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Online Degrees in Health

More jobs are projected to open up in healthcare than any other field. Enrolling in an online healthcare degree program can help you build the real-world skills needed for a job in the healthcare industry.

The demand for healthcare occupations arises from the need for more healthcare services overall and the aging baby-boom population, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). As reported by the White House, the healthcare sector is likely to open up 3.5 million new jobs by 2026. Some healthcare occupations, like registered nurses, home health aides, massage therapists, genetic counselors, and EMTs, are seeing significant job demand. 

Government initiatives such as Health Career Pathways launched in 2016 seeks to identify jobs in healthcare that are most in-demand and align education and skills to meet the needs of healthcare employers. The government's 10-year plan initiated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop an interoperable IT healthcare infrastructure is also likely to directly impact those who are interested in careers related to online health information, health administration or health informatics. The highest projected job growth in upcoming years is expected to be for the healthcare support, healthcare practitioner, and healthcare technical occupations.

What makes a successful healthcare professional? According to Ram Raju, President and CEO of the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, "One of the most critical elements for success is having high-quality diverse talent that can engage patients in improving their health - not just providing routine healthcare services."

Whether you are a high school graduate, a working professional or an adult learner ready for a career change, there is a vast array of choices from associate to graduate levels for online degree programs in healthcare. This page can serve as a guide providing the information you need as you consider a career in the healthcare industry.

Occupational Therapists
Job DescriptionOccupational therapists treat injured, ill, or disabled patients through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. They help these patients develop, recover, and improve the skills needed for daily living and working.
Mean Annual Salary: $85K
Typical Degree Required: Master's degree
Registered Nurses
Job DescriptionRegistered nurses (RNs) provide and coordinate patient care, educate patients and the public about various health conditions, and provide advice and emotional support to patients and their family members.
Mean Annual Salary: $76K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree
Dental Hygienists
Job DescriptionDental hygienists clean teeth, examine patients for signs of oral diseases such as gingivitis, and provide other preventive dental care. They also educate patients on ways to improve and maintain good oral health.
Mean Annual Salary: $76K
Typical Degree Required: Associate's degree
Radiologic Technologists
Job DescriptionRadiologic technologists, also known as radiographers, perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as x rays, on patients. MRI technologists operate magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners to create diagnostic images.
Mean Annual Salary: $62K
Typical Degree Required: Associate's degree
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technologists
Job DescriptionMedical laboratory technologists (commonly known as medical laboratory scientists) and medical laboratory technicians collect samples and perform tests to analyze body fluids, tissue, and other substances.
Mean Annual Salary: $0K
Typical Degree Required: Bachelor's degree

Online health degree programs vary in length of time and depth of study, but the Lumina Foundation estimates that two-thirds of high-quality jobs will likely require some type of postsecondary education by 2020. A variety of online health degree programs can be found in the fields of administration, rehabilitative therapy, health and fitness or mental health and may offer the quality education you seek.

Be sure to click on the buttons under each section to find detailed information on each degree program — information that can serve as a guide as you consider your degree options.

Use our top college listing to find an online college that can provide you with the best online student experience. Our rankings consider factors important to you as a distance education learner.

Online Healthcare Administration Programs

Healthcare administration is a broad field with online healthcare degrees available at many levels. The Lumina Foundation reports that "technology growth and the retirement of the baby-boom generation is creating more demand for IT and health care workers," suggesting that online healthcare programs in the IT field — like informatics — could be a smart move. However, administrative jobs could include others, such as dental office management, medical billing and quality control and safety.

Click on any of the buttons below to find detailed information such as the salary you can expect, the typical duties you may be performing, career outlook and the kind of coursework you can expect, by degree level.

Online Programs in Healthcare Therapy

Healthcare therapy is another field offering many different career paths and room for growth. For example, you could choose a degree program in an area like respiratory therapy or occupational therapy. These fields can be highly rewarding, allow you to work one-on-one with people and also earn a rewarding salary. Reasons for entering a therapy field, such as physical therapy, include the opportunity for growth, the shot at a flexible schedule and the chance to help rehabilitate patients.

Click on the buttons directly below to find out what you can do with any one of these degrees and what might your income, responsibilities and coursework look like.

Online Programs in Health and Fitness

You may love the opportunity to help others get fit and healthy through a career in nutrition, sports and fitness or even public health. While academic courses are different for each of these, they all give you the opportunity to impact others. The fact that people are interested in health and fitness is reflected in the demand for nutritionists and dieticians. Job growth in these fields is expected to be 15 percent, or much faster than average, from 2016 to 2026, according to the BLS. Similarly, job growth for fitness trainers and instructors is expected to grow by 10 percent by 2026.

