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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
Bachelor’s Degree 258,211
Associate’s Degree 187,894
Undergraduate Certificate 148,570
Basic Certificate 142,748
Master’s Degree 133,284
Doctor’s Degree 83,455
Graduate Certificate 11,689

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:

  • 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

A major in health professions prepares you for careers in which the following skill-sets are crucial:

  • 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

A major in health professions will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

  • 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?

People with a health professions degree often go into the following careers:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Acupuncturists 13.3% $73,960
Acute Care Nurses 14.8% $71,730
Administrative Services Managers 10.1% $96,180
Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses 14.8% $71,730
Ambulance Drivers and Attendants, Except Emergency Medical Technicians 22.0% $25,750
Anesthesiologist Assistants 37.4% $108,610
Art Therapists 6.8% $47,860
Athletic Trainers 22.7% $47,510
Audiologists 20.3% $75,920
Biochemical Engineers 6.4% $96,980
Business Intelligence Analysts 9.3% $90,270
Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians 10.0% $56,850
Chiropractors 12.4% $71,410
Clergy 8.2% $48,990
Clinical Nurse Specialists 14.8% $71,730
Clinical Research Coordinators 9.9% $123,860
Community Health Workers 17.9% $39,540
Compliance Managers 8.0% $107,480
Computer and Information Research Scientists 19.0% $118,370
Computer User Support Specialists 11.3% $50,980
Counseling Psychologists 14.2% $76,990
Counselors 14.2% $42,130
Critical Care Nurses 14.8% $71,730
Cytogenetic Technologists 11.6% NA
Cytotechnologists 11.6% NA
Data Warehousing Specialists 9.3% $90,270
Database Architects 9.3% $90,270
Dental Assistants 19.5% $38,660
Dental Hygienists 19.7% $74,820
Dental Laboratory Technicians 14.4% $40,440
Dentists 14.1% $146,970
Dentists, General 19.4% $151,850
Diagnostic Medical Sonographers 23.2% $72,510
Dietetic Technicians 9.3% $27,140
Dietitians and Nutritionists 14.6% $60,370
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics 15.1% $34,320
Environmental Scientists and Specialists, Including Health 11.1% $71,130
Epidemiologists 8.2% $69,660
Exercise Physiologists 13.2% $49,270
Family and General Practitioners 14.3% $201,100
Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators 6.8% $49,380
First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support Workers 3.4% $55,810
Fitness Trainers and Aerobics Instructors 10.0% $39,820
Genetic Counselors 29.0% $80,370
Health Diagnosing and Treating Practitioners 13.3% $73,960
Health Educators 14.6% $54,220
Health Specialties Professors 25.9% $97,370
Health Technologists and Technicians 19.6% $42,920
Healthcare Social Workers 20.1% $56,200
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
Industrial Ecologists 11.1% $71,130
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses 12.3% $46,240
Life Scientists 9.0% $78,190
Low Vision Therapists, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, and Vision Rehabilitation Therapists 23.8% $84,270
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists 13.4% $71,670
Marketing Managers 10.1% $134,290
Marriage and Family Therapists 23.4% $50,090
Massage Therapists 26.3% $41,420
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technicians 14.0% NA
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists 11.6% NA
Medical and Health Services Managers 20.5% $99,730
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 Scientists, Except Epidemiologists 13.4% $84,810
Medical Secretaries 22.5% $35,760
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Social Workers 19.4% $44,840
Mental Health Counselors 23.1% NA
Midwives 12.5% $54,620
Music Therapists 6.8% $47,860
Natural Sciences Managers 9.9% $123,860
Naturopathic Physicians 13.3% $73,960
Neurodiagnostic Technologists 19.6% $42,920
Nuclear Medicine Technologists 10.0% $76,820
Nurse Anesthetists 16.3% $167,950
Nurse Midwives 20.0% $103,770
Nurse Practitioners 36.1% $107,030
Nursing Assistants 11.5% $28,540
Nursing Instructors and Professors 24.0% $73,490
Occupational Health and Safety Specialists 8.1% $73,020
Occupational Health and Safety Technicians 9.9% $50,780
Occupational Therapists 23.8% $84,270
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
Optometrists 17.9% $111,790
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons 19.1% $208,000
Orthodontists 18.2% $208,000
Orthoptists 13.3% $73,960
Orthotists and Prosthetists 21.8% $69,120
Personal Care Aides 38.6% $24,020
Pharmacists 5.6% $126,120
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
Physical Therapists 28.0% $87,930
Physician Assistants 37.4% $108,610
Physicians and Surgeons 11.4% $200,890
Physicists 14.5% $120,950
Podiatrists 10.9% $129,550
Prosthodontists 22.2% $176,540
Psychiatric Aides 5.6% $29,180
Psychiatric Technicians 5.9% $32,870
Psychology Professors 15.1% $76,710
Radiation Therapists 12.6% $82,330
Radiologic Technicians 19.6% $42,920
Radiologic Technologists 12.3% $59,520
Recreational Therapists 6.8% $47,860
Registered Nurses 14.8% $71,730
Regulatory Affairs Managers 8.0% $107,480
Rehabilitation Counselors 12.7% $35,630
Respiratory Therapists 23.3% $60,280
Sales Managers 7.5% $124,220
Social Work Professors 9.4% $68,300
Software Developers, Applications 30.7% $103,620
Speech-Language Pathologists 17.8% $77,510
Speech-Language Pathology Assistants 11.7% $37,830
Substance Abuse and Behavioral Disorder Counselors 23.2% NA
Surgical Technologists 11.7% $47,300
Therapists 19.9% $50,980
Veterinarians 18.8% $93,830
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians 20.0% $34,420

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Professions?

258,211 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
84% Percent Women
35% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major is dominated by women with about 84% of recent graduates being 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 Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 18,344
Black or African American 27,554
Hispanic or Latino 35,055
White 153,777
International Students 2,990
Other Races/Ethnicities 20,491

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Health Professions. About 1.2% of those with this major are international students.

How Much Do Health Professions Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The median early-career salary of health professions students with a bachelor’s degree is $51,600 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $32,900 (25th percentile) and $61,300 (75th percentile).


It’s important to note that just because the people reporting these salaries have a degree in health professions, it does not mean that they are working in a job related to their degree.

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 )
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )

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

Find out what the typical degree level is for health professions careers below.

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 2018-2019, 4,078 schools offered a health professions program of some type. 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!



*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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