5 Healthcare Jobs That Don’t Require Med School
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What if you could wave a magic wand and transport yourself into an interesting, well-paid, and basically future-proof career?
Well, you can — if that wand is a degree that will land you in the healthcare industry.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that healthcare jobs will grow by 13% from 2021-2031 — faster than most jobs. Growth and replacement needs alone will create 1.9 million job openings every year. This means qualified healthcare workers may find work anywhere they want to go.
We can help you take advantage of the healthcare job boom. And the best part? There's no med school required. Check out these five great healthcare degrees that just might be the key to your happily ever after.
1. Healthcare Administration
American healthcare is a complicated, overwhelming, and high-stakes system with many moving parts. It needs special organizers and decision-makers to ensure all those parts work properly, and healthcare administrators are the ones for the job.
A four-year bachelor's degree in healthcare administration prepares you for several in-demand admin roles, like:
- Healthcare administrator
- Medical marketing manager
- Medical and health services manager
- Nursing home administrator
- Health policy analyst
Annual salaries for these roles range from $66,000-$101,000. The highest-paying role, medical and health services manager, made a median yearly salary of $101,340 in May 2021, as per the BLS. Health policy analysts make an average salary of $66,230 per year, according to Payscale Feb. 2023 data.
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A master's degree in healthcare administration combines specialized healthcare and business training that you can leverage into the highest-paid administrative positions.
Medical and health services managers, for example, make over $100,000 a year (and some make over $200K). Not bad — considering you'll never even need to pick up a syringe.
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2. Health Informatics
If you're a tech nerd who wants to work in the healthcare space, a degree in health informatics (HI) can give you the best of both worlds. The HI field is growing rapidly to keep up with the pace of technological progress.
HI specialists get to work on some of the most interesting and novel challenges in healthcare — like artificial intelligence, information security, and data privacy. Other things they work on include telemedicine, medical ethics, and decision support systems.
A two-year associate degree or four-year bachelor's degree in health informatics opens the door to many jobs in this field, including:
- Health informatics specialist
- Clinical data analyst
- Electronic health record implementation manager
- Health information technology project manager
According to Payscale data from Feb. 2023, the average annual salaries for these positions range from about $70,000-$90,000. Health information specialists earn the highest average salary of $90,050 as of Feb. 2023, Payscale reports.
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If you go on and earn your master's degree in health informatics, you could compete for health informatics jobs with more responsibility and better pay.
According to the BLS, management analysts made a median annual income of nearly $100,000 in May 2021, and computer and information systems managers made a median annual income of about $160,000. The highest 10% of earners made over $200,000.
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3. Medical Billing and Coding
Medical billing and coding is a great avenue for anyone who is detail-oriented, analytical, and technical. Medical billing professionals manage the insurance side of billing payments and reimbursements. Medical coding professionals handle the patient side.
This is a great job for people who want to start working quickly. Most roles only require a two-year associate degree in medical coding and billing or a postsecondary certification in medical coding. Either will help you qualify for jobs like:
- Cancer registrar
- Health information technician
- Medical auditor
- Medical billing specialist
Salaries for these roles range from about $41,000-$62,000 per year. Payscale reports that medical billing specialists earn an average annual salary of $41,250 as of Feb. 2023. And Payscale states that medical auditors make $62,280 on average per year also as of Feb. 2023.
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Getting a four-year bachelor's degree in medical coding and billing is a good way to position yourself for jobs in a related field, like medical transcription or medical assisting. Or it prepares you for supervisory positions, like medical and health services manager.
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4. Radiologic Technologist
If you like cool gadgets, you should check out a degree in radiologic technology. Rad techs use specialized imaging equipment to assist in diagnosing and treating patients. Think CT scans, MRI imaging, X-rays, and other high-tech devices.
As a rad tech, you'll work directly with patients, as well as with physicians and surgeons.
You'll likely need a two-year associate degree to become a radiologic technician. Though, you can choose to earn a bachelor's degree in radiologic tech to get more experience and specialized training. From there, you can qualify for many radiology jobs:
- Nuclear medicine technologist
- Diagnostic medical sonographer
- CT scan technologist
- MRI technologist
- X-Ray technologist
According to the BLS, the average wage for radiologic technologists in 2021 was about $66,000 per year. Rad techs working in outpatient care centers made closer to $78,000 per year.
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If you go on to get a master's degree in radiologic technology, you'll develop deeper clinical and technical skills. You can then move up to leadership or administrative positions, or work as a radiologist assistant.
According to Payscale Feb. 2023 data, radiologist assistants earn an average salary closer to $97,000 per year.
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5. Physician Assistant
Anyone who wants to provide direct patient care without going to med school should consider becoming a physician assistant (PA). PAs perform many of the same duties as physicians — like examining, diagnosing, counseling, and treating patients — under a doctor's supervision.
The minimum education requirement for PA licensure is completing a physician assistant master's degree program. You can enroll in a dual bachelor's and master's physician assistant program to earn your degree faster.
Physician assistants are some of the highest-paid medical professionals. According to the BLS, the median PA salary in May 2021 was nearly $122,000 per year. The top 10% earned more than $165,000.
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Choosing a physician assistant specialty and earning a certification can increase your pay potential. The highest-paying PA specialties include general surgery, OB-GYN, and occupational medicine.
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