Health science, also commonly known as healthcare science or medical science, is the study and application of various sciences to improve the field of healthcare. But you may be asking, “What can you do with a health science degree?” It is an ever-growing field, so job opportunities will never be in short supply. Many higher education facilities exist to help you gain a better knowledge and understanding of the field of health science while you are earning your degree to prepare you for the working world. If you are passionate about healthcare laws and regulations or providing medical care to those in need, then studying health science may be the right path for you.
Branches of Health Science
There are various branches, or types, of health science available to study with job opportunities just waiting for the right candidates to come along. Earning a bachelors degree in health science is advised if you are interested in obtaining a masters degree or doctoral degree in any of the branches. Some of the branches and their descriptions are listed here.
Optometry – the study of the eyes and visual system, how to perform examinations, and what treatments to recommend.
Occupational Therapy (OT) – the study of this type of therapy is recommended for people recovering from physical or mental illness; treatment often involves practicing day-to-day tasks and activities.
Nursing – the study that focuses on caring for individuals, families, and other groups to prevent sickness.
Obstetrics – the study of medical treatments and surgery for the care of women giving birth and the process of childbirth.
Public Health – the study of a population’s health as a whole.
Recreational Therapy – the study of treatments arranged to restore an individual’s ability to function independently after suffering from a physically or mentally traumatic experience.
Urology – the study of medical treatments of the urinary system.
Radiology – the study of the use of radiation to treat or cure diseases; also can include the use of X-ray machines.
How to Get Your Degree in Health Science
Many medical schools offer excellent programs in all sorts of health sciences. Whether you plan to achieve an associates degree, bachelors degree, masters degree, or doctoral degree in some form of health science, you should always apply to a variety of schools with outstanding programs in the field you plan to study.
Since its founding in 1970, Walden University now offers ways to earn your degrees online, as well as in the classroom. In addition to earning a Bachelor of Science in Health Studies, the university also allows its students to choose a concentration within that field to gain more knowledge in a specific area of study. Just a few of these concentrations include child development, disaster and emergency management, and health psychology and behavior. If you wish to continue your education after achieving your bachelor’s degree in health studies at Walden, the university also offers programs for masters degrees and doctoral degrees.
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities offers an excellent and rare opportunity for undergraduate students. If you register as a full-time student taking more than 13 credits a semester, the school waives your tuition fee for any credits earned after the 13 per term (details here). The University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus offers undergraduates the chance to major in Respiratory Care, Radiation Therapy, Nursing, Dental Hygiene, and more. Check out their website today to see if this or another branch of the university offers just what you’re looking for.
Pennsylvania State University (Penn State)
Another higher education facility with a great program in health sciences is the main campus of Pennsylvania State University, more lovingly referred to as Penn State. Originally founded as one of America’s first agricultural science colleges, Penn State has come a long way since 1855. This public research university has an additional 23 campuses, all working together to help make the world a better, healthier place. The bachelor degrees available in the health sciences department include everything from Biobehavioral Health to Hospitality Management.
Careers in Health Science
There are various career paths to explore in the field of health science. You should start exploring your options right away, before graduation and even perhaps before you declare a major area of study. These are just a few options to get you started on your path to success.
Entry Level Health Science Careers
Once you earn a bachelors degree in health science or one of its specific fields, you will find open positions available to you across the globe. Allied health professions are becoming more popular today as the healthcare industry expands.
Medical Record Administrator
With just an associates degree, you have the option to enter the field as a medical record administrator. People who are employed in this particular position assist in assessing patients’ medical records and making sure that these records only fall into authorized hands when necessary. They typically work in hospitals and other health care facilities.
Medical record administrators can make a yearly salary of around $25,000. As you gain more experience and education in the field, you will earn more responsibilities and an increase in pay to possibly $56,000 or more.
Medical technologists have bachelor degrees in health science or related fields. These people are in charge of medical lab teams and regularly carry out procedures on and assessments of body fluids by working with teammates and classified laboratory equipment. They possess excellent communication and analytical skills, as well as various leadership qualities. Medical technologists work mostly in medical laboratories.
Medical technologists can earn anywhere from $28,000 to $60,000 annually based on knowledge and experience.
If you’re just starting out in the healthcare field and enjoy assisting in healing others, then perhaps a position as a physician assistant is the right career path to start on. Physician assistants are capable of recording medical histories, diagnosing diseases and illnesses by performing examinations, and in some cases prescribing the proper medication to help patients control their sicknesses. Physician assistants may also order medical supplies for offices when necessary, as well.
Physician assistants can make over $59,000 a year.
Advanced Careers in Health Science
Once you obtain your bachelor’s degree in health science and a master’s and perhaps even a doctorate in a subcategory, many more doors will unlock for you. You will have many more career options to choose from, some of which can be found here.
Health Science Librarian
With a masters degree in a related health science subcategory and exceptional organization skills, you could easily land a position as a health science librarian. Health science librarians are responsible for regular librarian tasks, such as ordering supplies and training associates; but they are also in charge of accessing information on medical procedures and treatments for physicians, nurses, and other members of the medical field.
Health science librarians can make from $34,000 to around $60,000 a year.
Biomedical illustrators should be experts of human anatomy with knowledge in psychology in addition to their degrees in health science and biology or further. This particular career path requires skill in multiple forms of art, because biomedical illustrators are responsible for creating drawings, paintings, computer graphics, and even sometimes sculptures as visuals for presentations or educational programs.
Biomedical illustrators are known to make around $60,000 a year. If you hold a position of authority in this career field, it is possible to earn over $80,000.
With both a masters degree and doctoral degree, you may find a position as a podiatrist. Podiatrists are doctors who specialize in the anatomy and care of the human foot. Much of their work may come to them as sports-related injuries. They can diagnose and treat diseases in addition to performing necessary surgeries to help mend broken bones and other injuries. For this reason, podiatrists possess excellent communication skills as well as the ability to pay close attention to detail.
Podiatrists can earn anywhere from $86,000 to over $120,000 annually, depending on experience.
Additional Career Options
- Cardiovascular technician
- Medical assistant
- Anesthesia technician
- Radiation therapist
- Dental hygienist
- Veterinary technician
- Occupational therapy assistant
- Physical therapy assistant
- Pharmacy technician
- Surgical technician
- Audiology technician
- Cancer registrar
- EKG technologist
- Registered health information technician
- Medical lab technician
Companies that Hire Individuals with Health Science Degrees
Ever catch yourself thinking, “Where do I find jobs related to health science?” There are many health care facilities and schools that hire people with degrees in health science and related fields. You can also look into opening your own business, which would require courses in entrepreneurship. Some companies are listed below.
Phillips 66 – energy manufacturing and logistics company; hires positions in human resources and health and welfare advising in the U.S. and U.K.
Haymarket Media, Inc. – 20 offices located throughout six countries; magazine company with over 100 brands; hires for positions as medical directors, science directors, writers, etc.
Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic – clinics throughout WA and OR; provides medical and dental health care; hires individuals with bachelors degrees in nursing, health sciences, etc. and master and doctoral degrees in similar fields.
Nova Biomedical Corporation – headquarters in Waltham, MA; a world leader in fast blood work analysis technology; hires in sales, graphic design, medical and scientific affairs, etc.
United States Army Medical Command – hires positions for physicians, dentists, physician assistants, occupational therapists, etc.
Answering the Question, “What Can You Do With a Health Science Degree?”
Health science is a very broad field with many subcategories to consider. If you want to pursue a career in any of the above fields or more, then earning a degree in health science will get you on the right track to achieving your goals.