What Kinds of Degrees Are Available in Healthcare?

Because there is such a wide range of different kinds of Healthcare careers, it makes sense that there are a lot of different educational paths you can take to build a career in the industry.

As one example, take our ranking of the Best Online Medical Sonography Schools.

For home health aides, many states only require on-the-job training – but this is one of the lowest paying jobs in Healthcare. On the other end of the spectrum, you can spend eight years getting your bachelor’s degree and going through medical school to get your doctoral degree.

Feeling overwhelmed? Read on for the basics on Healthcare degrees and examples of the kinds of careers you can have with each one.

You can also visit the homepage for College Choice’s Healthcare rankings and information.

Associate Degrees

Associate degrees usually take just two years, or four semesters, to complete. During that time, a typical degree program will focus on courses in your field, with some additional general education courses to strengthen your communication and critical thinking skills.

In the Healthcare industry, there are several great careers that you can get into with an associate degree.

Dental Hygienists clean patients’ teeth and teach them how to maintain healthy teeth and gums. As a dental hygienist, you could make around $72,910 per year.

Radiation Therapists give radiation treatments to patients with cancer. The median salary for this job title is $80,160 – not a bad return on investment for an associate degree!

Bachelor’s Degrees

A bachelor’s degree takes about twice as long to complete as an associate degree. In these four-year programs, you will typically be able to get more advanced instruction in your major, while also building a solid foundation of general education courses.

You can get into a great Healthcare career with a bachelor’s degree. And keep in mind that even you choose a job that has an associate degree as the minimum education requirement, you will probably be able to make more money and advance further if you continue on to get a bachelor’s degree in the field.

So, what can you do in Healthcare with a bachelor’s degree? Here are a few options:

Dieticians and nutritionists help people improve their health through diet and nutrition. $58,920 is the median salary for dieticians and nutritionists.

Exercise physiologists design exercise and fitness programs to improve health, prevent disease and help patients recover from injuries. A typical exercise physiologist makes around $47,340 per year.

Master’s Degrees

Healthcare master’s degrees take two to three years to complete, and admissions can be competitive. You’ll have the best chance of being accepted if you have a bachelor’s degree in a life science or Healthcare-related major.

What can you do with a Healthcare master’s degree? Check out these potential job titles:

Speech-Language Pathologists work with children and adults who have speech and swallowing issues. These may be the result of stroke, developmental delays, injury, autism, and other conditions that impact communication. The median annual salary for speech-language pathologists is $74,680.

Occupational Therapists work with patients who are disabled, injured or have reduced mobility due to illness, helping them to perform everyday tasks. If you want a rewarding career, helping people to become more independent in their daily lives, you can anticipate a median salary of $81,910 per year.

Doctoral Degrees

Doctoral degrees in Healthcare take four years to complete, and you can typically enter a program with a bachelor’s degree. You won’t necessarily need to have majored in a Healthcare-related subject; good grades in science courses could give you an admissions advantage.

The most well-known path to a doctoral degree in Healthcare is medical school, but have you considered attending a school of dentistry, optometry, or pharmacy? Here are a few of the highest-paid jobs that you can get with a Healthcare doctorate – without going to med school!

Dentists care for their patients’ teeth, gums and other parts of the mouth. Many own their own business, while others work in practices with other dentists. Employment for dentists is expected to increase quickly in the next decade. If you want an in-demand career and great work-life balance, an annual salary of $159,770 is the median for dentists.

Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing prescription medications and educating patients on how to use them safely. If you are a detail-oriented communicator, this could be a great career for you. A typical pharmacist’s salary is around $122,230 per year.