You’ll quickly learn how valuable a degree in health sciences can be.
When you’re deciding which post-secondary program to get your bachelor’s degree in, you have to take your future job prospects into account. Some fields of study are a lot more promising than others when it comes to finding work.
You should still choose what you’re most interested in, however, because you’ll be working in this field for years to come. Today, we’re going to help you by showing you 6 of the employment opportunities you can pursue if you get a degree in health science.
This degree prepares you for a wide range of professional roles, both in clinical and non-clinical settings. If you’ve got an associate’s degree and want a boost in job prospects or you’re looking to move on to a graduate program, your health science degree is where you’ll start.
1. Occupational Therapist
A degree in health science is the perfect start to a career as an occupational therapist. You can go this route with other undergrad programs, but health science will load you up with the course work that you need to prepare you for the next level.
After your undergrad, you’ll be given a choice based on which state you live in. Certain states require you to get a master’s degree before you can become a licensed occupational therapist, but others allow you to take the exam after your undergrad. A master’s program will give you extensive classroom work with lots of fieldwork as well.
Once you pass the NBCOT exam, you’re licensed to practice occupational therapy in your state. Occupational therapists help patients improve and develop skills for daily living and working, which is in high demand with aging populations.
2. Physical Therapist
A physical therapist helps patients that have suffered serious injuries or illnesses get back on their feet. There’s a focus on individual attention with specially created exercise plans that improve motion, build strength, and manage pain as they recover.
You’ll typically work out of a private clinic, an office, a nursing home, or a hospital on either part-time or full-time hours. After your health science degree, you’ll be required to complete a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree program. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll be eligible to take your state’s licensure exam.
If you want to get experience before or after you’ve received your license to practice physical therapy, you can complete a clinical residency. This will give you on the job experience in a hospital or clinic, which can further prepare you for your exam and starting your own clinic in the future.
Pharmacists all across America are required to earn a Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D) degree in order to practice. You’ll want to enter a program that’s approved by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. Before you get your Pharm.D, you’ll need to take the Pharmacy College Admissions Test (PCAT).
The PCAT consists of 7 sections that measure everything from reading and writing to a knowledge of biology and chemistry. After you’ve completed your Pharm.D, you’ll still have to get a state certification before you can practice. All-in-all, it’ll take about 8 years to get your health science degree and a Pharm.D.
Job prospects for pharmacists are always growing and you can make up to $126,000 annually.
To become a dentist, complete your health science degree and apply for dental school by taking the Dental Admissions Test (DAT). All dental schools will look at test scores, GPA, and letters of recommendation before admitting students.
When accepted, you can either work towards a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) or Doctor of Dental Medicine (DMD) degree. In these 4-year programs, the first two years are focused on classroom and laboratory studies, with the last two years being focused on clinical experience.
After you’ve got your doctorate, you’ll need to complete the National Board Dental Examination, in addition to a state licensure test. Out of school, you may work at a larger dental practice for a number of years before you move on to your own, but the median annual salary for a dentist is over $150,000.
Becoming a registered nurse means you’ll be spending a lot of time in hospitals, clinics, or medical offices. You could also end up working in people’s homes, long-term care facilities, or government organizations. You’ll provide care to patients, assist physicians in procedures, and provide guidance to patients and their families.
To become a nurse after you’ve already obtained a health science degree, you’ll likely want to attend a college that has a fast-track nursing bachelor’s degree. Once you’ve got that, you’ll need to pass the NCLEX-RN exam or the ATI TEAS exam (try this free TEAS practice test) and get a state license before you can practice.
One of the great things about becoming a nurse is that you can continue advancing your education while you work.
6. Non-Clinical Health Science Jobs
The jobs we’ve listed are all clinical jobs that you can get with a health science degree, but there are numerous non-clinical occupations you can go into as well.
- A community health specialist will obtain data and figure out health concerns with specific populations. This earns around $40,000 annually.
- You can become a sales rep for a medical equipment or pharmaceutical company, showcasing new products to wholesalers.
- A claims reviewer will look at different insurance and workers comp claims to determine medical costs are reasonable. They authorize payments, deny claims, or send claims on to an investigator.
- Health service managers plan out medical services in hospitals, clinics, etc. They oversee training and recruitment, budgets, scheduling, and records, among other things.
Many Career Paths to Follow
As you can see, there’s no shortage of incredible and lucrative career paths when you get a health science degree. One of the great things about this degree is that it gives you time to assess what you like about the health sciences to help you decide which career path to take. You can really follow your heart on this one.
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