Health Care Careers

Health care requires the understanding of how people work physically and emotionally.

A trip to a health care provider can often leads to fear, anger, and confusion. A background in psychology will prepare you to deal with your patients' concerns, and it will provide the scientific foundation to excel in all aspects of the job.

Watch the video to find out more, or check out the alumni profiles below.

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Learn about successful psychology graduates working in health care by clicking the links below.

Interested in a career in health care? Check out the resources below.

Registered Nurse

As a registered nurse, you will be responsible for observing and recording both patients’ medical histories and symptoms as well as administering medications or treatments.

Recommended classes:

  • BIO 160 - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology  
  • PSY 325 - Physiological Psychology
  • PSY 375 - Psychology of Addictive Behavior
  • PSY 462 - Health Psychology

Typical salary: $60,000 - $76,000 per year

Requirements:

  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing
  • Pass the nursing licensure exam

Clinical Research

As a clinical researcher, you will help develop and implement research studies for various topics affecting people’s health and well-being.

Recommended classes:

Typical salary: $82,000 per year

Job Outlook: Expected to increase by 13% by 2026

Requirements:

  • Requirements vary per employer and field of work. Most positions as a researcher or research manager only require a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Nurse Practitioner

As a nurse practitioner, or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), you are able to perform exams, order and analyze diagnostic testing and diagnose illnesses.They can also prescribe medications.

Recommended classes:

Typical salary: $100,000 -  $118,000 a year

Requirements:

  • Become a registered nurse
  • Bachelor’s in nursing or other health science
  • Take the GRE
  • Master’s degree in nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree
  • Pass the nursing licensure exam
Click here to learn more about the different types of degrees you can get to become a registered nurse

Physical Therapist

As a physical therapist, you will diagnose problems with patients’ movement and function abilities and develop personalized plans to help them improve.

Recommended classes:

  • KIN 101 - Introduction to Kinesiology
  • BIO 160 - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
  • PSY 323 - Sensation and Perception
    • PSY 341 - Developmental Psychology
    • PSY 443 - Abnormal Child Psychology
    • PSY 462 - Health Psychology

    Typical salary: $82,000 - $93,000 per year

    Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Take the GRE
    • 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree
    • Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam

    Click here to learn more about ASU’s Pre-Physical Therapy pathway

    Physician Assistant

    As a physician assistant, you will work under the supervision of a physician or surgeon to examine and treat patients. Physician assistants can work in all areas of medicine, including primary care, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.

    Recommended classes:

    • BIO 160 - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology 
    • PSY 375 - Psychology of Addictive Behavior
    • PSY 462 - Health Psychology
    • PSY 470 - Psychopharmacology

    Typical salary: $102,000 - 115,000 per year

    Requirements:

    • Bachelor’s degree with a focus in science
    • Take the GRE or the MCAT
    • 2-year master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies
    • Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam

    Physician

    As a physician, you will be responsible for diagnosing and treating illnesses or injuries, and you have the option to open your own private practice.

    Recommended classes:

    Typical salary: $188,000 - $266,000 per year

    Requirements:

    • Bachelor's degree with a focus on science
    • Take the MCAT
    • 4-year medical degree
    • 3-7 year residency program
    • Pass the United States Medical Licensing Examinations
    Click here to check out ASU’s Pre-health program

    Click here to see Arizona Medical School’s Prerequisite Chart

    Interested in finding an internship or mentor in health care? Fill out the form below.

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