When employers in the health care industry flip through a stack of resumes, what kinds of skills are they looking to find in candidates? See a list of the most sought out skills for a wide range of health care jobs, including dentists, nurses, technicians, medical assistants, therapists, and more.
Also available are details on the profession's projected growth in upcoming years, as well as information on education and certification requirements.
How to Use Skills Lists
First, take a look at the relevant list of most wanted skills for the role you're interested in having. Note any skills that you possess. These could be soft skills (like communications skills) or hard skills (a particular certification or technical know-how).
Then, think about how you can highlight them throughout your job search:
- On your resume, for instance, you can include skills in a special skills section. You can also mention them in the descriptions of jobs you've held in the past.
- As well, you can note the skills you possess in your cover letter.
- Finally, you'll want to mention skills during job interviews too.
Do keep in mind that the desired skills vary based on the job for which you're applying. As well as reviewing skills lists, it's also important to take a look at the job description for the role at hand, and make sure your application reflects the skills required.
Dental Job Skills
It's a great time to go into the dental field. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts dentist jobs will grow 19% from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average of all other occupations. Dental assistants and dental hygienists are expected to match this growth as well, at rates of 19% and 20% respectively.
Integrative Medicine Job Skills
Integrative medicine is a holistic approach to treating patients. It uses a combination of traditional and nonconventional medicines and therapies. These jobs are part of treating the patient as a whole, not just trying to solve one disease or symptom.
Health Care Administration and Sales Job Skills
You can work in the health care field without ever seeing a drop of blood. From managing the vast administrative needs of a hospital to keeping a single medical office up and running, you can be a part of saving lives and improving the well-being of patients without being on the front line. Here, your organizational abilities and communication skills will be essential.
Nurse and Medical Assistant Job Skills
There are a wide range of skills and qualifications in this list, but all involve direct patient interaction and specific medical knowledge. Some of these jobs require certification, and others require advanced college degrees. But a key desired skill set throughout all of these positions is strong interpersonal skills.
- Home Health Aide
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
- Medical Assistant
- Nursing Assistant
- Physician Assistant
Medicine and Dietitian
You must have a college degree and other advanced degrees or certifications to even qualify for these jobs, but there's a lot more involved than simply education. For example, some skills that might put you over the top in job consideration if you're a nutritionist include the ability to speak a foreign language, experience creating educational materials or running group sessions, and even proficiency in Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint.
- Nutritionist / Dietitian
Therapy Job Skills
If you thought dental jobs were growing fast, step aside to let these speed demons pass. Physical therapist jobs are expected to grow by 28% through 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That demand is coming from the aging baby boomer population. Occupational therapy jobs are right up there, too, with an expected growth rate of 24%.
- Massage Therapist
- Occupational Therapist
- Occupational Therapy Assistant
- Physical Therapist
- Physical Therapy Assistant
- School Psychologist
Technician Job Skills
Technician jobs let you participate in the healthcare field without the overwhelming years of education required for careers such as physicians. Some certifications can be earned in a number of weeks or months, rather than years.