Exploring 12 Healthcare Jobs You Can Launch in 2 Years or Less

illustration of hospital with rocket ship launching

Healthcare is a broad field with a lot of opportunities. There are few industries in which a person can work such varied jobs all in the same line of work. With options ranging from medical assistant to chief surgeon, it can be a challenge just finding a place to start if this field holds your interest.

Whether you’re heading to school for the first time or you’re taking the leap and switching careers, you’re probably looking for an option that can get you in the field quickly. And that makes perfect sense—a good-paying medical field job that requires relatively little schooling is an ideal combo.

But do these jobs actually exist? The good news is that there actually are several in-demand, medical field jobs that require only a “two-year” Associate’s degree or less.

To help you narrow down your search, we used real-time job analysis software to pore over thousands of healthcare jobs and identify some of the top medical field jobs that don’t require a Bachelor’s degree.1

12 Quality healthcare jobs that don’t require a Bachelor’s degree

This list offers a snapshot of 12 in-demand healthcare careers that will allow you to start earning a paycheck and help people with an Associate’s degree or less. Keep reading to learn a bit about each position to see which of these careers align best with your skills and interests:

1. Registered nurse

One of the many reasons to pursue a career as a registered nurse is that you’ll be on the frontline of care. There are many options for nurses with Associate's degrees, and the career offers a variety of specialties and career paths. Don’t let the tests and assessments scare you off; there are plenty of resources to help you pass that pesky NCLEX exam.

2. Nursing assistant

Nursing assistants work under the supervision of the nursing staff to care for patients in a variety of settings. This is a low barrier-to-entry option to obtaining a career in the healthcare field but doesn’t come with quite as much of a salary punch.

3. Medical secretary

Don’t expect medical secretaries to just punch away at a keyboard and fill coffee mugs. They actually provide medical-specific administrative support including communicating with patients and managing medical charts, plus scheduling appointments, directing visitors and more.

4. Medical assistant

Medical assistants may be confused with medical secretaries due to their sometimes shared responsibility for medical-related administrative duties. Their work often extends beyond the administrative realm to include patient care duties such as drawing blood, recording vital signs and administering medication. The additional responsibilities can make it even more helpful for them to have medical-specific training.

5. Health information technician (HIT)

Health information technicians who can process medical information and manage records will be paramount as Baby Boomers age and the number of new patients increases. The healthcare industry’s transition to universally using electronic health records creates a demand for trained professionals to maintain, organize and protect healthcare records and data.

6. Licensed practical nurse (LPN/LVN)

Licensed practical nurses play an important role in our healthcare system as they handle a large portion of basic nursing care tasks. This lower-level nursing position still comes with plenty of responsibilities—they monitor patient health, change dressings and catheters, administer medications and assist with personal care as needed. Many LPNs work in long-term care or assisted living facilities, but they can also be found in physician’s offices and hospitals.

7. Pharmacy technician

Pharmacy technicians perform a variety of tasks to support pharmacists with disbursement of medications to prescription holders, including taking orders from customers and counting out medication. These healthcare professionals are the friendly faces you’ll find at the front of a pharmacy counter.

8. Medical or clinical laboratory technician

You’ve probably had a trip to the doctor where the next steps in your treatment would depend on the results from “the lab.” So what will you find at this lab? Medical laboratory technicians. These healthcare professionals assist with the analysis and diagnosis of patients from mostly behind-the-scenes in a laboratory setting. If you were the type to love hands-on lab work in science classes, you might enjoy the work of a medical lab tech. In fact, there is a lot to love about a career as a med lab tech.

9. Radiologic technologist

Radiologic technologists work with physicians to perform diagnostic imaging examinations on patients. They work directly with patients to conduct X-ray or CAT scan procedures and use many types of medical machinery to obtain imagery.

10. Surgical technologist

Surgical technologists perform a crucial role as a part of the surgical team. In addition to prepping the operating room for surgery, their days are spent on the front lines of the action, literally providing hands-on assistance throughout life-saving surgeries. A sense of satisfaction from saving lives is just one of many perks of being a surgical technologist.

11. Physical therapist assistant

It’s almost difficult to comprehend the huge demand for physical therapist assistants, but because they provide such a crucial role in the rehabilitation process, PTAs are needed at the frontlines to help implement physical therapy treatment plans, assisting with prescribed exercises and tracking patient progress.

12. Medical coder

Medical coders serve as a critical bridge to the healthcare and billing process. Transcribing medical notes on what procedures or services were done in appointments, medical coders apply ICD-10 codes for billing and insurance purposes.

A faster path into the healthcare field

It’s clear that pursuing a career in healthcare doesn’t have to equate to spending several years in school. There are several options when it comes to medical field jobs you can land with an Associate’s degree, diploma, or less. All of these different choices may make your career search overwhelming, but the variety of options also means you’re bound to find a position that’s the perfect fit for you.

If you need more information about the potential roles an education from Rasmussen College could unlock, check out our Healthcare Career Guide

1Source: Burning-Glass.com (Analysis of 2,010,171 healthcare job postings, Feb 1, 2019 – Jan. 31, 2020.)
2Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, [accessed February, 2020] www.bls.gov/ooh/. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was originally published in 2014. It has since been updated to include information relevant to 2020.

Kirsten Slyter

Kirsten is a Content Writer at Collegis Education where she enjoys researching and writing on behalf of Rasmussen College. She understands the difference that education can make and hopes to inspire readers at every stage of their education journey.

writer

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen College to support its educational programs. Rasmussen College may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit www.rasmussen.edu/degrees for a list of programs offered. External links provided on rasmussen.edu are for reference only. Rasmussen College does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen College is a regionally accredited private college.

Add your comment

*

Please enter your name.

*

Please enter your email.

*

Please enter your comment.

Comments

icon-colored-advance icon-colored-build icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-developement icon-colored-growth icon-colored-national icon-colored-prep icon-colored-regional icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-paperwork icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-camera icon-filter icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-share-square-o icon-spinner icon-tag icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-testimonial-quotes logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-button icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-button icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x