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Career Information for a Degree in Health Law

Health law is a field that is generally found at the graduate level. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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Health law professionals include lawyers and medical and health service managers. Lawyers will need to earn a Juris Doctor degree with a focus on health law or pursue further graduate studies to specialize in this field, in addition to earning a license. Entry-level positions in medical and health services management require a bachelor's degree, while a master's degree in health law is common.

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Essential Information

There are many graduate degree and certificate programs for those who want to pursue careers in health law. Aspiring lawyers already enrolled in Juris Doctor (J.D.) programs can elect to take concentration coursework in health law. There are also joint J.D. and Master of Public Health degree programs that include health law education. Practicing attorneys can pursue Master of Laws in Health Law (LL.M.) programs or graduate certificate programs in health law. For non-lawyers, program options may include a Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) in Health Law or a Master of Jurisprudence (M.J.) in Health Law. Graduate certificate programs and some degree programs are available online in part or in full.

Career Titles Medical and Health Services Managers Lawyers
Education Requirements Bachelor's for entry-level, master's degree is common Juris Doctor
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 17% 6%
Average Salary (2015)* $106,070 $136,260

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Career Options

Graduate programs in health law examine legal and ethical issues related to healthcare. These programs typically prepare students for careers as lawyers or healthcare administrators.

Lawyers

A lawyer can specialize in the practice of healthcare law. Health law attorneys write legal documents, perform legal research and represent individuals, hospitals or pharmaceutical companies in court. To work as a healthcare attorney, individuals need to be licensed in the state in which they practice.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that in 2014, there were about 778,700 lawyers in all disciplines within the U.S. These professionals earned an average annual salary of $136,260 as of May 2015.

Healthcare Managers

Healthcare professionals, including nurses and physicians, could find that a master's degree program in health law can prepare them for positions in healthcare administration as nurse managers, compliance officers or clinical directors. According to the BLS, medical and health services managers made an average annual salary of $106,070 in May 2015. Jobs for these workers were predicted by the BLS to increase 17% from 2014 to 2024 - a faster than average rate - due to the continued growth of the healthcare industry.

Healthcare managers can be responsible for overseeing staff or ensuring a medical facility complies with health laws. Healthcare lawyers focus on cases involving healthcare issues. A master's degree in health law, a Juris Doctor with a specialization in health law and a Master of Laws in Health Law are among the options that can prepare professionals for health law careers by covering ethical and legal healthcare issues.

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