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Career Spotlight: Healthcare






Meet a Certified Nurse Aide and a Physical Therapist Assistant


Odessa Sulkowski is a Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) at the Grandvue Medical Care Facility near East Jordan. Sulkowski provides direct care to residents and assists them with activities of daily living. She says the job is physically and emotionally challenging and she has to be able to think on her feet because each day is different. Sulkowski says a lot of times she just has to "think, think, think and go, go, go, without a lot of time to sit down." Grandvue's director of nursing says "teamwork is essential" for CNAs. She says they also need to be adaptable and have good communication skills.


Amy Barkley is a Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) at Northern Michigan Regional Hospital in Petoskey. In her job Barkley helps patients with their rehabilitation after things like surgery or a stroke. Barkley says you need to be adaptable to be a PTA because every patient is different. She says you also need good communication skills to help patients understand their therapy and to encourage them if they get frustrated. The hospital's manager of inpatient therapy says PTAs need critical thinking skills and the ability to "work collaboratively with other members of the healthcare team."


Gail Koenig has been a registered nurse since 1982 and has worked in a number of different healthcare settings. That broad range of experience is a big help in her current role as the central office clinical supervisor at Munson Home Health in Traverse City where Koenig works with nurses who help customers in a variety of ways.


Career Spotlight Videos: Healthcare

Healthcare Careers Require
New Economy Job Skills


Home Health Nurses
Need to be Problem Solvers


Certified Nurse Aide Has
To Think On Her Feet

  Physical Therapist Assistant Uses
a Variety of Career Skills

View/print the Healthcare Career Spotlight poster.


Job Outlook and Wages in Northwest Michigan

Nearly 17,000 individuals are employed in the region’s Health Care sector. The health care sector is growing fast, and is projected to add 2,000 new jobs through the year 2020. At over $57,000, this sector has higher average earnings per job than the nation. There are several occupations in the sector that require lower levels of education – like a high school diploma or GED plus a certificate – that provide a comfortable wage for a two-earner household. Jobs in this sector are also secure in that they cannot be outsourced, and the demand for services grows with our region’s aging population and designation as a retirement haven.

Source: Hot Jobs Report 2015, Networks Northwest, Northwest Michigan Works, Framework for Our Future


Educational Requirements for High-Demand Healthcare Jobs
Education Level    Health Care  

Entry Level
Wage Range*

High School Diploma
and some training

Home Health and Personal Care Aides






Certified Nursing Assistants






Medical Assistants






Receptionists and Information Clerks






Medical Secretaries






Dental Assistants






Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN)












Medical Records and Billing Coders






Pharmacy Technicians





Vocational or
Associate’s Degree

Registered Nurses (RN)






Dental Hygienists






Physical Therapy Assistants





Bachelor’s Degree
or Higher

Medical and Health Services Managers






Physicians and Surgeons






Physical Therapists












Occupational Therapists





*Experience, longevity, and market conditions often result in higher wages.
Source: Northwest Michigan Hot Jobs Report 2015, Networks Northwest, Northwest Michigan Works!, Framework for Our Future


Fastest Growing Health Care Occupations - 2006 - 2016
Northwest Lower Michigan

Occupations   Number   Employment Change
Medical Assistants   225   39.6%
Network Systems and Data Communication Analysts   85   36.9%
Home Health Aides   180   36.7%
Dental Hygienists   75   29.7%
Customer Service Representatives   455   28.7%
Pharmacy Technicians   95   27.7%
Dental Assistants  


Registered Nurses   730   25.8%
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics   100   22.7%
Receptionists and Information Clerks   245   21.1%

Source: DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives


High Demand - High Wage Health Care Occupations - 2006 - 2016
Northwest Lower Michigan


Occupations   Growth
Registered Nurses   25.8%   120   $26.44
Physical Therapists   32.5%   10   $34.88
Dental Hygienists   29.7%   13   $29.50
Industrial Engineers   24.4%   14   $28.70
Network Systems and Data Communication Analysts   36.9%   13   $25.05
Accountants and Auditors   16.2%   33   $33.46
Cost Estimators   19.8%   17   $27.49
Civil Engineers   19.2%   12   $30.03
Lawyers   16.3%   16   $28.55
Customer Service Representatives   29.7%   90   $13.20

Source: DTMB, Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives


Healthcare Jobs List

Here is a listing of occupations that are part of the healthcare and social assistance industry. For a more complete list and data, you may wish to view: O-Net Online for national data.


