Salary and Career Info for a Health Science Major

Degrees in health science typically cover illnesses, anatomy and medication. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for health science graduates.

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Essential Information

Majoring in a health science can lead to a variety of careers with salaries ranging from average to well above average. Many careers in health science are expected to grow over the next ten years, and millions of new jobs should be created. Salary info for health science majors depends greatly on the area of study.

Career Title DentistPhysical TherapistRegistered NurseSurgical Technologist
Education requirementsDoctoral or professional degree in dentistry Doctor of Physical TherapyCompletion of a diploma, associate's degree or bachelor's degree in nursingCertificate or associate's degree in surgical technology
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 16%36%19%30%
Median Salary (2013)* $146,340 $81,030 $66,220$42,720

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Health science majors have many career options to choose from, almost all of which promote well-being through medication, procedures or therapy. Dentistry, physical therapy, nursing and surgical technology are a few career fields for health science graduates.

Dentists

Dentists work with patients to treat and diagnose issues and illnesses in the mouth, including filling cavities, instructing patients to properly maintain a healthy smile, performing surgery and straightening teeth.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the number of dentists in the U.S. will grow by 16% from 2012 to 2022. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $146,340 in 2013, per the BLS (www.bls.gov).

Physical Therapists

A physical therapist treats patients who have various illnesses or ailments that cause pain or interfere with the patient's mobility or performance in everyday or athletic activities.

The median annual salary earned by a physical therapist in May 2013 was reported as $81,030 by the BLS, and career opportunities for physical therapists were expected to grow by about 36% between 2012 and 2022, which was much faster than average.

Registered Nurses

The BLS states that there were about 2.7 million registered nurses (RNs) employed in May 2012, which makes nursing the most common career in the health sciences. Nurses perform a variety of tasks, from treating and caring for minor injuries, to assisting in tests and administering medications.

According to the BLS, the median salary for an RN was $66,220 in 2013, and the job market could grow at a rate of 19% between 2012 and 2022.

Surgical Technologists

Prior to surgery, surgical technologists prepare operating rooms and surgical equipment by cleaning and sterilizing them. Surgical technologists also help during surgery by handing equipment to surgeons when it's needed.

The BLS reported that the job market for surgical technologists is very strong and should continue to grow by approximately 30% from 2012-2022; the BLS also stated that surgical technologists in 2013 earned a median salary of $42,720 annually.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must complete an application online and submit transcripts for their highest degree earned.
    School locations:
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  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Informatics and Illustration
      • Medical Residency Programs
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Harvard University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Dental
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene
        • Public Health Medicine, Treatment
  • 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:
    • Rhode Island (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Brown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Public Health and Safety
        • Community Health and Preventive Medicine
        • Public Health Medicine, Treatment
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Georgetown University include:
      • Graduate: First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Nursing Professions
      • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
      • Public Health and Safety
  • 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:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Florida include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Medical and Health Professions
      • Communication Disorders Sciences
      • Dental
      • Health and Fitness
      • Medical Administrative Services
      • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
      • Medical Residency Programs
      • Mental Health Services
      • Nursing Professions
      • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
      • Public Health and Safety
      • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
      • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences

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Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics