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 Science occupations 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
|Home health aides||9,970||$17K–$29K||Less than high school|
|Licensed practical nurses||21,510||$31K–$57K||Postsecondary
|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
|Opticians, dispensing||2,090||$21K–$53K||High school diploma|
|Pharmacy technicians||8,940||$21K–$42K||High school diploma|
|Physical therapists||4,870||$56K–$112K||Doctoral and
|Physicians and surgeons||7,600||$55K–$187K||Doctoral and
|Radiologic technologists and
|Registered nurses||58,650||$45K–$95K||Associate's degree|
110th to 90th percentile
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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.
- Health Science in Virginia – Career Cluster Brief (PDF)
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? - 2014 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.