Associate degrees in the health sciences are holding their own in the job market as students choose affordable education pathways for solid paychecks.

Angela Drieling and Brooke Bryant with Alate Health, an interventional radiologic clinic in the Texas Medical Center, each received associate degrees in the health sciences from San Jacinto College. Drieling holds an associate degree in nursing and works as a clinical manager. Bryant graduated with her associate degree in medical radiography and works as an interventional radiologic technologist.

Since graduating from the College in 2001, Drieling has worked as a nurse for a variety of leading health care providers, including Woman’s Hospital of Texas, Kindred Hospital, Memorial Hermann Hospital and Bayshore Medical Center. She has also owned and operated a successful tutoring center that specialized in nursing and the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) review. 

“I haven’t had any problems getting jobs in this field, and I make good money,” said Drieling. The median annual wage for registered nurses in the United States was $70,000 in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the lowest 10 percent earning less than $48,690, and the highest 10 percent earning more than $104,100.

“Honestly, the training I received at San Jacinto College was harder than my bachelor’s degree but it was well worth it because I felt prepared for my first nursing job.”

Drieling previously earned a bachelor’s degree in community health education from Texas A&M University but found it difficult to find a job. She researched local nursing programs and decided to turn to San Jacinto College for her training. The San Jacinto College Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) program is well known for being one of the region’s most rigorous programs to ensure employers receive highly qualified nurses. Graduates of the College’s nursing program near or exceed the state and national pass rate standards for the NCLEX. San Jacinto College currently offers the Associate Degree Nursing program, the Licensed Vocational Nursing program and is currently developing an ADN-to-Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) transition program. 

Bryant said it was her clinical rotations in radiography that helped her to network with potential employers. “Clinicals through the College best prepared me for finding jobs in this field,” said Bryant. “They helped me to network with potential employers. I can say every single one of my classmates from my program are working in medical radiography.”

The College’s medical radiography program is accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT). The College’s medical imaging department offers two associate degrees, radiography and sonography; and certificate programs in the advanced imaging modalities of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), mammography and computed tomography (CT). All candidates pursuing the advanced modalities must be registered through the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists in radiography and hold a Medical Radiologic Technologist License from the Texas Medical Board.

For more information about the health sciences programs at San Jacinto College, visit

Check out a video of Angela Drieling and Brooke Bryant at Alate Health in the Texas Medical Center:

About San Jacinto College 

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2019 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Top 10 institution, a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students each year benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers eight areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to four-year colleges or universities or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce. 

For more information about San Jacinto College call 281-998-6150, visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.