Healthcare is the largest and fastest-growing industry in the United States. In the Health Science Career Cluster you can prepare for a career that promotes health, wellness and diagnosis, and treats injuries and diseases.
Some careers involve working directly with people, while others involve research into diseases or collecting and formatting data and information. You could work in hospitals, medical or dental offices, laboratories, communities, medivac units, sports arenas or cruise ships.
This career cluster is organized into five career pathways:
- Biotechnology research and development
- Diagnostic services
- Health informatics
- Support services
- Therapeutic services
Students in health science learn and practice skills that prepare them for diverse post-high school education and training opportunities, from apprenticeships and two-year college programs to four-year college and graduate programs.
CTE classes in this cluster will introduce you to a variety of interesting careers including:
- Hospital administrator
- Health unit coordinator
- Nutritionist or dietician
- Medical or public health researcher
- Medical lab technician
- Physician's or medical assistant
- Nursing assistant
- Dental assistant
- Physical therapist
Note: Each school and school district has different CTE options. Not every district has classes in every cluster, nor does every district offer CTE dual credit and Advanced Placement options.
Career and Technical Student Organizations
Career and technical student organizations are much more than clubs. They provide opportunities for hands-on learning, and for applying career, leadership and personal skills in real-world environments. Participants build their skills by developing projects, attending events, and competing regionally and nationally.
The student organizations for health science are:
- Washington Career and Technical Sports Medicine Association (WCTSMA)
- HOSA-Future Health Professionals
Education After High School
It is fact that young people who have at least one year of post-high school education earn thousands of dollars more a year. So, if you spend even one year at a two- or four-year college, in a certificate program at a technical school, or in an apprenticeship after you graduate from high school, you will very likely earn higher wages all your life. By furthering your education, you will be better-prepared to successfully navigate the world of work.
After taking CTE classes in health science, you could pursue any number of opportunities including:
- A certificate as a dental assistant or nurse assistant (can be earned while still in high school)
- A two-year college degree in nursing, medical assisting and other programs at your local community or technical college
- A four-year college degree to become a Registered Nurse, doctor or medical scientist
Middle and High School
For information about your district's CTE offerings and how to move forward with planning for your future, contact or visit:
- Preparing for your future: Why CTE?
- Your school career or guidance counselor
- Your principal or school district Career and Technical Education office
- Career and Technical Education - Washington
- (360) 725-6245
Apprenticeship and College
More than 1,000 jobs in Washington are connected to an active, registered apprenticeship program. For more information about apprenticeships and colleges, visit:
- How to become an apprentice: Five steps to getting started
- Apprenticeship Washington: The future is in your hands
- Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
- Higher Education Coordinating Board
- Washington Career Bridge
- University of Washington School of Dentistry
- HOTT - Health Opportunities for Today and Tomorrow
- Project Lead the Way
- Health Opportunities for Today and Tomorrow - Explore health-related careers in Washington
- ExploreHEALTHCareers.org - Free, multi-disciplinary, interactive health careers website for young people that explains the array of health professions available. A joint initiative involving national foundations, professional associations, health career advisors, educational institutions and college students.
- Washington Life Science - Biotechnology, medical device, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical and related industries in the state of Washington
- Washington Biotechnology and Biomedical Association
- Washington State Medical Association
- Washington State Dental Association
- Washington State Hospital Association
- Washington State Nurses Association