Highest-Paying Healthcare Jobs for People Without a Degree

There are several healthcare jobs for people who do not have a college degree. Learn about the salary, education, and job growth information for some of the highest-paying healthcare jobs that do not require a college degree.

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Career Options for the Highest-Paying Healthcare Jobs for People Without a Degree

The healthcare field includes many occupations that individuals with varying levels of education can pursue. Those without a college degree can even land jobs that involve direct patient care. Here you can compare some of the highest-paying healthcare occupations that do not require a degree.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Occupational Health and Safety Technician $48,820 9%
Surgical Technologist $45,160 15%
Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse $44,090 16%
Massage Therapist $39,860 22%
Medical Records and Health Information Technician $38,040 15%
Dental Assistant $36,940 18%
Dispensing Optician $35,530 24%
Phlebotomist $32,710 25%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Alternative Medicine
  • Chiropractor
  • Clinical Laboratory Science Professions
  • Communication Disorders Sciences
  • Dental
  • Health and Fitness
  • Massage and Related Therapeutic Professions
  • Medical Administrative Services
  • Medical and Health Preparatory Sciences
  • Medical Assisting
  • Medical Diagnostic and Treatment Professions
  • Medical Ethics and Bioethics
  • Medical Informatics and Illustration
  • Medical Residency Programs
  • Mental Health Services
  • Nursing Professions
  • Nutrition Services
  • Optometric and Ophthalmic Services
  • Osteopathic Medicine - DO
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration
  • Podiatry - DPM
  • Public Health and Safety
  • Therapeutic and Rehabilitation Professions
  • Veterinary Medicine and Clinical Sciences

Career Information for the Highest-Paying Healthcare Jobs for People Without a Degree

Occupational Health and Safety Technician

Occupational health and safety technicians are one of the highest paid healthcare positions that individuals can get without a degree. Some technicians are employed with only a high school diploma and on-the-job training, while other employers prefer those who have an associate's degree. Occupational health and safety technicians ensure a workplace is meeting health and safety standards through the collection of data. They also are responsible for educating employers and employees of a business about workplace safety.

Surgical Technologist

Many employers hire surgical technologists who complete a postsecondary nondegree program, which typically results in a certificate. Surgical technologists are responsible for preparing operating rooms and equipment needed for surgery. They also get patients ready, assist surgeons with different surgical instruments, and take care of supplies.

Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational Nurse

Licensed practical or licensed vocational nurses only need to complete an educational program that typically takes about a year to receive a diploma or certificate. They take care of patients by completing a number of tasks, such as taking blood pressure, bandaging, and bathing patients. They keep records of the patient's health and work with registered nurses and doctors to better help the patient.

Massage Therapist

Massage therapists must have a high school diploma to enroll in a postsecondary nondegree massage therapy program, which typically requires 500 hours of training. Massage therapists discuss with clients their medical histories and which parts of their bodies are sore. They work with the client's muscles and tissues to help with any injuries or pain. In addition, they help with different exercises that clients can use to help their muscles feel better.

Medical Records and Health Information Technician

Those wanting a career in healthcare can also work as medical records and health information technicians. These technicians typically need at least a postsecondary certificate, though some employ individuals who have a high school diploma and relevant work experience. Technicians review patient records as well as organize healthcare data and information for the medical facility. They work regularly with healthcare professionals to ensure patient records are completed properly.

Dental Assistant

Dental assistants do not need a formal education in some states; however, some states require individuals to complete a nondegree dental program to receive either a diploma or certificate and pass an examination. Dental assistants aid dentists by preparing patients for their procedures, sterilizing instruments, and helping during the procedure. They also inform patients on how to properly take care of their oral hygiene and help them schedule appointments.

Dispensing Optician

Dispensing opticians often only need a high school diploma and on-the-job training. However, some states do require dispensing opticians to have a license, which can be obtained after completion of an apprenticeship or a certificate program. These opticians help to fit eyeglasses and contact lenses for patients with a prescription from ophthalmologists and optometrists. They measure the patient's face for fitting, assist with choosing frames, repair glasses, and take care of business tasks including sales and collecting payment.


Phlebotomists typically have a postsecondary certificate or diploma from a phlebotomy program that takes around a year to complete. Their job entails drawing blood from patients, labeling the blood accurately for testing, and taking care of medical equipment needed for drawing blood such as needles and tubes. In addition, they must also educate patients regarding any reactions that the blood draw may cause.

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