Careers in this cluster
Cluster definitionAre science classes your favorite?
Do you enjoy helping people?
Have you served as a volunteer in a hospital?
Do you follow instructions exactly?
Can you work fast in an emergency?
Do you take good notes in class?
If you answered yes to two or more of the questions above, you might be interested in considering a career in health science.
In the Health Science cluster you would promote health and wellness or diagnose and treat injuries and disease. You could work directly with people. Or you could work in laboratories to get information used in research or diagnosis. Health service employees go to work at a variety of different sites. Some work in hospitals, offices, or laboratories. Others work on cruise ships, at sports arenas, or within communities.
Biotechnology research and development
In the Biotechnology Research and Development pathway, you would be a scientist who works in a laboratory. Through your research, you would try to discover new treatments for diseases or injuries. Or you may work to invent medical devices to help patients live fuller lives. The inventions you work on may also lead to more accurate test results.
In the Diagnostics Services pathway, you would conduct tests and do evaluations. The goal is to assist with detecting and identifying diseases and injuries. Once the diagnosis is made, the test results would be used to set up a treatment plan.
You would be responsible for compiling patient information and records in the Health Informatics pathway. You might also use the records to create bills for services. Included in this pathway are administrators who plan and direct the delivery of health care. You may manage hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, or departments.
Employees in the Support Services pathway provide assistance so that therapeutic services workers can do their job. You might make sure that medical machines operate. Or you might make sure that medical offices operate smoothly. Or you might be sure that patients and employees get meals that are healthy and meet diet guidelines.
In the Therapeutic Services pathway, you work directly with patients to improve their health. The contact with the patient may be limited to a visit or to contact over many months. You may provide direct care and treatment for patients. You may also give information and counseling so patients can care for themselves.
Level of education and earnings
The training and education requirements to work in the occupations included in the Health Services cluster depend on the specialty and the type of work performed. Some occupations require less than one month of on-the-job training; however, some scientists need a doctoral degree to conduct research.
The information provided in the table below, presents the level of education or training required to work in the occupations related to this cluster and the median wages for those occupations. Note that some occupations may have more than one required level because the type of work performed may vary in specific jobs.
Also, keep in mind that there are non-wage benefits that workers receive. For example, these types of benefits are health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, and retirement plans. It is important to consider these benefits when you are looking at pay. Some benefits, such as health care, are worth a lot of money. You should carefully weigh a job that pays well but does not have many benefits against one that has good benefits and lower pay. Remember, how much an occupation pays is only one factor to consider when making career choices.
|Short-Term, On-the-Job Training (Less than One Month)|
|Home Health Aides||$24,200||$27,690|
|Occupational Therapist Aides||$28,160||$56,620|
|Physical Therapist Aides||$26,240||$28,330|
|Moderate-Term, On-the-Job Training (One to Twelve Months)|
|Hearing Aid Specialists||$52,770||not available|
|Medical Equipment Preparers||$36,240||$39,990|
|Long-Term, On-the-Job Training (Over One Year)|
|Postsecondary Vocational Training (Certificate or Diploma)|
|Health Information Technicians||$40,350||$43,500|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||$46,240||$55,650|
|Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians||$56,850||$53,810|
|Medical Laboratory Technicians||$52,330||$54,450|
|Nuclear Medicine Technologists||$76,820||$92,150|
|Occupational Therapist Assistants||$60,220||$62,690|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||$58,040||$57,430|
|Veterinary Technologists and Technicians||$34,420||$37,440|
|Medical Laboratory Technologists||$52,330||$54,450|
|Work Experience Plus a Bachelor's or Higher Degree|
|Health Services Administrators||$99,730||$107,270|
|Orthotic and Prosthetic Specialists||$69,120||$70,560|
|Speech Pathologists||$75,920 - $77,510||$73,250 - $83,990|
|Allergists and Immunologists||$200,890||8|
|Dentists||$151,850 - 8||$171,430 - 8|
|Family and General Practitioners||$201,100||8|
|Obstetricians and Gynecologists||8||8|
|Audiologists||$75,920 - $77,510||$73,250 - $83,990|
|Medical Scientists||$69,660 - $84,810||$78,680 - $87,790|
Employment & outlook
The outlook for employment in the Health Science cluster is very good. The number of elderly people is growing and they have greater health care needs. Advances in medical technology have increased the number of people who survive serious illnesses and injuries. These patients need more intensive therapy and care. The jobs in hospitals will grow the slowest. This is the result of an increase in outpatient care and services.
Veterinary services will continue to experience growth because of increases in the number of pet owners.