Health Science Careers: Job Descriptions & Salary Info (2022)

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Pros and Cons of a Career in Health Science

Careers in health science include health care, administrative and educational positions, among others. The following chart looks at three specific jobs: physician assistant, fitness trainer and health educator.

Physician Assistant (PA)Fitness TrainerHealth Educator
Career Overview Physician assistants practice medicine under the guidance of doctors.Fitness trainers lead individual and group exercise programs.Health educators develop programs and teach people about health and wellness.
Education Requirements Master's degree No formal education required; educational courses are available Bachelor's degree
Program Length Six years full-time, including the bachelor's degree N/AFour years, full-time
Certification and Licensing Certification through the National Commission of Physician Assistants required in all states CPR certification generally required; voluntary certification is available through multiple organizations including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) Some employers may require the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.
Experience Requirement Healthcare experience is generally required for PA school admission Entry-level Entry-level
Job Outlook for 2012-22 Much-faster-than-average growth (38%) compared to all occupations*Fast-as-average growth (13%) compared to all occupations*Faster-than-average growth (19%) compared to all occupations*
Mean Salary (2014) Roughly $97,300*Roughly $39,400* Roughly $55,300*

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Physician's Assistant

Physician assistants, commonly referred to as PAs, work under the direction of physicians providing a variety of services. Specific duties vary based upon specialty and setting, but generally include examining patients, ordering and reading diagnostic tests, providing treatment and medical advice and handling paperwork. As a PA, your ability to write prescriptions and perform other, specialized tasks can vary based on state regulations. You may work in a clinic, hospital or doctor's office. Depending on your place of employment, you may need to be on-call or work during evenings and weekends.

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To become a physician assistant you'll need a master's degree. Most master's degree programs in physician assistant studies require a bachelor's degree and some healthcare experience for admission. PA programs generally take two years of full-time study and include classroom study and clinical rotations. Your courses will cover anatomy, pharmacology, research and pathophysiology. Rotations give you the opportunity to work in many settings, including internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry and surgery. You must also become licensed by passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination, following PA school. To remain licensed, you must participate in continuing education and pass a re-certification exam every six years.

In December 2012, employers of physician assistants advertised for the following:

  • In Boston, a hospital emergency department sought a PA with strong interpersonal skills, 1-2 years of experience and certification through the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
  • A North Carolina medical network advertised for a physician assistant to work in gastroenterology and hepatology services. Candidates needed at least one year of experience and a dedication to the hospital's mission.
  • In Iowa, an orthopedic hand surgeon sought a PA to work in the operating room and clinic. Job duties included making rounds, evaluating patients, assisting during surgery and more.

Standing Out

You can stand out as a PA by pursuing a specialization. After graduating from PA school and passing your certifying exam, you can enter an educational program that will provide instruction in a specialized area, such as internal medicine or pediatric care. You can also benefit from gaining voluntary certification or membership in a professional organization, such as the American Society of Orthopaedic Physician's Assistants.

Fitness Trainer

Fitness trainers provide exercise instruction and health information to individuals and groups. Sometimes called personal trainers or fitness instructors, trainers work in gyms, hospitals, resorts and specialized studios. You may teach fitness classes, such as yoga or aerobics, or work with clients on a one-on-one basis. In this career, you'll demonstrate activities, monitor the progress of your trainees and give advice regarding health and wellness. You may need to provide first aid, monitor safety, and tailor activities for clients with limitations or superior ability. Depending on the size and services of your employer, you may perform administrative tasks or specialize in a certain area of fitness.


Requirements for fitness trainers vary widely by employer. Nearly all require a high school diploma or GED. Many employers prefer candidates who are certified in CPR and first aid. If you want to work as a personal trainer, it's likely that you'll need to take classes and earn certification through one of many organizations that offer credentials to fitness instructors. Group exercise instructors are commonly required to audition before being hired. Specialized trainers, such as yoga instructors, may need specific training and certification.

In December 2012, employers sought fitness trainers with the following qualities:

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  • In Pennsylvania, a personal trainer and sales associate with CPR, first aid and automated external defibrillator (AED) certification, strong communication skills and a customer-focused attitude was needed to develop programs and train clients.
  • A Michigan personal training studio sought a personal trainer and fitness instructor to provide individual and group training, orient new clients and perform assessments.
  • In Atlanta, a trainer was needed at an athletic club to increase membership, work with individual clients and groups and promote morale.

