Health Care Careers

Health care requires the understanding of how people work physically and emotionally.

A trip to a health care provider can often leads to fear, anger, and confusion. A background in psychology will prepare you to deal with your patients' concerns, and it will provide the scientific foundation to excel in all aspects of the job.

Watch the video to find out more, or check out the alumni profiles below.

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Learn about successful psychology graduates working in health care by clicking the links below.

Marissa Ciaramitaro, PA

Physician Assistant, Arizona Allergy Associates

How she became a Physician Assistant 

Nicole Turcotte, MPH

Clinical Research Manager,
Barrow Neurological Institute

How she became a Research Manager

Michelle May, MD

Physician/Owner, Am I Hungry?

How she became a Physician 

Stefany Shaibi, PT

Physical Therapist/Associate Professor,
Northern Arizona University

How she became a Physical Therapist

Andrew Schatzki, MD

Physician, Mountain Park Health Center

How he became a Physician 

Interested in a career in health care? Check out the resources below.

Registered Nurse

As a registered nurse, you will be responsible for observing and recording both patients’ medical histories and symptoms as well as administering medications or treatments.

Recommended classes:

  • BIO 160 - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology  
  • PSY 325 - Physiological Psychology
  • PSY 375 - Psychology of Addictive Behavior
  • PSY 462 - Health Psychology

Typical salary: $60,000 - $76,000 per year

Requirements:

  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree in nursing
  • Pass the nursing licensure exam

Clinical Research

As a clinical researcher, you will help develop and implement research studies for various topics affecting people’s health and well-being.

Recommended classes:

  • PSY 290 - Research Methods 
  • HCR 350 - Introduction to Clinical Research 
  • PSY 462 - Health Psychology

Typical salary: $82,000 per year

Job Outlook: Expected to increase by 13% by 2026

Requirements:

  • Requirements vary per employer and field of work. Most positions as a researcher or research manager only require a bachelor’s degree in a related field.

Nurse Practitioner

As a nurse practitioner, or Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), you are able to perform exams, order and analyze diagnostic testing and diagnose illnesses.They can also prescribe medications.

Recommended classes:

Typical salary: $100,000 -  $118,000 a year

Requirements:

  • Become a registered nurse
  • Bachelor’s in nursing or other health science
  • Take the GRE
  • Master’s degree in nursing or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree
  • Pass the nursing licensure exam

Click here to learn more about the different types of degrees you can get to become a registered nurse

Physical Therapist

As a physical therapist, you will diagnose problems with patients’ movement and function abilities and develop personalized plans to help them improve.

Recommended classes:

  • KIN 101 - Introduction to Kinesiology
  • BIO 160 - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology
  • PSY 323 - Sensation and Perception
  • PSY 341 - Developmental Psychology
  • PSY 443 - Abnormal Child Psychology
  • PSY 462 - Health Psychology

Typical salary: $82,000 - $93,000 per year

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Take the GRE
  • 3-year Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) degree
  • Pass the National Physical Therapy Exam

Click here to learn more about ASU’s Pre-Physical Therapy pathway

Physician Assistant

As a physician assistant, you will work under the supervision of a physician or surgeon to examine and treat patients. Physician assistants can work in all areas of medicine, including primary care, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.

Recommended classes:

  • BIO 160 - Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology 
  • PSY 375 - Psychology of Addictive Behavior
  • PSY 462 - Health Psychology
  • PSY 470 - Psychopharmacology

Typical salary: $102,000 - 115,000 per year

Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s degree with a focus in science
  • Take the GRE or the MCAT
  • 2-year master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies
  • Pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam

Physician

As a physician, you will be responsible for diagnosing and treating illnesses or injuries, and you have the option to open your own private practice.

Recommended classes:

  • PSY 224 - Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
  • PSY 325 - Physiological Psychology
  • PSY 462 - Health Psychology
  • PSY 470 - Psychopharmacology

Typical salary: $188,000 - $266,000 per year

Requirements:

  • Bachelor's degree with a focus on science
  • Take the MCAT
  • 4-year medical degree
  • 3-7 year residency program
  • Pass the United States Medical Licensing Examinations

Click here to check out ASU’s Pre-health program

Click here to see Arizona Medical School’s Prerequisite Chart

Interested in finding an internship or mentor in health care? Fill out the form below.