California's health care industry employed more than 1.2 million people in 2009, and more than 400,000 health care jobs have been added in the state over the last decade. Among the state's health care workforce, nearly 50% is employed in ambulatory settings, 30% in hospitals, and 20% in nursing or residential care facilities.
According to a recently published survey by the California Hospital Association, California's hospitals could need more than one million new allied health professionals by 2030. An aging population, population growth, and federal health reform will likely contribute to the increased demand.
This series of Quick Reference Guides from the CHCF California Health Care Almanac examines specific segments of the state's health care workforce, focusing on pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, physician assistants, health diagnostic and treatment therapists, clinical laboratory scientists and technicians, and imaging professionals. The guides provide data on employment, wages, degree programs, workplace setting, and ethnicity of graduates, in addition to other factors. Among the noted trends:
- Since 2001, California's supply of pharmacists has grown at a slower pace than nationally. More than half of pharmacists are trained in other states and countries.
- The number of physician assistants in California grew 62% between 2001 and 2009, from 5,000 to 8,000 professionals. The Northern and Sierra region had a greater number of physician assistants per capita than the rest of the state.
- Therapist employment in California jumped significantly between 2001 and 2009, with speech-language pathologists increasing the most (48%) and occupational therapists the least (15%).
- Between 1980 and 2005, the number of clinical laboratory scientist licensure candidates dropped significantly in California, and employment has been stagnant since 2001.
The complete guides are available through Document Downloads.