Check out degree programs related to health and fitness by clicking on the buttons below to find detailed information on wages, coursework by degree level, and the kind of jobs you might be able to do with any one of these health and fitness degrees.

Online Programs in Mental Health

You may think that pursuing a career in the mental health field means becoming a psychologist and while this is one option, you also could train to become a counselor or school counselor. In fact, job growth for school and career counselors is expected to be 13 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is faster than average job growth for all occupations. As a career counselor, you can help people transition from one career to another while counseling on college campuses is a need as students prepare for the work force and its real-world demands, according to the BLS.

Clicking on the buttons below provides more details about online mental health degrees such as the kind of jobs you may be able to get, estimated wages, and coursework, by degree level.

Online Programs in Specialized Health Practices

Specialized practices in healthcare may include degrees in medical technology, nursing, radiological services, veterinary and health sciences. These fields provide an opportunity to specialize in very specific fields of care and to complete a degree that prepares you for entry-level work. Job opportunities for registered nurses are expected to grow 20 percent from 2016 to 2026 — growth that is considered much faster than average, according to the BLS.

Be sure to click on the buttons directly below for information on salary, jobs related to each degree and the kind of coursework you might need to take.

We ranked the top 10 colleges for an online healthcare degree based on a number of quantifiable factors. These data-driven rankings include schools offering an online or hybrid degree program in the healthcare field. We ranked these online colleges for healthcare using factors important to online students such as tuition, percentage of financial aid and placement services. We encourage you to look at the methodology at the bottom of the page.


Top Colleges for Online Associate Degrees in Healthcare

An online associate degree program can take around two years to earn. If you choose an allied healthcare field, such as dental hygiene, medical technology, respiratory or occupational therapy, you may quickly be able to find an entry-level job. Check out the chart below for degree ideas, and keep in mind that online programs at the associate level in healthcare could lead to competitive wages.

1
Barton County Community College(Great Bend, KS)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,304
No. of online programs
48
% of students in distance education
44%
Avg. amount of Aid
$2,962
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
West Kentucky Community and Technical College(Paducah, KY)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,888
No. of online programs
22
% of students in distance education
44%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,391
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Somerset Community College(Somerset, KY)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,888
No. of online programs
24
% of students in distance education
68%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,538
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
Allen County Community College(Iola, KS)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$1,920
No. of online programs
81
% of students in distance education
70%
Avg. amount of Aid
$2,944
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
5
Central Texas College(Killeen, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,390
No. of online programs
54
% of students in distance education
55%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,717
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
San Juan College(Farmington, NM)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$1,104
No. of online programs
13
% of students in distance education
43%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,130
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Kaplan University-Davenport Campus(Davenport, IA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$13,356
No. of online programs
114
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,772
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
North Central Missouri College(Trenton, MO)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,350
No. of online programs
28
% of students in distance education
38%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,093
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
9
Great Falls College Montana State University(Great Falls, MT)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$2,621
No. of online programs
15
% of students in distance education
56%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,833
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Minnesota West Community and Technical College(Granite Falls, MN)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,146
No. of online programs
34
% of students in distance education
55%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,515
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
Top Colleges for Online Bachelor's Degrees in Healthcare

Online healthcare programs at the bachelor's level typically take four years to complete, but sometimes can be completed at an accelerated pace. This means you could find a job in the workforce earlier than anticipated and begin to earn wages appropriate to your degree. Some occupations, such as healthcare management or health information management, require just a bachelor's degree.

1
Kaplan University-Davenport Campus(Davenport, IA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$13,356
No. of online programs
114
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,772
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
2
Western New Mexico University(Silver City, NM)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,927
No. of online programs
25
% of students in distance education
67%
Avg. amount of Aid
$12,255
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
27%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Grand Canyon University(Phoenix, AZ)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$16,365
No. of online programs
94
% of students in distance education
90%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,736
Admissions Rate
67%
Graduation Rate
41%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
4
Winston-Salem State University(Winston-Salem, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$3,401
No. of online programs
6
% of students in distance education
49%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,872
Admissions Rate
67%
Graduation Rate
49%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
5
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus(Cincinnati, OH)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$9,322
No. of online programs
48
% of students in distance education
41%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,099
Admissions Rate
76%
Graduation Rate
69%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Davenport University(Grand Rapids, MI)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$16,728
No. of online programs
56
% of students in distance education
71%
Avg. amount of Aid
$14,460
Admissions Rate
82%
Graduation Rate
44%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Peirce College(Philadelphia, PA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$14,400
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
88%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,526
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
21%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
8
Midway University(Midway, KY)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$23,700
No. of online programs
25
% of students in distance education
77%
Avg. amount of Aid
$9,573
Admissions Rate
57%
Graduation Rate
52%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
University of Holy Cross(New Orleans, LA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$12,480
No. of online programs
2
% of students in distance education
36%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,896
Admissions Rate
46%
Graduation Rate
52%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Regis University(Denver, CO)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$35,260
No. of online programs
86
% of students in distance education
63%
Avg. amount of Aid
$15,655
Admissions Rate
60%
Graduation Rate
71%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
Top Colleges for Online Master's Degrees in Healthcare

