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Healthcare Degrees Without Clinical Components

Courtney Smith-Kimble, MA
Updated November 22, 2022
    The demand for skilled healthcare professionals continues to expand. Learn about lucrative healthcare careers that do not require a clinical component.
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    A mid-adult African-American female counselor is sitting in her office chatting with a mid-adult Caucasian male patient. The counselor is smiling and holding a digital tablet in her lap. The man is pictured in the foreground gesturing while he talks with the counselor.Credit: SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images

    Students who are passionate about helping others but seeking a completely online education path can find multiple degree programs in healthcare. While many roles that involve patient care or require a license typically include an in-person clinical component, the degrees below have the ability to be completed entirely online.

    These programs prepare learners for careers that make valuable contributions to healthcare through administration, health science, counseling, and much more while offering the flexibility of remote learning.

    Bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration

    Students uninterested in a healthcare career that requires clinicals may want to consider a bachelor’s in healthcare administration. These administrators combine business and leadership skills to plan, coordinate, and direct health services. Healthcare administrators typically work in hospitals. However, opportunities exist in physicians’ offices and residential care facilities.

    Graduates can gain access to lucrative career opportunities. While earning potential varies by location and work setting, U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics data indicates that medical and health services managers earn a median salary of $100,980 annually. Though employers accept applicants with a bachelor’s degree, aspiring administrators should consider earning a master’s degree to establish a competitive advantage in the job market.

    Bachelor’s in Health Science

    A bachelor’s in health science emphasizes health issues and outcomes, preparing graduates for roles including health educator, patient care advocate, behavior analyst, and mental health counselor. Students should consider ideal career options to determine average earning potential. For instance, health educators earn about $46,230, while behavior analysts earn $61,790 on average.

    Students should note that while a bachelor’s in health science does not require a clinical component, certain career paths may require clinicals to advance. For instance, mental health counselors must earn a master’s degree and acquire 2,000-4,000 supervised hours working with their target population.

    Bachelor’s in Public Health

    A bachelor’s in public health explores multiple topics related to the science of preventing disease and promoting health. This degree does not require a clinical component and universities often offer online options. Graduates qualify for multiple careers, including data analyst, health educator, and health communication specialist.

    Common work environments include hospitals, medical facilities, nonprofit organizations, and state health departments. Earning potential varies by the career path students pursue. For instance, data analysts earn around $61,320, while health communication specialists earn an average salary of $63,340. Students who plan to advance their career may need to complete clinicals at some point.

    Bachelor’s in Health and Wellness

    A health and wellness bachelor’s degree covers several topics in the healthcare industry with an emphasis on preventative care. Students acquire knowledge and skills related to wellness advocacy and management. Corporate wellness coordinator, health services manager, recreational therapist, and community health worker are examples of career opportunities available to graduates.

    Because a bachelor’s in health and wellness can lead to diverse careers, students should identify specific job titles to pinpoint earning potential. For instance, wellness coordinators earn $47,740 on average, while health services managers earn about $70,360. Though initial career opportunities do not require field experience, advanced opportunities may require clinicals.

    Bachelor’s in Health or Nutritional Science

    Students interested in earning a health-related degree without a clinical component may want to consider a bachelor’s in health or nutritional science. This degree focuses on ways that food and nutrition impact overall health. Colleges and universities often provide elective options, allowing students to tailor the degree to meet their career goals.

    A bachelor’s in health or nutritional science can provide access to many professional fields. Therefore, earning potential also varies. For instance, nutritionists earn about $46,150, while food policy analysts earn approximately $59,570 on average. To qualify for an advanced role or degree in the healthcare industry, students may need to complete a clinical component.

    Master’s in Health Informatics

    Healthcare informatics is a specialty that focuses on the use of technology to assess and organize data, creating a bridge between nursing science and analytical science. This advanced degree prepares graduates for administrative and specialized roles. Potential careers include health informatics director, health IT project manager, and chief medical officer.

    Students should explore specific careers to determine average earning potential. However, a master’s in health informatics can lead to high-earning careers. For instance, health IT project managers earn an average salary of $100,190, while chief medical officers earn nearly $300,000. Common career options linked with this degree typically do not require clinical components.

    Bachelor’s in Psychology

    Students who prefer a healthcare degree without a clinical component may want to consider a bachelor’s in psychology. This degree allows students to work in multiple healthcare fields. Students often concentrate in addictions and recovery, child and adolescent development, or pre-counseling. Child development specialist, child welfare caseworker, or employment relations specialist are among the career options available to graduates with this degree.

    Child welfare case workers earn nearly $40,000 annually, while employment relations specialists earn about $61,690 on average. Students may want to research career choices in the psychology field to determine accurate earning potential. Additionally, advanced positions typically require a master’s degree and a clinical component. For instance, counselors and psychologists must satisfy state requirements for clinical hours.

    Bachelor’s in Counseling

    Students considering a career helping clients uncover solutions to emotional issues or disorders may want to consider earning a bachelor’s degree in counseling. Entry-level careers include college counselor, juvenile counselor, and substance abuse counselor. These roles do not require a clinical component.

    While earning potential varies, graduates typically earn around $40,000-$50,000 annually depending on their job title. Professionals interested in advancing their career may want to consider a master’s in counseling or even a master’s in psychology or social work. These degrees lead to a state license, which requires clinical hours.

    Bachelor’s in Human Services

    A bachelor’s degree in human studies explores fields that offer social assistance, which include psychology, social work, sociology, and criminal justice. Graduates often pursue careers in substance abuse counseling, youth services, or domestic violence services. Graduates can also find employment in developmental disability agencies.

    Students should consider specific careers to determine accurate salary expectations. For instance, certified domestic violence counselors earn $47,500 on average, while substance abuse counselors earn around $39,980. Professionals often go on to earn an advanced degree in fields including counseling or psychology, requiring a state license and clinical experience.

    Certificate or Associate of Medical Assisting

    Students eager to enter the healthcare field can complete a certificate or associate of medical assisting, which requires 1-2 years of study. Medical assistants record patients’ medical history, change dressings, schedule appointments, and work with billing. Medical assistants often work in medical facilities or outpatient clinics.

    Medical assistants typically earn about $34,520 annually. Professionals often go on to specialize in different areas of medical assisting, while others go on to earn a bachelor’s degree. Common tracks include health sciences, nursing, or health information management. Students considering advanced roles that require a license should prepare for a clinical component.

    Medical Billing and Coding Certificate Program

    Medical billing and coding certificate programs allow graduates to perform administrative work in the healthcare field. Responsibilities include updating medical records and entering codes for patients’ diagnosis and medical procedures. As this career path does not include patient care, professionals do not need to complete clinicals. Medical billers and coders earn close to $42,830 annually.

    Professionals interested in advancing their career could become medical claims processors or medical secretaries, which does not require clinicals. However, professionals interested in nursing or a role that requires a state license should plan to complete a clinical component.

    Feature Image: SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images

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