Are you considering an associate's degree in science but you aren't sure what you can do with it?

A science class watching an experiment gone wrong.

You're not alone! There are many different healthcare career possibilities with an associate's degree in science.

Meet Tatiana

A woman sitting on a couch, reading a book. Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash

Tatiana just started taking classes at her local community college. She is working towards an associate's degree in science with a focus on healthcare but isn't sure what her exact career should be.

Tatiana is a people-person and loves helping others. Throughout her life, Tatiana has seen many medical professionals for her asthma which has greatly impacted her life. She also has some interest in dental health because that is something she has had to pay close attention to with her use of inhalers.

Tatiana feels passionate about helping children with asthma and would like to work in a hospital setting. She is considering 3 career paths; dental hygienist, radiologic technologist, and respiratory therapist.

Explore the 3 healthcare career paths to help Tatiana decide which would be the best fit for her!

1. Dental Hygienist

A dentist using two tools to look inside of a patient's mouth.

As a dental hygienist, you will:

  • clean patients' teeth

  • check patients for oral disorders

  • collaborate with dentists

  • work with the patients to address any dental concerns

  • provide the patient with the necessary tools and techniques in order to promote good oral hygiene

Flaticon Icon

A dental hygienist has a median annual salary of $77,810 USD.

2. Radiologic Technologist

An X-Ray scan on a person's wrist. Photo by Cara Shelton on Unsplash

As a radiologic technologist, you will:

  • perform patient diagnostic imaging tests

  • work with radiologists and other medical professionals

  • complete cat-scan (CT) and x-ray imaging

Flaticon Icon Specialization opportunities include MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), mammogram, and sonography.

Flaticon Icon A radiologist technologist has a median annual salary of $61,370 USD.

3. Respiratory Therapist

Lungs that fill with blue and pink to demonstrate the structure of the lungs.

As a respiratory therapist, you will:

  • work with people of all ages who experience lung disease and/or breathing disorders

  • decide on the best course of treatment and therapy, alongside medical partners

  • manage equipment needed to help patients breathe

  • educate patients and families about their condition(s)

Flaticon Icon Specialization opportunities include neonatal, geriatric, critical care, etc.

Flaticon Icon A respiratory therapist has a median annual salary of $61, 830 USD.


Now that you know a little bit about Tatiana's interests and each career path she is considering, which one would you suggest for her?

Skills and Licensure Needed in Healthcare

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A wrench and a pencil Skills

  • effective communication

  • empathy and compassion

  • attention to detail

  • ability to work as a member of a team

  • a positive attitude

  • effective time management

A rolled up ceertificate Licensure

  • graduate from an accredited program

  • pass national licensing exams

  • pass any regional or state licensing exams (if applicable)

  • complete continuing education to maintain licensure

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