Nursing Home Jobs Without a Degree

Jan 20, 2020

Nursing Home Jobs That Don't Require a Degree

There are a number of careers that involve working in a nursing home that do not require a degree. We will look at five of these job options in detail by exploring what kind of training is required, as well as what kind of daily job duties are associated with each job.

Job Title Median Salary (2018)* Job Growth (2018-2028)*
Receptionist $29,140 5%
Nursing Assistant/Orderly $28,530 9%
Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse $46,240 11%
Occupational Therapy Aide $28,160 19%
Recreation Worker $25,060 8%

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Information About Nursing Home Jobs That Don't Require a Degree


Receptionists work in all types of front office settings, including nursing homes. As a receptionist for a nursing home, you will be responsible for greeting and checking in people who are visiting the nursing home, performing various administrative and organizational duties like filing documents and responding to emails, and answering the phone. You may also frequently interact with nursing home residents and answer any questions they may have or help them find medical staff if they need assistance. Receptionists usually need only a high school diploma.

Nursing Assistant/Orderly

Nursing assistants and orderlies work in a variety of health care settings and provide patients with basic care and assist nurses and other medical professionals. Orderlies may be primarily responsible for helping patients move around the nursing home facility, cleaning their rooms and changing bed linens, and keeping the nursing home well stocked, while nursing assistants may perform slightly more advanced duties like checking patient vital signs and reporting any pertinent information to nurses. Nursing assistants typically will need to complete a state-approved non-degree nursing assistant program while in high school or at a community college, while orderlies typically only need a high school diploma.

Licensed Practical/Vocational Nurse

If you are interested in performing more advanced medical duties, you could pursue a career as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or licensed vocational nurse (LVN). Some of your responsibilities could include changing bandages, inserting catheters, starting IV drips, helping patients bathe, keeping records of a patient's health and vital signs, and reporting information to doctors and nurses. Your duties may also vary by state, as some states have more restrictive rules regarding what an LPN or LVN is able to do. You generally will need to complete a one-year certificate or diploma program to qualify for one of these positions and seek licensure in your state.

Occupational Therapy Aide

As an occupational therapy aide, you will play an important role in a patient's occupational therapy treatment by making sure patients are ready for their treatment and preparing the necessary therapy equipment. For example, you may transport patients from their rooms to wherever the treatment is provided, make sure that the equipment is ready and sanitized, and keep track of inventory. To become an occupational therapy aide, you will typically only need a high school diploma before completing on-the-job training.

Recreation Worker

Nursing homes often plan a number of activities and events for their residents that are designed to help them stay active, improve their fitness level, and provide them with entertainment and something fun to do. Recreation workers are often employed to plan and lead these activities. For example, they may plan a chair aerobics class, chess tournament, or movie night for the residents. To become a recreation worker, you typically only need a high school diploma and on-the-job training.

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