Chart Book, May 2010

Healthcare

Figure 16

Mean wages for selected health assistants varied more than mean wages for health aides.

Wages for selected health assistants, May 2010

  • Wages for different types of health assistants varied greatly, with mean wages for occupational therapy assistants ($51,300) more than double the mean wages of veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers ($23,660).
  • Wages within occupations also varied significantly for health assistants. For example, the 10th percentile wage for physical therapist assistants was $31,070 and the 90th percentile was $68,820.
  • Health assistants typically have higher educational requirements than health aides, a difference that is reflected in their relative wages. The median wage for occupational therapy assistants was $23,580 more than that for occupational therapy aides.

Figure 17

Wages for selected health aides, May 2010

  • Annual mean wages among different types of health aides, who generally work under close supervision of a health professional, did not diverge as much as among different types of health assistants. The mean wage for the highest paying aide occupation shown, occupational therapy aides, was less than 50 percent more than the mean wage for home health aides.
  • Wages for an occupation vary by industry and geographic location. While wages for home health aides were $21,760 on average, mean wages ranged from $20,380 in individual and family services to $34,970 in psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals.
  • Wages within an occupation varied significantly for occupational therapy aides. For example, the 10th percentile wage for occupational therapy aides was $17,440 and the 90th percentile was $52,750.

Figure 18

Healthcare occupations accounted for 66 percent of employment in general medical and surgical hospitals.

Employment and hourly mean wages for the largest
occupations in general medical and
surgical hospitals, May 2010

  • Registered nurses accounted for 29.5 percent of all employment in general medical and surgical hospitals and accounted for more employment than the industry’s next nine largest occupations combined.
  • The next two largest occupations in general medical and surgical hospitals were nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants and licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses. However, nursing care facilities employed more workers in these two occupations than general medical and surgical hospitals.
  • Non-healthcare occupations accounted for 34 percent of hospital employment and included maids and housekeeping cleaners; general office clerks; and interviewers, except eligibility and loan.
  • With the exception of nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants, whose mean wages were $12.87, mean wages for the largest healthcare occupations were higher than those for the largest non-healthcare occupations.

Figure 19

Medical and diagnostic laboratories had 44 percent of its total industry employment concentrated in its four largest occupations.

Employment and hourly mean wages for the largest
occupations in the medical and diagnostic
laboratories industry, May 2010

  • Non-healthcare occupations, such as couriers and messengers, customer service representatives, receptionists and information clerks, and billing and posting clerks, made up 45 percent of total industry employment.
  • Three of the 10 occupations shown had hourly mean wages above the average for all occupations in this industry ($24.50): medical and clinical laboratory technologists, radiologic technologists and technicians, and diagnostic medical sonographers.
  • Among the largest occupations, all other healthcare support workers, including phlebotomists, had a mean wage of $15.18 and accounted for 12.3 percent of the industry employment.

Figure 20

Mental health and substance abuse social workers made up 12 percent of employment in outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, but only 6 percent in residential mental health and substance abuse facilities.

Employment by occupational group in outpatient mental
health and substance abuse centers, May 2010

Largest occupations in outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers
Occupation Employment Percent of industry employment Annual mean wage

Mental health and substance abuse social workers

21,720 12.4 $39,520

Mental health counselors

19,700 11.3 41,030

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

15,710 9.0 37,730

Social and human service assistants

13,970 8.0 27,120

Registered nurses

7,610 4.3 61,660

Office clerks, general

5,890 3.4 25,990

Child, family, and school social workers

5,110 2.9 37,220

Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive

4,750 2.7 29,590

Medical and health services managers

4,180 2.4 81,140

Rehabilitation counselors

4,050 2.3 33,420
  • Five of the largest occupations found in both outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers and residential mental health and substance abuse facilities had larger annual mean wages in the outpatient centers. The annual mean wage was $43,040 for all occupations in outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers and it was $33,390 for residential mental health and substance abuse facilities.
  • Community and social service occupations, including mental health and substance abuse social workers, mental health counselors, and substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors, accounted for over half of employment in outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers and over a third of employment in residential mental health and substance abuse facilities. These industries had similar shares of healthcare practitioner occupations, the largest of which was registered nurses.

Figure 21

Employment by occupational group in residential mental
health and substance abuse facilities, May 2010

Largest occupations in outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers
Occupation Employment Percent of industry employment Annual mean wage

Mental health and substance abuse social workers

21,720 12.4 $39,520

Mental health counselors

19,700 11.3 41,030

Substance abuse and behavioral disorder counselors

15,710 9.0 37,730

Social and human service assistants

13,970 8.0 27,120

Registered nurses

7,610 4.3 61,660

Office clerks, general

5,890 3.4 25,990

Child, family, and school social workers

5,110 2.9 37,220

Secretaries, except legal, medical, and executive

4,750 2.7 29,590

Medical and health services managers

4,180 2.4 81,140

Rehabilitation counselors

4,050 2.3 33,420
  • Total employment in residential mental health and substance abuse facilities was 186,970, similar to the employment in outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers, which was 174,890.
  • Residential mental health and substance abuse facilities employed at least five times as many workers in personal care and service occupations and healthcare support occupations as outpatient mental health and substance abuse centers. In residential facilities, the largest personal care and service occupation was childcare workers and the largest healthcare support occupation was home health aides.

Figure 22

Non-healthcare related industries employed over 2 million healthcare workers, accounting for 22 percent of all healthcare practitioners and technical occupations and 12 percent of healthcare support occupations.

Employment of selected healthcare workers in non-healthcare
related industries, May 2010

  • Government and retail trade were the largest providers of healthcare jobs outside of the healthcare industry. In government, the largest healthcare occupations were registered nurses (152,150); emergency medical technicians and paramedics (66,790); and nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants (63,160). In retail trade, the largest healthcare occupations were pharmacy technicians (247,690), pharmacists (175,260), and pharmacy aides (44,730).
  • Retail trade was one of the largest non-healthcare employers of healthcare practitioners and technical occupations and the fourth largest non-healthcare employer of healthcare support occupations.
  • Within the administrative and waste services sector, 84 percent of healthcare workers were in employment services, such as employment placement agencies and temporary help services.

Figure 23

Many of the metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of medical transcriptionists were in the Midwest.

Location quotient of medical transcriptionists, by area, May 2010

  • Medical transcriptionists accounted for less than 1 in 1,000 jobs nationally, but they accounted for at least four times that share in Rochester, MN; Bangor, ME; Rapid City, SD; west-central Wisconsin; and central South Dakota.
  • Wages for medical transcriptionists were highest in several high-paying states, including California, Alaska, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and the Washington, DC, area.
  • The Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, MD, metropolitan division was one of the top paying metropolitan areas with $51,230, and Railbelt/Southwest Alaska nonmetropolitan area was the top paying nonmetropolitan area with $43,680.

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Last Modified Date: October 24, 2011