The Health Science Major’s Guide: Career Options and Job Opportunities

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Dream of making a difference and making the world a healthier place? A degree in health science or (and) a specialized certificate program in health science might be a perfect choice for you. But what health science jobs are out there?


Fortunately, there are a lot of options. Careers in health science are as diverse as they come. To make it easier for you, we put together this list of some of the most exciting jobs out there for health science majors.


The descriptions below explain what these jobs are like in the US, and we even included average annual salaries in USD as of Nov 2, 2016 according to


Health Science Careers List to Choose from When You Graduate

So which health science jobs are out there for you after you get your BA?


Community Health Worker

Community health workers bridge the gap between the dominant culture’s healthcare system and the cultural and socioeconomic needs of underserved, culturally diverse and uninsured communities.

On one hand, they go into the community to find out who needs help – from sanitation to prevention through medical care – and teach the community how to be self-sufficient in navigating through medical challenges. On the other hand, community health workers bring the community’s needs to the system, and do their best to adjust the system to these needs.


Average annual US salary: $26,000



Healthcare Policy

Healthcare policy professionals research the industry, and its current and future impacts on the community. They develop strategies to improve medical processes and laws. They work with researchers, healthcare managers, lawyers and legislators, among others. You can be a consultant to legislative policy makers, or represent community and patient needs in front of decision makers in hospitals and politics.


Average annual Us salary for healthcare policy: $55,000



Healthcare Management

Healthcare management career opportunities are for people who are interested in the business side of healthcare. You could work your way up to middle management of hospitals and medical associations, and be in charge of anything from finance to marketing to public health programs.


Average annual US salary for healthcare management: $102,000


Willing to Get Additional Training? Health Science Careers You Can Pursue Down the Line

In addition to the jobs we listed above, know that your degree is a gateway for future education, which could open the door to other desirable health science careers. The following careers require you to take additional clinical and classroom training. Some also require that you take the pre-medical track in the last two years of your bachelor’s degree. (medical doctors, dentists and veterinarians).


Registered Nurse

Registered nurses (RNs) work in a variety of departments, monitoring symptoms and changing patient conditions. They interpret tests and consult with other healthcare professionals, such as doctors, in developing and adjusting treatment plans. They perform tests, operate medical equipment, and treat patients in anything from mild conditions to life threatening emergencies.

Registered nurses work with patients and their families on disease prevention and care, as well as supervise certified nurse assistants and licensed practical nurses.


Average annual US salary: $69,000



Nurse Practitioner

Registered nurses that get further education can work as nurse practitioners (often called advanced practice registered nurses, or APRN). Nurse practitioners usually have a specialization, like geriatrics or women’s health. In their work with patients, APRNs help people prevent disease and follow healthcare plans. They also perform and order tests, analyze test results, decide on treatments and prescribe medication.


Average annual US salary: $95,000



Physician Assistant

Physician assistants – or PAs, as they’re called in the medical world – practice many of the same medical tasks as doctors. They examine patients, interpret test results, make diagnoses, assist in surgeries, treat minor medical issues, and even prescribe medications. PAs work under a physician’s supervision, and are often required to continue their education throughout their careers, plus take an additional test every 10 years, in order to be able to keep practicing medicine.


Average annual US salary: $92,000



Medical Doctor

Medical doctors (MDs) can also work in a variety of fields. The general practitioners are usually the first doctors a patient sees when dealing with a non-urgent medical issue. The general MD then examines patients, prescribes medication, makes a diagnosis, or refers the patient to a specialist. The general medical doctor often sees the patient again to consider other discovery and treatment options, and sometimes refers the patient to additional specialists.

With additional training, medical doctors can become specialists themselves, perform surgeries, and work in clinics, hospitals, or even open their own private practice.


Average annual US salary: $197,000




If you’re interested in dental health and oral hygiene, consider a career as a dentist. Dentists spend the day examining people’s teeth and gums, and treating conditions from decay to oral disease, and everything in between. Dentists are in charge of both preventative and healing care. They manage and operate technical equipment, even x-ray machines, to perform tests and provide treatment. Some of them perform surgeries as well.


Average annual US salary: $196,000




Veterinarians provide medical care for animals. They’re there to prevent diseases by educating animal owners and providing vaccinations to animals, but also to perform tests (like CT scans and blood tests), diagnose medical conditions, and treat animals who are ill or in pain. Veterinarians are also trained and equipped to perform surgery on animals when needed.

In addition, veterinarians play a big role in animal owner and general community health by preventing and treating medical conditions in animals that may spread to human beings.


Average annual US salary: $82,000