18 Hospital Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree (2023)

Economists at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predict the number of health care jobs will increase by 16 percent—around 2.6 million new jobs—between 2020 and 2030. Of those 2.6 million jobs, around 1.7million are jobs that do not require a degree.

Using BLS salary data released in April 2022, we analyzed health care jobs that do not require a degree and ranked them by average salary. For all of the jobs listed, the typical entry-level employee is required only to have a high school education or to have completed a certification program.

Key findings:

  • It's possible to earn an above-average salary without getting a degree. Four of the 18 careers analyzed have average salaries that are higher than the average salary for all occupations in the U.S. The rest earn less than the national average. Hearing aid specialists $59,500 per year, surgical technologists, Licensed Practice and Licensed Vocational Nurses ( $48,070 per year) and massage therapists ($46,910) all make more than the national average ($45,760 per year), which includes those with college degrees.
  • The fastest growing job is also the lowest paying job. The number of home health aide jobs will increase faster than any other health care job that does not require a college degree over the next 10 years. The number of home health aide jobs will grow by 33 percent, from 3.5 million jobs to 4.6 million jobs between 2020 and 2030. According to the BLS, the need for home health aides is a result of an aging population. Even so, home health aides are the lowest paid health care workers—they earn $29,430 per year or $14.15 per hour.
  • Don't become a pharmacy aide. The BLS estimates that the number of pharmacy aide jobs will decrease by 15 percent between 2020 and 2030, from 38,900 jobs to 33,200.

1. Hearing Aid Specialists

Average Salary: $59,500 per year or $28.61 per hour

Typical Education Level: High school diploma or equivalent

Hearing aid specialists help customers select and fit hearing aids. They earn more on average than any other health care profession that does not require an associate's or bachelor's degree. However, there are relatively few hearing aid specialist jobs in the U.S. The BLS estimates that there are only 8,000 hearing aid specialists in the United States.

2. Surgical Technologists

Average Salary: $48,530 per year or $23.33 per hour

Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award or certification

Surgical technologists assist with surgeries. They are members of a surgical team and work with doctors and nurses. During operations, surgical technologists are often responsible for setting up and assisting in the operating room. Some responsibilities include preparing patients for transport, holding instruments or maintaining a proper sterile field during the surgery. They are also known as: Certified Surgical Technicians, Certified Surgical Technologists (CST), Surgical Technicians or Surgical Techs

3. Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LPN or LVN)

Average Salary: $48,070 per year or $23.11 per hour

Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award

LPNs and LVNs take care of patients and perform nursing duties—such as charting or basic patient care—under the supervision of doctors and registered nurses. They often work in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. To become an LPN or LPN, you typically must first complete a state-approved diploma or certificate program before obtaining a license. LVN and LPN programs typically take a year to complete.

Read more: What's the Difference Between an LPN and an RN

4. Massage Therapists

Average Salary: $46,910 or $22.55 per hour

Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award

Through kneading, stretching or manipulating their clients' muscles and soft tissue, Massage therapists are able to improve their clients' general health and wellness. Massage therapists touch, knead or manipulate muscles and other soft tissue on their clients' bodies.

Most states regulate massage therapy and require massage therapists to complete a certification program before taking a licensing exam such as the Massage and Bodywork Licensing Examination (MBLEx). Massage therapy programs typically require students to complete at least 500 hours of study and experience.

5. Dental Assistants

Average Salary: $38,660 per year or $18.59 per hour

Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award or on-the-job training

Dental assistants work in dental offices. Some of their responsibilities include taking care of patients, maintaining medical records or taking x-rays. Licensing requirements differ by state. Some require graduation from an accredited program, while others allow on-the-job training.

Read more: How to Become a Dental Assistant, a Complete Guide

6. Medical Equipment Preparers

Average Salary: $38,220 per year or $18.37 per year

Typical Education: High school diploma or equivalent

Sterile environments are crucial for hospitals and other health care facilities. Medical equipment preparers, also known as Central Processing Technicians (CPT) or Central Sterile Supply Technicians (CSS Technicians), are responsible for sterilizing, installing and cleaning health care and laboratory equipment.

