May 6, 2015 by Rob Sentz
This week, the American Staffing Association released a list of the top 10 hard-to-fill jobs in 2015. Of those, seven are related to health care.
Using our labor market analysis tool Analyst, we took a closer look at these health care occupations, restricting our study to the 150 largest metros in the US. For each occupation, we discovered a significant gap between job postings and actual hires: the average number of job postings is way above the average number of hires, indicating a thirst for talent that businesses can’t seem to find. Related to this, we list the top MSAs for sheer number of graduates in relevant degrees for each occupation, giving some solid options for businesses trying to recruit. NOTE: If you want to see the specific schools that students are graduating from, let us know.
Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants
There are currently 93,000 occupational therapists in the 150 largest metros. Because there are far fewer (34,000) occupational therapy assistants nationwide, we’ll focus our analysis on just therapists.
Interestingly, companies are putting up huge numbers of job postings for occupational therapists—an average of 16,600 per month since 2011—and yet only 4,000 therapists are hired each month. This speaks to a skills gap for occupational therapists in these areas.
Some key stats for occupational therapists:
There are 168,000 physical therapist jobs, and, as with occupational therapists, there is heavy demand for more. Jobs have increased by 17% since 2010—well ahead of the national average. There has also been an impressive average of 7,300 hires per month compared to an even more impressive 20,500 postings since 2011, which speaks to the tremendous need for physical therapists. (Read our article here regarding top colleges for recruiting physical therapists.)
There are 103,000 speech-language pathologists—folks who assess and treat people with speech, language, voice, and fluency disorders—in the top metros. Since 2010, the field has increased by 9%, adding some 11,000 new jobs. On average, employers put up about 10,500 job postings for speech pathologists each month, yet hire only 4,000.
There are 105,000 family practitioners in the top 150 metros, growing 6.5% since 2010. Job postings have spiked this year with an average of well over 20,000 per month.
In the top 150 metros there are 91,000 nurse practitioners, people who diagnose and treat acute, episodic, or chronic illness, either independently or as part of a healthcare team. The occupation grew by over 16% since 2010. Not surprisingly, the rapid increase in job postings in 2015 mirrors that of family practitioners; there are currently a whopping 12,000 ads out for nurse practitioners.
The final occupation is physician assistants. They provide healthcare services typically performed by a physician, but under the supervision of a physician. As with the previous two examples, job postings for physician assistants have gone up dramatically, with an average of 12,000 ads and more than 2,500 hires each month.
If you’d like to take a closer look at this data or learn which schools have the highest number of graduates for these occupations, please contact us.