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Health Professions Major

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Health Professions

$62,500 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Health Professions Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many health professions graduations there were in 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Undergraduate Certificate 144,188
Basic Certificate 137,329
Associate’s Degree 97,183
Bachelor’s Degree 56,058

What Health Professions Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to health professions and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Health Professions Majors

Health Professions majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Medicine and Dentistry - Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills for Health Professions Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to health professions:

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  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others’ reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities for Health Professions Majors

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a health professions student include the following:

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  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

What Can You Do With a Health Professions Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with health professions:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians 22.0% $25,750
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians 10.0% $56,850
Cytogenetic Technologists 11.6% NA
Cytotechnologists 11.6% NA
Dental Assistants 19.5% $38,660
Dental Hygienists 19.7% $74,820
Dental Laboratory Technicians 14.4% $40,440
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 23.2% $72,510
Dietetic Technicians 9.3% $27,140
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics 15.1% $34,320
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 3.4% $55,810
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors 10.0% $39,820
Health Technologists and Technicians 19.6% $42,920
Healthcare Support Workers 11.7% $37,830
Hearing Aid Specialists 20.6% $52,770
Histotechnologists and Histologic Technicians 11.6% NA
Home Health Aides 47.3% $24,200
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 12.3% $46,240
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists 13.4% $71,670
Massage Therapists 26.3% $41,420
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 14.0% NA
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 11.6% NA
Medical Appliance Technicians 13.3% $39,190
Medical Assistants 29.0% $33,610
Medical Equipment Preparers 11.1% $36,240
Medical Records and Health Information Technicians 13.5% $40,350
Medical Secretaries 22.5% $35,760
Neurodiagnostic Technologists 19.6% $42,920
Nuclear Medicine Technologists 10.0% $76,820
Nursing Assistants 11.5% $28,540
Occupational Therapy Aides 24.0% $28,160
Occupational Therapy Assistants 29.0% $60,220
Ophthalmic Laboratory Technicians 11.7% $31,830
Ophthalmic Medical Technicians 19.6% $36,530
Ophthalmic Medical Technologists 19.6% $42,920
Opticians, Dispensing 15.1% $37,010
Orthotists and Prosthetists 21.8% $69,120
Personal Care Aides 38.6% $24,020
Pharmacy Technicians 11.8% $32,700
Phlebotomists 24.5% $34,480
Physical Therapist Aides 29.2% $26,240
Physical Therapist Assistants 31.1% $58,040
Psychiatric Aides 5.6% $29,180
Psychiatric Technicians 5.9% $32,870
Radiologic Technicians 19.6% $42,920
Radiologic Technologists 12.3% $59,520
Speech-Language Pathology Assistants 11.7% $37,830
Surgical Technologists 11.7% $47,300
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians 20.0% $34,420

Who Is Getting an Associate’s Degree in Health Professions?

97,183 Associate's Degrees Annually
82% Percent Women
42% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
The major attracts more women than men. About 82% of the recent graduates in this field are female.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of health professions majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Health Professions Students with Associate's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 4,723
Black or African American 13,410
Hispanic or Latino 18,543
White 51,012
International Students 689
Other Races/Ethnicities 8,806

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Health Professions. About 0.7% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Health Professions Majors Make?

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $44,010 to $93,350 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to health professions. This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Health Professions Major  ( 44010 to 93350 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some careers associated with health professions require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to health professions have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 0.8%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 10.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 8.9%
Some College Courses 5.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 16.6%
Bachelor’s Degree 21.5%
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Baccalaureate degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees carrying the title of Master. 3.4%
Master’s Degree 17.5%
Post-Master’s Certificate - awarded for completion of an organized program of study; designed for people who have completed a Master’s degree but do not meet the requirements of academic degrees at the doctoral level. 1.4%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 2.4%
Doctoral Degree 7.6%
Post-Doctoral Training 3.3%

Online Health Professions Programs

In the 2018-2019 academic year, 4,078 schools offered some type of health professions program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 5,289 409
Certificate (1-2 years) 6,142 410
Certificate (2-4 Years) 319 4
Associate’s Degree 8,410 766
Bachelor’s Degree 1,293 379
Post-Baccalaureate 5,289 409
Master’s Degree 5,007 1,262
Post-Master’s 1,256 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 1,034 160
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 1,311 215
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 68 25

Is a Degree in Health Professions Worth It?

The median salary for a health professions grad is $62,500 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

This is 57% more than the average salary for an individual holding a high school degree. This adds up to a gain of about $452,000 after 20 years!

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References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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