16 HEALTHCARE CAREERS | 2018 | www.advanceweb.com CAREERS  |  HEALTHCARE CAREERS 2018 R ecent data shows that healthcare is among the fastest-growing sectors of the U.S. economy, and that job growth should reflect this standing for the foreseeable future. Why? Well, let’s start with the obvious— healthcare isn’t necessarily recession-proof, but people don’t stop needing medical atten- tion because of political conflict or if the mar- ket takes a dip. Whether it’s a boom or bust economy, people still want to visit their dentist every six months, see their primary care pro- vider annually, etc. But with as much attention as the “aging baby boomer population” has received for its role in creating a greater need for health- care professionals, a factor that’s gone largely ignored is the possibility that technological advances, medical discoveries, and better test- ing systems are all playing a role in increas- ing life spans across the board. In other words, we may observe what would be considered an “aging population” for the foreseeable future, as people live not only deeper into their 70s, but well into their 80s and 90s in some cases. Recently, Monster.com released a list of fastest-growing healthcare jobs, and within this release they included a statistic that leads one to believes that healthcare is the num- ber-one growing job sector—out of the 30 fast- est-growing jobs in all professions, 12 of them are within the healthcare field. So no matter the area on which you choose to focus, your professional future in healthcare looks like a bright one! Whether you’ve just started your career, or are an established professional considering a career change to another area of the industry, here are the 10 fastest-growing jobs in health- care for 2018. Accompanying statistics, unless indicated otherwise, are from the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. #10–SURGICAL TECHNOLOGIST Expected Growth between now and 2026: 12% (approximately 12,600 jobs) Median Wage: As of May 2017, the median wage for a surgical technologist was $46,310, or $22.26 per hour. Also known as operating room techni- cians, surgical technologists prepare operating rooms with appropriate equipment and other considerations, and provide general assistance to doctors during surgery. They primarily work in hospitals, and the job typically requires an associate’s degree. #9–PHARMACY TECHNICIAN Expected Growth between now and 2026: 12% (approximately 47,600 jobs) Median Wage: As of May 2017, the median wage for a pharmacy technician was $31,750, 2018’s Fastest Growing Careers in Healthcare Rates of growth, salary information for professions with particularly bright futures By Rob Senior