8 High Paying Medical Jobs You Can Land with Little Schooling

It’s no secret that a career in healthcare is a secure and lucrative option for many people. If you have a desire to enter healthcare to help people, you have plenty of options available that pay well.  Healthcare is an industry that’s projected to grow a whopping 18 percent between 2016 and 2026.

But the cost of becoming a licensed physician has never been higher. “The median cost of medical school is around $300,000 without factoring in the years of lost income from residency programs,” according to medical license attorney Robert Weinberg. “This can put doctors a half million dollars behind other career choices by the time they hit their early 30’s.”

What if you don’t have an MBA or a medical degree? Believe it or not, there are a number of options if you don’t have a lot of formal education to put on your resume.

Find out what the top high paying medical jobs with little schooling are in the healthcare field.

1. Surgeon Tech

As a surgical technician, you are in charge of getting the operating room ready prior to surgical procedures. You also get the patients ready for surgery. During procedures, you may assist doctors by handing them surgical tools (like you see on TV).

It is a high-stress, and high-paying job, averaging about $50,000 a year.

2. Health Services Administrator

In this role, you work on the business side of healthcare rather than working directly with patients. You are an operational manager where you create systems, policies, and procedures to make sure hospitals and doctor’s offices run efficiently.

You should know a little bit about technology and how IT infrastructures work. The more healthcare relies on technology, the more important this will become in your job.

A career as a health services administrator requires an associate or bachelor’s degree. You can take it as far as a doctoral degree, but it’s not necessary to get your foot in the door.

3. Medical Coder

In any doctor’s office, there’s always the issue of billing insurance companies to make sure the practice has enough cash flow to survive.

A huge part of that billing process is making sure that insurance invoices have the proper codes on them. If they don’t, it can delay insurance payments. That’s why the job of a medical coder is so important.

A medical coder takes the doctor’s notes from a patient chart and interprets those notes into a code that is sent to insurance companies for billing purposes. Learn more about the salary of medical coders here.

4. Physician Assistant

You always wanted to be a doctor, but just couldn’t invest the time or energy in getting an advanced degree. An alternative is to be a physician assistant.

You don’t perform surgeries, but you do just about everything else a regular doctor would. You create treatment plans for patients, diagnose them, and treat injuries.

You will need an undergraduate degree and additional training as a physician assistant. The pay averages about $100,000 a year, which definitely qualifies as one of the top high paying medical jobs with little schooling.

5. Dental Hygienist                          

A career in the dental industry is a great way to stay in healthcare without having to work at a hospital. The great thing about being a dental hygienist is that you only have to go to school for about two years and you can make about $75,000 a year.

Your responsibilities will vary widely depending on where you work. In some dental clinics, your primary job is education. You teach patients the best practices of brushing, flossing, and overall dental care.

Other possibilities in your day-to-day work could involve taking x-rays, cleaning, and polishing teeth. You may be the dentist’s right-hand person and they may lean on you a lot more in a busy office.  

6. Nutritionist

As the population grows and gets busier, it’s getting fatter. Almost 40% of Americans are obese. In the rush of everyday life, Americans have forgotten how to eat well.

They eat whatever is fast and convenient, forgetting about nutritional value. They’re also calorie dense foods served in huge portions.

Preventative healthcare starts with what people consume and you can have a huge impact on that when you pursue a career as a nutritionist. You work with clients to develop meal plans to help them make better choices and lose weight.

You can leverage your work as a nutritionist into a lucrative career as a writer, speaker, and by working with clients.

7. Physical Therapist Assistant

Injuries and aches and pains happen all of the time. Think of all of the people who sit in offices all day and have low back pain.

That’s due to muscular imbalances that a physical therapist usually works to correct. As a physical therapist assistant, you work with the rehabilitation team at your client to help patients recover and heal from their injuries.

This can give your patients a much higher quality of life or in a high-performance environment, get them back on the field as quickly as possible.

8. Medical Transcriber

This is a great position for people who want to work in healthcare but are more on the introverted side and don’t want to work with patients.

Medical transcribers listen to notes from doctors and healthcare specialists and type those notes up. The transcriptions are usually for patients’ files or for insurance companies.

There are Plenty of High Paying Medical Jobs with Little Schooling

If you truly want to help people live healthier and high-quality lives, the healthcare field is the perfect place to do that. You may be put off by thinking you need to go to school for years to be a nurse, physician, or hospital administrator.

There are a surprising amount of high paying medical jobs with little schooling available in the industry. You do need to know what your strengths are, and which job will be the best fit for you. Once you have that, then get the skills and experience required. In some cases, you’ll be workforce ready in one to two years.

That’s minimal compared to getting a Ph.D. degree (and less to carry in student loans, too).

Do you want to know more about healthcare technology? Visit this blog regularly for more articles and tips that show you how technology is changing the healthcare industry.


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6 comments on “8 High Paying Medical Jobs You Can Land with Little Schooling”

Physician Assistant here. Disagree heartily with this article’s summary of my profession. It is a master’s level degree, and qualifies as practicing medicine in the same role as Nurse Practitioners. Furthermore, we’re required to do 100 hours of continuing medical education every 2 years, in the same exact courses with the same number of hours required of Medical Doctors (MD) & Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

Thanks for the input! How is it like?

heard that it is not a full MD position. Do you regret not spending the extra years to get a MD degree? I am only asking as am very interested (changing careers mid life, and have a BA in a completely-unrelated degree). and I am wondering if it is worth it to go to school for longer and get an MD and be on top of the foodchain vs being a PA and basically doing majority of the same work but with significantly less pay and likely too, less respect :/

any thoughts?

Same here. Changing careers mid life. It sucks. I want to get into healthcare but have a entirely different undergrad degree so I’m starting to get some science classes in. Lets support each other out? Contact me 🙂

Thank you for that clarification. I have a am an AS level RN and aside from actually working as a nurse, nursing school was the hardest achievement of my life.

Perfusionists should easily top this list. 5 semesters of school post-Bachelors degree. Starting pay in the low 6 figures.

Hmmmm. Well, Dental Hygienist is more like 4 years of college. You can’t just graduate high school and then walk into an dental hygiene program. If you do a community college then it’s about 2 years of prerequisite courses (chemistry, organic/biochem, microbio, anat/phys, etc), and then 2 years in a dental hygiene program so you end up with 2 associates (which you can take a few classes at a university to upgrade to a bachelors). If you go to a University, then it’s all together in 4 years. So since the article seems to be misleading about my careers education requirements, and with the prior comment by the Physicians Assistant, I can only assume the rest is also misinforming fluff. :/

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