An online master's degree program in healthcare typically takes two years to complete, although some programs are available at an accelerated pace. Available degree programs include a master of science in healthcare administration and an MBA in healthcare administration. Healthcare administration can be a high-paying field, reports the BLS.

1
Grand Canyon University(Phoenix, AZ)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$16,365
No. of online programs
94
% of students in distance education
90%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,736
Admissions Rate
67%
Graduation Rate
41%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
N/A
2
Kaplan University-Davenport Campus(Davenport, IA)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$13,356
No. of online programs
114
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$3,772
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
39%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
3
Lamar University(Beaumont, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,832
No. of online programs
23
% of students in distance education
65%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,403
Admissions Rate
82%
Graduation Rate
30%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
4
The University of Texas at Tyler(Tyler, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,880
No. of online programs
11
% of students in distance education
63%
Avg. amount of Aid
$6,159
Admissions Rate
65%
Graduation Rate
42%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
5
East Carolina University(Greenville, NC)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,452
No. of online programs
55
% of students in distance education
42%
Avg. amount of Aid
$7,681
Admissions Rate
79%
Graduation Rate
62%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
6
Montana State University-Billings(Billings, MT)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$4,397
No. of online programs
17
% of students in distance education
57%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,058
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
27%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
7
Midwestern State University(Wichita Falls, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$5,216
No. of online programs
10
% of students in distance education
43%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,939
Admissions Rate
81%
Graduation Rate
45%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
8
Saint Joseph's College of Maine(Standish, ME)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$34,610
No. of online programs
23
% of students in distance education
54%
Avg. amount of Aid
$19,342
Admissions Rate
80%
Graduation Rate
59%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
9
The University of Texas Medical Branch(Galveston, TX)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$6,095
No. of online programs
18
% of students in distance education
27%
Avg. amount of Aid
$4,501
Admissions Rate
N/A
Graduation Rate
N/A
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
10
Clarkson College(Omaha, NE)
Additional Info
Average in-state tuition
$12,384
No. of online programs
19
% of students in distance education
100%
Avg. amount of Aid
$5,251
Admissions Rate
62%
Graduation Rate
74%
Career Counseling
Yes
Placement Services
Yes
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About 2.4 million new healthcare jobs are expected to be created between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. This is much faster than average, resulting from an aging population and an increased demand for services. Overall, the healthcare sector should add more jobs than any other sector to the economy. The chart below can help you explore the most in-demand, top-paying jobs in healthcare, many which may be achievable through online healthcare programs.

Occupations In-Demand for Health
Job Openings (2016-26)
Average Salary (2018)
Typical Entry Level Education
Registered Nurses203,600$75,510Bachelor's degree
Coaches and Scouts42,000$43,870Bachelor's degree
Dental Hygienists17,500$75,500Associate's degree
Physical Therapists16,800$88,880Doctoral or professional degree
Pharmacists15,300$123,670Doctoral or professional degree
Physicians and Surgeons, All Other15,200$203,880Doctoral or professional degree
Physical Therapist Assistants14,700$57,750Associate's degree
Nurse Practitioners14,400$110,030Master's degree
Radiologic Technologists13,600$61,540Associate's degree
Veterinary Technologists and Technicians10,700$35,560Associate's degree
Source: 2018 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2016-26 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Methodology and Sources
Methodology and Sources

Methodology

To be included in our rankings for the top colleges for online degrees in healthcare by degree level all colleges had to meet the following 4 requirements:

  • Offer a degree or certificate program in that subject, either in an online or hybrid format
  • Have at least 1% of students attending some form of distance education
  • Have awarded at least one degree or certificate in that subject in 2015-16
  • Have reported data for all 19 ranking variables for associate/bachelor’s and 11 ranking variables for master’s (listed below)