Standing Out

Since many employers prefer to hire applicants that are certified, you can stand out by earning a certification. The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), along with a variety of other organizations, offers certification and specialized credentials for fitness trainers. You can also benefit from pursuing additional education. A bachelor's degree in health or exercise science, kinesiology or physical education can increase your chances of moving into management.

Health Educator

Health educators work in hospitals, schools, businesses and for government and non-profit organizations. They teach people about health issues, such as nutrition, exercise, addiction and disease. In this career, you'll develop programs to serve your target demographics, collect data and compose educational materials. You may specialize in a specific area or work with specialized populations, such as senior citizens or individuals with diabetes. Because you are performing outreach, some positions may require you to work evenings and weekends.


To become a health educator, you'll need a bachelor's degree. You may study health education or health science. College coursework should cover psychology, public speaking, human development, nutrition and other health topics. Government positions generally require a master's degree.

The following are some examples of what employers looked for in December 2012:

  • In Ohio, a health educator was needed to develop materials, identify issues, evaluate program effectiveness and work with other employees at a healthcare facility.
  • A Salt Lake City hospital system sought a health educator to produce outreach programs, keep patients and the public informed about relevant developments and recruit volunteers.
  • In California, a science and engineering lab advertised for a health educator to promote workplace wellness, conduct classes and counsel employees.

Standing Out

As a health educator, you can stand out by becoming certified. The National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc. (NCHEC) offers a Certified Health Education Specialists (CHES) designation. To become a CHES, you must earn a bachelor's degree or be within three months of completion, pass an exam and participate in continuing education. The NCHEC also offers a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) designation to health educators who have earned a master's degree, have at least five years of experience in the field and participate in continuing education.

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What is the highest paying health science job? ›

1. Physician and Surgeon. The median pay for physicians and surgeons is $208,000 per year. This averages out to $100 per hour.

What are examples of health science careers select five options? ›

The list of occupations within the health sciences is also practically endless, including jobs in five major career paths: diagnostic services, therapeutic services, support services, health informatics, and biotechnology research and development.

What jobs can I get with a healthcare and health science degree? ›

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
  • Adult nurse.
  • Anatomical pathology technologist.
  • Counsellor.
  • Dental hygienist.
  • Dental technician.
  • Dental therapist.
  • Occupational therapist.
  • Personal trainer.

What are the 4 main areas within healthcare science? ›

Healthcare scientists work in more than 50 specialisms which can be categorised into four groupings:
  • laboratory (pathology) sciences.
  • physiological sciences.
  • medical physics and clinical engineering.
  • bioinformatics.

What is the lowest paying job in healthcare? ›

What Are the Lowest Paying Medical Careers?
  • Admitting Clerks. Admitting clerks are the front lines of hospitals. ...
  • Activity Aide. An activity aide is kind of like the master of ceremonies at a nursing home. ...
  • Dietary Aides. ...
  • Pharmacy Technician. ...
  • Nursing Aides.
3 Aug 2020

What jobs make a million a year? ›

Jobs that better your chances of becoming a millionaire
  • Professional athlete.
  • Investment banker.
  • Entrepreneur.
  • Lawyer.
  • Certified public accountant.
  • Insurance agent.
  • Engineer.
  • Real estate agent.

What is the work of health science? ›

Health Sciences is the study of improving healthcare systems and policies with knowledge from STEM disciplines: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. In other words, Health Sciences looks at the latest discoveries in these areas and tries to apply them for medical purposes.

What skills are important for health science? ›

Health Science Skills Gained
  • Critical thinking.
  • Information literacy.
  • Information management.
  • Interpersonal.
  • Leadership.
  • Problem solving.
23 Dec 2021

Is health science a hard major? ›

Both nursing and health sciences concentrations are inherently difficult because health care is not black and white like simple addition or subtraction, but perceived difficulty is mainly based on personal experience.

What is the meaning of health science? ›

Health sciences are those sciences which focus on health, or health care, as core parts of their subject matter. Health sciences relate to multiple academic disciplines, including STEM disciplines and emerging patient safety disciplines (such as social care research).

Is a health sciences degree worth it? ›

For those considering a long-term career in healthcare, is likely to be in the future. Whether you're interested in becoming a health educator or a healthcare administrator, public health officer or even a nurse, a Health Science degree is wonderful preparation for advanced studies.

What is health science course? ›

What is a course in health sciences? If you're interested in the scientific aspect of the medical field, a course on the subject of health sciences may engage you in the practice and theory of topics such as biochemistry, pharmacology, disease and pathology, epidemiology, anatomy, and physiology.

