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2023 Health Professions Degree Guide

The Health Professions field is a large field with many different occupations available to students. If you are interested in pursing a career where you can work with other patients, assist medical professionals, or provide unique medical services, consider majoring in one of this field's areas of specialization.

Students in the Health Professions field will take a variety of classes that focus on their area of study. In addition, almost any major in this field can expect to take classes in biology, chemistry, anatomy and physiology, psychology, medical terminology, health care systems, public health, and medical law and ethics.

Within the Health Professions field are many unique specialties. One of the most popular fields is that of Nursing, a program where students are prepared to assist doctors in the diagnosis, treatment and healing of patients.

Students interested in assisting a dentist in dental work or oral surgery may major in Dental Support Services, while those more interested in the health of animals and pets can major in Veterinary Biomedical and Clinical Services.

A major in the Allied Health Professions prepares students for a variety of careers in everything from cardiovascular technology, to physician assistant or athletic trainer.

Students who want a good preparation for further education can major in Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences in order to become a pharmacist. Or, if your dream is to become a medical doctor, you can major in Health/Medical Prep which prepares students for medical school.

For students interested in alternative health, there are plenty of programs available in this field. Some of these include Alternative Medicine and Systems, Somatic Bodywork and Therapeutic Services and others. Explore all the majors available to find the one that is of most interest to you.

Rapid Growth in Health Professions Degrees Awarded

#2 Most Popular Major
978k Degrees Awarded
4.5% Increase in Graduates

In 2020-2021, health professions was the 2nd most popular major nationwide with 977,800 degrees awarded. This is a difference of 43,712 over the prior year, a growth of 4.5%.

Our 2023 Best Health Professions Schools ranking analyzes 2136 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for health professions students. Continue reading to check out one of our many unbiased rankings of health professions programs later in this article.

2023 Best Colleges for Health Professions
2023 Overall Best Health Professions Colleges >

Best Health Professions Schools by Degree

Associate Degrees in Health Professions
Bachelor's Degrees in Health Professions
Master's Degrees in Health Professions
Doctorate Degrees in Health Professions

What Are The Requirements For a Degree in Health Professions

Students who pursue a degree in Health Professions should have strong interpersonal and communication skills. You will be working closely with patients and must keep them relaxed and comfortable of your skills. Students who are successful in this field also have strong critical and analytical skills. As a medical professional, you must observe patients' symptoms and decide how to best treat them. Attention to detail will ensure you properly note all observations and help patients who are in pain or ill.

Depending on the career path you would like to pursue, you may have to receive an advanced education, certification, or licensing in your field. Students who intern, work summer jobs, or participate in summer field programs will be able to work closely with health professionals and learn what is required for a successful career in that field.

Getting Accepted Into a Health Professions Program

New students will need to have completed high school or a GED program and each school will have their own minimum GPA and SAT/ACT test requirements. Once you obtain your degree, additional health professions certifications required to pursue a career in this field.

Types of Health Professions Degrees

Health Professions degree levels vary. You can spend many years getting as high as a in health professions to something that takes less time like a . Health Professions programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

DegreeCredit RequirementsTypical Program Length
Associate Degree60-70 credits2 years
Bachelor’s Degree120 credits4 years
Master’s Degree50-70 credits1-3 years
DoctorateProgram required coursework including thesis or dissertationAt least 4 years

A bachelor's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to health professions, with approximately 21.7% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for health professions workers below.

Level of EducationPercentage of Workers
Bachelor’s Degree21.5%
Master’s Degree17.5%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree)16.6%
High School Diploma10.8%
Post-Secondary Certificate8.9%

Most workers in health professions have at least a bachelor's degree. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in health professions have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the health professions career you are seeking.

Health Professions Careers

High Number of Jobs
$47.8k Average Starting Salary
18% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Health Professions graduates work in a variety of health related occupations. Many are employed at hospitals, while other work in clinics, medical centers, physicians' offices, nursing homes, schools, veterinary clinics, and in the armed forces. A degree in this field prepares students to aid the public and provide medical services to those who need it.

High Growth Projected for Health Professions Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your health professions degree? Health Professions careers are expected to grow 17.7% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to health professions.

Occupation NameProjected JobsExpected Growth
Registered Nurses3,393,20014.8%
Personal Care Aides2,793,80038.6%
Nursing Assistants1,683,70011.5%
Office and Administrative Support Worker Supervisors1,557,4003.4%
Home Health Aides1,342,70047.3%

How Much Money Do People With a Health Professions Degree Make?

Recently graduated health professions students earned an average of $47,839 in 2019-2020. Earnings can range from as low as $4,880 to as high as $248,696. As you might expect, salaries for health professions graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


Highest Paid Health Professions Careers

Salaries for health professions graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers health professions grads often go into.

Occupation NameMedian Average Salary
Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons$242,370
Family and General Practitioners$211,780
Physicians and Surgeons$203,880

Getting Your Health Professions Degree

With over 36,606 different health professions degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased health professions school rankings to help you with this.

Study Areas in Health Professions

Health Professions Majors to Study

MajorAnnual Graduates
Health & Medical Administrative Services89,359
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services84,492
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants84,274
Allied Health Professions82,308

View All Health Professions Related Majors >


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