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June 15, 2022

Nursing & Healthcare

10 Careers to Snag with a Health-Related Degree

nurse checking patient heart beat

Imagine never having a problem getting a job. That’s what a health-related degree provides you. Peace of mind, security, and fulfillment are all reasons why people choose to pursue a health science bachelor’s degree and career. 

While health-related careers have always been in demand, jobs are expected to rise as the baby boomer generation grows older and their need for long-term care to address chronic issues increases.

Aside from excellent job prospects, people in health-related careers report enjoying:

  • Great job satisfaction 
  • Touching the lives of others
  • High earning potential
  • A variety of job settings in a universal field

If you’re wondering what you can do with a health science degree, then this guide is for you. We’ll break down the skills, responsibilities, salaries, and opportunities related to some of the top entry-level jobs you can get with a bachelor’s degree in health science...

1. Patient Advocate

If you’re interested in helping patients through stressful situations—such as navigating communications with healthcare professionals, insurance claims, and medical billing—then a career as a patient advocate could be perfect for you.

Skills

  • Advocacy
  • Communication
  • Negotiation
  • Problem-solving
  • Attention to detail
  • Organization
  • Financial planning
  • Caregiving 

Responsibilities

  • Providing healthcare visit support
  • Providing insurance support
  • Providing financial advice 
  • Maintaining healthcare literacy
  • Advocating for patient rights

Salary: $63,422 per year on average.

According to recent salary data, the bottom 10% of patient advocates earn $46,380 or less, and the top 10% make $82,777 or more per year.

Opportunities

The field of patient advocacy is one of the fastest- growing professions, as it’s becoming more common to employ patient advocates as a part of a care team.

2. Community Health Worker 

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are advocates for individuals in their communities—helping people navigate complex healthcare and social support systems. With rising healthcare costs, CHWs are in high demand.

Skills

  • Knowledge of local social support and health resources 
  • Public speaking
  • Strong desire to help the community 
  • Cultural competency
  • Bilingual, if relevant

Responsibilities

  • Keeping electronic medical records
  • Visiting homes and reaching out to the community
  • Counseling and mentorship
  • Educating on health

Opportunities

Organizations are increasingly looking to CHWs to educate, promote health, and be a resource for the community. The BLS predicts the demand for CHWs is expected to grow by 13%—much faster than the average for all occupations.

Salary: $42,000 per year on average

A CHW’s salary varies depending on the industry served, whether that’s hospitals, nonprofits, government, or family services.

3. Patient Care Coordinator 

As a patient care coordinator (or care coordinator or patient navigator), you would help manage a patient’s treatment needs and assist them in communicating with their healthcare providers. Patient care coordinators can work for hospitals, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, nursing care facilities, and specialty care centers.

Skills

  • Medical knowledge
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Computer skills
  • Analytical skills
  • Customer service
  • Compassion and empathy
  • Critical thinking

Responsibilities

  • Developing healthcare programs
  • Helping patients complete paperwork
  • Educating patients about their options
  • Monitoring a patient’s progress toward their goals

Salary: $35,000 per year on average

According to ZipRecruiter, this number includes a low of $19,500 and a high of $47,000 annually. 

Opportunities

The BLS reports that employment in all healthcare occupations is projected to grow by 15% between 2019 and 2029. 

nurse putting on gloves

4. Patient Educator

A patient educator’s main job is to provide answers to patient questions. If you enjoy patient care and education, then this is the right fit for you.

Skills

  • Patient education
  • Patient treatment
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Technological proficiency
  • Empathy

Responsibilities

  • Educating patients
  • Developing treatment plans
  • Communicating with care providers
  • Corresponding with patients’ families

Salary: $49,356

This is a salary range of roughly $34,000 to $64,000 earned each year.

Opportunities

The job outlook for patient educators is expected to remain positive over the next decade. From 2019 to 2029, employment for health education specialists is projected to grow by 13%.

5. Health Unit Coordinator  

Health unit coordinators are responsible for maintaining smooth operations at medical facilities. They perform tasks like answering phones and maintaining the office calendar. If you are a great communicator, have strong attention to detail, and are organized, then this is the right career for you.

Skills

  • Business management
  • Technological proficiency
  • Phone etiquette
  • Problem-solving

Responsibilities

  • Scheduling patient appointments
  • Communicating with healthcare staff members
  • Ordering new medical items
  • Addressing patient issues and complaints

Salary: $64,205 per year on average

In general, the salary of a health unit coordinator averages $64,205, with a range of roughly $20,237 to $165,380 per year.

