today's best healthcare jobs.

What are the best healthcare jobs on the market right now — and what mix of experience, certifications and skills will help you get one? Here's everything you need to know (and more) to land the top healthcare roles in 2021.

what you need to know

2020 was a landmark year for healthcare professionals on so many fronts: They grappled with a global pandemic, potentially made the switch to telemedicine, adapted to ongoing tech-driven disruption — plus a whole lot more. In 2021, look for the trend toward increased digital and tech competency in medicine to not only continue, but gather even more momentum. Obviously, that means new skill sets are emerging. With so many moving pieces, now is a good time to check in on the best healthcare positions for 2021.

best healthcare jobs in 2021

critical care nurse

Critical care nurses are key operators in today's most critical care settings, from burn centers to emergency rooms and intensive care units. Many also have training in a wide range of fields — expertise using vascular catheters, for example, or deploying imaging systems like ultrasound — making them extremely versatile in healthcare settings. Professional development aside, however, critical care nurses deserve our praise for the vital work that they do day in and day out: caring for, looking after and treating patients who are critically ill. Together with the level of market demand, this meaningful, high-impact work is the reason they've landed a spot on our list of the best jobs in healthcare for 2021.

certifications:

  • advanced acute critical care (AACC)
  • advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • registered nurse (RN)

ER nurse

Frontline warriors in the fight against COVID-19, we salute emergency room (ER) nurses everywhere! We also have good news to share: You're going to be equally busy, and no less in demand, in 2021. However, as disruptive new health technologies continue to emerge, many ER nurses will consider additional certification (see the list) in order to advance their careers — and for those who do so, a bump in pay is sure to follow. Either way, ER nurses deserve a round of applause. They've earned their spot on our list of the best healthcare jobs in 2021.

certifications:

  • acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP)
  • advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • registered nurse (RN)
 

OR nurse

Operating room (OR) nurses play a central role in most operating room procedures: caring for patients before and after surgeries, prepping instruments and equipment and critically contributing to the overall success of the procedures. It's no surprise, then, that OR nurses would make our list of the best jobs in healthcare. Flexible specialists — OR nurses are capable of working in nearly every type of healthcare facility — these healthcare heroes will have abundant opportunities to grow in their careers in 2021.

certifications:

  • acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP)
  • advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • registered nurse (RN)

pharmacist

Healthcare continues to evolve in the direction of value-based care, and pharmacists are playing an increasingly central role in that transformation. These white-coated professionals are now on the front lines of healthcare delivery — go-to resources for everything from flu shots to advice about prescription costs and potential drug interactions. For all of these reasons, together with the fact that there were nearly 60,000 pharmacist jobs posted in the past year, pharmacists have one of the best jobs in healthcare in 2021.

certifications:

  • drug interaction
  • drug therapy
  • state licensure
 

surgical tech

While advanced medical technology is making surgery safer and more effective than ever before, it's also opening up amazing growth opportunities for surgical techs. In fact, anyone looking to break into a career in healthcare would be wise to consider this path. After all, your diploma or certificate program can likely be completed in as little as 12 months — and you can launch your career in one of the best jobs in healthcare.

certifications:

  • basic life support (BLS)
  • certified surgical technologist
 

critical care nurse

Critical care nurses are key operators in today's most critical care settings, from burn centers to emergency rooms and intensive care units. Many also have training in a wide range of fields — expertise using vascular catheters, for example, or deploying imaging systems like ultrasound — making them extremely versatile in healthcare settings. Professional development aside, however, critical care nurses deserve our praise for the vital work that they do day in and day out: caring for, looking after and treating patients who are critically ill. Together with the level of market demand, this meaningful, high-impact work is the reason they've landed a spot on our list of the best jobs in healthcare for 2021.

certifications:

  • advanced acute critical care (AACC)
  • advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • registered nurse (RN)

ER nurse

Frontline warriors in the fight against COVID-19, we salute emergency room (ER) nurses everywhere! We also have good news to share: You're going to be equally busy, and no less in demand, in 2021. However, as disruptive new health technologies continue to emerge, many ER nurses will consider additional certification (see the list) in order to advance their careers — and for those who do so, a bump in pay is sure to follow. Either way, ER nurses deserve a round of applause. They've earned their spot on our list of the best healthcare jobs in 2021.

certifications:

  • acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP)
  • advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • registered nurse (RN)

OR nurse

Operating room (OR) nurses play a central role in most operating room procedures: caring for patients before and after surgeries, prepping instruments and equipment and critically contributing to the overall success of the procedures. It's no surprise, then, that OR nurses would make our list of the best jobs in healthcare. Flexible specialists — OR nurses are capable of working in nearly every type of healthcare facility — these healthcare heroes will have abundant opportunities to grow in their careers in 2021.

certifications:

  • acute care nurse practitioner (ACNP)
  • advanced cardiac life support (ACLS)
  • cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)
  • registered nurse (RN)

pharmacist

Healthcare continues to evolve in the direction of value-based care, and pharmacists are playing an increasingly central role in that transformation. These white-coated professionals are now on the front lines of healthcare delivery — go-to resources for everything from flu shots to advice about prescription costs and potential drug interactions. For all of these reasons, together with the fact that there were nearly 60,000 pharmacist jobs posted in the past year, pharmacists have one of the best jobs in healthcare in 2021.

certifications:

  • drug interaction
  • drug therapy
  • state licensure

surgical tech

While advanced medical technology is making surgery safer and more effective than ever before, it's also opening up amazing growth opportunities for surgical techs. In fact, anyone looking to break into a career in healthcare would be wise to consider this path. After all, your diploma or certificate program can likely be completed in as little as 12 months — and you can launch your career in one of the best jobs in healthcare.

certifications:

  • basic life support (BLS)
  • certified surgical technologist

best healthcare skills

patient care

Patient care is an essential part of any healthcare operation, making it one of the best skills to learn in the sector. Patient care involves monitoring and evaluating patient conditions, administering proper treatments and taking steps to prevent future complications or illnesses.

prescription review

An essential skill for pharmacists, prescription review is a process by which pharmacists and patients connect one-on-one to ensure prescribed medications retain their efficacy. Since part of the process is centered around improving patient knowledge about their own mediations and the role each one plays in their treatment, strong communication skills are necessary, along with the ability to translate medical jargon into easy-to-understand language.

treatment planning

The first step in patient recovery involves outlining a thoughtful and defined treatment plan to improve outcomes. The treatment planning skill set involves being able to analyze a diagnosis and map out treatment options based on each individual's age and overall health to devise a safe and effective path forward.

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