We then ranked colleges and universities in the United States that fit our criteria, using 2016-17 data from the National Center for Education Statistics and the weights specified. The final totals were:

  • 212 colleges for online associate degree in healthcare
  • 426 colleges for online bachelor’s degree in healthcare
  • 365 colleges for online master’s degree in healthcare

We then scored the final list of colleges by degree level on a 100-point scale using these specific data points:

Associate/Bachelor’s

  1. Associate’s/Bachelor’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
  2. Ratio of undergraduate students participating fully or partially in Distance Education to Total Enrollment
  3. Average in-state tuition for undergraduates
  4. Retention rate
  5. Percent of undergraduate students awarded federal, state, local, institutional or other sources of grant aid
  6. Average amount of federal, state, local, institutional, or other sources of grant aid awarded to undergraduate students
  7. Student-to-faculty ratio
  8. Variety of Programs, based on the number of similar topics for programs in relevant CIP codes that are offered via distance education at any level
  9. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media
  10. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Guaranteed, Prepaid, Other)
  11. Services (Academic/Career Counseling, Placement for Completers)
  12. Credit offerings (Dual, Life, AP, Military)

Master’s

    1. Master’s Program prominence, based on how many of the degrees and certificates awarded via distance education in 2016-2017 were in this particular subject
    2. Ratio of graduate students participating fully or partially in Distance Education to Total Enrollment
    3. Average in-state tuition for graduates
    4. Credit offerings (Life, Military)
    5. Services (Academic/Career Counseling, Placement for Completers)
    6. The availability of any tuition plans (Payment, Prepaid, Other)
    7. Total electronic library collections, including digital books, databases, and media

Methodology Sources

        • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/

Sources

      • 6 High-Paying Healthcare Management Careers, Concordia University-Saint Paul, https://online.csp.edu/blog/business/6-high-paying-healthcare-management-careers, Accessed September 2018
      • 7 Outstanding Pros and Cons of Being a Physical Therapist, MAS Medical Staffing, https://masmedicalstaffing.com/blog/allied-health/pros-and-cons-of-being-a-physical-therapist/, Accessed September 2018
      • A 10-Year Vision to Achieve an Interoperable Health IT Infrastructure, U.S Health and Human Services, https://www.healthit.gov/sites/default/files/ONC10yearInteroperabilityConceptPaper.pdf, Accessed September 2018
      • Bachelor of Science Healthcare Management Degree, Payscale, Payscale.com, https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Bachelor_of_Science_(BS_%2F_BSc)%2C_Health_Care_Management/Salary, Accessed September 2018
      • Dieticians and Nutritionists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/dietitians-and-nutritionists.htm#tab-6, Accessed September 2018
      • Fitness Trainers and Instructors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/personal-care-and-service/fitness-trainers-and-instructors.htm, Accessed September 2018
      • Healthcare Trends for 2018, National Institutes of Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5902765/, Accessed November 2018
      • "Healthcare: Millions of Jobs Now and in the Future," Bureau of Labor Statistics, https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2014/spring/art03.pdf, Accessed September 2018
      • Healthcare Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/home.htm, Accessed September 2018
      • Highest Paying Occupations, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/highest-paying.htm, Accessed September 2018
      • How Long Does it Take to Become a Doctor? Kaplan, https://www.kaptest.com/study/mcat/how-long-does-it-take-to-become-a-doctor/, Accessed September 2018
      • Medical and Health Services Managers, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm, Accessed September 2018
      • Medical and Health Services Mangers, O*NET OnLine, https://www.onetonline.org/find/score/11-9111.00?s=Health%3A%20Electronic%20Health%20Records, Accessed September 2018
      • Medical Records and Health Information Technicians, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm, Accessed September 2018
      • Medscape Physician Compensation Report, Medscape, https://www.medscape.com/slideshow/2018-compensation-overview-6009667, Accessed September 2018
      • National Health Initiatives, Strategies and Action Plans, CDC, https://www.cdc.gov/stltpublichealth/strategy/index.html, Accessed September 2018
      • Physical Therapist Assistant or Aides, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapist-assistants-and-aides.htm#tab-5, Accessed September 2018
      • Physical Therapists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/physical-therapists.htm, Accessed September 2018
      • Registered Nurses, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm, Accessed November 2018
      • School and Career Counselors, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/community-and-social-service/school-and-career-counselors.htm#tab-6, Accessed September 2018
      • The Key to Better Lives, The Lumina Foundation, https://www.luminafoundation.org/attainment-trend, Accessed September 2018
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