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Knoxville Healthcare Jobs and Internships

Updated on October 14, 2019
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty has advanced degrees in preventive medicine and health psychology, with 35 years of work in allergy and other autoimmune treatment.

Bridges across the Tennessee river at Knoxville.
Bridges across the Tennessee river at Knoxville. | Source

Healthcare Jobs in Knoxville

Health and medical jobs in Eastern Tennessee have increased continually since the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville showcased the University of Tennessee and its growing medical center.

Today, the school offers over 400 different degree and certificate programs, many of which are in healthcare careers. The school has partnered with businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, and local post-secondary educational facilities to produce new health related goods and services and to foster business growth in that area.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Knoxville is near the eastern edge of the state.World's Fair Park installations maintained since 1982. The Sun Sphere in downtown Knoxville was built for the 1982 World's Fair.
Knoxville is near the eastern edge of the state.
Knoxville is near the eastern edge of the state. | Source
World's Fair Park installations maintained since 1982.
World's Fair Park installations maintained since 1982. | Source
The Sun Sphere in downtown Knoxville was built for the 1982 World's Fair.
The Sun Sphere in downtown Knoxville was built for the 1982 World's Fair. | Source

Health and Medical Businesses Expand to Knoxville

In 1995, Summit Medical Group opened its first clinic in New Jersey, expanded to Knoxville and other American cities, and increased its services to dozens of facilities in Knoxville and Knox County by 2019. The group is owned by physicians who oversee and/or practice in its facilities in a variety of increasing specialties. It also operates a nonprofit foundation for health promotion education and practice, and important medical research.

The company website states that many physicians are retiring (in the 2020s) and replacements are needed as well as additional doctors to fill new positions.

Summit insists that all employees be nonsmokers, alerting job applicants that pre-employment screenings include standard drug testing as well as testing for nicotine. The body of medical research into smoking has found consistently that smokers can transfer health-destroying nicotine to patients, clients, and customers, even by breathing in the same area; but, just as importantly, via their hair and clothing that can emit nicotine into the air. Moreover, smoking outside does not help; smokers spread nicotine and the health and medical industry is a particular industry that needs to eliminate that possibility in the workplace (Ghidie,, 2017; Marco and Grimalt, 2015).

City skyline at the Tennessee River downtown.
City skyline at the Tennessee River downtown. | Source

According to Sperling's Best Places, Knoxville has experienced recent growth in the AD 2010s in population, jobs, and economy, with lower overall cost of living than for America overall at 84% of the national average.

Healthcare positions, including nutrition and dietetics jobs are among the top jobs projected to increase significantly in Knox County and Knoxville through AD 2030. This is attributed to the increasing population of local retirees, along with increasing numbers of new families with young children. All of these people need healthcare, including nutrition advice.

Overall, healthcare is the leading job industry in the city, with food prep/service in casual dining and fast food places the second fastest growing industry.

High Demand Jobs in Knoxville

Among the job vacancies in highest demand we find:

  1. Health and medical professionals that include physicians, nurses, therapists, dietary managers, clinical dieticians, and home health aides (HHAs)
  2. Retail salespeople, including those in for sports nutrition items
  3. Merchandisers and other positions for Kellogg Company

Major Local Hiring Companies

  1. Food City and K-VA-T Food Stores: Groceries, home and beauty products, etc.
  2. McDonald's, Burger King, Cambridge Franchise Holdings (large group of Burger King shops) Sonic, Domino's Pizza
  3. Summit Medical Group
  4. Weigel Stores, Inc.: Gas and convenience stores
  5. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  6. Pilot Flying J: Gas and convenience stores
  7. University of Tennessee: Staff and faculty
  8. CVS Health and Retail
  9. Dollar General and other dollar stores
  10. Methodist Medical Center

Major Health/Medical/Science Employers Hiring Now

  1. Oak Ridge National Laboratory
  2. Summit Medical Group
  3. CVS Health and Retail
  4. University of Tennessee Medical Center
  5. University of Tennessee
  6. Methodist Medical Center of Oak Ridge
  7. Parkwest Medical Center
  8. Fort Sanders Regional Medical Center
  9. Covenant Health Corporate: With prestigious headquarters in Knoxville, this is the largest private local employer, maintaining an employee pool of over 10,000 people.
  10. NHC Oak Ridge

Early 21st Century Job Trends

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Jobs declined slightly during this time period, beginning to increase once more during Spring 2014, with over 14,000 vacancies available in August. SimplyHired scourers all job listings across the Internet.
Jobs declined slightly during this time period, beginning to increase once more during Spring 2014, with over 14,000 vacancies available in August.
Jobs declined slightly during this time period, beginning to increase once more during Spring 2014, with over 14,000 vacancies available in August. | Source
SimplyHired scourers all job listings across the Internet.
SimplyHired scourers all job listings across the Internet. | Source

Highest Demand Jobs Through AD 2030

  1. Health and Medical positions that include physicians, RN nurses, patient care techs, physician assistants/nurse practitioners, occupational and physical therapists
  2. Owner Operator Truck Drivers
  3. Dollar Stores: Dollar General, Dollar Tree, other: management and crew positions.
  4. Salespeople
  5. General Managers in various businesses
  6. Insurance Sales and Investments
  7. Software Engineers

Internships in Healthcare, Education, and Other Fields

Internships can lead into full-time employment and make a good segue from college to work.

Looking into the internship market in Knoxville is one way to find additional opportunities in nutrition after graduation and certification. Internships and jobs you might not find listed elsewhere may be available at hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living and retirement centers, schools K-12, colleges and universities, day care operations, restaurant chain headquarters, food companies like Kellogg, local and state health departments, the US Armed Services, and even prisons.

Related to the privatized space program and NASA partnerships, nutrition and its various occupations will play a vital part of mankind's quest for deep space.

A good time to begin the quest for internships in nutrition and dietetics or related fields is at the beginning of the final semester of academic training or even before. However, begin as soon as possible to contact companies and organizations about internships and you may hear about full-time work in our field.


  • Ghidei,W; Brottman,G; Lenne, E; Quan, T; and Joseph, A. Provider Perspectives on Adding Biomarker Screening for Tobacco Smoke Exposure to Lead Screening at Well-Child Visits, Journal of Pediatric Health Care, 10.1016/j.pedhc.2016.10.007, 31, 3, (342-349); 2017.
  • Knoxville Hospitals
  • Knoxville City Schools
  • Knox County Schools
  • Kellogg Foods Company: Search under R&D and bring up jobs after hitting APPLY button at
  • Marco, Esther; Grimalt, Joan O. A rapid method for the chromatographic analysis of volatile organic compounds in exhaled breath of tobacco cigarette and electronic cigarette smokers. Journal of chromatography. A, ISSN: 1873-3778, Vol: 1410, Page: 51-9; 2015.
  • Summit Medical Group Careers
  • The University of Tennessee - Knoxville: Founded in 1794, the school now has 400+ academic programs.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2011 Patty Inglish MS


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