Medical Careers That Don't Require Going to Med School

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These degrees could help you prepare to pursue new and exciting health care careers without going to medical school.

By Amanda Hearle
Last updated on 7/18/2014

Think a career in medicine means having to go to medical school? Think again.

Not every health care career requires an advanced degree.

If you have an interest in health care, but don't want to go to medical school, this could be the right time to start exploring some health care career - and education - alternatives.

Keep reading to learn more about five health care careers that don't require going to medical school.

Career #1 - Medial and Health Services Manager

Do you want to work in the medical field, but can't afford to go to med school?

Not a problem.

With a bachelor's degree you could prepare to pursue a career as a medical and health services manager. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, prospective mangers should have a bachelor's degree in health administration, which could include classes in accounting and budgeting, law and ethics, and health economics, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

As a medical and health services manager, you'll likely be responsible for trying to improve quality and efficiency in the delivery of health care services, the Department of Labor says.

Click Here to Find the Right Health Care Administration Program.

Job outlook: Job opportunities for medical and health services managers are projected to increase by 23 percent between 2012 and 2022.*

Median Annual Salary: $90,940*


Career #2 - Medical Assistant

If you have a passion for helping others, consider earning a certificate or associate's degree in medical assisting. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most medical assistants have postsecondary education, and employers prefer those candidates who do.

A medical assisting program might include lessons in medical terminology and anatomy, says the Department of Labor.

With this career, you might find yourself performing administrative tasks like scheduling appointments, filling out insurance forms, and filing medical records. You might also perform clinical duties, such as taking medical histories and vital signs, explaining treatment procedures, and assisting with examinations, the Department says.

Click Here to Find the Right Medical Assisting Program.

Job outlook: Medical assistant jobs are projected to grow by 29 percent between 2012 and 2022.*

Median Annual Salary: $29,610*


Career #3 - Dental Assistant

If you could see yourself working in dental care, consider earning a certificate or associate's degree in dental assisting. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, some states require dental assistants to complete an accredited program and pass a state exam.

In a dental assistant position, you may sterilize dental instruments, process x rays, prepare patients for treatments, and schedule appointments, says the Department of Labor.

Click Here to Find the Right Dental Assisting Program.

Job outlook: Dental assisting is projected to have a 25 percent increase in job growth between 2012 and 2022.*

Median Annual Salary: $34,900*


Career #4 - Physical Therapist Assistant

Are you interested in helping patients recover from an injury or illness? If so, consider earning an associate's degree in physical therapy assistance, which could help you prepare for a career as a physical therapist assistant. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most states require these professionals to have an associate's degree from an accredited physical therapist assistant program.

If you think this career and educational route is for you, be prepared to study topics such as, anatomy, physiology, and psychology, adds the Department of Labor.

As a physical therapist assistant, you'll likely work alongside the physical therapist, providing treatment that improves a patient's mobility and relieves pain, says the Department.

Physical therapist assistants may also aid patients with exercise and instruction during therapy sessions.

Click Here to Find the Right Physical Therapy Assistant Program.

Job outlook: Physical therapist assistants are expected to see job growth of 41 percent between 2012 and 2022.*

Median Annual Salary: $53,360*


Career #5 - Registered Nurse

Are you interested in having a hands-on role in delivering health care to patients? If so, consider earning an associate's degree in nursing. The U.S. Department of Labor notes that registered nurses usually earn an associate's degree in nursing, a diploma from an approved nursing program, or a bachelor's degree in nursing. Keep in mind that they are also required to be licensed.

A nursing program might include courses like anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and psychology, says the Department of Labor.

As a registered nurse, you might be directly involved in almost any aspect of patient care. This might include recording patient's histories, helping perform tests, analyzing results, administering treatments, and checking on patients' progress, explains the Department.

Click Here to Find the Right Nursing Program.

Job outlook: The Department projects a 19 percent increase in registered nursing jobs between 2012 and 2022.*

Median Annual Salary: $66,220*

Once you enroll in a health care program, you might want to consider joining a health care organization. It could provide you with resources and networking opportunities.


*Projected job growth rates from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 edition. All salary information from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Employment and Wages data, May 2013.

Chloe West also contributed to this article by updating the information on 7/18/2014


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