Since the turn of the decade, the health care industry has been reaching new heights, slowly dominating the ever expanding, highly competitive US job market. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18% from 2016 to 2026. This translates into over 2 million jobs assimilated into the job market, a sum far exceeding other occupational groups.
Advances in modern medicine have skyrocketed new possibilities, improving both the quality and sustainability of health care services. Consequently, medical breakthroughs have paved the way to improving longevity and enhancing overall quality of life. According to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, life expectancy in the US is now at 78.7 years. This aging population in the United States is precedence to the ever expanding demand for health care professionals.
The growth of clinical laboratory technology is no different. The advancement and development of new testing methodologies and clinical applications is inevitable result of the growing demands of modern health care. Employment of medical laboratory technicians is projected to grow 14% and medical laboratory technologists by 12% in the next decade according to BLS. However, academic programs in the US only produce 5000 graduates per year. Taking into account long term ramifications and projected job shortage in the field of clinical laboratory science, how are we able to keep pace with increasing staffing demands? What long term actions can we take to mitigate this concern?
Benefits of the Global Hiring of H1B Visa Workers
H1B visa is a temporary or non-immigrant US visa granted by the US government to foreign nationals with specialized knowledge and skills. This allows US companies the opportunity to expand their reach globally in their pursuit of well qualified individuals to meet the ever broadening demands of modern health care.
Potential foreign employees have to meet certain attributes to qualify to be petitioned under this visa category by a US employer. The person must hold a bachelor’s or higher degree from an accredited college or university to qualify in the specialty occupation. The length of employment experience in the specialized field is also taken into consideration during the petition process. This means only highly educated and highly trained employees are eligible to be petitioned under the H1B visa category.
Is the H1B Visa taking jobs from Americans? It is in the best interest of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to maintain employment of US Citizens and limit the impact of foreign workers on the US job market. Prior to filing the H1B petition with the USCIS, an employer must adhere to a number of conditions and regulations. The employer must also meet the Department of Labor (DOL) requirements before they can file with the USCIS. In summary, employers must substantiate that an H1B employee will not adversely impact the prevailing wage and working conditions of US citizens.
Given the imminent expansion of medical facilities to accommodate the ever increasing health care needs of our aging population in the US, it is no wonder that US companies are starting to have a global presence in the realm of health care recruitment and staffing. With the unfolding of the next decade, healthcare will continue to dominate the US job market and further impose a domineering effect nationwide. Now is the time to plan for the challenges of tomorrow. Petitioning for an H1B visa worker to fill a void in your workforce is unquestionably a long term solution to the ever rising demands of clinical laboratory staffing.