Selecting a major is a frightening process for many. Students want to choose something they love, so they aren’t stuck in a job they hate for the rest of their lives. But it’s hard to tell if you’ll enjoy your chosen field forever. That’s why it’s good to choose something with a few different career options. Health science is one major that offers a wide variety of careers with just one degree. As long as you gain a quality education, pursuing this field of study opens up not only a high salary but also hundreds of opportunities to grow your skills and connect with others. If you’re wondering how your health science degree can help you succeed in the medical field, here are six options for you:
Hospitals, surgical centers, and specialty clinics often hire patient educators. This employee deals with patients who are undergoing specialized treatment or who were just diagnosed with a serious condition. They make sure the patient understands the problem and the options available. Though a patient educator typically deals with patients facing serious diseases and surgeries, they may also be available for smaller clinics and conditions. The median salary for a patient educator is $65,470 with an expected growth rate of 26 percent by 2020. It involves working very closely with patients, insurance companies, and doctors to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Community Health Organizer
If you want a career that’s deeply rooted in your neighborhood, a community health organizer is a perfect fit. They run regional health programs that raise awareness of serious medical conditions and teach citizens how to implement healthier habits and improve their quality of life. They also offer services like free cancer screenings, eye exams, and blood drives. The annual median salary for a community health organizer is $48,840 with an expected growth of 21 percent by 2020. These organizers tend to target areas with fewer resources and education, which means the pay won’t be great, but it can be a highly satisfying career.
When patients need blood work and tissue samples, someone has to make sure they’re thoroughly tested and cared for. It’s a job with a great need for organization since the right tests must be given to the coordinating patients every time. There are also a variety of local and federal safety and privacy standards that must be followed. The median wage is $88,580 with an expected growth of 23 percent by 2022. It’s a great job with opportunities for expansion and growth within hospitals and healthcare facilities.
Health Care Facility Coordinator
In some cases, patients who can’t recuperate at home spend time in the hospital. In other cases, they go to a health care center where they can receive round-the-clock hospice care. Nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and therapy clinics all fall under this category. The coordinator oversees everything, makes sure patients are properly cared for, and ensures that the staff is competent and caring. The median annual salary here is $93,290 with an expected growth of 12 percent by 2022. It’s primarily an administrative position, so organization is essential, but there’s also a need for medical knowledge in the proper administration of care.
A dental hygienist cleans teeth, helps with procedures, take X-rays, and performs other work as designated by the dentist. Hygienists spend the majority of their time with patients, so strong people skills are important for this career. When you have a bachelor’s degree in health science, the annual median salary for a hygienist is $70,210 with a growth rate of 33 percent. If you were to get a dental assisting certificate rather than a bachelor’s degree, the pay is much less.
Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
Employees in this category run the special imaging equipment required in medical procedures. Though they can take X-rays, sonographers are more likely to run ultrasounds, sonograms, and echocardiograms during the diagnosis process. With an extremely high growth rate of 46 percent, sonographers have an annual wage of $65,860, with opportunities for advancement as this specialized field grows. These are just a few of the many jobs available. There are enough career choices to fit basically every interest and personality type within the field. As you pursue your degree, you’ll have the opportunity to try different career fields and choose one that fits you best.