15 Highest Paying Medical Jobs With Little Schooling

Last Updated on January 31, 2024

You don’t have to study a medical discipline for very long to get a high paying job. Here, I have compiled a list of highest paying medical jobs with little schooling for your perusal. With the aid of this article, you can follow your passion for working in the medical field without spending so much time and money in college.

Have you always been passionate about the medical field but often get discouraged by how long it takes to complete the study? Or you cannot afford the cost?

Don’t worry, other alternatives in the medical field take less time to graduate and require you to spend less money to get the education and earn your degree. The amazing part is that these alternatives come with high-paying jobs some of which go as high as 6 figures.

These alternatives are known as the highest-paying medical jobs with little schooling and we have exposed them for you in this article. So, keep reading to find them.

We also have articles on the best schools in the world to study medicine and the list of best medical schools in California which you can peruse after reading this current article.

Highest Paying Medical Jobs With Little Schooling

We have all known medical school to be expensive and take longer time to complete, sometimes as long as 8 years. Many graduate to become psychologists, anesthesiologists, surgeons, physicians, dentists, etc. but owe thousands of dollars in student loans. Although they usually land a high-paying job that clears out the loan in just a few years.

If you want to pursue a career in the medical field and don’t like the idea of spending so much time pursuing a single degree, spending so much money on that same degree, and/or being deep in debt when you graduate then you should consider the alternatives we have provided here.

These alternatives still let you pursue your passion in medicine, that is in the medical field as a whole, without having to go through any of the challenges listed above. That is, you get to spend less time and money getting an education in the medical field, and you won’t accrue so much debt when you graduate.

You may think that these alternatives I am about to list will not get you a high-paying job because of the little schooling involved but that is not true. These alternatives are positions in the medical and healthcare industry with a high demand for those with the skillset, therefore, the income is high. Some of them are 6 figure medical jobs, and yes, with little schooling.

I have put you at the edge of your seats for too long, so let’s get into the highest-paying medical jobs with little schooling already.

1.     Dental Assistant

First on our list of highest paying medical jobs with little schooling is Dental Assistant, and I assume that from the job title you may already have an idea of who they are and who they work with but let me expand more on that idea you already have.

Dental assistants are a member of the dental team. They work closely with dentists and dental hygienists to provide more efficient dental treatment by assisting with oral/dental procedures and surgeries in the clinic. Their other duties in the clinic include preparing patients for treatment, sterilizing surgical instruments, performing diagnostic procedures on patients, taking dental X-rays, providing patient care, preparing rooms for dental procedures, and many more.

If you are passionate about working in the dental field but can’t wait for the time it takes to become a dentist or cannot afford it, then you should consider this career path – dental assistant – instead. You can enter this career either by pursuing a 2-year associate degree in a dental assistant program or completing a one or two-year dental assistant program at a vocational school. Compared to becoming a dentist, this pathway costs less and takes less time.

The annual income of a dental assistant falls between $41,573 and $50,936.

2.     Medical Transcriptionists

Medical transcriptionists are also referred to as healthcare documentation specialists. The job involves converting voice recordings from doctors, nurses, optometrists, and other healthcare workers into written reports. These professionals also edit medical records to make them accurate and submit them for review. They may also be involved in other side tasks like utilizing electronic systems to keep track of patients’ medical reports such as treatment plans, assessments, diagnoses, orders, and medical histories.

Becoming a medical transcriptionist does not take very long. Between 6 months to 1 year, or at most 2 years, you can become a certified medical transcriptionist either by completing a medical transcriptionist certificate or an associate degree. To become certified or registered, you must take an exam which, of course, you must pass to earn your Registered Healthcare Documentation Specialist (RHDS).

Medical transcriptionists also take notes and direction from doctors and other healthcare providers during patient visits. The median annual salary of a medical transcriptionist is $34,730.

3.     Clinical Laboratory Technician

Here is another high-paying medical job with little schooling that you can get into with an associate degree program in clinical or medical lab science which takes approximately 2 years to complete. The program is typically offered by vocational institutions and community colleges. They may also be referred to as medical lab technicians and they earn an average salary of $60,968 per year.

The key responsibility of a medical lab technician is to use lab equipment, tests, and procedures to determine the health of human tissues and blood samples. Some other tasks they perform include providing technical support, logging into medical records, preparing reports, preparing, storing, and labeling specimens and samples, maintaining lab equipment, and relaying test results to physicians.

4.     Physical Therapist Assistant

Physical therapy assistant is a career path recommended for those who want to get into the medical field but cannot stand blood and want to start working faster. With an associate degree in physical therapy assistant, you can start working in two years and earn an annual salary of up to $75,000.

As the job role implies, physical therapist assistant works closely with physical therapists to assist them with patients’ therapeutic interventions by preparing patients for physical therapy treatment, taking patients’ records, instructing and assisting patients during exercises or performing physical activities, and sanitizing treatment areas.

