Career and Salary Info for a Masters in Health Science Degree

Health science is a broad field that involves the study and research of multiple aspects of health and healthcare. Health sciences departments typically provide training for a wide range of careers, such as health services administration, nutrition, public health and occupational therapy. Three popular career tracks in master's-level health sciences (environmental health, biostatistics and health administration) are described in this article, and salary information is provided for each.

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Environmental Health Scientist Career Description

Environmental health scientists enforce environmental regulations and collect samples to research the possible presence of environmental health threats. When they detect environmental hazards, environmental health scientists recommend appropriate interventions to reduce or eliminate the presence of contaminants. Specialization in an area such as food protection, water pollution or pesticide management is common. Most jobs are available in local or national agencies.

Master's Degree and Coursework

A bachelor's degree in environmental health sciences or a related field meets the minimum requirements for trainee positions, but a master's degree is required for other positions and desirable for career advancement. A multidisciplinary field, environmental health sciences bridges public health, math, chemistry, physics, biology and microbiology. Specific coursework may include industrial hygiene, toxicology and biostatistics. Graduate students perform research that could concern the effects of chemical agents on the health of communities or workplace health hazards.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), environmental scientist jobs are projected to grow by 15% during the period of 2012-2022 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2013, the average salary for this profession was $70,770. Local governments paid an average salary of $62,950.

Biostatistician Career Description

Biostatisticians gather and analyze statistical data concerning health-related issues such as treatment options, links between health conditions or healthcare quality. They may work for research and development departments, pharmaceutical companies, state health departments, universities or the federal government. Biostatisticians often work closely with health policy analysts and other medical professionals.

Master's Degree and Coursework

Graduate training in health research, leading to a career in biostatistics, spans the areas of epidemiology, social science, health, statistics, public health and ethics. This foundational training is applied to interpretation of statistical data. The interpretations are used to evaluate potential public health risks or the effectiveness of interventions on the spread of a disease. Core courses in this track may include qualitative social research methods, epidemiology, probability and statistical computing. Graduates work in diverse environments, including clinical epidemiology, public health protection, academic research and health technology evaluation.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The average salary for all statisticians, according to the BLS, was $83,310 as of May 2013. Statisticians working for pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers got annual wages averaging $90,490, while those in scientific research averaged $94,270. Job growth for statisticians is projected to be 27% from 2012-2022.

Health Services Administrator Career Description

Health services administrators manage private hospitals, nursing care facilities, medical offices, insurance carriers or community care facilities. Managers typically work with assistant managers in charge of individual departments, such as surgery or medical records. Health services managers integrate healthcare delivery systems, complex regulations and technological innovations.

Master's Degree and Coursework

A master's in health sciences can lead to an entry-level position in health services administration. Courses for this health sciences master's degree provide a foundation in management skills as applied to the healthcare industry. Beyond management courses, graduate students take health sciences core courses, such as healthcare systems organization and administration, health policy, ethics and applied statistical methods.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The BLS projects faster than average growth for this occupation, 23% between 2012 and 2022. As of May 2013, the average salary for all health services administrators was $101,340, compared to $108,210 for those who worked in hospitals.

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Environmental Health
        • Medical Scientist
        • Public Health Medicine, Treatment
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Tennessee (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Vanderbilt University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Health Physics
        • Medical Scientist
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nutrition Services
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Environmental Health
        • Maternal and Child Health
        • Medical Scientist
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Community Health and Preventive Medicine
        • Environmental Health
        • Health Services Administration
        • Medical Scientist
        • Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions

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Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics