Are you entering, re-entering, or thinking about going to school to qualify for the job market in the State of Washington?
The job market in Washington is strong, with nearly 6 percent more openings at the beginning of 2022 than just six months earlier. Some positions, however, are in greater demand than others. These jobs often go unfilled, so employers have to offer premium pay and great working conditions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics and the consulting firm Emsi Burning Glass have compiled a list of eight occupations in high demand in the Seattle-Tacoma area. It won’t surprise anyone that a tech hub like Seattle needs web developers, data scientists, cybersecurity analysts, marketing managers, and specialists in supply chain logistics.
These are jobs for companies that make Seattle and Tacoma famous, like Amazon, Microsoft, Zillow, Oracle, and Google. But did you know that there are three job categories for which job openings are growing at an even higher rate than for high-tech jobs?
In the Greater Seattle area, three job classifications that are booming are:
- Physical Therapists and Physical Therapy Aides
- EMTs and Ambulance Drivers
- Massage Therapists
Over the seven years that will end in 2024, demand for physical therapists and physical therapy aides will have grown 38.89 percent. Demand for EMTs and ambulance drivers will have grown 41.00 percent. And jobs for massage therapists will have increased by 41.35 percent.
Table of Contents
Physical therapy is a profession that involves face-to-face and hands-on healing. You can’t really do physical therapy by Skype or Zoom. Physical therapists and physical therapy aides have to get up close and personal with the people they are working to help.
Becoming a physical therapist isn’t easy. First, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology, kinesiology, or athletic training. Then you need to get some hands-on experience in physical therapy while you pursue and earn a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree.
The process of becoming a Doctor of Physical Therapy can take about the same time as completing an undergraduate degree and med school. This profession is not easy for the academically challenged. But the profession of physical therapy is well rewarded. The average salary of a physical therapist in western Washington is $80,346 per year.
Physical therapy, however, does not have the greatest demand of all the health professions in Sea-Tac.
EMTs and Ambulance Drivers
There has been a strong demand for EMTs (emergency medical technicians) and ambulance drivers, who are usually the same people, since 2017, and it is expected to continue through at least 2025.
An EMT cares for a patient at the scene of an incident and is responsible for transporting them to the emergency room at a hospital. EMTs learn the skills needed to assess a patient’s condition so they can give appropriate, often life-saving care until the patient can be brought to a doctor.
In Washington State, EMTs must be 18 years old and a high school graduate (or have a GED or college degree). They must complete an EMT training program, get an EMT license, and pass their National Registry exams.
It isn’t especially hard to complete the 120 to 150 hours of classroom work needed to get a certificate from an EMT school. Prospective EMTs get three tries to pass the National Registry Exam. EMTs must have the physical strength to do the job, and cannot have a felony record.
Salaries of paramedic EMTs in Seattle range from $22,062 to $105,856 per year, with the median salary around $47,000 a year.
Anyone in Washington can give massages for free, but doing massage therapy requires a license. Licenses for massage therapists in the State of Washington have some very specific educational requirements.
Every future massage therapist must complete 265 classroom hours of instruction in techniques and movements, impact of techniques, practitioner body mechanics, and the ethics of the profession. Massage therapy students may spend up to 50 hours of supervised practice doing massages.
Added to instruction in massage therapy are 135 hours in class studying anatomy and physiology. Future massage therapists master 50 hours of classroom study of pathology, and get first aid certification from the Red Cross and CPR certification from the American Heart Association.
Then aspiring massage therapists must pass the MBLEX, an exam given by the Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards (FSMTB) for first-time applicants for a massage therapy license. Then it is necessary to apply for a license from the state, which does a criminal background check.
The average salary for a licensed massage therapist in Seattle-Tacoma is $41.87 an hour. Most massage therapists don’t work a full 40 hours per week, and the average annual salary is $65,770.
What Can You Do to Support Yourself While You Are Preparing for One of Washington’s High-Demand Jobs?
Medical transportation is a great job for residents of Washington State who are in training for or who are waiting for opportunities to go to school for other allied health professions.
Drivers for medical transportation services like Around the Sound demonstrate their skills in record keeping and adhering to state and federal regulations, especially HIPAA. If you drive a medical transportation bus, you will have to be able to push a 300-pound patient in a wheelchair up a ramp, sit for long periods of time, and lift a 50-pound load. These abilities demonstrate your fitness for other allied health positions.
Perhaps more importantly, you will get exposure to a variety of patient personalities, who have a tremendous range of health challenges, who need to be taken to medical facilities all over northwestern Washington. You may discover ideas for your future career that you would never discover if you spent all of your time in class.
Around the Sound pays a competitive rate for drivers with perfect safety records who have commercial driver’s licenses and three years of driving experience. We operate 24/7, and have both full-time and part-time positions. Drivers are paid for waiting time. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Are you ready to work for Around the Sound? Then fill out an application online today! If you have additional questions, you can call us at (253) 858-7088, or use the chat function on the application page.