Health Care and Bio-Medical Services
Indiana County has a robust health care presence that not only serves the health needs of a regional population but also provides employment in a diverse range of health care occupations.
Health care is one of the Pittsburgh region’s priority industry clusters, with over 9.7% of the region’s total employment in 2000. It is also one of only two clusters with a higher annual wage for Southwestern Pennsylvania than for the state of Pennsylvania or the United States.
Registered nurse is the occupation with the most employment, followed by nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants. Occupations are generally categorized as "professional" (e.g., medical doctor, surgeon) and "support occupations" (e.g., nursing aides, home health aides, medical assistants). Compared to professional occupations, support occupations tend to be lower-paying, are more likely to be part-time, and require lower levels of education and training.
Career clusters within the healthcare industry cluster include therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services, and biotechnology research and development.
Key skills separate occupations along a career mobility track. Registered nurses, for example, have a higher level of skills in time management, instruction, and management of personal resources than do licensed practical nurses. In addition, the former occupation requires an additional two years of education (a bachelor degree rather than an associate degree).
Ambulatory care has higher rates of employment in Fayette, Indiana, and Washington counties than in other counties.