Skip to main content

Retirement Community Provides Job Options in Healthcare

Professionals who seek employment in North Carolina’s ever-growing healthcare industry have many career path options. According to the 2022 Impact Report from the North Carolina Healthcare Association (NCHA), hospitals and health systems support 8% of all jobs in the state. Interestingly, many healthcare jobs in North Carolina center around the state’s booming retirement-aged population. Taken together, nursing homes, community care centers, home health care services, assisted living facilities and retirement communities employ a large portion of the state’s healthcare-related workforce.

These segments of the healthcare industry see rapid growth due largely to continued growth in the state-wide retirement industry sector. Senior care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities employ healthcare workers of all sorts, as do home health care organizations. As healthcare services for the aging population expand, more senior living facilities and home care services develop to provide appropriate levels of assistance and maximize independence for those in their care. In terms of healthcare employment, this results in a wealth of job opportunities and job growth.

For instance, the development of numerous, diversified retirement communities and home health care providers requires an increasing number of qualified administrators. Those who wish to fill these positions need a foundation of knowledge in business and organizational management as well as the healthcare industry. Accordingly, the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) designed the online Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Specialization in Healthcare Management program to address the complex intersection of business and healthcare.

What Led to Such Growth in This Area of the Healthcare Industry?

In North Carolina, and in the U.S. at large, the population is aging. According to, more than 3.7 million people 50 years old and over live in North Carolina — nearly 40% of the state’s population. As reported by Business North Carolina, over 110,000 state residents turn 65 every year. The 65-and-over population in North Carolina currently totals over 2.1 million, and State Demographer Michael Cline projects that number will grow by 56% by 2035, while the 85-plus population will double. As the North Carolina population ages, the need for retirement communities, residential facilities, home care services and other forms of senior care also grows.

What Are Some Differences in Senior Care and Housing?

The forms of senior care and housing vary by the type of facility or service. Examples include the following:

  • Nursing homes or nursing care facilities provide services to two distinctly different populations. First is short-term rehab care for patients who recently suffered an acute incident, followed by hospital treatment for conditions such as joint replacement or stroke. Also called post-acute care, these patients usually spend a few weeks receiving intense in-patient physical therapy and other services. Second is conventional long-term care for medically complex patients who need nurses and nurse aids nearby at all times.
  • Assisted living communities assist with standard daily activities, including bathing, dressing, eating, transferring and toileting/incontinence care. They are not generally licensed or staffed to provide advanced medical services.
  • Home health care services provide care to people in their own homes as necessary, given the environment and equipment available.

What Types of Jobs Are Available in These Forms of Senior Care?

According to the degree of advanced medical care required, nursing homes employ more medical staff, including nurses, nurse aids, physical therapists and others. Assisted living facilities employ trained caregivers with a limited number of nurses. In most states, assisted living facilities are not licensed to provide more than basic medical care. More advanced medical services are generally provided as needed by home health companies. Home health care services employ nurses, nurse aids, physical therapists and other specialists for at-home care.

If more complex medical conditions arise, residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities or those who receive in-home care may be taken to nursing homes or hospitals where more advanced medical resources and technologies are available.

Senior living facilities that embrace and encourage the more active, independent nature of the aging population are increasingly common. These facilities offer varying levels of assistance to residents according to their needs, from semi-assisted to fully independent living environments. Some retirement communities offer several levels of living environments on one campus. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs) provide active, healthy seniors attractive apartment homes with extensive restaurant, wellness, entertainment and other amenities and services. As residents advance in years and care needs, CCRCs may offer in-house assisted living options, skilled nursing services and memory care.

The Need for Healthcare Management Professionals

Of course, these varying forms of senior care providers and retirement communities employ many other kinds of healthcare professionals, from occupational therapists to activities directors to health information technology specialists. As noted above, the proliferation of senior care services and facilities drives the need for more business-savvy professionals such as marketing directors, health services managers and organizational administrators.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job growth for medical and health services managers is much faster than average, projected at 28% growth between 2022 and 2032. This includes the need for more nursing care facility administrators as well as managers with advanced training in health information systems and informatics.

Retirement communities, assisted living communities, nursing homes and home health care services are adapting to the needs of the aging population. The broader healthcare industry is booming as well. This development in the healthcare industry creates numerous opportunities for well-trained healthcare managers.

Learn more about UNCW’s online MBA with a Specialization in Healthcare Management program.

Request Information

Submit this form, and an Enrollment Specialist will contact you to answer your questions.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Or call 855-306-4734

Take the next step

Start your application today!
Or call 855-306-4734 855-306-4734
for help with any questions you may have.