7. Opticians

Average Salary: $37,570 per year or $18.06 per hour

Typical Education Level: High school diploma or equivalent

Using prescriptions from ophthalmologists and optometrists, opticians help clients select glasses or fit them for contacts. Around half of opticians work in doctor's or optometrist offices. The other half work in stores selling glasses or contacts. Some states require opticians to be licensed.

8. EMTs and Paramedics

Average Salary: $36,930 per year or $17.76 per hour

Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and paramedics are also known as first responders. They're responsible for administering medical aid to patients and transporting them to hospitals. All states require EMTs and paramedics to be licensed, though the requirements differ by state.

9. Pharmacy Technicians

AverageSalary: $36,740 or $17.66 per hour

Typical Education Level: High school diploma or equivalent

Pharmacy technicians work with pharmacists to help dispense medication. They typically work in pharmacies, which can be found in hospitals, grocery stores and other locations. Most states regulate pharmacy technicians by requiring them to pass a test or completing a program.

10. Phlebotomists

Average Salary: $37,380 per year or $17.97 per hour

Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award

Phlebotomists, also known as phlebotomy technicians or registered phlebotomists, draw blood from patients. They take blood samples for lab work or they draw blood for transfusions or donations. They primarily work in hospitals and diagnostic laboratories (think: LabCorp or Quest Diagnostics). Most phlebotomists have completed a course—the Red Cross has a popular one—and have earned a certification.

Read more: How To Become A Phlebotomist: Education, Salary And Job Requirements

11. Medical Assistants

Average Salary: $37,190 per year or $17.88 per hour

Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award

Medical assistants work in physicians offices, hospitals and other health care facilities. They perform clinical tasks such as measuring patients' vital signs, heigh and weight. They also perform administrative tasks such as recording patient medical information. Some medical assistants have completed a certificate program, but are able to learn on the job.

12. Ophthalmic Medical Technicians

Average Salary: $37,180 per year or ​​$17.87 per hour

Typical Education: Postsecondary nondegree award

Ophthalmic medical technicians assist ophthalmologists. Some possible job responsibilities include: administering eye exams, administering eye medications or teaching patients how to use and care for contact lenses.

13. Medical Transcriptionists

Average Salary: $30,100 per year or $14.47 per hour

Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award

Medical transcriptionists listen to reports by physicians or other medical professionals. They transcribe and translate the reports into an understandable form. Many medical transcriptionists first complete a 1-year medical transcription program where they learn medical terminology, how to use transcription software and other skills.

Read more: How to Become a Medical Transcriptionist

14. Pharmacy Aides

Average Salary: $29,930 per year or $18.37 per hour

Typical Education Level:High school diploma or equivalent

Pharmacy aides work in pharmacies. They help manage inventory and often operate the cash register. They’re also known as pharmacy assistants, pharmacy clerks or drug purchasers.

15. Psychiatric Technicians and Aides

Average Salary: $36,230 per year or $17.42 per hour

Psychiatric Technician - Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award

Psychiatric Aide - Typical Educational Level: High school diploma or equivalent

Psychiatric technicians and aides care for patients with mental illness. They work in hospitals, mental health facilities or other health care facilities. Technicians typically must obtain a certificate, while aides can be trained on the job. Aides and technicians have many overlapping responsibilities, though technicians' responsibilities can extend past caretaking. For example, they often lead patients in therapeutic exercises or dispense medicine.

16. Nursing Assistants and Orderlies

Average Salary: $30,290 per year or $14.56 per hour

Nursing assistant: - Typical Education Level: Postsecondary nondegree award

Orderly - Typical Education Level: High school diploma or equivalent

Nursing assistants and orderlies help care for patients and support them in their daily living. Most states require nursing assistants to be certified. The certification courses typically cover the basic principles of nursing and patient care. Orderlies have a more limited scope of practice and thus can rely on on-the-job training.

