What Healthcare Jobs Don’t Require A Degree?

"I want to go into healthcare, because it seems like there is so much opportunity. I don’t have the money or time to spend becoming a doctor, though, and honestly I don’t even know if I can manage the amount of education it would take to become a nurse. Is there something I can do that doesn’t require a degree? Maybe just a certificate, or even on the job training"

asked by Zack from Pittsburgh, PA

There are a lot of healthcare jobs you can get without getting a degree. An associate’s degree (just two years) may help with some of them, but it is not necessarily a requirement. You may even be able to get by without a certificate for several of them, but certification always helps, and in some cases is required.

You may only need to take a few courses to get a certificate for a healthcare job. Here is a quick list of some possibilities which may interest you, all within the healthcare sector.

Home care worker

This is a job where you work with elderly or disabled people in their homes. Usually you go through an agency, like a temp agency, but specifically for home care work. The average salary is only around $20,000 a year, but if you are not the sole earner, this may be sufficient to get by.

Medical assistant

This job usually entails clerical or administrative office work in an office setting, so like other office jobs, it doesn’t require that you have a degree. Some medical assistants also perform a few clinical tasks. The average salary is around $30,000 a year.

Medical billing or coding

These are two different professions, but they are frequently mentioned together since they require similar knowledge. You do need a certification to get this job. The average salary is around $33,000 a year. One cool thing about this job is you can do it from home.

Occupational therapy aide

This job involves working in conjunction with an occupational therapist to fulfill clerical duties and also pull together equipment and other materials for the job. The average salary is about $31,000 per year.

As you probably have ascertained, you will not likely earn a lot of money in medical professions which do not require a degree. These jobs will be best for those who are in households where someone else is also earning. If you support a family, you probably will want a higher-paying job.

I suggest that you still consider looking into jobs like nurse or physician assistant which allow you to make more money. An associate’s degree will cost you, but many hospitals will actually sponsor your education in return for an agreement to work a certain number of years with them.

The need for medical workers is at an all-time high, so take advantage of it. You may very well find you can afford your education.

One idea might be to take on one of the jobs listed above while you attend night classes or online classes to earn an associate’s degree in something which will pay you a substantially higher salary later.

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