Career Options for People Interested in Medical Jobs Without a Degree
Many people feel an urge to help others. They may not have the finances or opportunity for a full degree, but there are lots of jobs in medicine that do not require one. Below are some non-degree medical positions and recent statistics.
|Job Title||Median Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Medical Laboratory Technicians||$38,950||18%|
|Licensed Practical Nurses||$44,090||16%|
|Home Health Aides||$22,600||38%|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Career Information for Medical Jobs Without a Degree
Medical Laboratory Technician
Laboratory technicians are found in hospitals and clinics around the nation. These employees work to collect data for doctors through blood tests, tissue samples and other exams. They run various types of lab equipment, keep things clean and calibrated, and assist other technicians with various testing. These jobs require at least a formal education and certificate from a technical institute or junior college.
Nurse assistants and orderlies are hospital patient caregivers. These workers aide their patients in activities like using the bathroom, bathing and getting dressed. They help with feeding, taking vital signs, and recording or reporting client concerns. Employees must take some state-approved formal coursework as well as pass a state exam.
Licensed Practical Nurse
LPNs must complete a required formal program and pass a licensing exam by the state to find employment as licensed practical nurses or licensed vocational nurses. These professionals are usually the first wave of care for patients in hospitals or clinics. They perform many of the same tasks done by a nursing assistant, but also may be required to give shots, administer meds, place catheters, and keep excellent health records of their charges.
Home Health Aide
Health aides come to the homes of elderly or those who are medically home bound to help them with medical needs like chronic pain, disability, or mild dementia. Home health aides are often vital to patients in their daily lives. In some states these health care aides may administer meds or check vital signs under another health professional's oversight. A high school diploma and formal training from a health or hospice agency are the only requirements for these jobs.
Pharmacy technicians work under the supervision of a pharmacist to fill prescription orders for patients. They may collect the information needed from the patient or contact the doctor directly, and then measure and package the correct amount of medication. After fulfilling the order, pharmacy technicians interact with the customers picking up their prescription and enter any updated information. It is also an important part of the job to organize inventory and report any missing or shortages of medications to the pharmacist on duty. A high school diploma with intense on-the-job training or completion of a formal education certificate is required for these positions.