Throughout the month of December (2016) there were plenty of media outlets publishing their lists of the top healthcare jobs for 2017. Forbes was no exception. Their list came out on December 18, featuring a couple of healthcare jobs that might surprise you. Below is a list of five taken from the Forbes piece.

Before we get to those jobs, it should be noted that surgeons and other doctors in highly specialized disciplines will continue commanding the highest salaries. Yet there are those future healthcare workers who have no desire to enter one of those professions. They would rather get a degree and get to work more quickly.

With that said, here are five jobs from the Forbes list that might surprise you:

1. Audiologist

To the surprise of many, audiology was on the top of the Forbes list in the number one position. Audiology is the science of hearing, balance, and related disorders. According to Forbes, the median salary for audiologists is just over $73,000; career growth has been estimated by the BLS at 29% in the coming decade. Audiologists work in hospitals, private practices, schools, and corporate environments.

2. Biomedical Engineering

The job of biomedical engineer came in at number two on the Forbes list. This is an interesting choice given how little the average consumer knows about this profession. In short, biomedical engineering combines the standard principles of engineering with the design concepts of medicine and biology in order to improve healthcare services. It is the perfect job for someone who loves problem-solving and medicine simultaneously. The median salary for biomedical engineers is just under $87,000; projected growth is estimated at 23%.

3. Dietitian

There has been a legitimate place for the dietitian in healthcare for the last several decades. But until recently, dietitians were treated more like separate entities who practiced their profession outside of the main scope of healthcare. That is changing thanks to the implementation of healthcare reform and its new value-based approach. Dietitians are now being included as integral members of the healthcare team looking out for the best interests of patients. The median salary for dietitians is roughly $57,000; projected growth is expected at about 16%.

4. Optometry

Optometry came in at number five on the Forbes list, to the surprise of many. For some reason, optometry is not something we quickly think about when the topic of healthcare comes up. Yet optometrists provide a valuable service that will be more in demand as the population ages. The longer people live, the more likely they are to need the services of an optometrist. The median salary for optometrists is just over $101,000; projected growth is expected at about 27%.

5. Medical Records Technician

One of the biggest surprises on the Forbes list is that of medical records technician, a job that came in at number seven. It is easy to see why this position could be so desirable over the next decade when one stops to consider the implications of the government’s electronic record-keeping mandate. The mandate has created a long list of new positions requiring people who have very specific skills in records and records management. As for the medical records technician, he or she can expect a median salary of about $26,000 and projected growth at 15%.

There are lots of other healthcare jobs that will experience tremendous growth in 2017 and throughout the next decade. Anyone hoping to get into the medical field would do well to begin researching the kinds of jobs that would be suitable. They are out there for the taking.

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