Health Sciences

The Health Science cluster is about planning, managing, and providing therapeutic services, diagnostic services, health informatics, support services and biotechnology research and development. Demand for dental services is expected to increase because of research that links oral health and general health.  As the population ages, the need for registered nurses is expected to grow.  The need for home health aides is expected to grow as the large baby boom generation ages and requires more in-home care.

Employment Projections: 2010-2020

Heath Science will be the fastest growing career cluster over the next decade, according to projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).  By 2020, employment in Health Scienceoccupations is projected to grow from 12 million to over 15 million, with 3.5 million new jobs added.  Overall employment is expected to increase by 29 percent, much faster than other clusters and than the national growth rate of 14%.

The report Employment Projections for Health Science, 2010-2020 includes data on occupations growing faster that the nation average, pathways employment overview, occupations with the most job openings, and employment projections.

What They Make…
Occupations in this cluster and what they make in Virginia
Occupation Employed in VA Typical salary1 Typical entry-level Education
Dental hygienists 4,250 $47K–$96K Associate’s degree
Emergency medical techs, paramedics 4,310 $20K–$54K Postsecondary
non-degree award
Home health aides 9,970 $17K–$29K Less than high school
Licensed practical nurses 21,510 $31K–$57K Postsecondary
non-degree award
Medical assistants 10,360 $21K–$42K High school diploma
Medical laboratory technicians 3,780 $25K–$58K Associate’s degree
Medical laboratory technologists 4,080 $40K–$79K Bachelor’s degree
Medical, health services
6,370 $54K–$151K Bachelor’s degree
Nursing assistants 36,420 $18K–$35K Postsecondary
non-degree award
Opticians, dispensing 2,090 $21K–$53K High school diploma
Pharmacists 7,290 $89K–$146K Doctoral and
professional degrees
Pharmacy technicians 8,940 $21K–$42K High school diploma
Physical therapists 4,870 $56K–$112K Doctoral and
professional degrees
Physicians and surgeons 7,600 $55K–$187K Doctoral and
professional degrees
Radiologic technologists and
4,910 $37K–$77K Associate’s degree
Registered nurses 58,650 $45K–$95K Associate’s degree
Surgical technologists 2,210 $30K–$60K Postsecondary
non-degree award