What Can You Do with a Health Science Degree?

Are you passionate about the realm of healthcare? Then, you may be wondering, “What can you do with a health science degree?” The subject of health science is seemingly broad, so it’s understandable why you may have questions about health science major jobs.


We’re here to answer such questions and help you figure out if pursuing a health science degree makes sense for your career goals. We’ll start with the basics by defining what health science is.  Then, we’ll jump into some of the various jobs you can get with this distinguished degree. 


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Health Science


The study of health science combines natural science and behavioral science to understand how they impact one’s health. The subject is the application of various topics with regard to health.


To illustrate, health science majors will learn about a variety of interconnected subjects like sociology, psychology, epidemiology, biology, chemistry, and more. The degree also will typically entail health policy and the business of healthcare.



What are the Types of Health Science Degrees?


When students choose to pursue a degree in health science, they can do so at varying levels. These levels include:


  • Associate’s: An associate degree in health science tends to take two years to complete. It is an entry-level degree that opens the doors to work as medical assistants, pharmaceutical technicians, and other similar roles. After earning this degree, students can choose to work in such entry-level roles or continue their education to obtain a bachelor’s degree.


  • Bachelor’s: A bachelor’s degree in health science is expected to take four years to complete, but the timeline may vary depending on if a student is enrolled part-time or full-time. Most programs will cover healthcare management, healthcare systems, and human anatomy. Students may be able to choose between earning a bachelor of science or a bachelor of art in the subject. The difference is that the bachelor of science will include more science coursework and is intended for students seeking roles in clinical positions as opposed to healthcare services.


  • Master’s: Students who pursue a master’s degree in the field can choose from an array of specializations that will deepen their knowledge. Some specializations include healthcare law, risk management, nutrition, and sports medicine, to name a few.


  • Doctorate: A doctorate level degree is a terminal degree, meaning it’s the highest level that a student can earn in the field. Those who possess this degree can hold leadership positions and work as researchers, scientists, educator specialists, and informatics specialists, among other positions.


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Health Science Jobs


Depending on the level of the health science degree that you obtain, the health science jobs that become available to you will vary.


Here’s a look at some of the job positions you can obtain, at differing levels, once you earn a degree in health science.



Medical Assistant


A medical assistant works in a healthcare setting to prepare patient rooms, sterilize equipment for treatment and diagnosis, and perform other helpful tasks to streamline the flow of procedures in a medical environment. You can either earn a certificate of associate’s degree to work in this entry-level position that earns an average of $37,819 per year. 



Occupational Therapist


Occupational therapists work directly with patients who are injured, disabled or ill to provide therapy so they can continue to execute everyday activities. Occupational therapists, also called OTs, will help patients to develop or retain skills that will serve them on a daily basis. In most cases, an OT will need to have a master’s degree. This position has an average annual salary of $85,570. 



Clinical Research Scientist


A clinical research scientist conducts trials, screens patients, oversees patient care, and submits their findings after completing trials. They must adhere to regulations and provide optimal care throughout the length of the trial. For this role, students must have at least a bachelor’s degree and can expect to earn $104,324 per year.



Respiratory Therapist


Patients who are suffering from breathing or cardiopulmonary disorders may seek the aid of a respiratory therapist. Respiratory therapists help patients find ways to breathe better. To work in this position, students need at least an associate’s degree. The job growth is expected to be much higher than average, growing at a rate of 23% between 2020 and 2030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual pay is $61,830, according to the same source.



Surgical Technician


Surgical technicians can be found in the surgery room alongside registered nurses, physicians, and surgeons. They are responsible for passing sterile instruments to surgeons and first assistants. They may also set up robotic surgical equipment and handle specimens that need to go to the laboratory for analysis. To work in this position, you’ll need either a certificate or at least an associate’s degree. The average salary is $48,530 per year. 



Health Educator


Health educators work in communities to evaluate and develop programs, teach stakeholders and community members, and advocate for the overall health of the community. They may work for government entities, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations. In most cases, employers seek candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in health science or a related field. You can expect to earn an average annual salary of $48,860 in this role.



Closing Thoughts


We’ve answered the question of, “What can you do with a health science degree?” Now, you get to decide if any of these options are appealing to you. While this list is abbreviated, you can get a sense of the type of roles that a degree in health science will prepare you for.


If you are ready to get started learning, consider earning your health science degree at the University of the People. All of our degree programs, including our bachelor’s, associate’s, and certificate programs in health science are tuition-free, 100% online, and geared towards preparing you to enter the workforce!

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