Even if you cannot recite the statistics, you undoubtedly can tell stories about their consequences. The United States and most of the world’s modern industrialized face desperate shortages of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals of all descriptions. In the United States, the healthcare system needs more than half a million new doctors. Consequently, patients wait long hours for urgent care, emergency rooms cannot keep pace with demand for their services, and people in search of routine medical care wait months for appointments. In addition to doctors and nurses, the United States desperately needs dentists, surgical technicians, and physical therapists in all the specialties. Of course, the need is even more urgent in the world’s developing nations.

Therefore, if you seek an exciting, remunerative, emotionally and psychologically satisfying career, definitely consider one among many possibilities for a healthcare job.

Everyone imagines that becoming a physician represents the ideal and ultimate healthcare job, but job seekers should take note of two salient facts: First, the public holds certified nurse practitioners in even higher esteem than doctors, recognizing that nurses command both medical science and the fine art of patient care. Second, more practically than idealistically, a person preparing for a job in this field should recognize that certified nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants command nearly the same salaries as primary care physicians-especially if they go to work in major hospitals and health maintenance organizations.

Think beyond a traditional healthcare job.

Of course, opportunities about in traditional healthcare job paths: Just to satisfy the current demand, the United States needs more than 800,000 registered nurses. In the next three years, that number will climb to more than a million. Nursing schools cannot keep up with the demand for their graduates, and newly minted RN’s have the privilege and luxury of choosing among thousands of well-paid jobs with handsome benefits and very attractive sign-on bonuses. Most of these job opportunities come with tuition reimbursement and continuing education bonuses, so that working nurses can complete their Bachelors and Masters degrees.

Thinking beyond the tradition, however, you may find your calling in a non-traditional healthcare job. As research demonstrates the intimate and unbreakable connection between diet and health, the demand for registered dietitians and certified nutritional counsellors skyrockets. Similarly, as the American population ages, baby boomers require more and more medical care: One in five women over fifty suffers the ramifications of thyroid deficiency, and fully half of all women over sixty suffer serious bone loss. Therefore, look for a satisfying healthcare job in geriatric care.

Thinking beyond the hospital, clinic, and convalescent home, you may find your perfect healthcare job in biomedical research. Pharmaceutical companies and laboratories at major universities desperately seek qualified bio-chemists to continue their ground breaking research. You can contribute your skill and talent to treatments for Alzheimer’s or a cure for cancer. Just as importantly, you may contribute to the research that will eliminate autism in this generation.

In as little as eighteen months, you can be ready to command a great salary and enjoy the intrinsic rewards of a healthcare job.