Health care is an important field, especially in areas where the population is growing rapidly. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina, had a population growth rate of 7.6 percent from 2010 to 2013, while the greater Mecklenburg County area grew a bit faster at 7.8 percent. As the population continues to grow and new health care legislation opens the doors to medical care, more graduates from health care and medical schools in Charlotte will be needed to meet the demand.
Charlotte and the larger Mecklenburg County area have been focused on solving several health care problems. The county often ranks lower than the state average in troubling health issues, including premature births, infant mortality, heart disease, stroke, cancer deaths and diabetes. This might be due to the excellent health care offered to residents; the number of primary care physicians and dentists per resident is higher than that in the state overall, according to the North Carolina Statewide and County Trends in Key Health Indicators Report.
But there is still work to be done. According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, 61 percent of Mecklenburg County residents are considered obese or overweight. This health concern can lead to numerous medical problems, including a higher incidence of diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Fortunately, graduates of health care and medical school in Charlotte are poised to help fight these problems and more.
Health Care and Medical Specializations in Charlotte
Charlotte is home to many large universities, community colleges, private colleges, technical and vocational schools, all of which offer programs in health care fields. The largest school of higher education is the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the largest community college in the Carolinas is the Central Piedmont Community College, with six campuses throughout the Charlotte area.
Health care medical schools in Charlotte, North Carolina, can help prepare students to enter in-demand jobs, in the health care field, such as nursing. North Carolina is expected to suffer from the nationwide nursing shortage, with over 8,100 nurses needed to bridge the health care gap, according to the Trust for America's Health. That means huge opportunities for those who earn their registered nursing or licensed practical nursing degree.
A number of health care jobs are expected to show strong employment growth in North Carolina, according to Projections Central:
- Personal care aides: 71%
- Dental hygienists: 55.7%
- Psychiatric aides: 55%
- Diagnostic medical sonographers: 49.6%
- Dental assistants: 44.4%
- Physician assistants: 42.8%
Those who attend health care and medical schools in Charlotte can choose between numerous programs, from certificates to doctoral degrees. Many certificates take only six months to a year to complete, while the doctoral program can take several years beyond the four-year bachelor's degree. It is important to note that most of the fastest-growing positions in North Carolina may require an associate or bachelor's degree for entry-level work.
Health care careers in Charlotte
The American Hospital Directory lists six major hospitals in Charlotte, including the Carolinas Medical Center and Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center. Those who choose to expand their job search might find work in major health centers across the state, including Duke University Medical Center, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, University Health Systems or Wake Med North. In addition, graduates could find work in skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation facilities, home health care and more.
Below are the mean annual incomes for the fastest-growing careers in the state. These numbers are based on the Bureau of Labor Statistic's reporting of incomes for the Charlotte metropolitan area in 2013:
- Personal care aides: $19,200
- Dental hygienists: $69,030
- Psychiatric aides: $30,930
- Diagnostic medical sonographers: $63,170
- Dental assistants: $37,900
- Physician assistants: $93,100
Those who are looking for steady income and job security in the healthcare field can begin their journey with health care and medical schools in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Charlotte (city), North Carolina, Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/37/3712000.html
Individual Hospital Statistics for North Carolina, American Hospital Directory, http://www.ahd.com/states/hospital_NC.html
Key Health Data About North Carolina, Trust for America's Health, http://healthyamericans.org/states/?stateid=NC
May 2013 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC, http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_16740.htm
Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Quick Facts, U.S. Census Bureau, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/37/37119.html
North Carolina Long Term Occupational Projections, Projections Central, https://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
North Carolina Statewide and County Trends in Key Health Indicators: Mecklenburg County, http://www.schs.state.nc.us/schs/data/trends/pdf/Mecklenburg.pdf
Percentage of North Carolina Adults Who are Overweight or Obese, NC Department of Health and Human Services, 2007, http://www.schs.state.nc.us/SCHS/gis/atlas/PDFs/BRFSS_OvrWtObese07.pdf