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. Dentists and physical therapists will be in high demand, as baby boomers age and need more complex dental work and physical therapy.
Employment Projections: 2012-2022
The Health Science Cluster, the fastest growing cluster in both Virginia and the U.S., employed approximately 294,000 Virginians in 2012, and is expected to employ nearly 77,000 more Virginia workers in 2022, for a total of about 371,000. This represents 26 percent growth over the decade, slightly exceeding the anticipated national average growth of 24 percent among all occupations in this cluster, a figure based on Trailblazers analysis of information from Bureau of Labor Statistics.
For more information on occupations in the Health Science Cluster, visit Trailblazers – Career and Technical Education in Virginia(PDF).
What They Make...
2013 Median Wage
2022 Projected Employment
Predominant Level of Education
Employed in Virginia
|Registered Nurses||$62,750||66,990||Bachelor's degree or more||59,445|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||$39,390||27,715||Some college; Associate degree||21,876|
|Home Health Aides||$20,600||15,248||High School diploma||10,378|
|Medical Assistants||$30,400||14,625||Some college; Associate degree & training; Certification||10,456|
|Dental Assistants||$34,950||11,612||Some college; Associate degree||8,455|
|Pharmacy Technicians||$28,240||10,629||Some college; Associate degree & training; Certification||8,919|
|Pharmacists||$122,170||8,242||Bachelor's degree or more & training; Certification||7,364|
|Medical and Health Services Managers||$90,280||8,187||Bachelor's degree or more||6,759|
|Physical Therapists||$81,410||7,593||Bachelor's degree or more||5,130|
|EMTs and Paramedics||$30,180||6,564||Some college; Associate degree||4,449|
|Dental Hygienists||$81,110||6,356||Some college; Associate degree||4,295|
|Medical Laboratory Technicians||$37,340||5,260||Bachelor's degree or more||3,825|
|Medical Laboratory Technologists||$54,570||4,952||Bachelor's degree or more||4,131|
|Medical Records Technicians||$34,920||4,488||Some college; Associate degree||3,697|
|Dentists||$158,680||4,433||Bachelor's degree or more & training; Certification||3,457|
|Psychiatric Technicians||$25,230||4,318||Some college; Associate degree||4,368|
|Speech-Language Pathologists||$74,320||3,594||Bachelor's degree or more||2,878|
|Occupational Therapists||$81,310||3,292||Bachelor's degree or more||2,479|
|Physician Assistants||$87,170||3,097||Bachelor's degree or more & training; Certification||2,090|
|Physical Therapist Assistants||$55,940||2,945||Some college; Associate degree||1,901|
|Respiratory Therapists||$56,590||2,538||Bachelor's degree or more||2,328|
Wage data: United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2013 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates: Virginia.
Employment projections data: Virginia Employment Commission, Virginia Occupational Employment Projections 2012-2022.
Predominant education level: Trailblazers through the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.
Career Cluster Planning
A resource for counselors, administrators, and educators
CTE Administrative Planning Guide (APG) – includes information to help local school divisions plan and schedule instructional programs. The APG is organized by career clusters, with a complete listing of courses, concentration sequences, and credentials available to students as they plan for career entry and continuing education. Users may access course information by cluster or by searching for specific courses or certifications.
Career Planning Guide – includes an easy way for students and counselors to look for courses to further career goals. One can search for occupations, browse by Career Clusters or favorite academic subjects.
Information and tips for instructional leaders, administrators, counselors and teachers/faculty for creating a career pathway academic and career plan of study.
Sample Academic and Career Plans of StudySchool divisions are asked to develop sample plans of study based on the courses offered within their schools, the employment needs of the region, and the post-high school educational opportunities needed for these careers. Once these sample plans are developed, they can be customized to the needs of individual students so that all students have the opportunity to have an individualized academic and career plan of study.
Sample Pathway Plans of Study for Health Science:
- Biotechnology Research & Development (Word)
- Diagnostic Services (Word)
- Health Informatics (Word)
- Support Services (Word)
- Therapeutic Services (Word)
- Blank Plan of Study (with fields) (Word)
Also see Sample Plans of Study for all clusters and pathways.
Report: Education, Employment and Earnings: Analyzing Data from Health Science
Cluster Analysis Document for Virginia
Current research relative to employment sectors and information on occupation supply and demand. The information is presented in two formats: a summary brief and a detailed report.
Nontraditional Careers: Occupational and Employment Information
The Career Clusters logo and its extensions are the property of the National Career Technical Foundation, as managed by NASDCTEc. Some content on this page is from the publication, R U College & Career Ready? - 2016 Edition; and is used here with permission from the Virginia Business Publications LLC and Trailblazers in the Demographics and Workforce Section of the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service at the University of Virginia.