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Career options in health – there's more than you think

14/10/2020 |
3 mins

Male working at a gym machine and being assessed by a staff member


As Australia’s leading employer, there’s never been a better time to get into the health industry. But did you know your career options aren’t restricted to roles you might have heard about growing up: doctor, dentist, nurse, osteo…? There are so many other areas to explore if you want to help create a healthier world. Discover five industries below that are all about improving lives. 

So you’re interested in: Biomedical Sciences

About this area:

Biomedical science applies biology-based science to the healthcare industry and can be found across hospital settings, research institutes, private laboratories and universities.

This field could see you work in areas such as infection sciences, blood sciences or cellular sciences, where you could investigate blood types for emergency transfusions, test food samples for bacteria, or analyse tissue samples and detect cellular abnormalities.

A career in biomedical sciences could involve conducting tests to diagnose diseases, advising other medical staff on treatment and prevention options, and operating and monitoring medical laboratory equipment.

Study in this field is ideal if you enjoy learning about the human body and want to work with other professionals in your industry to make a difference.

Possible careers*:

Biotechnologist, biomedical researcher, clinical scientist, pathologist, lab technician, researcher

UWA majors to consider:

Anatomy and Human Biology, Pathology and Laboratory MedicinePharmacology

So you’re interested in: Sports

About this area:

Are you passionate about health and exercise? Do you love learning about how the body works? Consider a role as an exercise physiologist. This profession works to assess, plan and implement programs to help prevent and manage people’s chronic diseases and injuries.

You could administer tests to identify and assess issues, help improve clients’ muscle function through physical activity and restore general health and wellbeing.

Study in sport also opens you up to range of careers in the health education, exercise rehabilitation, health service delivery, and fitness industries. If you’re interested in the business side of sport, you could look at work in the management, marketing or promotion fields, or run your own business as a trainer, fitness instructor or coach.

Possible careers*:

Exercise physiologist, sports scientist, coach, recreation manager, sports promotion and marketing officer, physiologist

UWA majors to consider:

Physiology, Exercise and Health, Sport Science or the double major Sport Science, Exercise and Health

So you’re interested in: Podiatric Medicine 

About this area:

Podiatrists prevent, diagnose and treat disorders of the feet, and help ankle, knee and postural issues caused by leg problems.

Working in podiatry can involve examining patients to determine any conditions, performing minor surgery, prescribing and fitting supports and other devices, and corresponding with other healthcare providers for team-based care.

Other aspects of a role in podiatry include diagnosing and treating muscular and neurological problems, ordering lab tests and X-rays, and advising patients on foot care and appropriate footwear.

A career in this area could see you open up your own private practice or you could take up work in a government agency, hospital or clinic.

Possible careers*:

Podiatrist, podiatric surgeon

UWA majors to consider:

Anatomy and Human Biology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

So you’re interested in: Nutrition

About this area:

If you’re invested in creating healthy communities, a career in this sector could be for you. Take your interest in health and learn how to reduce morbidity and improve wellbeing through nutrition and exercise.

If you want to learn about the role of micronutrients and macronutrients in maintaining health and preventing lifestyle diseases, consider an area like nutritional biochemistry, which focuses on nutrient chemical components and how they function, as well as their impact on disease.

There’s also career options in dietetics and nutrition where experts use their skills to promote a healthy diet and treat or prevent illness. As a nutritionist, you could be involved in advising healthy eating patterns, planning programs, studying diet habits and overseeing meal preparation.

Similarly, dieticians use the science of human nutrition to help people understand the relationship between food and health, and teach them how to make the best choices to maintain their health.

Possible careers*:

Dietician, nutritionist, food scientist, biochemist/molecular biologist, researcher

UWA majors to consider:

Our new Biochemistry of Nutrition double major

So you’re interested in: Population and Public Health

About this area:

If you want to make a big impact in your career, think about roles that take on health and wellbeing on a grander scale. An area like population and public health looks at entire communities instead of focusing on individuals as it seeks to make large, wide-scale improvements in society.

Study in this area will see you examine patterns of health and disease in society, and apply medical research and evidence-based medicine to improve the health of the community.

Take up this area if you’re interested in raising awareness of healthy lifestyles, disease and disability, and other health-related issues.

You could help identify at-risk sectors and plan, control and run programs and services to provide welfare to those who need it most.

Possible careers*:

Health promotion officer, health and welfare services manager, health education officer, researcher, consultant

UWA majors to consider:

Aboriginal Health and Wellbeing

*Further study may be required for some occupations.


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