Are you looking for high-paying healthcare jobs without a degree requirement? Healthcare workers are in high demand, and there are many jobs available. Healthcare professionals are the key to a healthy community. You could become anything from a medical assistant to a physical therapist in a position with high job growth and a wide range of responsibilities.
While many positions in healthcare require at least an associate degree or higher, there are several jobs you can work in the healthcare industry that require no additional education beyond a high school diploma or, in some cases, a short professional certification course. In this article, you’ll find a list of healthcare jobs that are possible to snag without a degree.
What Is Healthcare?
Healthcare is a health-related field that includes the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses, diseases, and injuries. Healthcare involves professions that treat and care for the whole human body. Some healthcare workers, like psychiatrists, may focus on mental health, while others, like physicians, focus on different body parts.
Meanwhile, other healthcare professionals focus on one specific part or function of the human body. For example, optometrists focus on eye care. Businesses that provide medical services, manufacturers of medical equipment or drugs, medical insurance providers, and those that facilitate the provision of healthcare to patients also exist within the healthcare sector.
How Much Do Healthcare Jobs Pay?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of healthcare workers is $69,870. The annual salary of healthcare jobs without a degree is also dependent on various factors, such as location. You can still earn a high median wage without the education requirement of a degree.
A career in the medical field can be a rewarding experience, no matter the role. The healthcare sector offers ample job opportunities that pay hourly rates while others pay a yearly salary. Many of these healthcare jobs provide a substantial income without requiring a degree.
What Skills Do You Need to Land a Healthcare Job Without a Degree?
All healthcare roles require excellent communication skills. Whether you’re assessing a budget or creating a schedule, you must communicate with other administrative and clinical staff to understand how your decision affects others. Aside from communicating with your fellow professionals, you must communicate effectively with patients to perform your role efficiently.
Basic Technical Skills
If you are a medical practitioner, basic skills like CPR and first aid are foundational requirements. Even if you’re more on the business side, clinical skills for medical professionals can still be beneficial, especially in emergencies. Staying updated on healthcare technology advancements and medical terminology will be helpful for general awareness in your field.
In the healthcare occupation, it is not just doctors who deal with busy days. Healthcare jobs, even those that do not require degrees, are very time-sensitive and time-consuming. Effective time management increases your efficiency as a healthcare worker and improves a patient’s chances of recovery.
With a healthcare job that does not require a degree, you’ll likely be working with plenty of higher-ups and teammates. Flexibility is key to working effectively in this team. You may need to pick up a co-worker’s shift or attend to demanding patients in a busy hospital. You should be adaptable to handle new, different, or changing environments.
Getting a healthcare job without a degree doesn’t mean you’re unqualified. You’ll be knowledgeable and skilled in your field, and you should also be open to on-the-job feedback. A receptive attitude means you can handle constructive criticism, learn from it, and enact change when needed.
What Education Do You Need to Get a Healthcare Job?
For healthcare jobs without a degree, many employers prefer their hires to be high school graduates or have a General Education Development (GED) diploma. If you are going into the healthcare field without a degree, this is usually a minimum requirement.
You may consider a certificate program or a diploma program. These programs don’t take as much time as undergraduate degrees to complete, but they can be just as valuable. They ensure you obtain the right skillset for your specialization.
Why College Is Not for Everyone
College is expensive, academically difficult, and emotionally taxing. People who are motivated and excited to be in college find it hard, but it can be even worse for people who don’t feel passionate about their experience. Following the strict path from high school to college is not always a viable option for everyone.
Additionally, the financial burden of attending college can be detrimental. The cost of getting a degree has risen substantially over time and is continuously growing. According to Statista, total student loan debt in the US exceeds $1.7 trillion.
However, even if you’re not interested in a college degree, you can still pursue higher education. You may start a vocational course or go to a trade school offering many practical skills to help you get equivalent training and certificate. Other diplomas, like a GED, can also help you advance your career, letting you get a healthcare job with a GED.
How to Get a Healthcare Job With a GED
1. Decide On Your Healthcare Career Path
The first step to starting your career in healthcare is to choose which specific job in the medical field you want to pursue. Today’s healthcare industry has a variety of medical careers available for those entering the sector, even for those without a degree. Choosing a career that you’re interested in and that aligns with your strengths will make your work more enjoyable.
2. Get Healthcare Training or a GED
For most healthcare roles, you’ll need training to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to work in the field. You should start with a GED diploma, then get training in the specific area you will be working in. Research the different options for schools and training and look for ones that provide you with everything you need to get started in your chosen healthcare career.
