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2021 Allied Health Professions Degree Guide

If you are interested in joining a career field that helps diagnose and treat specific medical problems, consider majoring in Allied Health Professions.

Allied Health professionals specialize in a specific area of the body or type of treatment to aid physicians in diagnosing and treating diseases. Students take classes in anatomy, microbiology, physiology, and health physics along with courses that are specific to the area of study you wish to pursue. Since Allied Health professionals work in a narrow niche of the medical world, you will spend most of your time taking classes that are pertinent to your concentration.

There are many areas students can specialize in. Some of the most popular are: Cardiovascular Technology, Emergency Medical Technology (EMT Paramedic), Medical Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care Therapy, Surgical Technology, Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Ultrasound Technician, Radiological Technology, Physician Assistant, Athletic Training, and many others.

#15 Most Popular Major
86.7k Degrees Awarded
0.7% Increase in Graduates

Allied Health Professions was the 15th most popular major in the 2018-2019 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 86,697 degrees in this year alone. This represents small change only 0.7% from the prior year's total of 86,125 allied health degrees awarded.

The United States has 1,325 different schools where you can get a degree in allied health professions. This year's Best Colleges for Allied Health Professions ranking compares 96 of them to identify the best overall programs in the country. Explore this or one of our many other custom allied health rankings further below.

Allied Health Professions Degree Requirements

The Allied Health Professions major is rooted in science, making a background in biology, anatomy, and physiology helpful. Students who pursue this degree are strong critical and analytical thinkers since they must diagnose and devise a treatment plan for patients. Students also have strong communication and interpersonal skills as professionals interact daily with patients and must show compassion and understanding for people who are ill or concerned about procedures.

Allied Health professions are full time jobs in offices. Professionals usually work normal 40-hour workweeks, but may work holidays and weekends depending on the location of the job and medical emergencies.

Depending on the career path you intend to follow, you may only need an associate's degree to work in this field. However, you must be certified to practice. Certification requirements vary depending on the state, so it is best to research the requirements for the state you want to practice in.

Prior Education for an Allied Health 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. Specific allied health careers may require a certain level of degree attainment or additional certifications beyond that.

Types of Allied Health Professions Degrees

There are many different allied health degree levels. You can get anything from a associate's degree in allied health professions to the highest allied health degree, a professional practice doctorate. Allied Health Professions programs can take anywhere between one to four or more years for a full-time student to complete.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

An associate's degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to allied health, with approximately 38.8% of workers getting one. People currently working in careers related to allied health tend obtained the following education levels.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 40.8%
Bachelor’s Degree 17.7%
Post-Secondary Certificate 12.1%
Master’s Degree 7.7%
Some College Courses 5.9%

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


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

Allied Health Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
$49.3k Average Starting Salary
20% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

There are many unique specializations within the Allied Health Professions field leading graduates to find jobs at a variety of locations. Graduates typically find work at hospitals, medical diagnostic centers, physician offices, or specialized offices.

High Growth Projected for Allied Health Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your allied health degree? Allied Health Professions careers are expected to grow 19.6% between 2016 and 2026.

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

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Health Specialties Professors 294,000 25.9%
Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics 285,400 15.1%
Respiratory Therapists 160,600 23.3%
Health Technologists and Technicians 152,900 19.6%
Physician Assistants 145,900 37.4%

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

Recently graduated allied health professions students earned an average of $49,305 in 2017-2018. Earnings can range from as low as $4,400 to as high as $115,300. As you might expect, salaries for allied health graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.


High Paying Careers for Allied Health Majors

Salaries for allied health professions graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top 5 highest paying careers allied health grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Health Specialties Professors $122,320
Physician Assistants $108,430
Radiation Therapists $86,730
Nuclear Technicians $79,970
Nuclear Medicine Technologists $78,870

Getting Your Allied Health Professions Degree

With over 5,461 different allied health 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 allied health school rankings to help you with this.

Allied Health Professions is one of 34 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Nursing 305,309
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Public Health 36,569

View All Allied Health Related Majors >


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