Over the next decade, 10,000 baby boomers will reach retirement age every day, entering a stage of life where they’ll need more healthcare services than ever before. This increased demand — combined with an ongoing healthcare workforce shortage — means the need for physicians, PAs, NPs, CRNAs, therapists, and other healthcare professionals will continue to grow. If you’re looking for an opportunity to increase your earning potential, here are the top eight states with the highest demand for healthcare workers.
It’s no surprise that one of the most populous states in the nation is going to have some of the highest demand for healthcare workers in the coming years. In fact, California is expected to account for 7% of all new NP jobs nationwide! The increased demand and low competition for jobs means higher wages for healthcare workers. For example, CRNAs in California are already among the highest paid in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, at over $200,000 per year.
2. New York
According to the Center for Health Workforce Studies, New York is currently the epicenter of a healthcare worker shortage. However, that shortage has led to massive recruitment in healthcare across the state. For example, between 2000 and 2016, healthcare jobs grew by 30%—compared to only 5% average job growth for all other professions in New York. Another reason to consider taking your skills to New York is the higher than average pay for healthcare workers. Healthcare workers earn $4,000/year more than average, and primary care providers in New York earn more than $10,000/year above the national average.
It may surprise you to learn that Wisconsin has one of the fastest rates of healthcare growth in America. Milwaukee, specifically, has a large number of expanding healthcare systems — public, private, and non-profit medical organizations that are striving to meet the needs of its aging population. Plus, Wisconsin is outpacing the national average of wage growth across the board — including in healthcare jobs. High wages paired with a low cost of living means Wisconsin is one of the best places to maximize your earnings.
Like other West Coast states, Washington is also experiencing widespread healthcare shortages. While the state is trying to fill the gap by attracting new talent, it has also passed legislation to make its healthcare environment friendlier to medical professionals. For example, NPs in Washington have full medical rights and can work independently of a supervising physician. As an added bonus, Washington doesn’t have a state income tax, which means more money in your pocket, especially for locums and travel professionals.
Despite being one of the biggest states in the U.S., Texas has far fewer doctors per capita than most states. The low doctor-to-population ratio means it has one of the highest demands for healthcare workers in the U.S. and higher than average compensation to boot. Texas has five of the fastest growing cities in America, according to Census Bureau data, which will further increase the need for healthcare workers over the next 10 years. With the state’s natural beauty and a rich cultural tradition, you’ll never regret going to Texas.
Physical health is not the only growing healthcare need in the U.S. The country is also experiencing a shortage of mental health professionals. This shortage is especially acute in Pennsylvania, which has only 179 mental health providers per 100,000 people — much lower than the 214 per 100,000 national average. In fact, it’s not uncommon for Pennsylvania residents to wait up to 6 months for an appointment with a mental health provider. While all healthcare professions are in high demand in the Keystone State, if you’re a mental health professional, your skills and services will be in especially high demand. Practicing in Pennsylvania also offers affordable living, an excellent job market, and some of the most beautiful forests in North America.
Like Wisconsin, Illinois is another Midwest state suffering from the healthcare workforce shortage, and lawmakers are working hard to make it a more attractive place to practice. For example, just last year the Illinois legislature passed a measure that expands the number of PAs that can practice under one physician and bill Medicaid directly for their services. These and other changes are intended to expand healthcare access for residents of the state’s many rural communities, and they also provide opportunities for advanced practice providers, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals.
Arizona is currently one of the fastest growing states. In fact, Phoenix and Buckeye are two of the fastest growing metro areas in the U.S., and with growth comes opportunity. To meet the growing healthcare needs of the Arizona population, the state legislature recently passed laws to allow pharmacists more freedom to prescribe medications and work more closely with primary care physicians. With growing demand in nearly every healthcare profession, Arizona is a great state to consider, especially if you are attracted by warmer temps and the rugged beauty of the Desert Southwest.
No matter which healthcare profession you’re in, there is a growing need for your skills and expertise across the country. These eight states in particular have some of the highest demand for healthcare workers, providing great opportunities to increase your income and expand your scope of practice.
Whether you are looking for a new job or a temporary opportunity, CompHealth can help. Give us a call at 888.212.0816 to get started.