The introduction of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 and expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2011 increased health insurance coverage nationwide. Combine that with the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, and you have a huge boom in demand for healthcare services in the United States. Some states have grown more than others when it comes to healthcare careers. The following states have the top job opportunities for nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals.
Florida’s burgeoning senior population naturally drives demand for healthcare services, heightened by a constant influx of tourists. The state is actively expanding its healthcare infrastructure, creating numerous job opportunities. With 603,500 healthcare-related jobs, Florida is a prime destination for medical professionals, offering a median salary of $72,780, surpassing the national average.
Pennsylvania is a top destination with 414,180 healthcare jobs. The state’s growing economy continuously creates new opportunities in hospitals and clinics. A recent bill allocated $225 million to address pandemic-induced burnout, aiding hospitals in hiring and retaining staff. With a median salary of $74,120, Pennsylvania is an attractive location for healthcare professionals, including nurses, physicians, technicians, and therapists.
Across the country, a strong focus on preventive care is growing, and Ohio is leading the charge. The state’s robust healthcare industry, which attracts talent and investments, includes top-ranked hospitals and research institutions. Ohio presents a significant 370,870 healthcare-related jobs, with a median salary of $69,960 for healthcare workers, aligning closely with the national average.
With a larger aging population than the rest of the country, Michigan sees a rising demand for healthcare services, notably in senior care. The state’s healthcare industry is booming, witnessing the establishment of new hospitals, clinics, and research facilities, generating diverse work opportunities. Michigan presents an impressive 284,380 healthcare-related positions, offering competitive salaries, including a median of $76,240—exceeding the national average for healthcare occupations.
Massachusetts excels in medical research, drawing top hospitals, and fostering talent. With 251,580 healthcare positions, it offers appealing opportunities, with a median salary of $85,320, well above the national average. Significant state government and private sector investments have bolstered healthcare infrastructure and education, creating a robust system with ample job opportunities. The thriving healthcare sector ensures Massachusetts is a hub for diverse career paths and professional growth.
Tennessee prioritizes better healthcare access in rural areas, creating demand for professionals. With 204,040 healthcare positions and a median salary of $63,700, it offers attractive opportunities. The state incentivizes attracting and retaining healthcare professionals, especially in the countryside. With a lower cost of living than similar states, Tennessee is an appealing destination for professionals seeking balance and financial well-being.
In 2021, Missouri expanded Medicaid, increasing health insurance access and the demand for healthcare providers. The state prioritized healthcare for economic development, investing in infrastructure and training programs. This attracted healthcare businesses and created 190,030 jobs, making Missouri an excellent place for professionals. The median salary for healthcare workers in Missouri is $63,870.
Minnesota’s rapidly aging population, set to increase by 40% by 2030, intensifies the national healthcare worker shortage, particularly in rural areas. As healthcare specialization increases, there’s a growing demand for professionals in geriatric care, home health, and mental health. With over 186,700 healthcare-related jobs, Minnesota offers a thriving market for various roles, providing a median salary of $82,260.
Louisiana faces health challenges, ranking poorly in national metrics for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The state, like others, grapples with a healthcare worker shortage, particularly in nursing. Presently, Louisiana provides 138,720 healthcare-related jobs, having invested significantly in infrastructure and workforce development, creating job opportunities with a median salary of $63,610.
In Kentucky, many non-urban areas lack sufficient healthcare access, heightening the need for personnel to address geographic disparities. The COVID-19 pandemic, along with mental health and substance abuse concerns, has amplified the demand for healthcare professionals. Kentucky stands out as an attractive destination, with 134,630 healthcare-related jobs and a relatively low cost of living (ranked 18th). The state provides competitive salaries and benefits packages, with a median salary of $64,540.
A higher elderly population naturally increases the demand for healthcare services, and Alabama is no exception. Nurse demand in Alabama consistently dominates job postings, reflecting the state’s high number of careers in the medical field, totaling 133,250. With a competitive median salary of $59,810—above the national average—Alabama is a solid option for healthcare job seekers.
Connecticut’s healthcare workforce outpaces the rest of the labor market, demanding more support, collaboration, and funding. With 105,830 healthcare-related jobs, Connecticut offers competitive compensation with a median salary of $84,240, well exceeding the nation’s average. The state also provides various educational programs and training for those pursuing a career in healthcare.
Shortages of healthcare providers persist in Arkansas, challenging hospitals and communities. The state actively promotes healthcare workforce development through various initiatives, including incentives, scholarships, and loan forgiveness programs. Arkansas presents 84,370 healthcare-related jobs with a median salary of $60,660, comparable to the national average of $61,640.
Mississippi invested $28 million in 2023 to boost its healthcare workforce. New hospitals and clinics mean more healthcare personnel are needed. With 83,250 healthcare-related jobs, Mississippi offers diverse positions and specializations. The growing healthcare sector provides ample opportunities for professional growth and specialization. Mississippi’s median salary of $60,190 competes well with other states. Plus, the state ranked first for the lowest cost of living in the US.
West Virginia’s high rates of chronic diseases require a larger healthcare workforce. Shortages of physicians, especially in rural areas, also increase demand for other medical professionals. With 58,640 healthcare jobs, the state offers competitive opportunities due to its smaller population. Salaries, averaging $61,350, complement the state’s low cost of living, making West Virginia an appealing choice for financial stability.
South Dakota’s booming economy increases the demand for healthcare services, providing ample job opportunities, especially in areas with provider shortages. Government incentives and loan repayment programs successfully attract medical professionals to rural areas. With 34,170 healthcare jobs and a population of around 880,000 people, South Dakota offers opportunities for qualified professionals. The median salary of $62,810 slightly exceeds the national average, making the state financially attractive.
Maine’s aging population and shrinking workforce create a positive outlook for healthcare jobs. Providers and higher-education partners work tirelessly to address shortages. Though progress has been made, younger workers are still needed. With around 41,110 healthcare jobs, Maine stands out for its significant opportunities in a population of about 1.3 million. The median salary of $76,400 makes Maine a smart option for competitive compensation.
Rhode Island ranks among the country’s best for healthcare, with abundant physicians per capita and top-of-the-line healthcare services. Job vacancy rates at community health centers are 21% for physicians, 18% for physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and 10% for registered nurses. Rhode Island offers 33,250 healthcare-related jobs, a significant portion of the state’s job market, making it a vibrant hub for professionals. With a median salary of $82,330—much higher than the nation’s average—it’s a financially rewarding career choice, considering the relatively lower cost of living.