A Brief Look at the (Many) Occupations in Health Care

One of the growing industries in West Michigan, the state, and the nation is Health care. A very unique industry by many measures, health care is also one of the most diverse in the number and type of occupations that comprise industry employment.


What occupations are in the Health care sector?

Using a staffing matrix from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, we find that over 450 occupations can be found in the Health care sector across the country, ranging from patient care to environment services to front office staff. This includes the largest occupation in health care, Registered nurses, but also Billing and posting clerks; Food servers, nonrestaurant; Customer service representatives; Surgeons; and Massage therapists, among many others.


Occupational Information

Despite the wide range of occupations in health care, the top five are all patient-facing positions, including Registered nurses, Personal care aides, and Nursing assistants.

Wages range dramatically for each occupation, but also within occupations. Personal care aides, which make up over 1 in 12 health care workers nationally, have an hourly wage in the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of $10.56 (this puts our local area in the 65th percentile out of all MSAs for this occupation). However, wages in the occupation range from $8.86 per hour at the tenth percentile to $14.09 per hour at the 90th percentile.

Licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses, which make up over three percent of the health care workforce, have a local hourly wage range of $15.09 to $24.79, with a median wage ranking roughly the same as for Personal care aides nationally.

In West Michigan, we expect incredible growth in nearly all of the top occupations found in the health care sector. According to the State of Michigan’s projections data, only five of the top 100 occupations in health care expect to see employment fall between 2014 and 2024, all five of which are office staff positions.

Conversely, seven of the top ten occupations in health care expect employment growth of over 10% from 2014 to 2024, generating over 2,400 total annual openings.


Talent Demand

Much of this information is derived from the work Talent 2025 has been doing to put together the annual West Michigan Talent Assessment and Outlook report, which can be found here. Currently, we’re working to analyze and discuss the overlap between occupations and industry sectors, and what common job families can be established.

Future Data Topics

Have you been enjoying these “Data Points” blogs? Are you interested in other data? Let us know what topics you’d like to know more about on our Twitter @WMTalent2025! We’d like to crunch some numbers that you’re interested in!

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