HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Looking for a job that pays $30 an hour or more? You don't have to look far! In a list of the top seven careers in high demand, one of the most popular fields needs employees right here, right now.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts more than 530,000 registered nurses will take care of patients over the next eight years.
How is job availability looking for the Grand Strand?
"We probably have in the neighborhood of 50 openings," Chief Nursing Officer Tiffany Keys said. Keys works for the Grand Strand Medical Center on 82nd Parkway in Myrtle Beach.
Keys said she's not surprised nursing is number one on the list. Another 40 related job openings are waiting to be filled throughout the Grand Strand network.
"Now, we're able to keep patients alive a lot longer and offer them a higher quality of life, with the technological advances that are available in healthcare and a lot of that we have here at Grand Strand [Medical Center]," she said.
While salary varies greatly by region, according to a USC study, the average entry level wage for a nurse in South Carolina is $43,000 a year and the number can jump to nearly $68,000 for experienced nurses.
But Keys says those who enter the career only for the paycheck will burn out.
"It's not for the faint of heart, there's nothing easy about it, every part of it is a challenge," she said. "But it's the kind of challenge that when you leave at the end of the day, you know that you've saved someone's life, you've made someone's struggle a little easier, you've helped somebody in some way," Keys added.
After nursing, a Yahoo article, based on U.S. Department of Labor research, lists these other top paying jobs in order of demand:
- Accountants and Auditors
- Computer Systems Analysts
- Construction Managers
- Software Developers
- Financial Advisors
- Medical and Health Services Managers
In Horry County alone, are where job seekers will find the most openings for a single employer. More than 150 of the jobs are nursing and healthcare-related for a company called HCA Holdings.
"We might be behind some of the national trends ... But the health care [trend], South Carolina and Horry County are definitely in step with the nation," Mary-Kathryn Craft confirmed.
The positions at HCA Holdings are affiliated with Grand Strand Medical Center and some other hospitals.
Some of the other top openings in Horry County are Dollar General Corporation with 130 openings and Windham WorldWide Corporation with 114 openings.
When you look at Florence County, the top employer, according to the S.C. Works website, is McLeod Health with 191 openings. The second largest is Carolinas Hospital System with 101 positions.
The Pee Dee area is working to accommodate the need to fill these positions.
Francis Construction for the Francis Marion Health Sciences Facility, in the place of the old Trust building, is underway to help educate those nurses. The building is expected to open in 2016.
The third largest number of jobs in Florence County is Dollar General with 81 openings. The 81 positions include a lot of assistant manager positions.
Craft says if you're looking to cash in on one of those hundreds of jobs, you've got a host of local programs and resources.
"The great thing about the S.C. Works centers ... they're not just DEW, they're partnerships," Dew said. "So, there are technical colleges, vocational rehabilitation -- there's lots of resources where you can get an idea of what's available to you, depending on your needs and your background," Dew added.
Horry County is currently at 5.5 percent unemployment, according to the latest numbers. In comparison, the numbers are around the vicinity of a 5.3 percent unemployment rate for South Carolina and around a 6.1 percent for the country.