Health­care jobs are on the rise.

You might want to look into nurs­ing.

Metro USA (Boston) - - FRONT PAGE - SARA FEINSTEIN @SaraBFe­in­stein sara.feinstein@metro.us

There’s no deny­ing that health­care is one of the fastest grow­ing ca­reer sec­tors in the United States. In fact, the Bu­reau of La­bor Statis­tics ex­pects the field to grow by 23 per­cent over the next decade, cre­at­ing some­where near 974,000 new jobs.

So what are the best po­si­tions at the mo­ment? We’ve rounded up the top five based on salary, stress level, and fu­ture growth.

Orthodon­tist

It’s not un­com­mon for peo­ple to con­fuse or­tho­don­tists with den­tists. And while they do both work on teeth, or­tho­don­tists have a

more spe­cial­ized fo­cus: They pre­vent and cor­rect mis­aligned teeth. In other words, they are the mas­ters of braces and re­tain­ers, and the cor­rec­tors of over­bites, un­der bites — and ev­ery­thing in between.

Physi­cian as­sis­tant

Re­spon­si­ble for di­ag­nos­ing and treat­ing ill­nesses and pre­scrib­ing med­i­ca­tion to pa­tients, a physi­cian as­sis­tant’s work is very sim­i­lar to that of a gen­eral doc­tor. While they’re re­quired to work un­der the su­per­vi­sion of a li­censed physi­cian, their ad­vanced ed­u­ca­tion in gen­eral medicine al­lows them to treat pa­tients with quite a bit of au­ton­omy.

Nurse prac­ti­tioner

While reg­is­tered nurses need only a bach­e­lor’s de­gree in nurs­ing to begin their ca­reers, nurse prac­ti­tion­ers take the school­ing process to an­other level. Th­ese pro­fes­sion­als have both a master’s de­gree as well as board cer­ti­fi­ca­tion in their spe­cialty, which can range any­where from women’s health to fam­ily and adult care. The best part: They’re also in high de­mand. The Bu­reau of La­bor Statis­tics pre­dicts that by 2024, the field will grow by 35 per­cent, open­ing up 44,700 new po­si­tions.

Den­tist

Den­tists do more than sim­ply fill cav­i­tiesand nag pa­tients to floss. They’re are also re­spon­si­ble for straight­en­ing and re­pair­ing frac­tured teeth, per­form­ing cor­rec­tive surgery on gums, and even mea­sur­ing and mod­el­ing den­tures. In short, they’re in charge of all things re­lated to the mouth, gums and teeth. And with so many roles, their salary cer­tainly isn’t shabby. Ac­cord­ing to the Bu­reau of La­bor Statis­tics, th­ese health­care pro­fes­sion­als make an av­er­age of $173,860 a year.

Nurse anes­thetist

If you’re won­der­ing what the dif­fer­ence between a nurse anes­thetist and an anes­the­si­ol­o­gist is, the sim­ple an­swer is the level of school­ing. While anes­the­si­ol­o­gists need to go through med­i­cal school and then com­plete a four-year res­i­dency, nurse anes­thetists have a much shorter ed­u­ca­tional jour­ney. They need only a master’s de­gree and one year of crit­i­cal-care ex­pe­ri­ence. But that doesn’t mean they’re not just as im­por­tant. Af­ter all, th­ese health­care pro­fes­sion­als take care of their pa­tients dur­ing all stages of surgery, con­stantly mon­i­tor­ing every vi­tal body func­tion.

Em­ploy­ment of health­care oc­cu­pa­tions is pro­jected to grow 19 per­cent from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the av­er­age for all oc­cu­pa­tions, adding about 2.3 mil­lion new jobs.

ISTOCK

The health­care field is rapidly ex­pand­ing.

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