Opportunities

According to the BLS, employment for health unit coordinators is expected to grow by 32% from 2019 to 2029. This forecasted growth should add an expected 133,200 health service manager positions.

  6. Coordinator 

Health care coordinators explain and manage the complex and often frustrating elements of healthcare, whether in a clinic or hospital setting, and help patients get organized and feel confident in the process. If you’re passionate about healthcare and patient advocacy, then this career is right for you. 

Skills

  • Customer service
  • Bedside manner
  • Communication
  • Compassion
  • Endurance and the ability to lift 50 lbs.

Responsibilities

  • Working with patients and their families to discuss health problems
  • Providing education about medication, conditions, and care instructions
  • Executing a care plan created by providers to help with health care needs
  • Consulting and working with other health care providers to schedule appointments and treatment plans
  • Checking on patients regularly to document the progress of their care

Salary: $43,000 a year on average 
Opportunities

According to the BLS, employment of medical and health services managers, including that of health care coordinators, is projected to grow by 18% between 2018 and 2028; much faster than what’s projected for the average occupation.

7.  Patient Liaison  

There should continue to be considerable demand for patient liaisons for the foreseeable future. It’s a career for compassionate people who enjoy building meaningful relationships with patients but may not be interested in extensive education.

Skills

  • Understanding of medical terminology
  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Organization

Responsibilities

  • Meeting with patients to discuss potential treatment
  • Collecting patient data
  • Explaining medical terminology to patients
  • Providing information to medical providers
  • Scheduling patient aftercare

Salary: $60,040

Those in the top 10% of the field earn $87,150 annually, while those in the bottom 10% make $36,110. A combination of having a bachelor’s degree along with relevant certification and experience is the best way to increase your earning potential. 

Opportunities

Jobs in this industry are expected to increase by 13% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than average, according to the BLS. During that period, experts predict that about 90,700 new jobs will be added, which makes a career as a patient liaison look quite promising. 

8. Patient Experience Manager  

Patient experience managers create an informed, stress-free experience for all patients. If you’re looking to advocate for patient care and put your treatment knowledge to use, then this role will be a rewarding career option. 

Skills

  • Patient management
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Compliance
  • Data reporting
  • Technological proficiency
  • Empathy
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork

Responsibilities

  • Managing a patient’s experience
  • Communicating with patients
  • Empathizing with patient concerns
  • Corresponding with care providers
  • Implementing patient-focused programs
  • Generating reports on patient progress

Salary: $90,121

There is a range of roughly $71,417 to $103,532 earned each year.

Opportunities

The job outlook for patient experience managers is expected to remain positive over the next decade.

 9. Health Educator 

If you have a passion for helping others make healthy choices and positive lifestyle changes, then you might be interested in a career as a health educator.

Skills

  • Communication
  • Problem-solving
  • Time management
  • Teamwork
  • Cultural competency

Responsibilities

  • Assessing the health needs of people and communities
  • Developing programs, materials, and events to teach people about health
  • Teaching people how to manage existing health conditions
  • Helping people find health services or information
  • Continually developing industry knowledge

Salary: $60,600

The lowest 10% earned less than $37,020, and the highest 10% earned more than $102,480.

Opportunities

Overall employment of health education specialists is projected to grow by 17% from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. About 16,100 openings for health education specialists and community health workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.

 10. Public Health Worker

Public health workers (PHWs) focus on entire populations instead of one patient at a time. PHWs  go into the community rather than waiting for patients to come to them. If you’re proactive and genuinely interested in health protection, then this will be a rewarding career for you.

Skills

  • Communication
  • Public speaking
  • Policy development
  • Program planning
  • Cultural competency
  • Bilingual

Responsibilities

  • Educating people about the effects of drugs and alcohol
  • Implementing safety standards in organizations
  • Developing nutrition programs in schools 
  • Ensuring communities’ access to quality healthcare and services

Salary: $71,000

According to the BLS, the salary for a public health worker varies depending on their specialization, job location, and requirements.

Opportunities

As in all areas of healthcare, there is increasing demand for public health workers, particularly in low-income and underserved communities.

Where You Might Go in Health Science with WGU

Health services is one of the most in-demand careers around, and there is no sign of the healthcare industry slowing down. There is massive upward growth in healthcare careers. Practitioners are constantly searching for bright, ambitious talent to add to their teams. 

With a health science degree, you can work with exciting and diverse teams, bringing care to many and making an impact on lives and communities. If this sounds appealing, then we encourage you to learn more about our nursing and healthcare degrees here at WGU.

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