Health Degrees that Pay Well

Nov 12, 2017

For individuals who are interested in working in the healthcare field, there are a number of high-paying career options available, and even some that only require a bachelor's degree. We will look at one of these degree programs.

High-Paying Healthcare Degrees

There are many different career possibilities in the healthcare field, some of which offer high compensation. For individuals who are interested in finding a high-paying job in healthcare with only a bachelor's degree, there are several educational options they could consider. Below, we will look at one degree program that will prepare students for a high-paying job when they graduate.

Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion/Perfusion Technology

Some universities offer a Bachelor of Science program in cardiovascular perfusion, perfusion technology, or another closely related title. This degree program prepares students for a career as a perfusion technologist, which is a healthcare professional who works on a surgical team and operates the heart-lung machine that is used during cardiovascular surgeries. In this program, students will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in this role through a variety of coursework. We will discuss this program in greater detail below.

Admission Requirements

In order to be admitted into a Bachelor of Science program in this field, students will generally need to have a cumulative high school GPA of a 3.0 or higher. Students will need to submit an application, letters of recommendation, transcripts, and standardized test scores. Some programs may have a minimum standardized test scoring requirement for either the ACT or SAT.

Common Courses

In a Bachelor of Science program in cardiovascular perfusion or perfusion technology, there are a number of courses that will likely be common to multiple programs, as they focus on the essential skills necessary to be competent in this position. Some common courses found in these programs include:

  • Perfusion Technology
  • Research and Design
  • Cardiopulmonary Bypass
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Perfusion Technology Lab

In addition to coursework, these programs generally require that students complete a significant clinical experience or practicum in their final year of studies in order to gain real surgery experience.

Career Options & Salary

With this degree, you will be able to obtain a job as a perfusion technologist, or perfusionist. You will mainly be responsible for the operation of the heart-lung machine during open-heart and other cardiovascular related surgeries, though you could also participate in other surgeries like liver transplants and organ chemotherapy. Obviously the role of the perfusion technologist is very important, as they are in charge of operating equipment that is key to the survival of the patient. In 2017, PayScale reports that perfusionists made a median annual salary of $111,067, which is significantly higher than the $37,040 median salary for all careers (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

How to Choose

Selecting a bachelor's programs in perfusion technology may be a challenge, though there are some important factors to consider that may make the choice easier. While not rare, this program is not widely available, so a student would likely want to consider the locations of the schools that do offer a bachelor's degree program in this field. They also may be interested in choosing a school that has good clinical placements if they are interested in finding a job through their placement. Other factors may include tuition fees and scholarship availability, as public and private schools often vary widely in cost.

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