Read More:How to Become a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)

17. Veterinary Assistants and Laboratory Animal Caretakers

Annual Salary: $29,780 per year or $14.32 per hour

Typical Education Level: High school diploma or equivalent

Veterinary assistants and laboratory animal caretakers take care of animals in veterinary offices or labs. Some typical responsibilities include: feeding animals, cleaning cages or collecting blood samples.

18. Home Health and Personal Care Aides

Average Salary: $29,430 per year or $14.15 per hour

Typical Education Level: High school diploma or equivalent

Home health aides help the elderly, people with disabilities or people with chronic illnesses with daily living activities. They typically work in clients' homes or group homes. Most positions do not require certification, but some health or hospice agencies require its employees to complete a formal training or to pass a standardized test.The BLS estimates the number of home health aide jobs will increase from 3,470,700 in 2020 to 4,600,600 in 2030, a 33% increase.

18 Hospital Jobs That Don’t Require a Degree (1)


What jobs require you to wear scrubs without a degree? ›

Contents hide
  • 1.1 Medical scribe.
  • 1.2 Phlebotomist.
  • 1.3 Medical coder.
  • 1.4 Surgical technologist.
  • 1.5 Massage therapist.
  • 1.6 Licensed practical nurse.
Aug 14, 2022

What is the easiest job to get in healthcare? ›

Which medical field is the easiest? Phlebotomy is the easiest medical field to get into and to practice. Part of your training can come online, and with an accelerated program, you can be ready for your state licensure exam in under a year. Phlebotomists draw blood and transport it for lab testing.

What is the easiest job to do in a hospital? ›

8 Health Care Jobs That Require No Experience
  • Caregiver. ...
  • Medical Assistant. ...
  • Medical Biller. ...
  • Medical Secretary. ...
  • Nursing Assistant. ...
  • Occupational Therapy Aide. ...
  • Patient Sitter. ...
  • Psychiatric Aide.

What medical job takes the least amount of schooling? ›

Here are 11 healthcare degrees you can earn in two years or less:
  • Practical Nursing.
  • Associate in Nursing.
  • Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA)
  • Dental Assisting.
  • Medical Assisting.
  • Radiologic Technology.
  • Surgical Technology.
  • Healthcare Administration.

What is the highest paying medical job without a degree? ›

A radiation therapist is one of the best-paying medical jobs with little schooling. Entry-level radiation therapists earn an average of $60,080 each year.

What is the fastest medical job? ›

Here are some of the healthcare careers with the fastest growth rates in 2021.
  • Diagnostic Sonographer. ...
  • Medical Billing and Coding. ...
  • Medical Assistant. ...
  • Phlebotomy Technician. ...
  • Occupational Therapist. ...
  • Medical Administrative Assistant. ...
  • Dental Assistant. ...
  • Physical Therapy Assistant.
May 18, 2022

What is the highest paying job with little schooling? ›

25 High-Paying Jobs That Don't Require a Four-Year Degree
  1. Air Traffic Controller. Median salary: $129,750.
  2. Elevator Installer and Repairer. ...
  3. Nuclear Technician. ...
  4. Web Developer. ...
  5. Dental Hygienist. ...
  6. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers/Cardiovascular Technologists. ...
  7. Aerospace Technician. ...
  8. Police Officers and Detectives. ...
Jan 20, 2023

What jobs make the most money with the least education? ›

  1. Police Officer. Although many police officers do have college degrees, the minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma. ...
  2. Commercial Pilot. ...
  3. Gaming Manager. ...
  4. Electrical Powerline Installer and Repairer. ...
  5. Elevator Installer and Repairer. ...
  6. Transportation Inspector.

What is the lowest paying job in healthcare? ›

What Are the Lowest Paying Medical Careers?
  • Admitting Clerks. Admitting clerks are the front lines of hospitals. ...
  • Activity Aide. An activity aide is kind of like the master of ceremonies at a nursing home. ...
  • Dietary Aides. ...
  • Pharmacy Technician. ...
  • Nursing Aides.
Aug 3, 2020

Is it hard to get hired at a hospital? ›

Getting a job in a hospital may seem easy enough; especially if you hold a certification or license. However, even the most heavily decorated resume can and will get shot down more often than not.

