Healthcare is a flourishing industry in our country with extensive potential for growth for people with all types of health science degrees. People have diverse options when looking for a career in health science. Their choices can range from the challenging field of practicing medicine or surgery to keyboarding oriented medical coding and billing. Hence, people with different personalities and skills can find a profession of interest within the broad field of health science. Online health science degrees are also offered by many schools that have made education an achievable target for working professionals or people with family commitments.
Scope of Health Science Degrees
Health science degrees usually start at the associate level with degrees in nursing, patient care technology, medical coding, diagnostic medical sonography, health information technology, etc. Bachelor degrees in health science are usually in nursing, medical administration, etc. Moreover, some schools also offer a bachelor degree in the broad field of health science that prepares the students thoroughly for diverse roles in the healthcare industry such as in nursing, respiratory care, diagnostic medical sonography, medical office administration, etc. Master level or higher degrees in health science are also available for students interested in educating about healthcare or conducting research in the field or even working in policy making in government healthcare organizations. Moreover, people aiming for the most lucrative side of healthcare can opt for medical school and become doctors.
A general program leading to an associate degree in health science usually covers the following courses:
Human Anatomy & Physiology
Bio-calculations for Health Professions
Introduction to Psychology
Admission in an associate or bachelor degree in a health science subject normally requires a high school diploma or a GED score. Master level admissions in health science related subjects such as public health, nursing, etc. usually require a baccalaureate with GRE/GMAT scores. People applying for medical schools for becoming doctors have to face rigorous competition in the form of the Medical College Admission Test and also have to earn their bachelor degree.
Some of the careers in Health science are physician assistants, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, genetic counselors and orthotists and prosthetists. Physician assistants earned a median annual income of $92,970 in 2013, while orthotists and prosthetists earned $62,970 for the same year. Physician assistants earned 48% more than what the orthotists and prosthetists earned in 2013.
Annual salary for physician assistants has consistently gone up from 2011 to 2013. The same can be said for occupational therapists, and speech language pathologists. Salary for orthotists and prosthetists has fluctuated for the same time period, however.
From 2011-2013, genetic counselors have experienced the biggest percentage salary growth, followed by physician assistants, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists. Orthotists and prosthetists have experienced a negative percentage salary growth.