In North America, you do not have to attend college for four or more years to enjoy a rewarding career as a healthcare professional. While many healthcare jobs require years of education, training, and internships, many other healthcare professions only require an associate’s degree or professional certification. In the United States and Canada, licensed private vocational schools provide the hands-on training, faculty support, and small teacher-to-student ratio for many of the top paying careers in the healthcare field. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, these following healthcare jobs pay well and do not require a bachelor’s degree to be considered for employment.

Home Health Care Aide

Home Health Aides assist elderly or disabled adults with their personal daily activities, as well as record their patients’ vital signs and supervise their medications consumption. Duties may include cleaning the house, running errands, preparing meals, and advising families about the general welfare of their loved ones. In order to acquire a job in this field, one must obtain a high school diploma or GED and receive CPR training.

Some states mandate that home health aides receive some sort of formal training, such as a certificate from a three to six month vocational program from places like ABES College (Alberta Business Education Services). Applicants may also be required to pass a physical exam, take a blood test, and pass a criminal background check. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for this position as of May 2013 is $21,020.

Medical Office Assistant

Medical Office Assistants answer phones, greet patients, file medical records, schedule appointments, send out for lab results, and more. This healthcare worker helps doctors’ offices, clinics, and hospitals run more efficiently. Employers prefer to hire Medical Office Assistants who have obtained an associate’s degree or vocational school training in that they have taken courses in medical terminology, book-keeping, insurance practices, communications, and more.

Becoming a certified medical administrative assistant (CMAA) will increase your chances of being hired and receiving top pay. The annual salary for this position is reported as $30,170.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Sonographers, also known as ultrasound technicians, operate and conduct tests using special imaging equipment, such as MRIs, ultrasound equipment, CAT scans, and other special imaging equipment. Training includes an associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate, as well as possible professional certification. The median wage for medical sonographers is $65,860 annually.

Additional healthcare jobs that do not require a four year degree are:

Psychiatric Aide: Works in psychiatric hospitals, nursing homes, or mental-health facilities.

BLS average salary: $24,580 per year.

Radiation Therapist: Assists radiation oncologists in hospitals, cancer centers, or outpatient clinics.

BLS average salary: 77,560 per year

Medical Biller and Coder: Maintains billing and payment records, as well as submits claims to insurers and maintains billing records.

BLS average salary: $36,770 per year


The healthcare needs of the general population in the United States and Canada is growing, so employers are eagerly looking to hire experienced and/or certified healthcare workers. Many certification programs offer tuition assistance in hopes of recruiting and training qualified employees.


By Anica Oaks

Anita Oaks is a recent college graduate from University of San Francisco, Anica loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she’s used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here.