Job opportunities increase for medical and dental assistants

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- The latest job report shows continued slow growth. But certain sectors are showing more strength, and that means more job opportunities for the unemployed or people looking for better careers.

Some jobs in the medical field are expected to show huge growth. So, compared to many college grads, the future for medical and dental assistant students at Carrington College in Phoenix may be more certain.

"There are opportunities everywhere," says student Dylan Hjerpe. "You'll never be out of a job."

The latest summer jobs report shows healthcare employers adding thousands more jobs in July. Doctors offices added 13K new jobs in July. Many of those jobs are for medical assistants.

"You have to be committed to it. But if you have the drive, there are many opportunities for students who graduate," says Taiya Grannis, a medical assistant instructor. "You have to be committed to it, but if you have the drive, there are many opportunities for students who graduate."

"What I've seen from other students is that their externships will hire them on right there," says Tiffany Manygoats, who is studying to be a medical assistant.

Since Obamacare became law, Forbes estimates the health care industry has grown by more than a million new jobs. Dental hygienist jobs are expected to grow 33 percent over the next decade. Jobs in nursing could grow by 20 percent.

Instructors say joining a growing field offers their students a sense of security. They say the promise of an easy job hunt makes it easier to leave their old, lower-paying jobs.

"A lot of my friends are in minimum wage jobs and I don't want to be stuck in that," says Grannis.

"Before this, I was working full time at Domino's Pizza," says student Bersabe Amaya.  From fast food, Bersabe now believes she's on the fast track to a new career.

Experts say these medical fields will continue growing nationwide and here in Arizona for years to come.