What are the subjects in health science? ›

A typical Health Sciences curriculum includes subjects like Healthcare Ethics, Health Informatics, Healthcare Policy, Health IT and Innovations, Health Service Management, Health Service Quality, Health Promotion, Leadership, Health Communication, Health Administration, Financing Healthcare Services, etc.

What does a healthcare science assistant do? ›

As a healthcare science assistant or healthcare science associate, you'll support colleagues across a range of healthcare science areas in the NHS. For example, you might work in: a pathology laboratory, processing samples of blood, cells or tissues. a cardiology department, taking readings of a patient's heart.

Is pharmacy a healthcare science? ›

Pharmacy and Healthcare Sciences are two separate services as described below: Pharmacy – Pharmacy staff are part of a multi-professional team where the focus is firmly on patients and medicines optimisation.

What is the easiest medical field job? ›

Which medical field is the easiest? Phlebotomy is the easiest medical field to get into and to practice. Part of your training can come online, and with an accelerated program, you can be ready for your state licensure exam in under a year. Phlebotomists draw blood and transport it for lab testing.

What is the easiest healthcare degree to get? ›

12 Quality healthcare jobs that don't require a Bachelor's degree
  • Registered nurse (RN) ...
  • Nursing assistant. ...
  • Medical administrative assistants. ...
  • Medical assistant. ...
  • Health information technician (HIT) ...
  • Licensed practical nurse (LPN) ...
  • Pharmacy technician. ...
  • Medical or clinical laboratory technician.
5 Apr 2021

What is the highest paying job with little schooling? ›

36 high-paying jobs with little schooling
  1. Logistics manager. Average salary: $60,538 per year. ...
  2. Funeral director. Average salary: $60,944 per year. ...
  3. Nuclear power reactor operator. Average salary: $61,952 per year. ...
  4. Boilermaker. ...
  5. Massage therapist. ...
  6. Electrical power line operator. ...
  7. Agricultural manager. ...
  8. Aerospace engineering technician.

What are billionaire jobs? ›

  • Engineering. Coming in at the top is engineering - which might surprise you, but the scope of engineering is huge and widening all of the time. ...
  • Economics / Finance. ...
  • Politics. ...
  • Mathematics. ...
  • Computer Science. ...
  • Law. ...
  • MBA.

Which profession is the richest? ›

The Top 6 Highest Paying Jobs in the World
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • General Surgeon.
  • Senior Software Engineer.
  • Investment Banker.
  • Data Scientist.
  • IT Systems Manager.

What jobs get you a lot of money? ›

Here are the 25 best-paying jobs, according to Glassdoor:
  1. Physician. Median base salary: $180,000. ...
  2. Lawyer. Median base salary: $144,500. ...
  3. R&D manager. Median base salary: $142,120. ...
  4. Software development manager. Median base salary: $132,000. ...
  5. Pharmacy manager. ...
  6. Strategy manager. ...
  7. Software architect. ...
  8. Integrated circuit designer engineer.
26 Jul 2016

What are the best courses in health? ›

Most Popular Fields
  • Nursing. Nursing Assisting.
  • Healthcare Education.
  • General Medicine.
  • Healthcare Studies. Healthcare Management. Health Administration. Healthcare Leadership. ...
  • Clinical Research.
  • Allied Healthcare. Medical Assisting. Radiology. Physician Assisting. ...
  • Mental Health. Clinical Psychology.
  • Pharmacy.

How would you prepare for a career in healthcare? ›

How to Prepare For Your Career in a Health Profession
  1. Study and earn good grades. ...
  2. Take 15-17 hours every semester. ...
  3. Take at least two lab science courses each semester. ...
  4. Choose a major based on “Plan B” ...
  5. Start “helping people” now. ...
  6. Participate in extracurricular activities. ...
  7. Start writing a personal statement.

Why you should pursue health career? ›

Along with a great salary, a career in healthcare also offers greater job security than most other industries. After all, there will never be a shortage of those needing top quality medical care. The medical field is only getting busier, with a greater need for qualified professionals than ever before.

What values are needed in health careers? ›

Some common values are shared by health professions includes values such as empathy, diligence, commitment to human service, and compassion. Even the term “care” is a value in itself; when you care for someone, you put their needs before your own.

What are examples of health careers? ›

In fact, some of the fastest-growing professions that offer the highest pay and lowest unemployment rates are in the health care field, such as physician, physical therapist, and registered nurse. Also contributing to this growth is the use of new medical technologies to diagnose and/or treat patients.

