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High Growth Industry Profile
Health Care

Industry Snapshots

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006-07 Career Guide to Industries)

  • Employment growth is expected to account for about 3.6 million new wage and salary jobs-19 percent of all wage and salary jobs added to the economy over the 2004-14 period.
  • Wage and salary employment in the health care industry is projected to increase 27 percent through 2014, compared with 14 percent for all industries combined.
  • Many of the occupations projected to grow the fastest in the economy are concentrated in the health care industry. For example, from 2004-14, total employment of home health aides-including the self-employed-is projected to increase by 56 percent, medical assistants by 52 percent, physician assistants by 50 percent, and physical therapist assistants by 44 percent.
Workforce Issues

(Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006-07 Career Guide to Industries)

Pipeline: Recruitment and Retention

  • The industry is currently seeking to increase the available labor pool of health care employees. To attract new employees to the health care industry, industry employers are focusing recruitment from non-traditional labor pools. Increasing the diversity of workers and reducing turnover rates is also of concern.

Skill Development

  • Industry employers are focused on preparing entry-level workers for positions in health care. Efforts also include the expansion of access to training for incumbent workers and fulfilling workforce needs in targeted and specialized skill areas.

Capacity of Education and Training Providers

  • To meet the training and recruitment needs of health care employees, the industry is seeking to expand the numbers of academic and clinical instructors and facilities and resources to facilitate training. The industry is working to align employer requirements and curriculum to fulfill more adequately the needs of health care employers.
Skill Sets
  • Many health care jobs require less than four years of college education, although most technical jobs require at least a two-year technical degree.
  • A variety of post-high school programs provide specialized training for jobs in health services. Students preparing for health care careers can enter programs leading to a certificate or a degree at the associate, baccalaureate, professional, or graduate level. Two-year programs resulting in certificates or associate degrees are the minimum standard credential for occupations such as a dental hygienist or radiological technologist.
  • Managers in health care need to have the management, coaching, and cultural competency skills to enable them to communicate effectively in an increasingly diverse work environment.
ETA in Action

In June 2003, ETA announced the High Growth Job Training Initiative to engage businesses with local education providers and the local/regional workforce investment system to find solutions that address changing talent development needs in various industries.

In October 2005, the Community-Based Job Training Grants were announced to improve the role of community colleges in providing affordable, flexible and accessible education for the nation's workforce.

ETA is investing more than $260 million in 26 different regions across the United States in support of the WIRED (Workforce Innovation in Regional Economic Development) Initiative. Through WIRED, local leaders design and implement strategic approaches to regional economic development and job growth. WIRED focuses on catalyzing the creation of high skill, high wage opportunities for American workers through an integrated approach to economic and talent development.

These initiatives reinforce ETA's commitment to transform the workforce system through engaging business, education, state and local governments, and other federal agencies with the goal of creating a skilled workforce to meet the dynamic needs of today's economy.


ETA has invested over $164 million in the health care industry. This includes 29 High Growth Job Training Initiative grants totaling $43,244,709, and 67 Community-Based Job Training Grants totaling $121,000,805. Matching funds from the grantees total $182,693,268.


For additional background information about the industry and details on the grants, information about employment and training opportunities and workforce development tools for employers, educators and workforce professionals, please visit:,, and