3. Seek Opportunities to Network with Medical Professionals
You may have relatives or friends working in the healthcare industry, so you should try to mingle with them, their coworkers, and other healthcare professionals in their circle. These professionals may be good sources of information, providing tips, available healthcare jobs, and even recommendations to get you in a healthcare job with a GED.
4. Gain Familiarity and Experience
After completing a training program, you should get some training on the job. This training could come through an internship at a local healthcare facility. Doing an internship gives you the chance to see what your job could be like and gain relevant experience to put on your resume. Additionally, search for a volunteering job opportunity to gain further knowledge and experience.
5. Apply for Jobs and Start Your Healthcare Career
To prepare for the job application process, make sure you have an updated resume containing all the healthcare-related skills, knowledge, training, and certifications you have gained. You could apply for jobs within a hospital, a doctor’s office, a clinic, a laboratory, a blood center, or another healthcare facility.
High-Paying Healthcare Jobs Without a College Degree
|Licensed Practical Nurse||$48,820||9%|
|Ophthalmic Medical Technician||$38,620||12%|
|Occupational Therapy Aide||$30,180||34%|
Best Healthcare Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree: A Closer Look
Surgical technologists assist surgeons and other members of a healthcare team during surgical operations. These workers prepare operating rooms and arrange equipment during surgeries. The role of the surgical technologist is essential because they ensure that everything is sterile and organized during an operating procedure.
Surgical technologists need a postsecondary non-degree award or an associate degree, and passing a certification exam can be beneficial in finding a job. It is a high-paying healthcare job with no degree requirement that works closely with doctors in surgical operations within a demanding but satisfying role.
Licensed Practical Nurse
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or nursing assistants, administer basic nursing care in healthcare facilities such as nursing homes and extended care facilities, hospitals, doctors’ clinics, and private homes. Their primary job includes routine care, such as monitoring patients’ blood pressure and observing their health.
Licensed practical nurses must have completed a one-year state-approved educational program and be licensed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of licensed practical nurses is growing fast at a rate of nine percent from 2020 to 2030. It is a high-paying healthcare job with no degree requirement for those who wish to work as a nurse.
A medical coder translates physicians’ reports into useful medical codes. As a medical coder, you’ll ensure that an insurance company understands what treatment a patient was given so that the bill can be processed accurately.
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You’ll use medical coding language to precisely record a patient’s medical conditions and medical history, focusing on the data management of health and billing records. You only need a high school diploma or GED, with training in a medical coding program, to qualify as a medical coder. It is a healthcare job with no degree requirement that offers a good annual wage.
Massage therapists use touch to manipulate and knead soft tissue, muscles, and joints. They treat various muscular or skeletal ailments or service clients that are looking to relieve stress and achieve a sense of total body rejuvenation. A massage therapist may work in a spa, physician’s office, or fitness center.
A massage therapist usually completes a postsecondary education program, and most states regulate massage therapists by requiring them to have a license. It is a good non-medical healthcare job with no degree requirement. Plus, this health field has growing employment rates and pays a median salary of $43,620 per year, according to the BLS.
As a dental assistant, some of your responsibilities include taking dental x-rays, keeping patient records, doing some administrative tasks, and scheduling appointments. Almost all dental assistants work in dentist’s offices and generally work full-time. Dental assistants learn through on-the-job training, as most states do not require formal education for this role.
Job openings for dental assistants grow each year. One reason for this continuous growth of job openings is the need to replace workers who either retire or transfer to different occupations. You can get a dental assistant role without a degree and enjoy a well-paid career.
Ophthalmic Medical Technician
An ophthalmic medical technician assists an ophthalmologist in performing ophthalmic clinical functions. In this role, your daily tasks may include conducting eye exams, prescribing eye medications, and instructing eye care patients in the care and use of eyewear. To become an ophthalmic medical technician, you must attend training programs to gain certifications.
According to the BLS, an ophthalmic medical technician receives a median annual wage of $40,010. This is a healthcare job with no degree requirement that offers good pay and lets you work closely with ophthalmologists. If you want to work in a higher position later, this is a good place to start.
Paramedics respond to emergency calls, perform emergency medical services, and transport patients to medical facilities. Their work can be physically exhausting and sometimes involves life-or-death situations. A paramedic’s fast response rates and competent care are critical.
Most states require paramedics to be licensed, and they should have completed a postsecondary educational program. The employment of paramedics is growing fast, and it is a high-paying healthcare job with no degree requirement.
A phlebotomist’s job includes extracting a blood sample for testing or blood donations. A phlebotomist usually works in healthcare facilities that deal with blood extractions, such as medical and diagnostic laboratories and blood donor centers.
A phlebotomist typically has a postsecondary certificate from a phlebotomy certification program. As a phlebotomist, you’ll have a decent, high-demand healthcare job that lets you work in a professional hospital environment with no degree necessary.