What 5 key communication skills are critical in the healthcare field? ›

Good communication in healthcare is crucial, especially when dealing with patients or their family members.
  • #1: Listen. Listening is the most important part of communication. ...
  • #2: Take Responsibility. ...
  • #3: Be Honest. ...
  • #4: When in Doubt, Say it: ...
  • #5: Be Objective.

Is health science the same as nursing? ›

Two possible careers are nursing and health care science, which is a degree that prepares students for a career in health education. The primary difference between the two is that nurses primarily provide direct care to patients while health science educators work to help people learn how to keep themselves healthy.

Can health science lead to doctor? ›

As mentioned previously, the Bachelor of Health Science offers excellent foundational knowledge for the Doctor of Medicine, which is what you'll need to study to become a medical doctor, surgeon or general practitioner.

Whats the easiest college major? ›

Based on the number of graduates, the average G.P.A. that needs to be maintained, as well as the amount of time the students will have to dedicate to studying, humanities, education, and communication majors are among the easiest online college majors or on-campus majors to pursue.

Is nursing a part of health science? ›

No, you cannot become a nurse with a bachelor's degree in health science. Nursing is a separate field from allied health. You'll need to earn an associate or bachelor's degree in nursing in order to become a registered nurse.

Where can public health scientist work? ›

They usually work for healthcare providers or government agencies, and some of their main tasks are: Educate individuals, families, and groups about health issues and preventive measures. Offer suggestions and inform patients about the best support services for their problem(s)

Should I major in health science or biology? ›

The academic major health science may actually involve a specialization in education, administration and community health. Thus, biology is for hands-on students who are interested in research and health science is orientated for students who want to manage health care policies and programs.

Is health science a good pre med major? ›

In most cases, there is no such thing as a premed major. While admissions officers may recommend that you major in health sciences, biology, chemistry, or a related field, it's not a requirement for getting into medical school.

Is health science a good major for PA school? ›

The most common undergraduate majors for successful PA school applicants. According to the most recent Student Report, the most common degree major among those who are accepted to PA school is biology (41.5%), followed by health sciences (14.8%) and exercise science/athletic training (8.8%).

What is Introduction to Health Science? ›

Introduction to Health Science is a sophomore level course designed to introduce students to the various aspects of the health care field.

Why should I study Bachelor of Health Science? ›

In majors, students can gain an in-depth understanding of Indigenous health or health promotion. Alternatively, students can develop their knowledge of global and international health priorities to contribute to overseas health initiatives and aid organisations or undertake the human structure and function major.

What is health science management? ›

Management is embedded into the healthcare context, integrating clinical understanding and knowledge of healthcare policies with managerial skills. You will study methods of managing people and maximising resources and finance as well as handling crises and emergencies, developing your professional competencies.

Do you need English for health science? ›

You can check out our degree planners to see how you can structure your degree for each pathway. Most students need to take one or two General Education courses. Students should also be aware of the University's Academic English Language Requirement.

What is the difference between public health and health science? ›

Public health and health science are distinct education paths, but both are concerned with issues surrounding health and well-being. Health science tends to focus on individual patient health and clinical care, while public health is concerned with the health of entire populations or communities.

Which medical course is best for girl? ›

Best career option after 12 in medical for girls
  • MBBS : You can go through this course if you want to become doctor.
  • VETERINARY SCIENCE: By doing this course also, you can become a doctor. ...
6 May 2019

What do healthcare Science practitioners do? ›

They are responsible for the analysis of a wide range of diagnostic tests, that contribute towards the medical assessment of an individual's health status, and potentially identify the presence of disease.

What is healthcare associate? ›

Furnishing members and health care practitioners with details regarding members' benefits. Granting pre-authorizations for medical treatment, if covered. Advising members of outstanding co-payments. Providing extant and prospective members with the details of network providers.

What's the difference between Band 2 and Band 3 HCA? ›

“A band two healthcare assistant should be focusing on personal care tasks like bathing, toileting, feeding and brushing hair. Band three HCAs take on more clinical care duties and patient observations, such analysing urine, doing a pregnancy test, taking blood and doing simple wound care.”

What are the 4 main areas within healthcare science? ›

Healthcare scientists work in more than 50 specialisms which can be categorised into four groupings:
  • laboratory (pathology) sciences.
  • physiological sciences.
  • medical physics and clinical engineering.
  • bioinformatics.

Is Psychology a health science? ›

Answer and Explanation: Psychology makes up part of health science, but is itself considered to be one of the social sciences. The social sciences study human behavior.

Can scientist work in hospitals? ›

Biomedical scientists carry out a range of laboratory and scientific tests to support the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Operating theatres, accident and emergency (A&E) and many other hospital departments would not function without biomedical scientists.

