20 years’ time?
The truth is, so long as our population continues to grow and technology continues to drive innovation in the healthcare industry, there will always be a demand for qualified, skilled healthcare professionals. Whether that’s qualified Doctors, Nurses, Medical Technicians, Physiotherapists, Counsellors, Aged Care Workers or one of the many other jobs available in the health sector.
According to the government’s Job Outlook website, many jobs in the healthcare sector are predicted to have strong or very strong growth in the future.
What kind of job could I get in healthcare?
If you’re looking to join the fastest-growing industry in Australia, then there is no shortage of jobs with great potential.
Depending on your interests, passions, skills and traits, you may be better suited to one sector than another.
Here are some of the most in-demand jobs in the healthcare industry right now:
1. Mental Health Worker
In LinkedIn’s recent ‘Jobs on the Rise’ report they listed Mental Health Workers as one of the most in-demand jobs. The pandemic saw an increase in the demand for mental health services and support, and in response the federal government allocated $20 million in additional funding for research and improved healthcare.
Mental Health Workers fall under a few categories. They could work in community services, rehabilitation or counselling.
3. Nursing Assistant
According to Seek’s ’20 Most Needed Jobs’ list, Nurses (in all roles) are the number one most in-demand job right now in Australia.
Starting your career in healthcare as a Nursing Assistant is a great place to begin, especially if you’re looking to complete further studies in the future. Nursing Assistants (also sometimes referred to as Assistants in Nursing) work under the supervision of Registered Nurses or other healthcare professionals. Most often they work in a hospital setting, assisting patients by helping with personal care, changing bedding, repositioning, serving meals and of course communicating with Nurses and Doctors if the patient has any concerns.
2. Aged Care Worker
As our ageing population continues to grow, there is more pressure being put on our aged care sector to be able to support and care for elderly Australians.
According to the National Skills Commission, Aged and Disabled Carers are the second highest occupation in the healthcare industry.
Aged Care Support Workers usually work in a residential care environment or they travel to clients’ homes. With more and more people seeking to stay in their own homes rather than move to a residential care facility, it’s becoming more common for Aged Care Workers to visit clients at home to help them with daily chores, personal hygiene and any other tasks that need doing, such as taking clients to doctor’s appointments. There are other jobs in the aged care sector as well outside of Support Worker, such as Recreation Activities Co-ordinator.
4. Dental Assistant
If you think ‘healthcare’, the first job that springs to mind is probably nursing or aged care related. But there is also demand for professionals in dentistry.
According to Seek’s aforementioned top jobs list, Dental Workers are in the top 20 most needed jobs.
The government’s Job Outlook website states that there are more than 14,000 people employed as Dental Practitioners in Australia, and they also forecast that the number is set to grow strongly.
Dental Assistants play an important role, assisting Dentists and Dental Hygienists with procedures, preparing treatment rooms and sanitising equipment, performing admin duties and helping clients feel welcome and relaxed.
5. Allied Health Services Assistant
Allied health hosts a number of services under its umbrella: such as occupational therapy, dietetics, physiotherapy and speech pathology. Essentially, allied health covers everything that doesn’t fall under the medical, dental or nursing professions.
If you’re interested in joining the healthcare sector and want a role where you can work directly with people to help them improve their health and wellbeing, beginning in allied health services may be a great choice.
The Department of Social Services states that there is a growing need for Allied Health Workers, especially within the aged care and disability sectors. This could provide opportunities to those looking to work in allied health services, and could allow them to specialise in helping elderly clients or clients living with a disability.
Future careers and trends in healthcare
What kind of jobs will we see emerging in the future of the healthcare industry? It’s an interesting question to consider, as the answer will be shaped by the technology being developed today.
This isn’t to say that healthcare jobs will be outsourced to robots; demand will always exist for real, live healthcare workers. Instead, we’ll potentially see the healthcare industry moulded and shaped by new innovations and evolutions in technology. Technology will help to drive demand in different ways and will change the way some services are delivered.
We’re also likely to see big tech companies trying to branch out into the healthcare industry: for example, back in March 2020 we saw Virgin Orbit engineer mass-produced medical ventilators to assist in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic; or the AI model Google claims can identify breast cancer in patients even more accurately than human experts.
Can I study a healthcare course online?
If you’re looking to start a career in healthcare, or you currently work in the health industry and are looking for a way to get ahead, a VET qualification can help you reach your goals.
OC offers a huge range of online healthcare courses that cover nursing, dental, allied health services, mental health and more.
This could be the beginning of a new and exciting career for you in a much-needed industry. And with the industry currently growing at such a rapid rate, you might be surprised to discover just where you career in health could take you.
Now’s the time to start studying and make a change in your life, so you can make a change in someone else’s.
Enrol in an OC course today or take a 7 day free online course trial to discover your passion.