image of healthcare professionals


Always dreamed of a career in medicine? Interested in learning more about the wide range of occupations in this growing field? Get started here.

Career Pathways

The healthcare field has five general career pathways:

  • Therapeutic Services: Individuals who deal directly with patients, such as doctors, nurses, dentists, and physical therapists.
  • Diagnostic Services: Individuals who perform a wide range of tests, such as clinical and lab technicians.
  • Health Informatics: Individuals who manage hospitals and healthcare facilities or manage patient information and records.
  • Biotechnology Research and Development: Individuals who study diseases to develop treatments and medications to prevent and cure illness. 
  • Support Services: Individuals who focus on creating a comfortable experience for patients, such as dieticians.

Meta-Major: Health Sciences

Are you interested in healthcare but not sure what you want to do? Check out the health sciences meta-major at your local state college. A meta-major is a collection of associate degree programs aligned to a general career area, such as health sciences. Because all programs under the meta-major have common courses, you can pursue a relevant course of study before deciding on a specific degree program.

Education-Career-Income Connection

While most jobs require some education after high school, many don't require a four-year, bachelors degree. Some require an Associate Degree, a two-year college degree program, or a certificate, a technical program which vary in length but are generally less than two years.

Training, Certificate or Associate's Degree Bachelor's Degree
Home Health Aide $24,200 Mental Health Counselor $47,790
Pharmacist Technician $32,700 Substance Abuse Counselor $47,790
Medical Assistant $33,610 Bioinformatics Technician $48,330
Phlebotomist $34,480 Cytogenetic Technologist $52,330
Medical Secretary $35,760 Medical and Clinical Technologist $52,330
Optician, Dispensing $37,010 Registered Nurse $71,730
Massage Therapist $41,420 Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurse $71,730
Licensed Practical Nurse $46,240 Acute Care Nurse $71,730
Clinical Laboratory Technician $52,330 Critical Care Nurse $71,730
Cardiovascular Technologist $56,850 Informatics Nurse Specialist $88,740
Physical Therapist Assistant $58,040 Biomedical Engineer $88,550
Respiratory Therapist $60,280 Medical Services Manager $99,730
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer $72,510 Physician Assistant $108,610
Dental Hygienist $74,820 Pharmacist $126,120