Health care jobs you can get without a bachelor’s degree

With the fastest-growing occupations found in health care, it’s a great time to break into this booming industry—and you don’t need a 4-year degree to do it.

Health care jobs you can get without a bachelor’s degree

The path to landing a job in health care isn’t actually long and strenuous. At least, it doesn’t have to be.

You probably think there are a few hurdles to land in health care: Four years of college, possibly followed by another four years of grad school and maybe even a 3- to 7-year residency. And that’s before you can even begin to officially practice in your field.

As it turns out, you don’t even need a bachelor’s degree (or a graduate degree or a residency program) to get the green light for a job in health care. In fact, more than half of health care employment in 2014 was in occupations that typically don’t require a bachelor’s degree, according to the most recent available data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And just because these jobs don’t require an extensive education doesn’t mean you won’t be taking home a sizable paycheck. For example, an associate degree is all that’s needed to be a radiation therapist, where you would earn a yearly average salary of about $80,000. And to be a hearing aid specialist, a high school diploma or equivalent will get you about $50,000 a year.

On track to become the largest jobs sector in fewer than three years, now couldn’t be a better time to break in. Health care support occupations and health care practitioners and technical occupations projected to be the two fastest-growing occupational groups, according to BLS data.

You can find the full list of jobs in which you don’t need a bachelor’s degree from BLS below to see if one would be a good fit for you.

 

Diagnostic imaging

Job

Education

Average wage

Diagnostic medical sonographer

Associate degree

$68,970

Magnetic resonance imaging technologist

Associate degree

$67,720

Radiologic technologist

Associate degree

$56,670

Cardiovascular technologist

Associate degree

$54,880

 

Therapy services

Job

Education

Average wage

Radiation therapist

Associate degree

$80,220

Occupational therapy assistant

Associate degree

$57,870

Respiratory therapist

Associate degree

$57,790

Physical therapy assistant

Associate degree

$55,170

Massage therapist

Post-secondary certificate

$38,040

Occupational therapy aide

High school diploma

$27,800

Physical therapist aide

High school diploma

$25,120

 

Patient care

Job

Education

Average wage

Surgical technologist

Post-secondary certificate

$44,330

LPN/LVN

Post-secondary certificate

$43,170

EMT or paramedic

Post-secondary certificate

$31,980

Medical assistant

Post-secondary certificate

$30,590

Nursing assistant

Post-secondary certificate

$25,710

Orderly

High school diploma

$25,580

Home health aide

None

$21,920

 

Dental care

Job

Education

Average wage

Dental hygienist

Associate degree

$72,330

Dental assistant

Post-secondary certificate

$35,980

 

Laboratory services

Job

Education

Average wage

Medical and clinical laboratory technician

Associate degree

$38,970

Phlebotomist

Post-secondary certificate

$31,630

 

Other technicians

Job

Education

Average wage

Pharmacy technician

High school diploma

$30,410

Medical records technician

Post-secondary certificate

$37,110

 

Medical devices

Job

Education

Average wage

Hearing aid specialist

High school diploma

$49,600

Dispensing optician

High school diploma

$34,840

Medical equipment preparer

High school diploma

$33,330