Healthcare roles dominate U.S. News 2022 list of best jobs

By Hailey Mesnik for Healthcare Dive

Dive Brief:

  • Healthcare and healthcare support roles were highly ranked in U.S. News and World Report’s annual list of best jobs released Tuesday, accounting for nearly four in 10 of the 100 best jobs across all industries.
  • Information security analyst is the top job this year overall, followed by nurse practitioner, physician assistant, medical and health services manager and software developer. The rankings are first based on projected hiring demand, then factor in salary, work-life balance and other metrics.
  • The best healthcare job on the list is nurse practitioner, followed by physician assistant, speech-language pathologist, physician and registered nurse.

Dive Insight:

The pandemic made healthcare jobs much more challenging for those performing them, with doctors and nurses reporting widespread burnout as systems face persistent issues recruiting and retaining needed staff.

But they still topped the list of U.S. News and World Report’s best jobs of 2022.

The rankings are based on which occupations have the highest projected number and percentage of openings from 2020 to 2030, then sorted using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics covering salaries, projected job growth, employment rate, future job prospects, stress level and work-life balance.

The healthcare field is projected to add 2.6 million new jobs from 2020 to 2030 with a 16% growth rate — much faster than the average for all occupations, according to BLS.

Healthcare jobs also ranked high on U.S. News’ best jobs that pay more than $100,000 a year, accounting for nine of the list’s top 10 occupations.

Physician took the top spot on that list, followed by oral and maxillofacial surgeon, while obstetrician and gynecologist tied with anesthesiologist for third. All those roles have a median salary of more than $200,000, according to the list.

“It is no surprise that health care occupations continue to dominate the Best Jobs general rankings; the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly helped underscore the essential role they play in all of our lives,” Antonio Barbera, consumer advice senior editor at U.S. News, said in a statement.

But it’s unclear when current strains among the healthcare workforce will abate, or how much they could worsen.

When a record 4.5 million people quit their jobs in November, healthcare and social assistance workers had the second highest quit rate at 6.4%, according to preliminary data from BLS.

Nurses especially have reported burnout spurring them to consider leaving their jobs for other positions or leaving the profession altogether, though physicians too are reporting higher levels of burnout than ever before, a recent survey from KLAS Research’s Arch Collaborative found.

That survey found the rate at which burnout is increasing accelerated sharply in 2021, especially from the second to third quarter as the delta variant took hold.

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