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Masterís Degree Careers in Health Care

Do you have an master's degree or are you considering getting one? Discover your expanded options for a career in health care...

As uncertainty about the state of the economy and jobs flood the publicís minds, many new graduates of bachelorís programs, as well as unemployed professionals with bachelorís degrees, are heading to graduate school. There are no guarantees that the additional education will reap greater salaries or even a job for that matter, but what it will do is help make a resume more competitive for job opportunities in the field of health care.

The higher the education, the more specialized the job...generally speaking

Masterís level career opportunities in health care often require a specialized field of study, such as a Physician Assistant. On a side note, the Physician Assistant career is projected to be one of the fastest growing masterís degree careers over the next 2 decades. With the field of health care expanding so rapidly, there are opportunities for masterís educated individuals in all areas of health care.

There are numerous specializations to choose from when selecting a masterís program, some more broad than others. Generally, a masterís program is very specific and designed to develop the studentís analytical skills and prepare them for a specific focus area, such is the case with becoming a Physician Assistant or a Nurse Practitioner.

Key benefits of a masters level of education

Available government data supports the adage that higher education pays. How much more does a masterís degree get you versus a bachelorís degree? There are many factors that can influence the answer, of which the largest will be the actual job and the relevance of the masterís degree to that job. More often than not a masterís educated professional will out earn a bachelorís educated professional in the field of health care yearly as well as over a lifetime. Those with a masterís degree in business, nursing, engineering or computer science see the highest salaries for masterís degree careers in the health care field.

To be eligible for a masterís program an applicant must have graduated from a bachelorís degree program and have taken the GMAT or GRE. One exception would be in the field of nursing where there are RN to MSN programs offered, in which case these programs do often accept registered nurses with an associateís degree or diploma in nursing. Explore the career titles below to learn more about the requirements, earning potential and additional preparation needed to enter these areas of health care.


Potential Health Care Careers for those with a Master's Degree

Careers Health Care Pathway Certification / Licensure Requirements
Advanced Practice Nurse Direct Patient Care License requirements vary by state. National certification is generally necessary.
Allied Health Manager Health Informatics / Business The AHA offers a national certification exam to become a CHFM. Licensure is required for nursing care facility administrators.
Anesthesiologist Assistant Direct Patient Care Certification as an AA is provided by the National Commission for Certification of Anesthesiologist Assistants (NCCAA)
Art Therapist Direct Patient Care Registered Art Therapists (ART) certification is available.
Audiologist Direct Patient Care Licensure is required in all states. Certification by ASHA or the American Board of Audiology (ABA).
Athletic Trainer Direct Patient Care Most states require licensure or certification of athletic trainers.
Biomedical Chemist Research and Development Certification is not required.
Biomedical Engineer Research and Development Certification is not required.
Bioinformatics Specialist Research and Development Certification is available but not required.
Biometrician Research and Development Certification is not required, but voluntary through the Society of Clinical Research Associates or the Association of Clinical Research Professionals.
Biostatician Research and Development Certification is not required.
Blood Bank Technology Specialist Research and Development Certification is necessary to become an SBB or BB (Technologist in Blood Banking)
Clinical Laboratory Technologist Imaging and Diagnostics Voluntary certification given by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP)
Cytotechnologist Research & Development Voluntary certification is gold standard. 2 levels are given by ASCP : CT(ASCP) and SCT(ASCP).
Diagnostic Molecular Scientist Imaging and Diagnostics Board certification in molecular biology is offered by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP).
Epidemiologist Research and Development Voluntary certification is available through the CBIC.
Forensic Nursing Direct Patient Care RN license required. Different types of certification available (SANE-A, SANE-P, etc)
Forensic Science Technician Research and Development Certification is voluntary, but not required.
Genetic Counselor Research and Development Licensure required in some states. Voluntary credentialing is available through the ABGC
Geneticist Research and Development Certification is voluntary, but not required.
Geriatric Care Manager Direct Patient Care Certification is given by The National Academy of Certified Care Managers (NACCCM).
Health Care Administrator Health Informatics / Business Professional and technical certifications available (AAHAM, CPAT/CCAT and CCT).
Health Educator Health Informatics / Business Board certification is voluntary, but often mandated by some employers.
Health Information Specialist Health Informatics / Business Voluntary CCA certification from AHIM or, Registered Health Information Technician (RHIT) certification through CAHIIM.
Health Psychologist Direct Patient Care Required: Must be licensed and board certified by the American Board of Clinical Health Psychology (ABCHP)
Health Services Manager Health Informatics / Business Voluntary certification.
Hospital Administrator Health Informatics / Business Professional and technical certifications available (AAHAM, CPAT/CCAT and CCT).
Industrial Hygienist Health Care Facility Support CIH certification is given by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH)
Industrial-Organizational Psychologist Direct Patient Care Required: Must be licensed and pass the Examination for Professional Practice of Psychology (EPPP).
Legal Nurse Consultant Health Informatics / Business Certifications is available.
Medical Illustrator Health Informatics / Business CMI certifications is available.
Medical Librarian Health Care Facility Support Certification is available.
Nurse Manager Health Informatics / Business and Direct Patient Care AONE offers certification as a nurse manager and leader (CNML). May also become certified in executive nursing practice (CENP).
Occupational Therapist Direct Patient Care Certification is required. Must pass exam given by the National Board for Certification Occupational Therapy (NBCOT).
Pathologist Assistant Imaging & Diagnostics Certification is voluntary and offered through the American Society for Clinical Pathologyís (ASCP) Board of Certification
Perfusionist Direct Patient Care Certification is through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion. Must be renewed every year.
Physical Therapist Direct Patient Care Licensure is required. Must pass the physical therapy examination to become licensed in your state.
Physician Assistant Direct Patient Care All states require a license. You must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam given by the NCCPA. Re-certification is required every six years.
Psychologist Direct Patient Care Certification requires state licensure. The American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP) provides certification.
Public Health Nurse Direct Patient Care Must take and pass the NCLEX-RN certification exam. Voluntary certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Registered Nurse (MSN) Direct Patient Care Must take and pass the NCLEX-RN certification exam.
Social Worker Direct Patient Care Certification and licensure requirements vary by state.
Speech Pathologist Direct Patient Care Most states require a license. Such requirements vary by state.
Toxicologist Research and Biotechnology Certification available for the experienced toxicologist through the American Board of Toxicology (ABT).
Vocational Rehab Counselor Direct Patient Care CRCC provides nationally recognized certification . Must be renewed every 5 years.

Discover how you can satisfy the educational requirements of these careers by contacting schools that offer masters degrees in your geographic region or online.

If you haven't come across a career that you are looking for, you may be interested in researching additional health care careers that fall under the five health care pathways, many of which require varying levels of education.

Find a Master's Degree Program in the Health Care Field Today

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