According to the State of The Chicago Healthcare Industry, Chicago has more than 26,000 healthcare-related companies employing over 600,000 employees. It’s a city that’s fast becoming a hub for medical research and healthcare innovation, attracting many startups. That’s good news for Chicago’s employment rates because more healthcare companies equals more jobs.
In addition, Chicago health systems are joining forces to promote careers in healthcare. They are encouraging people from all kinds of backgrounds and different skill sets to consider a career in the healthcare field. For example, Healthcare Forward is focused on recruiting individuals for a wide range of entry-level jobs in healthcare that only require a high school diploma or GED equivalent.
The Growing Demand For Healthcare Jobs in Chicago
According to the American Hospital Association, the pandemic created a huge demand for more healthcare workers. The United States also has a growing need to provide quality care for its aging population. And like every other state, Chicago’s healthcare industry needs to employ more people.
Although health science occupations are one of the state’s fastest-growing careers, it goes beyond medical doctors and nurse practitioners. There’s an increasing demand for healthcare support staff, biomedical engineers, IT professionals, and administrative staff. Below, we’ll discuss the types of healthcare jobs that are increasing in demand.
Medical or health professionals are people who have the formal education, training, and license required to provide healthcare services. They examine and diagnose patients, provide effective treatment, give illness prevention tips and educate people on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Some types of healthcare professionals include primary care professionals (general doctors, nurse practitioners, and OB/GYN), and nursing care professionals (registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and advanced practice nurses). Others include therapists, specialty care doctors, and pharmacists.
- Healthcare support staff
Healthcare support workers assist and help to care for patients in hospitals or clinics. They change dressings, sterilize medical equipment, collect, store and label biological specimens, take vital signs and record findings to superiors, administer medications to patients, and keep hospital supplies properly stocked and organized.
Clinical support staff work closely with healthcare professionals such as physicians, nurses, and therapists. Healthcare support jobs available in Chicago include home health aides, diagnostic medical sonographers, occupational therapist assistants, emergency services personnel, etc.
- Healthcare administration
Healthcare administrators perform tasks that don’t directly involve the clinical care of patients. They may develop work schedules for staff and physicians, manage patient fees and billing, manage facility finances, improve facility efficiency and quality, and ensure that the facility complies with all laws and regulations.
Health administration jobs include medical billing manager, health services manager, practice administrator, etc. However, applicants need to have at least a Master of Health Administration (MHA) degree. They may attend a traditional college or enroll in an online MHA program that has no GRE/GMAT requirement.
IT professionals would play a huge role in the ongoing healthcare innovation in Chicago. They may optimize electronic systems for health facilities, develop software to track patient history, and electronically secure medical records and insurance information. They often start as general IT employees before choosing to specialize in healthcare information systems.
Since many healthcare companies are adopting tech and IT in their operations, they would have data-focused, network administration, and security-related positions. In-demand IT and tech jobs in healthcare include data scientists, software developers, cyber security specialists, information security analysts, database administrators, etc.
- Biomedical engineering
Biomedical engineers use engineering principles to create solutions for healthcare. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, they deal with the design and development of medical products. Since it’s one of the hottest fields right now, biomedical engineers earn some of the highest starting salaries in the healthcare industry.
Science, technology, and engineering are shaping the future of healthcare with innovations. There are wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine solutions, and the Internet of Medical Things (IoMT). Biomedical engineering specialties include biomechanics, medical imaging, cellular, tissue, and genetic engineering, etc.
- Healthcare leadership
Healthcare leaders are responsible for setting and working towards fundamental goals in healthcare organizations. They ensure the quality of health services delivered, make workflows more cost-effective, and ensure sustainability. They would fill leadership positions in Chicago’s hospitals, medical facilities, government, research facilities, academic institutions, etc.
Healthcare leadership jobs include hospital CEO, hospital CFO, hospital administrator, healthcare consultant, licensed nursing home administrator, etc. To qualify for these roles, applicants may enroll in an online Master of Health Administration (MHA) or earn advanced degrees in nursing, business administration, or public health.