How do you make money with a health science degree? ›

With an undergraduate degree in health sciences, you can work in many positions, including the following:
  1. Medical and Health Service Manager. ...
  2. Claims Reviewer. ...
  3. Health Educators & Community Health Specialist. ...
  4. Pharmaceutical/Medical Devices Sales Rep. ...
  5. Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists and Technicians.

What is the best healthcare career? ›

Get Matched!
  • Nurse Practitioner. #1 in Best Health Care Jobs. ...
  • Physician Assistant. #2 in Best Health Care Jobs. ...
  • Speech-Language Pathologist. #3 in Best Health Care Jobs. ...
  • Physician. #4 in Best Health Care Jobs. ...
  • Registered Nurse. #5 in Best Health Care Jobs. ...
  • Respiratory Therapist. ...
  • Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon. ...
  • Nurse Anesthetist.

What is the highest paid role in the NHS? ›

Average salaries at NHS
  • Popular roles. Chief Executive Officer. £221,858 per year. Nurse. £26,215 per year. Locum Consultant. £90,488 per year.
  • Nursing. Registered Nurse. £29,017. Charge Nurse. £34,871. Nurse Practitioner. £26,795.
  • Physicians & Surgeons. Clinical Psychologist. £45,151 per year. Physician. £51,128 per year. Psychiatrist.

Who gets paid the most in the NHS? ›

Here are some of the highest paying medical roles:
  1. Medical director. National average salary: £103,637 per year. ...
  2. Neurosurgeon. National average salary: £94,434 per year. ...
  3. Anaesthetist. National average salary: £93,923 per year. ...
  4. Plastic surgeon. ...
  5. Psychiatrist. ...
  6. Cardiologist. ...
  7. Director of nursing. ...
  8. Clinical director.

Is a health science degree hard? ›

Both nursing and health sciences concentrations are inherently difficult because health care is not black and white like simple addition or subtraction, but perceived difficulty is mainly based on personal experience.

Is a health sciences degree worth it? ›

For those considering a long-term career in healthcare, is likely to be in the future. Whether you're interested in becoming a health educator or a healthcare administrator, public health officer or even a nurse, a Health Science degree is wonderful preparation for advanced studies.

What do you study under health science? ›

Health Sciences degrees offered by international medical schools include a wide range of specialisations in Epidemiology, Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Nutrition, Clinical Medicine, and even Alternative Medicine. Not sure if Health Sciences is for you?

What are 5 advantages of working in healthcare? ›

5 benefits of working in healthcare
  • Job stability. ...
  • Great pay and benefits. ...
  • Fast-paced workday. ...
  • Opportunities for growth. ...
  • The chance to help people.
14 Aug 2018

Is healthcare a good career? ›

The job outlook for the health care industry is very positive. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), health care occupations are projected to grow by 16-percent between 2020 and 2030 [2].

What are examples of health careers? ›

In fact, some of the fastest-growing professions that offer the highest pay and lowest unemployment rates are in the health care field, such as physician, physical therapist, and registered nurse. Also contributing to this growth is the use of new medical technologies to diagnose and/or treat patients.

What is the highest paying job in the world? ›

The highest paying career in the world is a Neurosurgeon. This is a highly trained surgeon that has chosen to specialise in, diagnose and surgically treat disorders of the central and peripheral nervous system.

Who is the highest paid doctor? ›

The highest-paid doctors in the US are neurosurgery and plastic surgery specialists, who report earning above $550,000 per year on average.

How much does a NHS worker get paid a year? ›

The National Health Service (NHS) pays its employees an average of ₤27,842 a year. Salaries at The National Health Service (NHS) range from an average of ₤18,948 to ₤53,840 a year.

How much do NHS nurses get paid per hour? ›

The National Health Service (NHS) pays its employees an average of ₤10.38 an hour. Hourly pay at The National Health Service (NHS) ranges from an average of ₤8.00 to ₤18.84 an hour.

What doctor makes the most money 2022? ›

According to's 2022 Physician Compensation Report, the top-earning specialty is plastic surgery (consistently since 2017), punching in at $576,000/year. Immediately following is orthopedics, at $557,000, then cardiology at $490,000.

How much does a nurse earn per month in UK? ›

The average nurse salary in UK per month is 4,541 GBP which is calculated to be around 54,500 GBP per year. Further, the salaries of a working nurse can range from 28,300 GBP to 83,300 GBP per year. This average salary per year includes various benefits like housing, transport and other allowances.


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