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Pursue a Health Career with a Four-Year Degree

Pursue a Health Career with a Four-Year Degree

By Peter Vogt | Monster Career Coach

You’d like to work in healthcare, but you don’t want to spend years in school becoming a physician or dentist? Well, how about exploring your career options if you “only” have a bachelor’s degree?

There are plenty of opportunities available. Here are just four of the many healthcare careers that require a bachelor’s degree, but not necessarily more.


Dietitians, sometimes called nutritionists, oversee food and nutrition programs for individuals and groups. You can pursue a career as a clinical dietitian if you’re interested in offering nutritional guidance to patients in hospitals, nursing homes and physicians’ clinics. Or become a community dietitian who works in a public health clinic, home health agency or health maintenance organization teaching people good nutritional practices to prevent disease and promote good health.

The median annual salary for dietitians was just more than $38,000 in 2000, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), and employment of dietitians is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations between now and 2010.

Look for degree programs in dietetics, foods and nutrition, food-service systems management or a related area.

Physician Assistant

Physician assistants (PA) work under the close supervision of full-fledged physicians to provide a variety of diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive healthcare services. Typically, they’ll take medical histories, examine patients, order and interpret diagnostic tests, and prescribe medications. They can also treat minor injuries.

The median annual salary for PAs was almost $62,000 in 2000, according to the BLS. Perhaps even more appealing, the employment of PAs is expected to grow “much faster than the average for all occupations” through 2010. Why? The health services industry as a whole is expanding, health providers continue to emphasize cost control, and PAs are needed in both rural and inner-city clinics where it’s hard to attract and retain MDs.

To become a PA, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from one of more than 130 accredited programs across the US. All offer supervised clinical training.

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