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Boston Health Care Jobs on the Rise

Posted on July 15, 2008

Some positions will always need to be filled, and those dealing with health care are no exception. Particularly, Boston health care jobs are on the rise, and aren’t expected to slow down anytime soon.

According to city-data.com, Boston has more than 500 doctors per 100,000 people, and there are more than 20 inpatient hospitals located within the city.

The Longwood Medical Area is a region of Boston that houses several medical and research facilities, including: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital Boston, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard School of Dental Medicine.

The Massachusetts General Hospital, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and Spaulding Rehabilitation Center are located near Beacon Hill. There also are many cardiac rehabilitation centers and hospices, and VA centers are located in the Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury areas.

Many of the city’s major medical facilities are associated with universities, including Harvard and Tufts Medical Center, associated with Tufts University School of Medicine. Boston Medical Center, located on the South End, is the primary teaching facility for the Boston University School of Medicine, and is the largest trauma center in the area.

Boston has a long medical research history, as Massachusetts General was the first hospital to use anesthetic and to reattach a severed human limb. It also worked with Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Shriners Burn Institute to help develop artificial skin. Brigham and Women’s Hospital is known nationally for testing the birth control pill.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Workforce Development Regional Labor Market Information Profile, the health care and social assistance industry in Boston employed 105,290 people during the second quarter of 2007, a 3.6 percent increase from 2006. In 2006, a total of 131,744 people were employed in the health care and education industries in Boston, with an average annual wage of $57,289.

Of the 30 fastest growing occupations, 19 will be in health care or information technology. Most of these openings will result from replacement demand instead of growth.

The MDWD states health care and social assistance are among the three sectors that comprise more than half of all jobs in Boston, coming in at 18.8 percent of the employment total. Between 2006 and 2007, the health care and social assistance sector was one of three to exceed the overall growth rate average for Boston jobs. The industry grew by 3,647 jobs, or 3.6 percent.

The MDWD notes health and educational services statewide is projected to grow 16.2 percent, adding 94,450 jobs through 2014. This is one of the two fastest growing industries in the state, along with professional, technical and business services, which together will represent two-thirds of all new jobs in the state.

Health care alone is expected to account for 64,000 jobs through 2014. Among the seven industries expected to increase by more than 10,000 jobs are: private hospitals with 22,320 new jobs, residential care facilities with 12,950 jobs and offices of health practitioners with 12,680 jobs.

Home health aides and biomedical engineers are among the five fastest growing occupations at 38 percent and 34 percent, respectively. It is projected there will be 16,860 registered nurse jobs, which is among five occupations generating the most new jobs.