Can I be a nurse without a degree? ›

Those wishing to become a nurse will need to complete a degree in nursing, whether that is via a traditional full-time degree course, a flexible apprenticeship course, or via the nursing associate programme. However, each of these routes will require different entry requirements, as will different institutions.

What is the highest paid position in hospital? ›

Anesthesiologists and surgeons earn the highest income among doctors. According to Payscale August 2022 data, anesthesiologists earn an average of $307,740, and surgeons earn an average of $287,500 as of July 2022 data.

How much do medical assistants make? ›

Average R 775 295 per year.

What are the highest paying medical jobs that don't require med school? ›

  • Nurse practitioners.
  • Nurse midwives. ...
  • Occupational therapists. ...
  • Radiation therapists. Median annual wage: $82,000. ...
  • Genetic counselors. Median annual wage: $80,000. ...
  • Speech-language pathologists. Median annual wage: $78,000. ...
  • Nuclear medicine technologists. Median annual wage: $77,000. ...
  • Dental hygienists. Median annual wage: $75,000. ...

What is the least competitive medical job? ›

1 | Family Medicine

The number one least competitive specialty is family medicine with a total of 10 points. This specialty has held this spot for quite a few years now. Family medicine is the center of primary care.

What is the easiest 2 year degree to get? ›

  • Methodology.
  • Easiest Online Associate Degrees.
  • Associate in Early Childhood Education.
  • Associate in Liberal Arts or General Education.
  • Associate in Accounting.
  • Associate in Healthcare Management.
  • Associate in Marketing.
  • Associate in Business Administration.
Dec 9, 2022

What medical job is the happiest? ›

Top Happiest Jobs in the Medical Field
  • Nurse. Nurses have many job specifications ranging from carer for patients, administration of drugs, cleaning beds, and much more. ...
  • Optometrist. ...
  • Respiratory Therapist. ...
  • Speech-Language Pathologist. ...
  • Dentist. ...
  • Nutritionist/Dietician. ...
  • Pediatrician. ...
  • Psychiatrist.

What is the fastest online healthcare degree? ›

1. Arizona State University. Arizona State University offers a BS in Health Care Coordination that is among the best accelerated healthcare management degree online that can be completed in only one year, depending on the student's available and eligible transfer credits.

Which medical field is highly paid? ›

Physicians, surgeons, and specialized doctors earn an average salary between 10-12 lakh. In addition to the above-mentioned highest paying medical jobs, healthcare management is also becoming a popular career choice.

How can I make 6 figures without a degree? ›

Six-figure jobs without a degree
  1. Real estate agent. Real estate can be a lucrative line of work for the right person. ...
  2. Construction management. Construction can be a lucrative industry, particularly for skilled laborers and managers. ...
  3. Elevator/escalator installer. ...
  4. Commercial pilot. ...
  5. Web developer. ...
  6. Honorable mentions.
Jan 3, 2022

What are three low paying jobs? ›

25 of the Lowest Paying Jobs
  • Cooks. ...
  • Fast-Food and Counter Workers. ...
  • Ushers, Lobby Attendants, and Ticket Takers. ...
  • Dishwashers. ...
  • Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers. ...
  • Laundry and Dry-Cleaning Workers. ...
  • Pressers of Textiles, Garments, and Related Materials. ...
  • Food-Preparation Workers.
Dec 3, 2022

What is the fastest trade to learn? ›

Fast Track Certificates – Trades You Can Learn in 6 Months or Less
  • Flight Attendant. 2020 Median Salary: $59,050. Quickest Program Length: 3 weeks. ...
  • Electrician. 2020 Median Salary: $56,900. ...
  • Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers. 2020 Median Salary: $50,590. ...
  • Physical Therapy Assistant and Aide.

