What Medical Careers are Available with a Master’s Degree?

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Students today often want to know what types of medical careers with a master's degree will be available to them before they spend time enrolling and working on a degree. There are a number of different master's degrees open in the medical field, including nursing, public health and social work. While not all jobs pay the same or have the same future outlook, many of the jobs available to those students come with some strong job stability.

Genetic Counselor

Genetic counselor is one of the jobs open to those with a higher level medical degree. Unlike other counselors who spend more time talking to patients about their feelings, genetic counselors help patients understand their risks of developing certain conditions based on their genetics and family histories. Someone with a family history of Alzheimer's might meet with a counselor to find out if they have a higher risk than others of developing the condition. Genetic counselors can also assist in DNA testing and similar procedures. A couple fighting over custody or child support can use the DNA test done by a counselor to verify parental lineage. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for genetic counselors will increase by more than 40 percent by 2022.

Social Worker

Working as a social worker is a rough but rewarding job. While some social workers only have a bachelor's degree, you'll need a graduate degree to move through the ranks of your local office. After finishing college or graduate school, social workers must also follow the licensing requirements of their state, which usually include a criminal background check and a professional examination of some type. Social workers help people ranging in age from babies to the elderly. They investigate signs of abuse or neglect, help those facing economic and health problems get support and make referrals to those dealing with emotional issues.

Community Health Worker

A community health worker does whatever it takes to give back and support the surrounding community. When a communicable outbreak occurs, they are the ones who create ad campaigns and go on television to warn the public about that disease. They also create posters that hang on city streets, buses and billboards to inform the public about medical conditions affecting that area. They may also work in substance abuse and community health facilities to help patients cope with their health problems.

Healthcare Policy Advocate

Those looking at the top medical careers with a master's degree might consider working in healthcare management as policy advocates. Advocates are the ones responsible for bringing attention to a specific issue. You'll often see these workers on television during election time. They push for new legislature to raise funding for certain diseases and encourage politicians to state their positions on different issues. Advocates may also work for nonprofit organizations, including those devoted to increasing funding for breast cancer, diabetes research or Alzheimer's. They help the public become more aware of the conditions and policies that can affect them.

It usually takes between 18 months and two years to finish a master's degree, and if you take fewer classes each semester or quarter, it might take you even longer to finish. It's important that you look at the types of medical careers with a master's degree that you can apply for later before committing yourself to such an in-depth program.