Health Careers That Didn’t Exist a Decade Ago

About the author: Sarah Fudin is the Inbound Marketing Manager for the George Washington University’s innovative online MPH program that allows prospective students to earn a Master of Public Health from GW’s highly ranked School of Public Health. In her free time, Sarah enjoys running, reading and 16 Handles frozen yogurt. 

It’s no secret that health care’s changing technology and advanced approaches require providers to stay up-to-date with what’s happening. Giving the best care means that many employed in the field must adjust to changing needs and obtain the new skills necessary to get the job done, which frequently means new jobs and new training. There are many health care careers today that didn’t exist a decade ago, and there are sure to be more as health technology continues to change. Find out more about what’s new in the last decade and get ready to set your sights on an evolving health care career:

1. Patient Advocates

With a big push toward health literacy or a better understanding of health services, patient advocates are one career that has developed to assist patients and their families as they navigate the health care system. Present during hospital or physician visits, patient advocates can be employed by a hospital to provide services while they are admitted or as private advocates who work in a one-on-one setting. Private advocates may have experienced a similar diagnosis and wish to support others with similar conditions. Patient advocates are usually college educated, possess good people skills and are able to work with patients and health care professionals.

2. Elder Care Services

An aging U.S population is causing many to focus on needs of the elderly. Elder care includes long-term care issues, legal red tape and complex health care requirements, making caring for this growing population quite challenging. Elder care service coordinators are responsible for overseeing programs and services for the elderly, including assistance with daily activities, health care advocacy and end-of-life support for patients and families.

3. Medical Billers and Coders

Payment for health care services can be a slippery slope, and medical coders are in high demand as they help hospitals get the most for their patient care buck. Coders usually take one to two years of college-level courses to learn proper health care codes for insurance company reimbursement. Improperly coded patient information could mean insurance companies refuse to pay for care or pay for less than they should, so many health care systems employ coders to make sure the facility gets every dollar entitled. Coding jobs are in high demand and can open the door to other medical office or medical management jobs. Many private physician offices require that office managers have at least some experience with coding.

4. Chief Listening Officer

Social media makes good and bad news travel fast, and employers from health care and other medical avenues use chief listening officers to monitor what their customers are saying. Many hospitals have Facebook, Twitter or other social media accounts and watching comments is necessary to maintain a positive community reputation and to provide an early form of customer service or customer recovery when a patient or their family has been dissatisfied with their care. Listening officers may also handle email exchanges between patients and administration to help address concerns or recognize outstanding services of facility staff.

5. Pharmacy Technicians

Pharmacy techs have been around longer than 10 years, there’s no doubt, but a surge in demand has sent the career soaring. With job demand up over 43 percent in 2012, pharmacy technicians help licensed pharmacists dispense prescription medications and manage the pharmacy for quicker patient care. Pharmacy technicians are required to complete one to two years of training, then pass the pharmacy tech certification examination.

Careers in health care offer a variety of specialties and clinical areas to fit just about anyone.  With a variety of educational requirements, careers can take you to the patient’s bedside or have you sitting behind a desk. No matter what your style is, careers in this field are blooming with opportunity. With many changes ahead regarding policy and how health care is navigated, the future is still bright for those who are looking to move ahead.

This infographic originally posted by Greatist shares information on the future of health and public health as it relates to your smart phone:


Sarah Fudin is a senior inbound marketing manager at 2U Inc., an education company that supplies universities with the resources to go online. Sarah currently works with George Washington University on their online MPH program. Outside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading, and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.