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Career and Salary Info for a Masters in Health Science Degree

Degrees in health science typically cover health and healthcare topics. Find out about the curricula of these programs, and learn about career options, job growth and salary info for health science graduates.

There are many career options available to someone with a master's degree in health science. Some examples include environmental specialist, healthcare administrator (also known as medical and health service manager), statistician and many others. Each of these career choices have unique responsibilities, specialties and salaries.

Essential Information

Health science is a broad field that involves the study and research of multiple aspects of health and healthcare. Health sciences departments typically provide training for a wide range of careers, such as health services administration, nutrition, public health and occupational therapy. Three popular career tracks in master's-level health sciences (environmental health, biostatistics and health administration) are described in this article, and salary information is provided for each.

Career Environmental Scientists and Specialists Statisticians Healthcare Administrators
Education Requirements Master's degree Master's degree Master's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 11% increase* 34% increase* 17% increase*
Median Salary (2015) $67,460* $80,110* $94,500*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Career Options

Environmental Health Scientist Career Description

Environmental health scientists enforce environmental regulations and collect samples to research the possible presence of environmental health threats. When they detect environmental hazards, environmental health scientists recommend appropriate interventions to reduce or eliminate the presence of contaminants. Specialization in an area such as food protection, water pollution or pesticide management is common. Most jobs are available in local or national agencies.

Master's Degree and Coursework

A bachelor's degree in environmental health sciences or a related field meets the minimum requirements for trainee positions, but a master's degree is required for other positions and desirable for career advancement. A multidisciplinary field, environmental health sciences bridges public health, math, chemistry, physics, biology and microbiology. Specific coursework may include industrial hygiene, toxicology and biostatistics. Graduate students perform research that could concern the effects of chemical agents on the health of communities or workplace health hazards.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 11% during the period of 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, the mean salary for this profession was $73,930. Local governments paid a mean salary of $68,800.

Biostatistician Career Description

Biostatisticians gather and analyze statistical data concerning health-related issues such as treatment options, links between health conditions or healthcare quality. They may work for research and development departments, pharmaceutical companies, state health departments, universities or the federal government. Biostatisticians often work closely with health policy analysts and other medical professionals.

Master's Degree and Coursework

Graduate training in health research, leading to a career in biostatistics, spans the areas of epidemiology, social science, health, statistics, public health and ethics. This foundational training is applied to interpretation of statistical data. The interpretations are used to evaluate potential public health risks or the effectiveness of interventions on the spread of a disease. Core courses in this track may include qualitative social research methods, epidemiology, probability and statistical computing. Graduates work in diverse environments, including clinical epidemiology, public health protection, academic research and health technology evaluation.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The mean salary for all statisticians, according to the BLS, was $84,440 as of May 2015. Statisticians working for pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturers got annual mean wages averaging $94,740, while those in scientific research averaged $94,820. Job growth for statisticians is projected to be 34% from 2014-2024.

Health Services Administrator Career Description

Health services administrators manage private hospitals, nursing care facilities, medical offices, insurance carriers or community care facilities. Managers typically work with assistant managers in charge of individual departments, such as surgery or medical records. Health services managers integrate healthcare delivery systems, complex regulations and technological innovations.

Master's Degree and Coursework

A master's in health sciences can lead to an entry-level position in health services administration. Courses for this health sciences master's degree provide a foundation in management skills as applied to the healthcare industry. Beyond management courses, graduate students take health sciences core courses, such as healthcare systems organization and administration, health policy, ethics and applied statistical methods.

Salary Info and Job Outlook

The BLS projects faster-than-average growth for this occupation, 17% between 2014 and 2024. As of May 2015, the mean salary for all health services administrators was $106,070, compared to $114,180 for those who worked in hospitals.

A master's degree in health sciences can open up many doors for you in the healthcare industry. So whether you're looking to get into the industry or you're already in the healthcare industry but would like to advance your career, obtaining your master's degree in health sciences would be a great choice for you.

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