8 Jobs You Can Get with a Health Science Degree

Written by Coursera Staff • Updated on

Health science is a newer academic focus that can help prepare you for an entry-level administrative role in health care, or a graduate or professional degree.

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The Bachelor of Science in Health Science (BHS) is a newer field of study for students interested in a health career. Because BHS programs tend to combine scientific coursework in the natural and social sciences alongside hands-on training, you can prepare for an array of career options with this degree. Many graduates choose to enter the health care field as practitioners, researchers, or administrators. 

With your BHS, you may be interested in entering the workforce or seeking a master’s degree or professional degree to deepen your expertise and skill set. Let’s go over the roles and degrees you can explore with a bachelor’s degree in health science.

What can you do with a health science degree? 8 jobs to explore

Below, you’ll find eight roles you can get with a BHS. We’ve pulled together salary information and, where possible, job growth from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Glassdoor. Although each job's most common entry-level requirement is a bachelor’s degree, you may find that companies and organizations have different degree and experience requirements.

1. Community health worker

Every community has different health needs, and there are times when community members may need help navigating available services. Community health workers serve as intermediaries that make it easier for community members to access various health services. There may be times when community health workers also conduct outreach, take part in education, or even deliver specific services, like blood pressure screenings.

  • Median annual salary (BLS): $48,860

  • Potential job growth: 17 percent

  • This role might be a good fit if you have a strong sense of empathy, enjoy listening, and are knowledgeable about a specific community. You enjoy working with both data and people.

2. Health science writer

Many people turn to publications or websites to gain valuable health information. A health science writer is a journalist who tends to focus on health-related topics. They might work as a freelance writer and contribute to multiple outlets or as a staff writer at one exclusive outlet. Many health science writers have a robust knowledge of health and some lab experience.

  • Median annual salary (BLS): $69,510

  • Potential job growth: 9 percent

  • This role might be a good fit if you enjoy researching, writing and editing, and covering multiple health topics.

3. Biostatistician

Many questions in medicine require expert knowledge of mathematics and statistics to answer. Biostatisticians are the medical researchers who find answers. They design studies, collect and analyze data, and interpret findings to develop reports that inform policies and strategies around health. Biostatisticians can work for federal or local governments, in academic settings such as a university, or in a research lab.

  • Median annual salary (BLS): $95,570

  • Potential job growth: 33 percent

  • This role might be a good fit if you enjoy being detail oriented, have some knowledge of computers and data analysis systems such as Statistical Analysis System (SAS), and are naturally curious.

Read more: What Is a Biostatistician? Career Guide

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4. Pharmacy sales representative

Pharmaceutical sales reps educate medical practitioners about new and existing drug therapies. They do not “sell” a drug so much as alert a doctor to its existence and benefits so they’re better informed about possible treatments for their patients. Thanks to the specialized nature of their work, pharmaceutical sales reps often need to have some scientific knowledge to discuss their products.

  • Median annual salary (BLS): $94,840

  • Potential job growth: 5 percent 

  • This role might be a good fit if you enjoy connecting with people and developing relationships, are motivated and a self-starter, and have an interest in medicine.

5. Substance abuse counselor

Substance abuse counselors provide guidance and support for people who use drugs or alcohol in a way that becomes harmful. They may work one-on-one with patients or in group settings to discuss the motivations behind substance use, ways to decrease it, and other constructive techniques to build healthier behaviors.

  • Median annual salary (BLS): $48,520

  • Potential job growth: 23 percent

  • This role might be a good fit if you enjoy working with people, have a strong listening ability, and are empathetic.

6. Patient care advocate

The medical system can be cumbersome to navigate, which is where patient care advocates—sometimes called health care advocates—come in. They often work individually with patients, helping them understand a diagnosis, seek the best treatment, and even communicate with insurance to address billing questions. Patient care advocates can work on behalf of a hospital or medical office or as freelancers.

  • Average annual salary (Glassdoor): $44,117

  • This role might be a good fit if you enjoy working with people, have a strong understanding of the medical industry, and can communicate clearly.

Read more: What Does a Patient Advocate Do?

7. Cytotechnologist

A patient’s cells can reveal a specific picture, leading to better diagnoses and treatments. Cytotechnologists work in labs, examining cells under a microscope and looking for abnormalities that may help determine a diagnosis. Cryotechnologists may work at hospitals, universities, or in research labs.

  • Average annual salary (Glassdoor): $105,734

  • This role might be a good fit if you are a critical thinker, enjoy gathering and analyzing data, and interpreting your findings.

8. Dietician

A dietician works in nutrition science. They may take on a counseling focus, meeting with individual patients or groups to educate, plan menus and meals, and discuss behavioral motivations. Or they may work in nutrition research, studying and testing new food products. Dietician roles typically require licensure on top of a bachelor’s degree, though you may find that companies require an advanced graduate degree for many roles.

  • Median annual salary (BLS): $61,650

  • This role might be a good fit if you enjoy evaluating and solving problems, defining people’s needs, working closely with them, and conducting research.

Graduate/professional degrees you can pursue with a BHS

Students studying health science at the bachelor’s level often do so to prepare for a graduate or professional degree. Those interested in being a medical practitioner might opt to study health science rather than a more traditional “pre-med” track, such as biology or chemistry. Those interested in advanced administrative health care roles can prepare to pursue a master’s in a specific field, such as public health, by first earning their BHS. 

Once you have earned your bachelor’s in health science, you can pursue advanced education, including the following degrees:

Master’s degrees: 

Professional degrees: 

  • Physical therapy (DPT)

  • Optometry (OD)

  • Veterinary (DVM)

  • Dentistry (DDS)

  • Physician Assistant (PA) 

  • Medicine (MD)

Learn more: What is Health Care Administration?

Explore further

Earn your Master of Science in Population and Health Sciences from the University of Michigan on Coursera. You’ll learn about public health challenges from a top-ranked research institution.  

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This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.