A healthy bottom line

Health care industry provides lucrative career options


Jobs in the health care sector are known for allowing people to develop new skills and find professional success.

The health care industry is one of North Idaho's most powerful economic engines, providing thousands of good paying jobs to local residents.

And there are no signs of things slowing down.

“Health care should be expected to be one of the more dominant industries in Kootenai County,” said Sam Wolkenhauer, a regional economist with the Idaho Department of Labor.  “We should expect robust growth long-term in health care to service our growing and vibrant population. This makes health care careers a great opportunity for those who want to live and work in North Idaho.”

How big is health care here?  In 2016, health care providers employed an average of 10,162 people in Kootenai County, and 13,579 in all five northern counties.

“Our projected growth rate going forward is approximately 2.1 percent annually,” said Wolkenhauer.  “This means we'd expect health care to employ around 11,300 people in Kootenai County by 2021, and 15,000 across the five northern counties.”

Looking at the big financial picture, the economic impact is large.

“About 20 percent of total earnings in the county come from health care, so at 1/5 of the total economy it is by far our largest industry, said Wolkenhauer. “This should only increase going forward, given how many new residents are moving here from out of state.”

The scope of career options goes well beyond traditional careers in medicine, such as doctor and nurse. The health care industry relies on an array of highly skilled professionals. In fact, health care providers are looking for people with experience in information and technology, cybersecurity, data entry, case management and customer service.

These careers can be highly rewarding for employees.

“There is such a wonderful feeling when you are able to help a patient with a big or small problem,” said Joanne Johnson, who has worked as a customer service representative for Heritage Health since 2006. “We had a 78-year-old lady thank us for giving her a way back to life.”

Jobs in the health care sector are known for allowing people to develop new skills and find professional success.

“We have many opportunities to grow within our careers and we have awesome leadership,” said Lynn Haughn, a clinic administrator in Kellogg for Heritage Health. “I love working for Heritage Health because we are family oriented, we are patient oriented and we truly give 'Health care from the Heart.'”

For more information on Heritage Health, call (208) 620-5250 or click on: http://www.myheritagehealth.org/careers/

--Written by Marc Stewart, Director of Sponsored Content


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