What Are My Career Options with a Health Science Degree?
A health science degree opens professional opportunities in health education, leadership, diagnostics, and other related fields. Graduates can pursue health science careers in hospitals, medical laboratories, public health agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
What is a Health Science Program?
A bachelor of health science degree provides training in health management and leadership as well as specialized technical skills in the medical field. Baccalaureate programs usually offer several concentrations or emphasis areas such as health services administration, health and wellness, leadership and policy, medical imaging, physical or occupational therapy, and medical laboratory science. A health science program also provides a solid foundation for students who want to pursue graduate education and earn advanced degrees in medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, and other related fields. Some schools offer online options for earning a health science degree, allowing students to complete the coursework on their own schedule.
What Can You Do with a Health Science Degree?
Health science degree holders can qualify for a broad range of health science careers, from administrative positions to technical roles. They can work as managers of health facilities, medical technicians, health educators, and other similar positions.
Health Services Manager
Health services managers work with doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals as they plan, coordinate, and oversee services in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics, and public health agencies. They are responsible for setting work schedules, ensuring regulatory compliance, personnel recruitment and training, managing finances, monitoring budgets, and keeping records, among other duties.
Health Education Specialist
Health educators develop and implement programs that promote wellness and help people understand and manage their health conditions. They conduct training for other healthcare professionals, gather and analyze data on the health needs of people and communities they work with, and advocate for effective health policies and initiatives. They usually work in health facilities, schools, public health departments, private companies, and nonprofit organizations.
Community Health Worker
Community health workers usually work with health education specialists in implementing wellness programs and promoting access to healthcare services. They collect data, identify issues that affect the health needs of the community, and help people navigate the healthcare system. A lot of community health workers are employed by government agencies, civic organizations, and nonprofit groups.
Medical Imaging Technician
Medical imaging technicians operate various types of imaging equipment including x-ray machines and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners. They work in hospitals, diagnostic laboratories, doctor's offices, and outpatient care facilities. While an associate's degree is the basic requirement for imaging technologists, a bachelor's degree increases employment marketability and opens more opportunities for career advancement.
Clinical Laboratory Technologist
The work of clinical laboratory technologists revolves around testing and analyzing samples of body fluids such as blood and urine. They operate laboratory equipment, keep logs of test results, and discuss findings with physicians. Laboratory technologists can seek specializations in areas such as clinical chemistry, microbiology, molecular biology, and immunology.
What is the Career Outlook for Health Science Graduates?
About 1.9 million new healthcare jobs are expected to be generated from 2018 to 2028, which equals a 14% increase; this is much higher than the average for all other occupational groups. The median annual salary for healthcare professionals is $66,440, which is also higher than the median annual wage for all jobs ($38,640). Health science graduates have diverse career options, giving them opportunities to take advantage of this projected job growth in the healthcare sector.
|Projected Job Growth for Healthcare Occupations (2018-2028)*||14%|
|Median Annual Salary (May 2018)*||$66,440 (for Healthcare Practitioners and Technical Occupations)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics