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Health & Medical Career Pathways

The health care industry is seeing a surge in the need for high-quality graduates to work in nearly every aspect of the health care field. There are many career paths in this field from direct patient care to public health to medical administration and more.

Explore Health Careers

Online Tools - Learn about health care professions

Click on each of the links below to learn about the many careers in health care.  Multiple websites are included because different websites highlight different types of careers. Explore work activities, educational requirements, wages, advancement, job descriptions, employment outlook, and more.

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Download Guides to Health Care Careers

* Prepared by the Iowa Department of Education

** Note that the listing of college programs may be outdated.

Student Experiences in Health Care

A great way to explore whether an academic and career path is a good fit for you is to find opportunities to get real world experience early on in your journey. Below are some options in Central Oregon for students to get first-hand experience in health care careers.

Scholarships for Health Science Students

Cascades East Area Health Education Center and the St. Charles Foundation


Offer scholarships to students who desire to enter a health care career and practice in a rural Oregon area as a certified nurse assistant, registered nurse, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or other health professional.

Health Sciences Education Pathways

 Additionally, there are many longer programs in health care to help you advance your skills and increase your wages (from one year certificates to graduate school).

Training Certifications

Students can earn training certifications in health care in as little as a few weeks to months.  These short programs are a great way to get experience in health care and obtain a job early  in your health care career.

Community Health Worker
Peer Support Specialist
Certified Nursing Assistant
Emergency Medical Technician
Wilderness First Aid & First Responder
Medical Scribe

Certificates of Completion &
Associate Degrees

Students can earn a Certificate of Completion or an Associate Degree in a health care field at a community college.  Community colleges offer a high quality, lower cost education that helps students enter into the workforce in a short amount of time. See below for academic programs available in Central Oregon as well as other programs of interest in Oregon. Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all health care programs in Oregon.  To research programs available at all the community colleges in Oregon, look up "Academic Programs" at each college:

Anesthesia Technician
Bioscience Technology
Dental Assistant
Dental Hygiene
Diagnostic Imaging
Exercise Science/Kinesiology
Funeral Service Education
Health Information Management
Laboratory Technician
Licensed Massage Therapist
Medical Assistant
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Opthalmic Medical Technology
Pharmacy Technician

Physical Therapy Assistant
Public Health
Registered Nurse
Respiratory Therapist
Speech Language Pathology Technician
Surgical Technician
Veterinary Technician

Bachelor's Degrees

Students can earn a Bachelor's Degree in a health care field at a 4-year college or university. Students may choose to start their education at a community college and then transfer to a university. 


Note: This is not a comprehensive list of all health care Bachelor degree programs in Oregon.  To research programs available at all the universities in Oregon, look up "Academic Programs" at each college (scroll down link for public & private universities):

Animal Science/Animal BioHealth

Communications Science & Disorders/ Speech & Hearing Science

Dental Hygiene

Diagnostic Imaging

Emergency Medical Services Management

Exercise Science/Kinesiology/Biokinetics

Healthcare Administration, Healthcare Management, Health Informatics, Bioinformatics

Holistic, Integrative, & Alternative Health Care Programs

Medical Laboratory Science

Medical Sciences



Public Health

Radiation Therapy

Registered Nurse

Respiratory Care

Pre-Professional Health Sciences

Vision Science

Graduate Degrees

Graduate programs in health care are offered at universities.  Admission into any graduate school program requires a selective admissions application.  It is important for students to research admissions requirements because they vary by school, program, and degree.  Admissions requirements may include: Bachelor's degree, pre-requisite courses, competitive GPAs, test scores, work experience, community involvement, and more. Most graduate programs require a Bachelor's degree before admissions; however, some programs offer accelerated admissions allowing students to enter into the graduate program before they complete their Bachelor's degree (this allows students to complete their Bachelor's degree while they are in the graduate program). 


Undergraduate academic advisors can help students develop an academic plan to reach their graduate school goals. Additionally, students interested in graduate school should review program websites and attend informational sessions to learn more about admissions requirements to help plan their undergraduate course of study.

Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine

Athletic Training


Chiropractic Physician

Dietician & Nutrition

Healthcare Administration

Medical Sciences

Nurse Practitioner & Nursing Graduate Programs

Occupational Therapy


Pharmacist & Pharmaceutical Sciences

Physician Assistant

Physical Therapy

Public Health

Speech Language Pathology


Physician or Doctor

Naturopathic Physician & Integrative Health Professions

Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science

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