7 Healthcare Jobs
That Don’t Require an Advanced Degree

See also: Is a Career in Healthcare for You?

In the United States, it typically takes an investment of 10-14 years before you’re able to become a fully licensed, practicing doctor. In Australia, the typical investment of time is around 8 years. In the UK, it takes at least 10 years.

Not everyone has this much time available to put aside for training; some people have an urgent need to launch their careers faster. If that’s your situation, you might be interested to know that there are many other possible careers in healthcare that do not require an advanced degree or an arduous investment of time. In some cases, you can get started working in a new healthcare career after earning only an associate’s degree. In others, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree.

If you’re hoping to embark on a new career within four years or less, consider any of the following roles:

Radiation Therapist

Radiation therapists typically work as part of a team to help treat cancer patients using radiation. They work alongside oncologists, oncology nurses and medical physicists.

A radiation therapist must cultivate physical stamina and outstanding interpersonal skills to succeed in this job.

In the United States, individual states regulate radiation therapy. Typically, a certificate or associate’s degree is the minimum academic requirement for becoming a radiation therapist. Bachelor’s degrees in radiation therapy are also available and are preferred by some employers. Most states also require licensure and/or registration.

In Australia, medical radiation therapists must obtain a bachelor’s degree in radiation therapy.

Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists work at helping people who have been diagnosed with asthma, emphysema or other respiratory ailments.

Respiratory therapists must have expert-level knowledge of human anatomy and physiology. They must also possess analytical skills, problem-solving skills, patience and compassion for others.

In the United States, respiratory therapists must typically obtain an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in order to find suitable work. They must also become licensed in every US state except Alaska.

Massage Therapist

Massage therapists work directly with their patients, using therapeutic touch as a means to relieve stress, manage pain and promote relaxation on their behalf.

Necessary skills and characteristics for this job include physical stamina, patience, communication skills, listening skills, and the ability to empathize with others.

In the United States, requirements for this profession vary by state. Most states require massage therapists to obtain a postsecondary nondegree award plus licensure or certification. It typically takes somewhere between 500 – 1,000 hours’ worth of study and hands-on experience to gain the required qualifications for licensure.

In Australia, you typically need a vocational education and training (VET) qualification to obtain work as a massage therapist. Relevant qualifications for this job include a diploma of remedial massage or a certificate IV in massage therapy.



Surgical Technologist

Surgical technologists assist with surgery and preparation for operations. They’re the ones entrusted with the task of sterilizing medical equipment and stocking each operating room with all the requirements necessary for performing surgical procedures.

Surgical technologists need to possess a broad range of skills and characteristics including physical dexterity, ability to attend to details, strong communication skills and the ability to work quickly and accurately in a stressful environment. This role also requires expert level knowledge of microbiology, human anatomy and physiology.

In the United States, an aspiring surgical technologist must earn a diploma, certificate, or associate’s degree in surgical technology from an accredited program.

Dental Hygienist

Dental hygienists work alongside dentists to assist with dental patient care. They also work at educating patients on proper procedures for tooth and gum care. They frequently demonstrate techniques to use for brushing and flossing teeth.

Skills and characteristics necessary for success in this role include dexterity, outstanding interpersonal skills, communication skills and problem-solving skills.

In the United States, dental hygienists typically complete a three-year associate’s degree program focused on dental hygiene. Licensure is required in order to obtain work in this specialization, and continuing education is an ongoing requirement for USA-based dental hygienists.

In Australia, dental hygienists must obtain a formal qualification either through the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system or by successfully completing a university degree program.

Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians typically work as subordinates to pharmacists in either a hospital or pharmacy setting. They assist patients with obtaining their prescription medications and might also assist the pharmacist with tracking inventory levels on various medications.

Pharmacy technicians need to possess keen mathematical skills, organizational skills and communication skills.

In the United States, pharmacy technicians either complete on-the-job training, or they complete a training program at a community college or vocational school. Their employment is regulated by the states, some of which require certification and continuing education.

In Australia, many pharmacy technicians choose to obtain a VET qualification in a community pharmacy dispensary. However, this course is not a strict requirement to obtain work in the niche.

Healthcare Administrator

Healthcare administrators manage a variety of healthcare facilities, programs and staff. They oversee the essential business operations at a hospital, private practice, nursing home, or other healthcare facility. This frees up the doctors or other practitioners to focus their efforts strictly on patient care.

Relevant skills and characteristics required for this job include financial management skills, advocacy skills, communication skills, interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, collaboration skills, and the capacity to empathize with others.

Possible specializations in this niche include the following:

This is not a conclusive list; there are many other similar administrative roles and job titles that are possible.

In the United States, you can find healthcare administrator jobs that only require a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field – perhaps healthcare administration or nursing. It is common for registered nurses to transition into healthcare administrator positions after gaining at least several years of work experience in a hospital or nursing home setting. However, your opportunities for employment in this niche do increase greatly if you obtain a master’s degree.

In Australia, it is possible to become a practice manager without obtaining any specific academic qualifications.

If you’re hoping to launch a new healthcare career, but you aren’t eager to spend a decade obtaining education and training, these careers are all excellent prospects to consider.


About the Author


Andrej is an entrepreneur, a digital marketer and an avid internet technologist. Throughout his career, Andrej has combined his passion for cutting-edge technology with a keen eye for emerging industry trends to deliver customized marketing solutions to businesses and clients around the globe. He believes that the key to modern marketing excellence is a constant willingness to learn and adapt to the ever-changing digital world.

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