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Healthcare Careers Are Fostering Diversity

Healthcare Careers Are Fostering Diversity

By Denene Brox for Yahoo! HotJobs

In today's job market, it's tough to find an industry on the rise. However, that isn't the case with healthcare, where there's still a high demand for skilled workers. Minorities are often especially sought after by employers in this industry, as they're needed to help bridge cultural and language gaps in the healthcare system. If you've dreamed of a career where you spend your time helping people, there are plenty of opportunities -- both in patient care and on the business side of healthcare -- where minority workers can make a difference.

Here's a look at five areas where minority workers are in high demand, along with their annual salary ranges (according to online salary database PayScale.com):

Nurse: $46,987 to $67,525

Nurses work on the front lines of patient care in settings ranging from doctors' offices to hospitals to drugstore clinics. Minority nurses can bring a cultural competency that ensures better patient care -- some minority patients feel more comfortable in the care of someone from their own background. Bilingual nurses are also in high demand.

Susan Groenwald, president of Chamberlain College of Nursing, says there are three typical educational paths to a career in nursing: a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN), an associate's degree in nursing (ADN, or a diploma from an approved nursing program.

Diversity Manager: $63,109 to $83,320

Healthcare companies and organizations that have diversity and inclusion initiatives often hire minorities who can offer unique perspectives. Diversity and inclusion managers provide leadership and advice on a wide variety of organizational initiatives including diversity awareness, training, recruitment and community outreach. Diversity managers also ensure that a company is in compliance with federal equal-opportunity laws. You'll need a bachelor's degree to gain entry. While there's no specific degree requirement, common areas of study include human resources and business.

Research Analyst: $51,332 to $68,030

People with strong analytical and research skills are great candidates for healthcare research. Professor B. Lee Green of the Moffitt Cancer Center focuses his research on health promotion and disease prevention in the African-American community. To work in this area, you'll need an advanced degree in the area of your research focus. Green's doctorate is in public health, an area that offers a lot of flexibility and opportunity.

Public-Health Administrator: $51,204 to $78,627

Public-health professionals work in a variety of settings, including nonprofits, churches and government agencies, to promote healthy lifestyles and health education in communities. While most public-health administrators do not interact directly with patients, their behind-the-scenes work impacts things such as local health ordinances and laws that protect the public, such as smoking bans in restaurants. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in public-health studies.

Social Worker: $40,636 to $55,346

Minority workers with backgrounds in social work, counseling or psychology backgrounds are needed in a variety of settings including public schools, universities and nonprofit mental-health organizations. Social work is another area where minority workers can offer cultural competency and bridge language barriers for minority and immigrant populations. A degree in an area such as social work or counseling is required.

[Source: All salary data is from leading online salary database PayScale.com. The salaries listed are median, annual salaries for full-time workers with five to nine years of experience.]

[Denene Brox is a freelance writer who has covered career topics for Diversity/Careers, Minority Nurse and Equal Opportunity.]

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