Many readers here are interested in a career in healthcare. However, some of them don’t want to put in the massive effort needed to get a career as a doctor, physical therapist or other healthcare provider that requires a massive amount of education.
The good news is that there are plenty of great career options in healthcare that don’t four years of medical school and a residency that lasts for up to seven years. You can get into the healthcare profession without even getting a four-year degree!
Become a Healthcare Professional Without a Four Year Degree
There’s a common misconception that all great healthcare jobs require higher education. While what’s considered the “best” might be subjective, there’s still some truth to the idea that higher education can unlock specific opportunities. Even so, there are still plenty of good opportunities that don’t require a bachelor’s degree, and some that don’t require higher education of any sort. Don’t get me wrong—education is a valuable thing, but the truth is that college isn’t for everyone.
Whether it’s the cost, the idea of sitting in a classroom for hours on end, or the general idea of higher learning, there are a million reasons why a person might not pursue higher education. But they can still be a valuable member of society, and find fulfillment in their careers. Here are five rewarding careers that don’t require a bachelor’s degree to obtain.
1. Registered Nurse
A registered nurse (or R.N.) is a professional that is in high demand. Believe it or not, you don’t need to have a bachelors to become an R.N.
You can find an excellent salary in this field. The average starting pay is around $73,000 a year. This isn’t bad at all for a career that doesn’t require a B.S.!
2. Pharmacy Tech
Pharmacy technicians are an integral part of the pharmacy and the healthcare industry as a whole. Without these crucial team players, the pharmacy wouldn’t be able to keep up with demand, stay organized, or stay within compliance. There would be lines out the door for prescription pick-ups, and being a pharmacist would likely be akin to a living nightmare.
Pharmacy techs help the pharmacist with the day-to-day operations of the pharmacy, including filling prescriptions, interacting with patients, and even filing/organizing paperwork. They’re also responsible for making sure that medications are stored and managed properly, to avoid both legal ramifications and the problem of disorganization in such an environment.
Pharmacy technician classes can take anywhere from 10-24 months, depending on the program you choose. You’ll earn an associate’s degree, a certification, or both. Once you pass your exam, you can earn the certification and start working in the field. With 422,000 jobs in the field last year, and growth of about 4% over the next decade, you should be able to find employment.
3. Air Traffic Controller
This may seem like a strange option to include here, but there are a lot of ways that air traffic controllers overlap with healthcare. You have to keep in mind that a lot of hospitals transport patients by helicopter, so they need air traffic controllers to do their part.
Air traffic controllers are some of the most important figures in the airline industry. Without them, planes wouldn’t know when and where to land, paths might cross, and air traffic would be a general disaster. The best part about becoming an air traffic controller usually only requires an associate’s degree for entry-level positions. There is a chance you’ll need (or want) to pursue more education down the road, but you don’t need a bachelor’s degree to get started.
There are only about 24,000 air traffic controller jobs across the nation, which makes it a more competitive position. However, the average salary for an ATC is more than $100,000 per year. That’s without a 4-year degree! You don’t need a bachelor’s degree to find success and satisfaction in an incredibly crucial industry like air traffic control.
4. Home Health Aide
People with chronic illnesses often find themselves unable to complete various everyday tasks, and so a home health aide is assigned to assist. The home health aide goes to the homes of their patients and helps take care of them; everything from changing clothes to administering medications and bathing is included in the home health aide job description.
Of course, your responsibilities will vary between patients. To become a home health aide, you typically need a high school diploma as a minimum, and you’ll receive training and have to pass a formal certification test. The starting pay is less than $30,000 per year, though, but the rewards of this career speak for themselves. You’ll be helping those who cannot move around and perform basic tasks, and that’s a wonderful thing in itself.
This position is perfect for people with a lot of compassion and a strong desire to help others.
5. Funeral Service Worker
Caring for the deceased is quite the job, and it takes a special person to fill that role. Families need condolences, and for the burial and funeral processes to run smoothly. That’s where the funeral service worker comes into play. An FSW will assist in the preparation of the funeral and burial, as well as help organize and finalize the details of a deceased person’s ceremony.
To become an FSW, you need at least an associate’s degree in funeral services or mortuary sciences. The average salary for this position is about $58,000 per year, so you can certainly make a comfortable living while helping others to bury their loved ones. This is an important societal position as well, as the funeral process is highly ritualized and important to the grieving process.
6. Web Developer for Healthcare Organizations
If you’ve got a knack for creativity and a strong technological mind, you could become a web developer. Web developers design and create websites, and can be a crucial part of the formation of new companies. A good website helps set businesses apart and provide customers with a customized landing page.
Web developers’ salaries vary based on skill, experience, and the organization they work for, but the BLS reports an average salary of about $73,000 per year. The best part is that you can find work as a web developer without any formal training—it really just comes down to the dedication you have for the creative process and the skills you bring to the table.
These days, web developers are a lot more specialized. You can specialize in working for healthcare organizations, such as hospitals. This can be a great way to work in healthcare without having to actually deal with patients.
You Can Get a Great Job in Healthcare Without a Bachelors
It isn’t necessary to spend four years in school to become a healthcare professional. You can get a job in healthcare with an associates degree or less.