Medical professions that don’t require medical school

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 When you’re looking for a new career, you want to be smart about it. You want a job that’s high in demand, and you want a good return on your investment for necessary education. Flexible hours would be great, too. When you enter the healthcare industry, you can have it all. And you don’t need to go to medical school to land a great job. We searched the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ data to find the highest-paying medical jobs — that don’t require more than an associate degree. Get ready to find your dream job. 

Pharmacy Technician 

Median salary: $31,750 

Degree required: High school diploma or GED 

Job growth rate: 12 percent 

Pharmacy technicians play an important role in the medical and pharmaceutical industries — they make the pharmacy world run efficiently. You’ll work in support of a pharmacist to order, stock, and prepare medications, plus process insurance and payments. As your community ages, this will become an increasingly important job, providing plenty of opportunity for growth. 

Certified Clinical Medical Assistant 

Median salary: $32,480 

Degree required: High school diploma or GED 

Job growth rate: 29 percent 

If you love a fast-paced work environment with lots of different tasks to accomplish, you’ll love being a clinical medical assistant. From completing medical histories and taking vital signs to administering injections, your work will be engaging and different with each patient. The best part: clinical medical assistants have one of the medical careers most in demand, with a job growth rate of 29 percent, the second-highest rate on our list. 

Certified Medical Administrative Assistant 

Median salary: $34,610 

Degree required: High school diploma or GED 

Job growth rate: 5 percent 

Medical administrative assistants work in a similar environment to clinical medical assistants: typically doctors’ offices, hospitals, and outpatient care centers. They perform slightly different duties, such as scheduling appointments, checking in patients, and taking care of patient communications. Also called medical secretaries, these professionals are skilled multi-taskers and have excellent customer service skills — if this sounds like you, you may have found your perfect fit. 

Clinical Dental Assistant 

Median salary: $37,630 

Degree required: High school diploma or GED 

Job growth rate: 19 percent 

Many dental assistants enjoy flexible hours, and they are frequently able to work part-time. This is an active position involving many different tasks throughout the day, from performing patient check-in and check-out to taking X-rays. Those who may find “standard” office jobs dull will love the busy atmosphere of dental assisting — and the projected growth rate of 19 percent is well above average. 

Medical Billing and Coding 

Median salary: $39,180 

Degree required: High school diploma or GED 

Job growth rate: 13 percent 

Medical coding is a great job opportunity for ambitious high school graduates. You’ll need to go on to earn a certification from one of the well-known organizations, such as the Certified Coding Associate (CCA) from the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA). As you gain experience, you can continue earning certifications — and increasing your salary. In fact, this is one of the highest-paid medical professions that doesn’t require a degree. What’s not to love? 

Medical Interpreter 

Median salary: $49,590 

Degree required: High school diploma or GED 

Job growth rate: 18 percent 

Are you bilingual? Chances are, you could become a medical interpreter! Helping non-English speakers communicate in such an important situation is a fulfilling way to spend your time. Whether you’re working in a clinic or an emergency room, there is never a dull moment in the work life of a medical interpreter. Even better, when you gain experience, you can even start your own interpreting business. 

Physical Therapy Assistant 

Median salary: $57,430 

Degree required: Associate’s degree 

Job growth rate: 30 percent 

Seeing real results from your work is one of the most rewarding experiences — and working in a physical therapy office can provide that. As an assistant to a physical therapist, you’ll observe patients and record notes, provide education, and generally help people get back on track. Plus, this occupation has the highest job growth rate on our list, expected to rise by 30 percent by 2026. You’ll want to get in on the ground floor on this one! 

As you explore the best-paying jobs in the medical field, you’ll find that many are available by earning an associate’s degree — or even a certificate. Healthcare careers are ideal paths for many types of students, from those looking for a career change to those who simply want to earn more, without making the commitment to medical school. Keep exploring and you’re sure to find the right fit for you.