What is the most stress free job? ›

According to CareerCast's study, a diagnostic medical sonographer is the least stressful job.
Least-stressful jobs
  • Hairstylist: 6.72.
  • Audiologist: 7.28.
  • University professor (tenured): 8.42.
  • Medical records technician: 8.52.
  • Jeweler: 9.
  • Operations research analyst: 9.09.
  • Pharmacy technician: 9.19.
  • Massage therapist: 10:39.
Feb 21, 2023

What is a low stress job? ›

A low-stress job may not mean a slow-paced one but indicators of low-stress work may include job security, low travel requirements, and a non-competitive atmosphere in the workplace. Many job sectors are poised for growth in the next 10 years, especially in the medical, health, and wellness industries.

What certifications can you get in 6 months? ›

6-Month Certificate Programs That Pay Well
  • Real Estate Agent. Selling real estate has limitless potential, and you can get started quickly. ...
  • Commercial Truck Driver. ...
  • Phlebotomy Tech. ...
  • HVAC Tech. ...
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) ...
  • Personal Trainer. ...
  • Emergency Medical Technician (EMT)

What is the most popular job in healthcare? ›

Top 10 jobs in healthcare
  • Nurse anaesthetist. As the name suggests, these healthcare professionals focus on the introduction of anaesthesia. ...
  • Pharmacist. ...
  • Healthcare manager. ...
  • Optometrist. ...
  • Dentist. ...
  • Medical technician. ...
  • Doctor. ...
  • Dietitian.
Jan 12, 2023

Are healthcare jobs worth it? ›

A career in healthcare offers many advantages. An ageing society means the outlook for jobs in this field is very good. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that job opportunities in health care will grow 16% from 2020 to 2030, which is much faster than average and translates to about 2.6 million new jobs.

What time of year do hospitals hire the most? ›

New year, new hiring budgets, new you – or at least, new staff. Like many industries, health care's hiring season tends to peak in the first few months of the year. This is when many employers have the budget and flexibility to do most of their hiring.

How do I start a career in healthcare? ›

5 Steps to a New Career in Health Care
  1. Choose a Healthcare Path. So patient care? ...
  2. Get Healthcare Training. For most any healthcare career, you'll need training. ...
  3. Gain Experience in Healthcare. ...
  4. Find Opportunities to Network with Healthcare Professionals. ...
  5. Keep Up with Changes in Healthcare.
Nov 17, 2021

Is it hard to work in the ER? ›

For some, the constant variety and excitement of the ER can lead to a lot of stress. Even for those who are naturally calm, a job in an ER can occasionally feel overwhelming. To succeed, you need the ability to take a breath and stay centered, no matter what's going on around you.

What is the highest paid entry level medical job? ›

Best Entry-Level Medical Jobs:
  • Healthcare Administrator – $118,000.
  • Medical Scientist – $101,000.
  • Registered Nurse – $80,000.
  • Occupational Therapy Assistant – $63,000.
  • Physical Therapist Assistant – $59,000.
  • Medical Laboratory Technician – $55,000.
  • Surgical Technologist – $51,000.
  • Licensed Practical Nurse – $50,000.
Dec 11, 2022

What is the easiest nurse to become? ›

An LPN or LVN program usually takes around a year to complete, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). What makes an LPN or LVN preparation program the easiest type of nursing education you can pursue is its focus on training for basic nursing services only and its quick completion time.

What is the fastest way to become a nurse? ›

If you're itching to enter the field, the fastest way to become a nurse would be taking the Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) route. While you wouldn't actually be an RN, you could complete a Practical Nursing program and be well on your way to launching a nursing career in as few as 12 months.

What is the lowest level of nursing? ›

As the name suggests, CNAs assist nurses with patient admittance and vitals. It is the lowest-level credential related to the nursing field and the quickest point of entry.

What job makes the most money per hour? ›

Highest-Paying Careers
RankOccupation2021 Median Wages
Employment column one Hourly
7 more rows

What is the highest paying job in the world? ›

1. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) This post comes with a lucrative salary and high authority, with an overall employment rate supposed to show an average rise of 8% between 2020 and 2030.

