Allied Health Professions

The Association of Schools of Allied Health Professions defines allied health professionals as “the segment of the workforce that delivers services involving the identification, evaluation, and prevention of diseases and disorders; dietary and nutrition services; and rehabilitation and health systems management.” Allied health professions are typically either technicians (assistants) or therapists/technologists. These can include dental hygienists, diagnostic medical sonographers, dietitians, medical technologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, radiographers, respiratory therapists, and speech language pathologists.

What is the outlook in allied health? 

Currently, health care in America is facing a crisis. There is a significant shortage of workforce supply in the demand gaps across the United States in acute care, long-term care, and primary care providers. More and more allied health professionals are needed as the demand for healthcare workers will grow twice as fast between now and 2020. In the United States, healthcare makes up about 18% of the economy, which is twice as high as in many other countries. Allied health professionals are essential in providing health services to our communities while filling the gaps in the healthcare workforce that are not filled by traditional providers such as physicians and nurses. The majority of jobs in the healthcare industry are those in allied health.

Fastest Growing Occupations, 2002-2012 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

RankOccupation% Growth Expected
1Medical Assistants59
3Physician Assistants49
4Social and Human Service Assistants49
5Home Health Aides48
6Medical Records and Health Information47
7Physical Therapist Aides46
10 Physical Therapist Assistants45
15 Dental Hygienists 43
16 Occupational Therapist Aides43
17Dental Assistants42
18Personal and Home Care Aides 40
21Occupational Therapist Assistants39
28Physical Therapists35
29Occupational Therapists35
30Respiratory Therapists35

Is a job in allied health right for me? 

There are many professions that fall under allied health. These professions are a great way to obtain paid hands-on clinical experience, to serve as another health career option, or as a temporary job during your gap year(s) after graduation. For those looking for more experience before entering professional school, many allied health professions allow you to work one-on-one with patients. Utilize the following table below to compare the many different allied health professions.



Allied Health ProfessionUndergraduate Degree RequirementNumber of US SchoolsYears of TrainingMedican Income
Cytogenetic TechnologyBachelor's Degree281$61,235
Blood Bank TechnologyBachelor's Degree131+ $50,000-75,000
Cardiovascular TechnologyN/A592+$27,000-140,000
Dental Assisting N/A120+1+$27,248
Dental Laboratory Technician N/A191+$28,498
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)N/A4732+$31,020
Medical AssistantN/A5562$30,550
Physical Therapist Assistant N/A120+2$45,000
Phlebotomist N/A662$25,177-30,470
Clinical/Medical Laboratory ScientistN/A2282$45,000-60,000
Anesthesiologist Assistant Bachelor's Degree102$110,000-120,000
Athletic Training Bachelor's DegreeN/A4$35,000-75,000
Dental HygieneN/A120+2$55,307
Diagnostic SonographyN/A210N/A$53,000-75,000
Nuclear Medicine TechnologyN/A881+$65,000
Pathologists' AssistantBachelor's Degree82$90,000
Radiologic Technologist/RadiographerN/A7351+$62,763
Respiratory TherapyN/A120+2$57,000
Surgical TechnologistN/A4511+$44,420
Dietician or Nutritionist Bachelor's in Dietetics or Nutrition2244+$42,000-55,000
Pharmacy TechnicianN/A120+1+$25,625
Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN)N/A200+1$31,440
Certified Nursing Assistant/Aide (CNA)N/A120+0$25,620
Veterinary Technician Min. 2 Year Undergrad120+2$30,290
This information has beed adapted from UC Davis HPA's information chart