A health sciences degree offers a wide array of career options. Whether your interest lies in the medical, dental or veterinary industry, you’ll be highly trained to work in a variety of capacities. Health science graduates may work directly with patients or may choose to go into management and leadership positions. Here you will find all the important information you need on health science degrees and what they have to offer.
How to Become a Health Sciences Professional
There are several paths towards becoming a health science professional. Most of it depends on what you’ve chosen as your final career goals. It’s almost unbelievable all the career choices that fall within the scope of health science. In addition, there are also many health services related occupations. Students may begin their health science career by earning an associate degree in a specific area. Using nursing as an example, a student can earn an associate degree and become a licensed practical nurse (LPN). From there the nurse may enroll in an ADN-BSN and earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing and become a registered nurse (RN). The RN can then choose a specialized area of nursing, earn a master’s degree and become a clinical nurse specialist. At this point, the RN may advance his or her education and earn an doctoral degree in health care management. This is just one example of how far a health science degree can take an individual. Health care professionals may work in administration, emergency medical services, clinical laboratory sciences, clerical/medical positions, counseling therapies, medical education, nursing, medical, radiologic technology and public health, among others. The career choice chosen will determine the type of degree an individual must earn. Most health science careers may also offer certifications. The bachelor’s degree is the one most chosen by students pursuing careers in health science.
What Type of Health Services Degree is Available?
Health science offers various health services degree levels, including certificates, diplomas, associate degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree and doctoral degrees (Ph.D.). A student can become a medical assistant by completing a diploma program or an emergency medical technician (EMT) by completing a certificate program. Associate degrees are offered in many medical technology programs such as surgical technology, radiology technology, respiratory technology or diagnostic medical sonography to name just a few. A health care manager who wishes to work in research or teach can pursue a Ph.D. The degree required is dependent on the types of health services jobs the students wish to pursue.
What About Online Education?
Online education has become a very popular way for students to earn a degree while continuing to work and meet other obligations. Many health science programs are currently offered online with more programs being offered online each year. Even medical programs that require internships offer a lot of the didactic classes through distance learning. The student can complete most of the courses online and then complete internships at local medical facilities.
What is the Job Outlook for Health Sciences Graduates
The overall job outlook for health science graduates is very good as these professionals continue to be in demand. However, the exact outlook varies from career to career. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted that health service managers would see an employment growth of twenty three percent between 2012 and 2022 while health educators should see a twenty one percent employment growth. Those in social work may see job growth of nineteen percent during that time and those in health counseling may see . Registered nurses, biomedical engineers and physician assistants can expect job growth of nineteen percent, twenty seven percent and thirty seven percent, respectively, according to the BLS. As one can see they all vary in terms of job growth potential, but all of these careers offer good careers. The BLS reports that, by the year 2020, an additional 1.4 million health care support jobs will be created.
Typical Salaries: Health Services & Health Science Graduates
The health services salaries vary and depend on the career. LPNS earned an annual average wage of $41,920 while clinical nurse specialists earned more than $65,000 as of May 2013, according to the BLS. Physicians and surgeons earned more than $187,000 and occupational health and safety specialists earned about $66,790 during 2013. Because the health science is such a vast industry with so many occupations and professionals, it’s impossible to offer all the wages. Suffice to say, health science does offer some good wages with a lot of growth potential. U.S. News & World Report states that health care is one of the few industries that is not affected by economy.
Trends in Health Science
If there’s one thing that can be said about the health science industry it’s that it combines health education with technology in an effort to provide the world with the best and most innovative health care. The trends that are expected in health science back up these facts. One of the biggest trends is with the use of electronic and wireless devices and sensors to transmit data to health care providers. Health care provider will have instant access to all of a patient’s medical condition regardless of where the provider may be. Another trend that the health science field will see is that of patient-centered medical homes. What this means is that patients will receive top-notch care through virtual doctor visits, same-day appointments and the collaboration of medical records with all health care providers. This method of primary care should cost the patient less but provide better health care. The health science field will also spend a lot of time and research this year on cell therapy. Not enough can be said about the importance of cell therapy when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. Cell therapy allows the physician to take out a sample of cell stem from a patient’s body, correct a genetic defect and return it back to the patient’s body.
Different Careers in the Health Science Industry
Rather than list some of the health services related occupations, I decided to list the various types of health services jobs since there are so many health services jobs that fall within the health science field. Listed also is the type of education required and the annual average wages earned in 2013 for these careers.
- Certified Nursing Assistant – Certificate – $24,400
- Dental Hygienist – Associate degree – $70,210
- Radiation Therapist – Associate or bachelor’s degree – $77,560
- Medical Records and Health Information Technician – Associate degree – $34,160
- Athletic Trainers – Bachelor’s degree – $42,690
- Health Services Manager – Bachelor’s degree – $88,580
- Registered Nurse – Associate degree – $65,470
- Occupational Therapist – Master’s degree – $75.400
- Physical Therapist – Doctor of Physical Therapy – $79,860
- Medical Scientist – Doctoral degree – $76,980
- Social Work Professional – Bachelor’s degree – $44,200
- Mental Health Counseling – Master’s degree – $41,500