Non-clinical roles via a health science degree are popular career options for their accessibility, impact, and work-life balance. Non-clinical roles require less training but still allow you to significantly impact patient care without getting into the nitty-gritty of clinical procedures. 

They allow you to contribute to patient well-being and the efficiency of healthcare services, albeit from behind the scenes. Plus, they offer regular working hours.

Take, for example, the road to becoming a doctor. You need to put in years of medical school and residency. But with a health science major, you can jump right into the driver’s seat as a healthcare administrator or a medical coder. All you need is a bachelor’s degree – or even a certification program – and you’re ready.  

Health science is a wide-ranging and multifaceted field that zeroes in on the study of health and healthcare delivery. 

By enrolling in a health science degree, you get to apply scientific disciplines from biology, chemistry, physics, social sciences, and related fields to the understanding of health (both human and animal) and the treatment of diseases.

It also encompasses aspects of public health, such as promoting health and preventing diseases at the community level. This can include activities like immunization programs, health education, and the creation of public health policies.

Here are some key aspects of health sciences:

  • Interdisciplinary: Health sciences merge knowledge from various disciplines such as biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology, public health, and more. That’s how you gain a comprehensive understanding of health and disease.
  • Focus on Prevention and Treatment: You study both the prevention of illness and the treatment of disease. This includes researching and implementing strategies for individual and community health promotion.

Collaboration: As a health science major, you often collaborate with professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, and public health officials, to learn and provide comprehensive care.

The 2019 COVID pandemic and other health crises—obesity, substance abuse, heart disease, diabetes—have underscored the ever-growing importance of health sciences. 

When you study health science, you become a part of an increasingly interconnected health system—with about 1.8 million job openings projected each year, on average—to tackle the challenges of American healthcare. 

Due to the interdisciplinary nature of health sciences, you have access to a wide variety of career options to choose from. This includes everything from public health and healthcare administration to nursing, health and wellness, and beyond.

Today, there’s a pressing need for skilled professionals in both clinical and non-clinical health science roles to unite in the effort to help people overcome their health obstacles. Here are some high-paying non-clinical jobs for health science majors:

Medical and Health Services Managers

Degree-level Required: Bachelor’s Degree

Health services managers, also known as healthcare administrators, are responsible for setting goals, managing finances, hiring and training staff, ensuring quality healthcare, and maintaining records. Their duties can vary depending on the size and type of the facility. Their average salary is $104,830 per year.

Having work experience in either an administrative or a clinical role in a hospital or other healthcare facility can significantly boost your chances of getting hired. Depending on the state and the specific role, some health services managers may need a state-issued license. Please verify the specific licensing requirements in your state.

Related: 5 Most Important Features of a Healthcare Administration Program

Some managers opt to earn the following professional credentials (although not mandatory) to enhance their skills and boost their employability:

Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives

Degree-level Required: Bachelor’s Degree

These kinds of sales reps, also known as drug reps, work for pharmaceutical companies. They market and sell their company’s products to healthcare professionals, aiming to assist them in making informed treatment decisions for their patients. Their average salary is  $73,282 per year.

As a drug rep, you need to understand your company’s products, the science behind them, and how they affect the human body. This understanding usually extends to knowing about competing products as well.

While you’re not expected to know every chemical formula or be a licensed pharmacist, employers prefer applicants who are willing to learn the scientific terminologies and medical concepts necessary for selling their products.

Employers strongly prefer to hire those with a bachelor’s degree in a related field as a drug rep, unlike other sales jobs that may only require a high school diploma or an associate degree in the chosen field. And just like any other sales job, mastering negotiation and salesmanship is key to succeeding as a drug rep.

Health Education Specialists

Degree-level Required: Bachelor’s Degree

Health education specialists are dedicated to improving public health. They design and roll out health education programs, provide health-related information to individuals and communities, and lobby for health policies. Their average salary is $78,400 per year.

You can also get certified to strengthen your application among your peers: 

Occupational Health and Safety Specialists

Degree-level Required: Bachelor’s Degree

Occupational health and safety specialists analyze workplaces and create plans to prevent or eliminate illnesses and injuries caused by various hazards. Their average salary is $75,240 per year.

To prepare for this role, you can start taking courses (if your college or university offers them) during your health science major in:

  • Ergonomics
  • Environmental health
  • Industrial hygiene, and 
  • Health risk assessment 

Seek out internships specific to the industry to boost your chances of landing a full-time job after you graduate. You might also consider getting certified to improve your prospects. Here are a few certifications to aim for:

You might also consider joining the full-time uniformed services branch of the U.S. Public Health Service’s (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, which is dedicated to health service, for an opportunity to work with federal agencies. Here are some of the benefits of working with USPHS:

  • Tax-free housing allowance
  • Monetary awards to help with college loan repayment
  • Retirement pension plan
  • And much more

Health Science Writers

Degree-level Required: Master’s Degree

Got a knack for words? And are you the type who loves to write? Then, you might just be cut out to be a health science writer, also known as a medical writer. Their average salary is $95,807 per year.

As a health science writer, you work with doctors, scientists, and other professionals in the medical and pharmaceutical fields. Your job? To create a wide range of content, from patient health details to clinical study reports and even regulatory submissions on new medical products. 

