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What Is Health Science?

Updated: Apr 10, 2023

Health science is the application of science to health including the study of medicine, nutrition and other health-related topics.

A bachelor’s degree in health sciences provides essential healthcare knowledge and skills while building professional skills sought by healthcare employers, such as critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, information literacy and information management.

Health Sciences Jobs and Career Paths

Positions in the health sciences range from clinical work with frequent patient contact to office work at private corporations. Because healthcare is such a diverse field, health sciences graduates have the ability to move both laterally and upward as career interests and goals change.

Non-clinical healthcare jobs

Health sciences graduates can pursue non-clinical positions that require an in-depth understanding of clinical work or the healthcare industry as a whole. These roles are usually classified as leadership or administrative positions and sometimes involve coordinating, supervising or training others. Because of this, you will likely need a bachelor’s degree to be considered for them.

Health science job

Job description

Average salary

​Medical and health services managers

Plan, direct or coordinate medical and health services in hospitals, clinics, managed care organizations, public health agencies or similar organizations.


​Claims reviewer

Review health-related claims to see whether the costs are reasonable and authorize appropriate payment, deny the claim or refer the claim to an investigator.


Health education specialist

Teach people about behaviors that promote wellness and develop and implement strategies to improve the health of individuals and communities.


​Medical equipment / pharmaceutical sales representative

Sell medical equipment or pharmaceuticals for wholesalers or manufacturers.


​Community health specialist

​Collect data and discuss health concerns with members of specific populations or communities.


Graduate or professional school programs

The reason many students earn a health sciences bachelor’s degree is to begin preparing for a graduate or professional school program.

According to 2017 data from the Association of American Medical Colleges, a specialized health sciences degree was one of the six most common types of undergraduate degrees earned before starting medical school. (Additional coursework may be required for admission to graduate or professional programs.)

Health science job

Job description

Average salary

​Occupational therapist

​Help patients develop, recover, improve and maintain the skills needed for daily living and working.


​Physical therapist

Help injured or ill people improve their movement and manage their pain.


​Prosthetics-orthotics specialist

Design, measure, fit and adapt orthopedic braces, appliances or prostheses.


Speech language pathologist

​Assess, diagnose, treat and help to prevent communication and swallowing disorders in children and adults.



Dispense prescription medications to patients and offer expertise in the safe use of prescriptions.



Diagnose and treat problems with patients’ teeth, gums and related parts of the mouth.



​Diagnose, manage and treat a patient’s hearing, balance or ear problems.


Physician assistant

Examine, diagnose and treat patients on teams with physicians, surgeons and other healthcare workers.


Healthcare social workers

Provide individuals, families and groups with the psychosocial support needed to cope with chronic, acute or terminal illnesses.



​Treat patients with health problems of the neuromusculoskeletal system.


Where Health Sciences Majors Work

Today, healthcare is one of the most diverse employment fields. As a health sciences graduate, you could work in many different settings or organizations, such as:

  • Hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices or other patient care facilities

  • Medical laboratories

  • Pharmaceutical companies

  • Manufacturing companies

  • Federal or state governmen

  • Private agencies

  • Consulting firms

  • Insurance companies

  • Nonprofit organizations

Health Sciences Careers Outlook

  • Employment in the healthcare sector has been growing steadily for years, even during the most recent recession. This upward trend in employment is set to continue over the next decade. The American population is getting older, living longer and seeking out more treatment for chronic conditions.

  • As a result, the healthcare industry will continue to see increased demand for medical services—and medical personnel. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, healthcare support occupations, healthcare practitioners and technical occupations are expected to generate 2.3 million new jobs through 2024—faster employment growth than any other industry.

  • Healthcare administrators are already scrambling to fill jobs across a wide range of positions. In light of this high demand, credentialed healthcare professionals will be especially well positioned for career advancement.

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What Is Health Science
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