Medical Jobs that Only Require a Certificate

A job in the medical field doesn't necessarily require spending years in school and training. There are a number of positions available to individuals who have completed a short certificate program, some of which are profiled in this article.

Career Options in the Medical Field that Only Require a Certificate

Many individuals may be attracted to working in the medical field but do not like the idea of spending years of their life in school. Luckily for them, there are a number of medical careers that only require a certificate, which can often be completed in a year or less. We will discuss five of these career possibilities below in greater detail.

Job Title Median Salary (2016)* Job Growth (2014-2024)*
Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician $38,950 18%
Medical Assistant $31,540 23%
Dental Assistant $36,940 18%
Surgical Technologist $45,160 12%
Pharmacy Technician $30,920 9%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Information for Medical Jobs that Only Require a Certificate

Medical and Clinical Laboratory Technician

As a medical and clinical laboratory technician, you would be responsible for using laboratory equipment to perform different types of diagnostic tests on blood, tissue, and other samples and logging the results to keep a record of them. As a technician, your work would likely be supervised by a laboratory manager or technologist. To become a medical and clinical laboratory technician, it is possible to complete a 1-year certificate program through a hospital, technical or vocational school, or through the Armed Forces.

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants work in a variety of healthcare settings, from hospitals to outpatient clinics, assisting physicians. They may be responsible for taking down patient information - like symptoms - recording a patient's vital signs, administering drugs, and scheduling future appointments. The type of facility you work in might determine your specific roles, as an ophthalmic medical assistant would have some different responsibilities than a clinical medical assistant. To become a medical assistant, you can complete a 1-year certificate program at a local community, technical, or vocational school.

Dental Assistant

As a dental assistant, you would aide dentists while they perform dental procedures. Your job duties might include preparing the appropriate tools and equipment and attending to the needs of the patient. In addition, dental assistants also perform some administrative duties, like scheduling appointments, handling payment information, and keeping track of records and patient files. The most commonly offered program for aspiring dental assistants is a 1-year certificate that can equip you with the necessary training and skills.

Surgical Technologist

A surgical technologist is a medical professional who works in the operating room assisting surgeons and other physicians during complex medical procedures. Some of their duties include preparing surgery equipment, passing tools and instruments to the surgeon during the procedure, and making sure the environment stays clean and sterile. There are a few educational pathways that can prepare you to become a surgical technologist, one of which is a certificate program.

Pharmacy Technician

As a pharmacy technician, you would work under the supervision of a pharmacist and be responsible for filling prescriptions for customers. Some of your duties might include properly labeling prescriptions, processing payments according to a customer's insurance, and keeping records of prescriptions filled and dispensed. To become a pharmacy technician, you can complete a certificate program in the subject at a community college or vocational school.

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