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Andrea Santiago

Healthcare Offers Job Opportunities for Disabled Workers

By December 11, 2012

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The three best professions for job seekers with disabilities are all in the healthcare field, according to a new report by CareerCast.com. Topping the list were the following three health careers:

One other medical job, medical technologist, also made the list, ranking ninth out of ten best careers for people with disabilities. CareerCast.com based the rankings on a combination of the projected job outlook, pay, job growth, and the accessibility of the job to workers with disabilities.

"Organizations specializing in job placement for the disabled find that healthcare employers offer better access to careers than any other industry," says Tony Lee, publisher, CareerCast.com. "Many Americans have some kind of disability and a large percentage of them either work in healthcare today or will find a job in that sector in the future."

The 2010 U.S. Census estimates that 54 million Americans have a disability, which translates into 10% of the population ages 18 to 64. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that unemployment for the disabled is 12.9%, which is significantly higher than the national average and up from a rate of 9.3% at the onset of the recession in 2008. However, healthcare job growth is rising steadily, with the sector expected to increase by 5.6 million jobs within the next eight years, creating many available positions for disabled candidates.

Although disabled workers can provide a variety of skills to employers, only about 20% of Americans with a physical or cognitive disability currently participate in the traditional workforce. Discrimination is still a key barrier to employment, according to CareerCast.com, and often one of the most difficult hurdles for disabled job seekers to overcome is perception. Despite efforts to protect and present the disabled with greater opportunities, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, some employers still have misconceptions about disabled workers and their ability to contribute.

The full report on all ten careers, including ones outside of the healthcare industry, can be found at CareerCast.com.

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