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Careers in Health Care that Don’t Require a Medical Degree

Do you feel called to work in the field of healthcare, but don’t have the time or money to put into getting a Masters or a PhD? You may be surprised to find out how many career options there are in the medical field that do not require you to be a doctor, many require you to complete vocational training or an associates (2 year) degree which could be done at your local community college.

Beyond doctors, there are many opportunities for administrators, technicians, and other support staff that are necessary to make hospitals, clinics, and medical labs run efficiently. We’ll go over a few of the options below, hopefully you see something that looks like a fit for you!

Lab Technician/Assistant: Study DNA!

You might think that to work in a laboratory you would need a science degree, but that is not necessarily true! As a lab assistant or technician you will assist with the day to day operations of a medical lab, including taking and analyzing samples, recording data, and cleaning and maintaining the lab to a high standard. You know those commercials that have you send in a sample and then they will tell you what your ancestry is? Those samples would be processed at a medical laboratory, by a medical lab technician that could be you! It’s not only fun and interesting but the results can tell you if you are at a higher risk for certain diseases so many people are doing it. If you want to try, don’t pay full price for it use these tests. It’s definitely cool to find out where you came from and could potentially provide you with life-saving information.

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Surgical Technologist

You can consider this profession without a medical degree. Surgical Technicians will take care of the operating rooms, ensure that the operating room is fully equipped for the surgeries, they will support the surgeons during the procedure and will also prepare the patients for the surgery. For this job, you will need to complete an associates degree or certification program (these typically take a few months up to 2 years), and the requirements to enter the program are a high school diploma or GED.

Genetic Counselor

After a sample has been processed by a medical lab technician, genetic counselors will advise the patients and their families about the potential risk associated with any disease. A genetic counselor can earn a very large salary potentially. For this career, you should consider a two-year master’s degree in genetic counseling to get better job opportunities which will require that you already have a Bachelor’s of Science in a related field.

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy Assistants help the patients to recover the skills that they have lost due to trauma, injury, and illness. They deal with the patients of all age groups including children and adults. They address the specific needs of the patients and design their treatment accordingly. They record their progress and work with them on creating the fastest recovery possible. For this profession, you will need an associate’s degree from an accredited program.

Physical Therapist

Physical Therapists help patients to improve their mobility while managing pain. Like OTA, they work with patients of all age groups. They see a wide range of the patients and plan their treatment depending on their condition. While some patients may be suffering from neck injuries and arthritis, others may find it difficult to lead a normal life due to the loss of a limb. They target the specific areas that a patient is struggling with and try to build the strength to help the patients to get back to their normal life. For this profession, you will need an undergraduate degree in a related field. In addition, you will need a license for the state where you are practicing.

Registered Nurse

Registered nurses are in great demand all over the world including the USA. These professional observe and the record the details of the patient’s symptoms and status. They also assist in administering medications. They will help to facilitate the tests and will also analyze the results. They deal with a very wide range of the services, and are one of the most ‘hands on’ professions with patients. For this job, you will have three options in terms of education. You can get a diploma from an approved nursing program, an associates degree in nursing, or you can get a bachelors degree in nursing. There might be some additional certifying requirement depending on the state. This is a very important job where people’s health and possibly lives will depend on you, so it’s important to get educated at a reputable school.

These are just a few options, we didn’t even get into the administrative side of things. The healthcare field is always expanding and very rewarding to work in, we are confident that you will be able to find a career that suits you.


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