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Find out how you can prepare for a career in this in-demand field.
A noticeable pattern has developed in the health care industry.
Workers keep getting hired.
Health care providers added 17,000 new jobs in November 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, while averaging an increase of 27,000 jobs per month over the past year.
[Prepare for a career in this hot industry. Find schools with Health Care programs now!]
Health care's hot track record for hiring isn't a recent occurrence. It's actually part of a much more long-term trend, says John Canally, an economist and investment strategist at Boston-based LPL Financial.
"Health care added 700,000 jobs from December 2007, when the recession started, to October 2010," says Canally. "No other job sector did that."
Looking for a stable career with a variety of education options? Keep reading to see how you can prepare for a hot career in health care.
Career #1: Medical Assistant
Medical assistants with administrative expertise help keep doctor's offices and clinics running smoothly. Those with clinical backgrounds do everything from taking vital signs to sterilizing medical instruments.
Why it's hot: Americans are living longer and healthier lives than ever before. That means more patients and more opportunities for medical assistants. In fact, the profession is projected to add nearly 164,000 medical assisting jobs between 2008 and 2018, according to the BLS.
How to prepare: A certificate or diploma in medical assisting can be completed in as little as one year. Another option is to earn an associate's degree in medical assisting.
What it pays (on average): Medical assistants have an average salary of $29,760, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.*
[Find Medical Assisting degree programs near you]
Career #2: Dental Assistant
Dental assisting is a profession tailor-made for friendly people with a knack for putting others at ease. During procedures, they work alongside dentists to handle equipment and assist with vital tasks.