Who is the highest person in a hospital? ›

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is the highest-level management position in a hospital or hospital system. Hospital CEO's must possess the qualifications and skills to manage and direct the complexities of a modern patient care facility.

What is the lowest paid medical assistant? ›

What Is The Starting Salary For A Medical Assistant In 2023? How much does an entry-level medical assistant make in 2023? The starting medical assistant salary in 2023 is $12.95 an hour, which multiplies out to $2,240 a week or $26,930 a year.

Whats the highest a medical assistant can make? ›

Medical Assistant Salary

For instance, the top 10 percent of MAs can earn more than $48,720, while the lowest 10 percent earn an average salary of around $26,000.

What occupation wears scrubs? ›

Jobs that wear scrubs
  • Home health aide.
  • Phlebotemist.
  • Caretaker.
  • Nursing assistant.
  • Medical assistant.
  • Pharmacy technician.
  • Physical therapy assistant.
  • Veterinary technician.
Jan 5, 2021

Can a non nurse wear scrubs? ›

Regardless of whether you're a medical professional, you may also be wondering, “Can anyone wear scrubs on the job?” The basic answer? Yes! So long as it suits your workplace environment, almost anyone can adopt scrubs as their work uniform—or even as leisurewear at home!

Who is required to wear scrubs? ›

Scrubs are primarily identified with those who work in the medical field. The two-piece utility garment is the uniform of choice for doctors, nurses, and others who work in hospitals around the country. The wearing of scrubs is not limited to the emergency room or trauma center, however.

What job wears black scrubs? ›

Why do nurses wear black scrubs? Black scrubs are more popular among nurses because they make people look slimmer. Black clothing has a sharp, clean and professional appearance. What color scrubs do nurses wear?

What jobs wear white coats? ›

A white coat, also known as a laboratory coat or lab coat, is a knee-length overcoat or smock worn by professionals in the medical field or by those involved in laboratory work.

Who can tuck in scrubs? ›

Oftentimes you will see doctors wearing their scrub tops tucked in, while nurses have them untucked. Why is this so? This is really a matter of practicality, and anyone who prefers to tuck can do so (as long as your top allows it).

Can scrub nurses have tattoos? ›

The simple answer is yes. A tattoo is unlikely to disqualify you from working as a nurse, though there are some important considerations to keep in mind. Depending on your place of work, there may be rules about the types of tattoos and visibility restrictions, but these can vary greatly from place to place.

What do female nurses wear under their scrubs? ›

The most common layer to wear underneath scrubs is a scrub undershirt, either short-sleeved or long-sleeved, in neutral colors. While long-sleeved t-shirts may help keep you warm in a colder building, do be aware that they have a greater likelihood of getting stained and carrying germs around.

Do hospitals let you pick your own scrubs? ›

Even though hospitals are not required by law to provide scrubs, many hospitals do provide them for free, but maybe not for everyone. These examples may explain some possible scenarios: Hospital A - Scrubs are provided for all their medical employees (excluding administrative staff) without cost.

Do nurses have to tuck in their scrubs? ›

Most of the time it depends on the area you're working in and the design of your scrubs. Most nursing scrubs are designed to be more form-fitting and don't need to be tucked in. Other times, the nurses prefer not to tuck in because they need the two front pockets on their tops.

Is it OK to wear scrubs in public? ›

Generally, do not wear your scrubs outside of the workplace. Bring a plastic bag with you to work (preferably a bag with handles). Use this bag to place your scrubs in after a day of work.

What's a scrub in slang? ›

Scrub has been slang for an “insignificant or contemptible person” since the 1500s. Over the centuries, the term was used as a slur to denigrate prostitutes and even Black people for a time. In the late 1800s, scrub was being used by athletes to deride inferior opponents. The term derives from a form of shrub.

What is the quickest RN program? ›

An associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) are the two most common fast track options. With each of these ways to receive nursing instruction, they require passing the NCLEX licensure examination.


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