Ron Crouch, director of research and statistics for the Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet, compiled the data after the release of a national report of health care and health care education by the Brookings Institution.
“The demand for health care is going up,” Crouch told Spees. He said positions such as dentists, pharmacists, anesthesiologists, surgeons and other occupations will see in increase by 2020; and many of these jobs don’t require more than an associate degree.
Crouch said there were 477 medical assistants in the region in 2010, with a projection of 573 by 2020. Medical assistants were paid $12.54 per hour in 2013. He also cited 634 licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses in the region in 2010, with a projection of 776 by 2020. These positions were paid $16.47 per hour in 2013. Health billing and maintenance jobs, which don’t require a degree, are also available in the region.
Jobs that require a lower level of education are in high demand because they help people provide for themselves and their families without incurring college debt, Crouch told Spees. He also said that while 83.2 percent of health care positions in the region are filled by women, these jobs are suitable for both men and women.
As the population ages, the demands for health care will increase, Crouch said. In 1980, there were approximately 58,600 people older than 50 in the region. In 2010, there were almost 93,000.