You take all that medical jargon and turn it into clear, concise, and comprehensible language that anyone can understand. And guess what? The demand for skilled writers is pretty high. Clear communication in healthcare is always in demand.

medical writing market growth rate

Moreover, medical writing is incredibly diverse, covering areas such as: 

  • Journalism (reporting medical news and features), 
  • Marketing (promoting health-related products or services),
  • Education (training materials  for sales reps and medical practitioners),
  • Editing scientific, academic, and medical journals
  • Clinical trial, research, and compliance documentation

Health Science Librarians

Degree-level Required: Master’s Degree

Health science librarians are also referred to as medical librarians, health information specialists, and medical information professionals, among others. Their average salary is $70,700 per year.

A health science librarian is a vital cog in the academic and clinical operations of healthcare professionals. They act as the main point of contact for students and faculty looking for research and educational materials. Their duties go beyond just cataloging; they negotiate deals and put strategies into action to make these materials easily accessible.

In a clinical environment, the role of a health science librarian becomes even more crucial. They aid doctors and nurses in locating the most recent information and research materials, allowing them to deliver the best possible care to their patients—directly influencing the quality of patient care.

Related: Environmental Science Degree: A Promising Career for Students

If you’re passionate about becoming a health science librarian, once you finish your college degree, you can start gaining experience in smaller libraries and networks to learn the ins and outs of the profession.

In addition, the National Library of Medicine offers a directory of medical libraries across various regions that you can use and collaborate with. You can also check with your home state for their own health sciences libraries.


Degree-level Required: Master’s/Doctorate

Biostatisticians are like detectives who use data to answer important health questions. They tackle questions like the effectiveness of a new drug, the causes of diseases such as cancer, and the life expectancy of individuals with specific illnesses. Their average salary is $130,615 per year.

Their quantitative skills allow them to collaborate with professionals across various fields, from biologists and oncologists to surgeons and geneticists. But they’re more than just data analysts. 

They play key roles in study design, ensuring the collection of enough and appropriate data. They then scrutinize, assess, and interpret the findings, taking into account variables, biases, and missing data.

To help with your goals, you can take electives or courses in math and statistics for a more nuanced education during your undergrad and grad years. Moreover, certifications like the Accredited Professional Statistician (PStat) can further boost your credentials. 

Being a biostatistician is rewarding. You get a good salary, the chance to travel, make a social impact, and have reasonable work hours. Plus, your work can help save lives.


Degree-level Required: Master’s/Doctorate

Epidemiologists help officials and related stakeholders design public health policies to keep everyone safe and well. They figure out why diseases start and how to stop them from spreading to more people. Their average salary is $132,020 per year.

This job needs you to be good at math, know some basic science, and think like a detective, just like a biostatistician. Even though these two jobs might seem the same, they’re different in what they do and how they do it.

Biostatisticians are more into the methods and analysis part, while epidemiologists are more into using data in a practical way to stop and control diseases. They often team up to reduce the damage caused by a disease outbreak.

In the 2020-21 school year, out of 1.0 million associate’s degrees awarded, 181,000 were in health professions and related programs. This accounts for roughly 18.1% of all associate’s degrees conferred that year.

On the other hand, of the 2.1 million bachelor’s degrees awarded in the same year, 268,000 were in health professions and related programs, making up about 12.8% of all bachelor’s degrees.

This shows that a higher percentage of students pursuing associate’s degrees chose healthcare as their field of study compared to those pursuing bachelor’s degrees, and suggests that healthcare is indeed more popular among associate-degree seekers.

Why is this the case?

  • Time Commitment: An associate degree typically takes two years to complete, making it a quicker and more affordable option compared to a four-year bachelor’s degree.
  • Cost: This is particularly attractive if you’re looking to minimize your loan debt.
  • Flexibility: Many associate degree programs offer flexible schedules, including part-time and online options. This can be ideal if you’re working or have family responsibilities.
  • Pathway to Higher Education: An associate degree can help smooth the transition to higher-level coursework.

You can aim for the following roles with an associate’s degree in health sciences and a certification for some of the roles mentioned below. Check it out:

  • Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars
  • Medical Biller and Coders
  • Community Health Workers
  • Medical Secretaries and Administrative Assistants
  • Social and Human Service Assistant
  • Medical Transcriptionist

In conclusion, a health science major opens up a world of opportunities, particularly in non-clinical roles. These roles, often overlooked, are the backbone of the healthcare industry, offering a balance of accessibility, impact, and work-life harmony. 

From health information technologists to biostatisticians, the career options are diverse and rewarding. Whether you hold a bachelor’s degree or a doctorate in health sciences, there’s a high-paying job waiting for you. So, if you’re seeking a career that combines the thrill of healthcare with the stability of regular work hours, a health science major is your ticket to success.

Is health science a stem major?

Health science, while not a typical STEM field, overlaps with science and math. As part of your health science major, you often take courses like biology, statistics, chemistry, and calculus for data analysis, research, and evidence-based decision-making.

Is psychology a health science?

Yeah, psychology is a health science. Moreover, health psychology is a specialized field within the broad scope of psychology that examines how biology, human behavior, and social factors impact the health and wellness of an individual and group.

What is allied health sciences?

Allied health sciences encompass a variety of healthcare professions that offer diagnostic, technical, therapeutic, and support services. These professionals work with doctors and nurses across various sectors, like exercise, nutrition, mental health, and senior care, to name a few.