4 Healthcare Careers That Don’t Require Medical School

Jolene Pilgrim
21 Apr 2018

As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are the need for medical care and taxes.  While we may have paraphrased that popular axiom when it comes to reliable and lucrative career paths, the healthcare industry is a solid choice for long term stability and solid compensation packages.

While it may be a lucrative area in which to stake your career-claim, jobs in the healthcare field tend to also require hefty education bills and a large investment of time to obtain the necessary certification.  Medical school alone can cost you nearly $250,000 over the course of a four-year curriculum.  This doesn’t include your cost of living for the period of reduced earning capacity during your residency or other ancillary expenses.

With a growing healthcare field, however, the types of positions in this lucrative market are expanding at an equally healthy pace.  This brings opportunity in various offshoot fields in healthcare, including ones that don’t require a degree from a costly medical school.  Want to know more?  Here are four careers that you can snag without all the hassle of earning that tassel.

Home Health Aide

Have a nurturing spirit?  Like working with people one on one to help them heal and overcome injury and illness?  Don’t mind working out in the field or in a different location on a day to day basis?  Then a job as a home health aide may be just what the doctor ordered.  With out-of-institution care becoming the increasing norm for long term care, and insurance agencies realizing keeping patients at home keeps them healthier and reduces costs, this is a field that’s experiencing monumental growth.  Expect to perform basic medical tasks such as administering medicines and helping the ill, or impaired tend to personal needs.  Stable, fulfilling work in a growing field sounds like a win-win to us.

Ticket to Success?

Licensing requirements will vary from state to state, but in most places, all that is needed is basic certification courses and a minimum education requirement.  Online and in-person vocational schools will help get you out in front of other candidates.

Home Health Aid Jobs

Pharmacy Technician

Professionals in the pharmaceutical field play a vital role in weighing, preparing and dispensing vital medications to help keep those with medical needs healthy.  Accuracy and professionalism are critical as well as an eye to detail.  Legible handwriting and an ability to decipher doctor’s scrawl is also a huge plus.  Customer service skills are also required but, in return, a healthy, stable income is nearly guaranteed.

The Nitty Gritty Requirements

Some schooling and specialized certification will be required in order to dispense medications to those in need.  Specialized pharmacy may also be required in some states so check your local licensing rules.  While more than a basic high school ed, the long term prospects of the field will more than return any potential investment.  

Pharmacy Technician Jobs

Medical Office Assistant

Few careers in the healthcare field see as varied a set of daily duties as that of the medical office assistant.  From scheduling to billing, office assistants in medical offices make sure the day to day practice keeps on running like a well oiled machine.  You’re going to need solid customer service skills in order to interact with the varied patient personalities that walk through the door of a medical office.  Having a solid understanding of billing terms and a good deal of patience to work with insurance companies and vendors will also go a long way to success and satisfaction.

The Essential Requirements

Courses or training in medical billing may be required depending on the specific office duties.  In many cases, no particular training or certification will be required.  Vocational programs may give you the leg up in this competitive field, and some employers may even require special licensing.  A far cry from medical school and well worth the effort in this high-return field.

Medical Office Assistant Jobs

Physical Therapy Aide

If you have a passion for helping people in pain and a desire to be fulfilled with a hands on approach to healing, a career as a physical therapy aide might be in the cards for you.  Rising medical costs mean that insurers and individual patients are seeking alternatives to surgery and costly procedures before resorting to more severe measures.  Working with patients to adhere to strict physical regimens, filling out claims paperwork and the ability to lift both human and equipment weight on occasion will be a daily part of the job.  If you have a sincere desire to make people whole and a knack for human anatomy, this may be just the career path for you.

Just How to Get There

While there won’t be any specific licensing requirements, minimum education in physical anatomy will definitely be a plus.  A background in physical education will be helpful and may give you a heads up on the best positions.  The rest will come with on the job training, and lot’s of it, so be prepared for a fun and educating ride on the way to your new career.

Physical Therapy Aide Jobs

The Bottom Line

Whether one of these lucrative careers in the healthcare field or a similar position, medical school isn’t the only road on the path to helping those in need.  A variety of positions offer the fulfillment and rewards of a career in health, without the need for costly medical degrees.  Whichever your choice, choose a position you love, and as the accurately quoted real saying goes this time, you’ll never work a day in your life.


Article Updated from the Original on April 21, 2018 

Jolene Pilgrim