Acute Care Nurse

Administrative Services Managers

Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses

Allergists and Immunologists

Ambulance Drivers and Attendants

Anesthesiologist Assistants


Athletic Trainers


Bill and Account Collectors

Billing and Posting Clerks and Machine Operators

Billing, Cost, and Rate Clerks

Billing, Posting, and Calculating Machine Operators

Biomedical Engineers

Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians

Child Care Workers

Child, Family, and School Social Workers


Clinical Nurse Specialists

Clinical Psychologists

Clinical, Counseling, and School Psychologists

Communications Equipment Operators

Community and Social Service Specialists

Compensation and Benefits Managers

Cooks, Institution and Cafeteria

Counseling Psychologists


Couriers and Messengers

Critical Care Nurses

Cytogenetic Technologists


Dental Assistants

Dental Hygienists

Dental Laboratory Technicians

Dentists and Dental Specialists

Dentists, General


Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Dietetic Technicians

Dietitians and Nutritionists

Education Administrators, Preschool and Child Care Center/Program

Educational, Vocational, and School Counselors

Electroneurodiagnostic Technologists

Emergency Management Specialists

Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

Employment Interviewers

Employment, Recruitment, and Placement Specialists

Endoscopy Technicians


Family and General Practitioners

File Clerks

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Housekeeping and Janitorial Workers

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Office and Administrative Support Workers

First-Line Supervisors/Managers of Personal Service Workers

Food Preparation and Serving Related Workers

Food Servers, Nonrestaurant

Genetic Counselors

Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners

Health Educators

Health Technologists and Technicians

Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Workers

Healthcare Support Workers

Hearing Aid Specialists

Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians

Home Health Aides


Human Resources Assistants

Internists, General

Interpreters and Translators


Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers

Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses

Life Scientists

Low Vision Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists

Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners

Marriage and Family Therapists

Massage Therapists

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists

Medical and Health Services Managers

Medical and Public Health Social Workers

Medical Assistants

Medical Equipment Preparers

Medical Equipment Repairers

Medical Records and Health Information Technicians

Medical Scientists

Medical Secretaries

Medical Transcriptionists

Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers


Mental Health Counselors



Naturopathic Physicians


Neuropsychologists and Clinical Neuropsychologists

Nuclear Medicine Physicians

Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Nurse Anesthetists

Nurse Midwives

Nurse Practitioners

Nursing Aides, Orderlies, and Attendants

Obstetricians and Gynecologists

Occupational Health and Safety Technicians

Occupational Therapist Aides

Occupational Therapist Assistants

Occupational Therapists

Office Clerks, General

Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians

Ophthalmic Medical Technologists and Technicians


Opticians, Dispensing


Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons



Orthotists and Prosthetists

Payroll and Timekeeping Clerks

Pediatricians, General

Personal and Home Care Aides

Personal Care and Service Workers

Personnel Recruiters


Pharmacy Technicians

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physicians

Physical Therapist Aides

Physical Therapist Assistants

Physical Therapists

Physician Assistants

Physicians and Surgeons


Preschool Teachers

Preventive Medicine Physicians

Procurement Clerks


Psychiatric Aides

Psychiatric Technicians



Radiation Therapists

Radiologic Technicians

Radiologic Technologists

Radiologic Technologists and Technicians


Receptionists and Information Clerks

Recreation Workers

Recreational Therapists

Registered Nurses

Rehabilitation Counselors

Residential Advisors

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory Therapy Technicians

School Psychologists


Social and Community Service Managers

Social and Human Service Assistants

Social Workers

Spa Managers

Speech-Language Pathologists

Speech-Language Pathology Assistants

Sports Medicine Physicians

Statement Clerks

Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators

Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors


Surgical Technologists

Switchboard Operators and Answering Service

Taxi Drivers and Chauffeurs

Teacher Assistants


Training and Development Specialists


Northwest Michigan Works! is Supported by the State of Michigan and is a proud partner of the American Job Center Network.


The professionals at Networks Northwest help our City Council, Planning Commission, and staff make thoughtful decisions to ensure our community is sustainable and resilient for many years to come.

Mark Heydlauff, Charlevoix City Manager