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Top 10 health care jobs for 2015

If you're new to the job market or looking for a change of employment, you might want to consider getting into the health care sector.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) says the demand for primary health care services will continue to grow dramatically this decade and beyond. Part of that growth results from a U.S. population that's both aging and expanding. Another reason HHS cites is the estimated growth of health insurance coverage "under full implementation" of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which assumes all states will expand Medicaid.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects health care-related occupations and industries will add the most new jobs in the U.S. between 2012 and 2022.

"Job prospects across the entire health care sector are expected to grow through the next decade as more Americans gain access to health insurance and providers add staff to meet the demand," said Tony Lee, publisher at CareerCast, a job-search portal.

While many top health-care jobs require at least an associates or bachelor's degree, CareerCast says it's one sector where hiring remains above-average.

And a new CareerCast report, using data from its Jobs Rated report metrics, lists the top 10 health care jobs heading into the new year, including salary and the field's projected job growth over the next seven years. The firm considered a number of factors in its assessment, including pay, employment prospects, stress levels and environmental factors, with data drawn from federal and private sources:

Audiologist
Average annual salary: $69,720
Projected job growth by 2022: 34 percent

Dental hygienist
Average annual salary: $70,210
Projected job growth by 2022: 33 percent

Dietitian
Average annual salary: $55,240
Projected job growth by 2022: 21 percent

Medical lab technician
Average annual salary: $34,160
Projected job growth by 2022: 22 percent

Medical technologist
Average annual salary: $47,820
Projected job growth by 2022: 22 percent

Optician
Average annual salary: $33,330
Projected job growth by 2022: 23 percent

Pharmacist
Average annual salary: $116,670
Projected job growth by 2022: 14 percent

Physical therapist
Average annual salary: $79,860
Projected job growth by 2022: 36 percent

Physiologist
Average annual salary: $42,690
Projected job growth by 2022: 19 percent

Podiatrist
Average annual salary: $116,440
Projected job growth by 2022: 23 percent

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