Ask the average person how you get a job in healthcare and most will mention the importance of obtaining a formal degree. A Bachelor of Science in nursing or a Doctor of Medicine can certainly help you find a high-paying job in the healthcare field. But there are also jobs that don’t require any formal education. You may need to gain certification in the field of study to obtain one of these no-degree occupations, but programs are quick and offered at many community colleges and vocational schools around the country. In a matter of weeks, you could be working in a stable and lucrative job, without having to commit to a two- or four-year education.
Here are the top jobs that don’t require degrees. Who knows? One of these may prove to be the ideal position you’ll want to target with your next job search.
5 Healthcare Jobs with No Formal Education Requirements
1. Home Health Aide
Home health aides play an important role in our society. The job is also rewarding. As a home health aide, you will make a difference in people’s lives every day. Your patients will consist of the elderly, fragile, disabled, and chronically ill. You might work in a long-term care facility or inside patients’ homes. Your days will be spent checking vital signs, administering medications, and assisting with ventilators.
This is a good time to become a home health aide. Baby Boomers are aging in rapid numbers and many wish to be cared for at home. Because of this phenomenon, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects the home health aide position to grow by 34% through 2029.
To become a home health aide, you need a high school diploma or GED. While you don’t need a degree to work in this healthcare profession, you may need certification. Some vocational schools offer home health aide certificates. Most programs offer 120 hours of classroom training paired with up to 60 hours of clinical work.
The classroom training for a home health aide delves into how to provide for a patient’s basic personal care needs. The curriculum involves a variety of patient-oriented tasks that cover topics like bathing, eating, mouth care, dressing the patient, administering medication, transportation, and time management.
Home health aide students are also taught how to recognize the signs and symptoms of medical emergencies, how to take temperature and pulse readings, and how to administer comfortable care.
HHA programs will have you certified in a matter of weeks, and you will have the chance to earn an average annual salary of $29,684.
2. Personal Care Aide
A personal care aide (PCA) provides daily care and assistance to elderly, fragile, and disabled patients. The majority of PCAs work in-home care environments, which includes long-term facilities and patient homes. As a PCA, you may find yourself helping patients use the restroom, eat meals, execute hygiene, take medications, and foster grooming habits.
In addition to providing care, PCAs act as companions to their patients, oftentimes joining them at community events and doctor appointments. PCAs may also be tasked with housework and grocery shopping. Your services as a PCA are being sought for by families who need help caring for their infirmed loved ones. This makes the PCA position extremely important to patients and their families.
To be successful as a personal care aide, you need to be good with people and time-management. Your communication skills should be top-notch, and you should have a strong willingness to help. Some physical strength is required, as you may have to lift patients after a fall. There are no degree requirements, so no formal education is required.
Most PCAs have high school diplomas but not all of them do. To help you get acclimated to the job quickly, many employers provide on-site training, where you will fall under the charge of registered nurses and other experienced caregivers.
On-the-job training consists of patient-oriented topics related to disabilities (physical, mental, and developmental), general care, gerontology, and death. PCAs learn how to take blood pressure readings, monitor temperature and pulse, and provide basic emergency treatment. PCAs must also be proficient in administering medications, changing bandages, and managing the control of infections and communicable diseases.
The position of personal care aide allows you to get started in healthcare right away without formal training. The position pays an average annual salary of $28,810 and often comes with additional benefits like retirement packages and medical plans.
3. Massage Therapist
Massage therapists earn $43,620 annually and the field is expected to grow by 21% through 2029, which is much faster than the national average. To become a massage therapist, you would need to complete a postsecondary education program. While not technically a degree, the training course consists of 500 hours or more of study and massage therapy experience.
During the massage training, you will learn muscle and joint manipulation techniques according to the standards and requirements set by national and state safety boards. Most states require massage therapy certifications but not all of them do. The states that do not require massage therapy certifications include Kansas, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Most certification programs take as little as five months to complete.
Making a living as a massage therapist puts you on a career path that is meaningful and exciting. The anatomical knowledge you gain and ability to manipulate joints and muscles lets you make a significant difference in your patients’ lives. Massage therapy can help your patients alleviate stress, reduce pain, and live healthier lives.
Massage therapists have the opportunity to further their careers by specializing in certain subfields that will open the door to greater employment opportunities and the potential for higher earnings. Some subfields of massage therapy include sports massage, palliative care, spa management, and clinical rehabilitative massage.
As a phlebotomist, your job would involve drawing blood from patients in hospitals, healthcare sites, blood banks, and other medical settings. Phlebotomists may also draw blood from patients inside their homes when working for insurance companies. Phlebotomists are responsible for keeping blood donors comfortable, safe, and entertained while they donate life-saving fluids.
To become a phlebotomist, you don’t need a degree, but you may need certification. Most states don’t require certification or licensing for phlebotomy employees, but many employers are looking for certified job candidates. That means you will open more doors by becoming a certified phlebotomist.
The certification program for phlebotomists takes between one semester and a full year to complete. The program curriculum consists of anatomy, physiology, blood and blood cell composition, lab safety, and blood sampling procedures.
During the lab training portions, you will learn how to use basic venipuncture techniques to access and puncture patients’ veins. You’ll learn delicate blood drawing techniques for the elderly and small children along with techniques for keeping patients calm and comfortable while in your care.
Many phlebotomists work in lab settings, but you may also find yourself working for an ambulatory service or going door-to-door for medical health insurers. Phlebotomists earn an average base salary of $37,280 with the highest earners of the profession living in California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.
5. Medical Assistant
Medical assistants earn an average annual salary of $35,850 per year with job growth expected at a rate of 19% through 2029.
All types of health facilities need medical assistants, from hospitals and doctor offices to pharmacies and government healthcare agencies.
Medical assistants can wear a few different hats while working the average shift. You might work with a variety of tools and technologies, all while working with patients and alongside doctors and surgeons. You might find yourself scheduling appointments, taking patients’ vital signs, managing medical records, and administering medication.
Medical assistants also manage billing, coding, blood drawing, hospital admissions, diagnostic tests, and equipment sterilization. The tools you use to manage these tasks include needles, nebulizers, blood pressure units, and ophthalmoscopes. You’ll start IVs, conduct lab tests, and keep an eye out for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) violations.
To be a successful medical assistant and adequately handle all of your responsibilities, you’ll need excellent communication skills, the ability to work calmly under pressure, and a willingness to work as part of a team.
While you don’t need a degree to work as a medical assistant, you will need certification. Each state has its own certification requirements for medical assistants. Some states don’t require any certification at all. However, most employers will request that you have at minimum a high school diploma or equivalent. More formal programs may require you to have at least some school-level classwork in science-based curriculum like chemistry, anatomy, and biology.
Certification programs for medical assistants consist of training that will prepare you for the demands of the position. The curriculum centers around medical terminology, basic medical procedures, and patient communication.
Start on Your Career Path, No Degree Required
Just because you don’t have a degree doesn’t mean you can’t work in healthcare. Plenty of jobs exist that don’t require the commitment and effort of a formal degree program. By working as a massage therapist, home health aide, or phlebotomist, you might find that you can begin working right away.
Some states require certification, but even if they do, many of these programs are designed to be completed in a matter of weeks. You could get started quicker than you might expect.
By partnering with ProLink Healthcare, you can get help with certification and your job search. Increase your chances of getting the ideal healthcare job by applying with ProLink today!