A pharmacy technician usually works in a pharmacy, whether that’s a stand-alone drugstore, a pharmacy section in a supermarket, or within a hospital. The main job of a pharmacy technician is to assist a pharmacist in dispensing prescription medication to customers or health professionals. It is usually a full-time job, although there may be part-time jobs available too.
To become a pharmacy technician, you’ll only need a high school diploma or GED, plus you may need to complete a postsecondary education program in pharmacy technology. Becoming a pharmacy technician has no degree requirement, but you must pass an entrance exam or complete a formal education or a training program.
Occupational Therapy Aide
Occupational therapy aides help patients to recover physically and improve and maintain the skills needed to enable them to return to their usual daily living. These professionals primarily work in occupational therapist’s offices, hospitals, and nursing care facilities. They spend much of their time on their feet while setting up equipment.
To work as an occupational therapy aide, you’ll need a high school diploma or equivalent, plus training on the job. Employment of occupational therapy aides is growing fast at a rate of 21 percent from 2020 to 2030, according to the BLS. It is a high-paying healthcare job with no degree that focuses on improving impaired patients’ lives.
Companies or Health Care Facilities that Offer Entry-Level Healthcare Jobs Without a Degree
- Massachusetts General Hospital: This is the original and largest teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, located in Boston, Massachusetts. This hospital offers healthcare jobs across all areas, like patient care, research, hospital administration, and operations. The hospital hosts entry-level healthcare jobs for those without a degree.
- Providence Health & Services: Providence Health & Services is a non-profit, Catholic health care system in Renton, Washington, operating multiple hospitals across seven states. There are entry-level healthcare jobs available across this organization’s facilities, perfect for those without a degree.
- Northwell Health: Northwell Health is a nonprofit integrated healthcare network based in New York. This company hires healthcare workers in many areas of specialization, and positions are available for entry-level healthcare jobs that don’t require a degree.
- New York Presbyterian Hospital: New York Presbyterian Hospital is a nonprofit academic medical center located in New York City, internationally renowned for its cardiac programs. The hospital offers various healthcare jobs across all areas of specialization, including entry-level healthcare jobs without a degree requirement.
- UnitedHealth Group: UnitedHealth Group is a healthcare and well-being company with a mission to help people live healthier lives and help make the health system work better for everyone. This organization hires for a large variety of healthcare positions, including entry-level healthcare jobs that only require a GED.
Where to Find Healthcare Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree
HospitalCareers is a top healthcare job board that connects healthcare professionals to the providers who need them. On this job board, you’ll see numerous job openings that come with career insights and helpful resources. Thousands of vacancies are listed for jobs like physical therapy assistant, physician assistant, and speech therapist.
CareerVitals is a job site where you can post your resume and sign up for job alerts that go to your email. Plenty of healthcare occupations are available on this site, which you could use to land a career as a radiologic technologist, radiation therapist, or surgical technician. The best healthcare companies such as the Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente utilize this site.
HealthCareSource Job Board
This healthcare job board is run by HealthCareSource, which provides a range of talent management solutions. It has more than a hundred thousand job openings for healthcare positions, including healthcare jobs without a degree requirement. This makes it an excellent place to start looking for any role in healthcare.
Consider a Healthcare Degree Later in Your Career
Getting a healthcare degree is still possible later in your career. You can study while working and get a degree to improve your qualification, which will improve your career outlook and possibly advance your career.
You may consider enrolling in an online healthcare degree course since this will be easier for you as a working student. An online course won’t take too much time and effort, since you can attend your classes anywhere using your laptop, removing the travel time that comes with campus-based programs.
Being a part of the industry that services lives is a noble endeavor, so you don’t need to stop after obtaining a healthcare job without a degree. You may want to consider becoming a healthcare consultant or a registered nurse later in your career. Pursue a healthcare degree later and take advantage of the growing opportunities in the industry.
Healthcare Jobs Without a Degree FAQ
A few examples of healthcare jobs that pay well without a degree are physical therapists, dental assistants, licensed practical nurses, and surgical technologists. There are several well-paying jobs you can work in healthcare that require no additional education beyond a high school diploma or, in some instances, a certification.
Based on job outlooks and other factors, a few healthcare jobs without a degree that are in demand are paramedics, massage therapists, phlebotomists, and various types of medical assistants and technicians.
Yes, you can work in the medical field without a degree but with a GED and some specific training. Various medical-related jobs accept candidates with just these qualifications.
Not all employers require prior experience, so you can get a job in a hospital without a degree or experience. There are entry-level hospital jobs and health care positions that require no experience or degree at all. You can instead learn the job through on-the-job training.
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