When you think of the medical field, you probably think of doctors and nurses. But, in fact, there are many medical field jobs that offer rewarding and lucrative career opportunities that do not require medical school. To enter the medical field, most jobs require at least a bachelor’s degree, while others will require graduate school.
With longer life expectancy and the advancement of medical technology, the healthcare field and its related professions are in high demand. Professionals in this field often face high stakes environments where their decisions can be life or death. However, there are also positions within the field that are less intense, but still rewarding.
Here, we will take a look at some of the most in demand and least stressful medical jobs, as well as how a degree in Health Sciences can help to prepare you to enter the industry.
In-Demand Medical Field Jobs
There are many medical field jobs that are in high demand that don’t require attending medical school. Some of them include:
Home Health Aides:
Home health aides work inside patients’ homes or medical facilities to offer them the care and support they need. Whether a patient is suffering from a disability, chronic illness, or simply is elderly, home health aides offer continuous care. Since home health aides spend so much time with their patients, they can provide insight to the patient’s doctors and nurses about the status of their condition. Whether they work in a home, hospice care, nursing care facility or other location, they have a physically demanding but rewarding job. Aides are trained on the job and not required to have a college degree. As such, the starting average salary is a little over $18,000 per year.
Physician Assistant (PA):
A physician assistant practices medicine under a licensed doctor’s supervision. Although a doctor doesn’t have to physically be present for a PA to do their job, PAs have their own licenses and certificates to practice medicine at their level. The job is expected to have a 3.2% annual job growth, and requires an undergraduate degree in health science or a related field.
Physical Therapist Assistants:
Physical therapist assistants work alongside licensed physical therapists to help treat patients that have suffered injuries or illnesses that affect their ability to move and function in daily life. PTAs teach patients exercises for mobility and strength and oversee training activities like walking with crutches, canes, walkers, etc. To become a PTA, at least an associate’s degree is required. Then, prospective PTAs must pass a licensing/certification exam. Because of the growing need for physical therapist services, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics expects much faster than average growth for the profession.
As a highly trained career within the medical field, occupational therapists (OTs) generally earn their master’s degree in occupational therapy and also get licensed to practice. OTs develop treatment plans for patients, help people with disabilities, and track their progress, to say the least. The field is expected to grow by 24% (much faster than average) from 2016-2026.
Least Stressful Medical Field Jobs
Medical field jobs are not only in high demand, but because of the stakes, they often tend to be stressful. However, there is a selection of careers that are less stressful than others, including:
Dietitians help to advise clients on the best meal plans according to their personal goals and health needs. They track their patients’ progress and make adjustments along the way. To become a dietitian, you need at least a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition or a related field along with internship hours, and many states also require licensure. Over the next ten years, the field is expected to grow at 14%, which is faster than average.
Dental hygienists remove plaque and stains from patients’ teeth and take and develop dental x-rays. They work alongside dentists to provide adequate dental healthcare. They typically need to fulfill their associate’s degree within a field, whereas higher degrees like bachelor’s and master’s are less common. Despite the little education, the field is expected to grow faster than average at 20% between 2016 and 2026.
Chiropractors assess a patient’s medical history and perform physical adjustments and tests to check their spine, reflexes and posture. To work in the field, chiropractors must have a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and state licensure. The field is projected to grow by 12% between 2016-2026.
Medical Laboratory Technician:
Working behind the scenes, medical laboratory technicians perform medical tests on blood, fluids and body tissue to give information to physicians for diagnosis and treatment. You can become a medical laboratory technician without a college degree. The role requires high attention to detail and care because the information is so important to doctors and patients.
Audiologists diagnose and treat patients with hearing, ear and balance issues. They work with patients of all ages and in a variety of settings, including: hospitals, audiology clinics, private practices, rehabilitation centers and schools. To become an audiologist, you must first earn your doctorate degree in audiology. You can have a bachelor’s degree in any subject before doing so.
Health Science Degree
Depending on the profession you want to pursue, you may have to enroll in a degree program that is tailored for the job. However, earning a degree in Health Science is a broad and interdisciplinary option for those seeking to enter the medical field. Plus, did you know that you can earn your degree in Health Science tuition-free and online?
University of the People offers an associate’s and bachelor’s degree that is 100% online and tuition-free (assessment fees may apply). The program’s goals are three-fold, namely to:
- Provide an understanding of the biological and social causes of health and illness
- Cover the knowledge and skills to perform effectively within the context of disease prevention and for the promotion of health
- Develop an understanding of the role of policy, ethics and resources in managing disease prevention and the delivery of health services
With a degree from University of the People, you will take classes that cover a broad spectrum of medical and scientific knowledge, such as: Biology, Human Anatomy and Physiology, Genetics, Biostatistics, Health Policy and Management, and more.
The degree opens the doors to many job opportunities and rewarding careers. Some include becoming a Medical Assistant, Occupational Therapist Assistant, or Respiratory Therapist, to name a few.
Medical field jobs are broad and rewarding. Most people who enter the field have the desire to help others and find joy in caring for people. Skills that augur well for the industry include: patience, empathy, organization, attention to detail and good communication skills. While some positions do require a lot of schooling, including doctorate degrees, others are achievable with a bachelor’s degree or less. Before deciding on schooling, take a look to see what is required for the position you’re interested in.
While working within healthcare isn’t for everyone, there is a broad array of jobs so that if you have any interest, you are likely to find something that will be the right fit for you. By earning a degree in Health Science or a related field, you will be well-prepared to enter the workforce and start helping people care for, maintain and potentially improve their health and wellness.