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Allied Health Science

  • Average salary: $28,070
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma; completion of program prerequisites; basic knowledge of life sciences and strong communication skills.
  • Known States in Industry: West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Alaska, California, Washington, Hawaii and Nevada.

Degree Description:

Allied health science is a broad field of study that encompasses several different healthcare disciplines. Allied health professionals are an integral part of the healthcare system because they provide a wide range of patient care and support services that help physicians, nurses and researchers. Each allied health profession has different education requirements and job demands specifically designed for their department. Allied health science degree programs prepare students to enter their specified discipline after completing academic studies and hands-on clinical rotations in labs and medical centers. Allied health science degree programs allow students to narrow their focus on a specific area of healthcare, such as nutrition/diet, radiography, medical coding, phlebotomy, occupational therapy and much more. Depending on the discipline, a bachelor's degree in allied health science typically takes four years or less to complete.

Salary and Job Outlook:

There are some 200 different allied health professions within the healthcare system today. Each one has a different salary range that varies by employer, education level, experience, location and job title. Some popular careers in allied health include: pharmacy technicians, emergency medical technicians, dental hygienists, radiologic technicians and diagnostic medical sonographers. The job outlook for allied health science careers is expected to be positive as the healthcare industry continues to expand and advance. One allied health job in particular, pharmacy technician, is expected to grow exponentially over the next seven years by 25 percent. Even the salary for pharmacy technicians is favorable. The average salary for pharmacy technicians was $28,070 in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Prerequisites:

In order to apply to an allied health science degree, you'll need to have a high school diploma and master any required prerequisites first. In addition to meeting all academic requirements, you should also have a strong understanding of the life sciences and possess strong communication skills. Once again, each allied health discipline requires different kinds of skills and knowledge. For example, if you're training to be a phlebotomist, you should be able to stand the sight of blood and needles. If not, this is probably not the right area for you, and you may be better off in a non-clinical position.

Industry Demographics:

It's difficult to list the best states for allied health science programs and careers because it is such a broad field of healthcare. With that being said, you can do some research on the most popular careers within the field by focusing on the states that have the highest concentration of employees in this industry and the ones that have the highest salaries. For example, a popular allied health profession such as pharmacy technician has the highest concentration of workers in West Virginia, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama. The top paying states for this profession are Alaska, California, Washington, Hawaii and Nevada. You can do this method of research for all other allied health professions or just the ones that interest you.

Future Options:

If you already have a bachelor's degree in allied health science, there are still plenty of opportunities for you to advance your education within this field. You can attend graduate school to obtain your master's degree in allied health in order to work in leadership, research, and clinical positions. You can also pursue graduate study in post-baccalaureate nursing, medical school, dental school, physical therapy, or another field of healthcare.

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