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3 Hottest Careers in Occupational Health

Career News November 26, 2013

The demand for healthcare providers is growing, and so is the number of careers in Occupational Health. There are many great careers in Occupational Health, but three of them stand out as the fastest-growing, most in-demand jobs within this field. These careers require specialized education and training, but the pay and benefits are well worth the time you’ll spend in the classroom and doing clinical. If you are looking to embark on one of these careers in Occupational Health, the following information and statistics should help you decide which path to take.

Occupational Health Physician Job Duties

Once trained, Occupational Health Physicians handle patients that have suffered from on-the-job injuries, helping to diagnose and treat these injuries. They can also dispense prescriptions and order tests for the patients. These doctors may work in their own private practices, occupational medicine facilities, hospitals, prisons and military facilities.

Education Requirements

Most Occupational Health Physicians have a background and education in general medicine. These doctors then move to the Occupational Health area and complete a fellowship or certificate program in Occupational Health.

Salary & Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010, the median salary for an Occupational Health Physician was around $166,000. This number can be greater in areas with a higher cost of living, and lower for areas that have smaller populations and income ranges. There are currently 691,000 jobs in this career field. This career field is growing faster on average than other fields, and the demand for Occupational Health Physicians will increase in size by about 24% in the next ten years. This growth will add approximately 168,300 more jobs across the country.

Occupational Health Nurse Practitioner/Registered Nurse Job Duties

Nurses in the Occupational Health area perform similar tasks as other nurses; assisting patients with their needs and helping doctors with the treatment of these patients is the main priority. These nurses can work in traditional doctors’ offices and hospitals, or find jobs in prisons, schools and even military facilities.

Education Requirements

Nurse Practitioners and Registered Nurses in the Occupational Health field generally receive the same training that nurses in other care areas receive. They must have an Associate’s or Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, as a general rule. These nurses may or may not then take additional courses or on-the-job training and instruction in the Occupational Health field. There are also certificate programs for these nurses to become certified in this discipline, but these are not mandatory.

Salary and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 the median salary for a nurse in the Occupational Health field was around $64,690. This number can change based on the area of the country the job is located in; some nurses earn more, and some earn a little less. There are currently 2,737,400 jobs in this career field. This career field is growing faster on average than other fields, and the demand for Occupational Health Nurses will increase in size by about 26% in the next few years, adding approximately another 711,900 jobs to the field.

Occupational Health Consultant Job Duties

Occupational Health Consultants act as advisors to medical facilities and providers of occupational health services. These consultants may also conduct health and safety inspections for privately-owned organizations or government entities. They may also help companies design programs to protect the safety and health of workers and handle on-the-job injuries. They also help write Occupational Health policies and procedures for business and government agencies.

Education Requirements

An Occupational Health Consultant typically has a Bachelor’s Degree in a related field. They may also have completed additional coursework and hands-on training to certify them to become inspectors or show that they have additional related knowledge in this field.

Salary and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2010 the median salary for an Occupational Health Consultant was around $64,660. This number can change based on the area of the country the job is located in; since these consultants typically work for themselves, they can charge different prices for their services. There are currently 58,700 jobs in this career field. The demand for these consultants will increase in size by about 9% in the next few years, adding approximately another 5,000 jobs to the field.

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