5.     Medical Secretary

With a salary range between $39,622 to $49,081 per year, the medical secretary is one of the highest paying medical jobs with little schooling. To get into this career, you must have your high school diploma or GED and then complete a training program in medical administration. Your options for the program are a certificate, diploma, or associate’s degree in medical administration. The duration to complete any of these programs is between 6 months to 2 years.

With your qualification, you can work at various healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics, physician’s offices, medical research departments or facilities, insurance companies, and state or local health departments. The duties and responsibilities of a medical secretary include scheduling medical appointments, maintaining medical records, billing patients and processing payments, filing and typing up reports, preparing and retrieving medical reports and records, and managing medical diaries.

6.     Medical Coding Specialist

Medical coding specialists are also known as certified coding specialists (CCS), they work in a variety of medical and healthcare settings. Their key responsibility is to classify medical data from patient records and manage patients’ data. They work with physicians, dentists, and other specialty doctors.

To enter this career path, you must have completed high school or earned your GED and then complete medical coding training whether through a certificate, diploma, or associate degree program. When you complete the training, you will take the CPC certification exam to become a certified medical coder.

The salary of a medical coding specialist falls between $59,000 and $97,000 per year. This career path is another one for those who want to enter a medical field that does not involve blood.

7.     Pharmacy Technician

It takes between 7-8 years to become a certified pharmacist but it takes, at most, 2 years to become a pharmacy technician. Suppose you want to become a pharmacist but don’t have the money or the patience it takes to become a pharmacist. In that case, you can become a pharmacy technician and still work closely with pharmacists while earning an average of $18.98 per hour.  

This is still in line with your passion and can be a fulfilling career for you. As a pharmacy technician, you will prepare and supply medicines to patients on prescription or over the counter, provide customer service, ensure patient safety, track and maintain inventory, process insurance claims, and provide information to patients and other healthcare professionals.

From a pharmacy technician, you can take other professional courses to become a pharmacy manager and earn up to $150,000 per year in salary.

8.     Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer is one of the few 6 figure medical jobs with little schooling. You can break into this field with an associate or bachelor’s degree in the sciences and anatomy which can take 2 to 4 years or after your high school complete a certificate program in diagnostic medical sonography which can take a few months.

There are different sonographer specialties and you would have to choose one to focus on, and their salary is different with neurosonography being the highest-paid sonographer specialty with an average salary of $112,320 per year.

Sonographers are the professionals in hospitals and clinics who use ultrasound imaging equipment on patients to produce images of those parts of the body requiring examination and then communicate or provide the results to physicians or healthcare professionals who would then use the result (imaging) to diagnose and treat the patient.

9.     Medical Assistant

This list cannot be complete without medical assistants. They are some of the most in-demand healthcare professionals who work with doctors in clinics, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. They are often seen assisting the physician with patients by taking the patient’s vital signs, asking about your symptoms and health concerns which they will record and pass on to the doctor, checking your height and weight, and running other administrative and clinical tasks.

If you are passionate about working in healthcare and helping people but don’t want to do much of the heavy lifting, then a career as a medical assistant might be a good fit for you. You will work closely with a physician and get well-paid. Medical assistants earn an average salary of $42,723 per year in the US.

To become a medical assistant in the US, you must complete an accredited medical assistant program to prepare you for the certification exam which you must pass to become licensed to work as a medical assistant. In the UK, healthcare assistants, as they are referred to, need a healthcare qualification such as a BTEC or NVQ and some experience in healthcare or care work to become healthcare assistants. Of course, you are expected to have good literacy and numeracy to apply for the role.

10.  Radiation Therapist

You need a bachelor’s or associate degree in radiation therapy which takes 4 and 2 years, respectively, to complete. Radiation therapists are part of an oncology team and their key role is to administer radiation treatments to patients with cancer and other diseases, they determine the exact location of the area that needs treatment and monitor treatment progress.

You must be licensed to work as a radiation therapist. They are also one of the highest earners in the medical field with little schooling. The median salary of a radiation therapist is about $89,000 and can go as high as $106,000 per year. This makes radiation therapists one of the few 6 figure medical jobs with little schooling.

11.  Health Information Technicians

Here is another option for those who want to pursue a medical career that will get them to start working faster. This option only requires an associate degree in health information technician, which takes 2 years of full-time study to complete, after completing high school or obtaining a GED. The program is offered by community colleges and some vocational institutions.

A health information technician is in charge of gathering information from patients’ treatments and follow-ups to analyze and provide data to a legal request, authorizations, and record requests according to the Western Governors University. They may also perform other tasks like providing administrative support to other staff in the health information management departments.

These professionals are not limited to working only in clinics and hospitals. They can also work in local, state, and federal health departments and insurance companies. The salary of a registered health information technician ranges from $33,000 to $95,685 a year. Those working in software development earn the highest.

12.  Registered Nurse (RN)

It takes about 5 years to become a registered nurse, compared to other medical roles that take 8 years, 5 years can still be classified as “little schooling”. The job of a nurse is a rigorous one as well as studying to become one. RNs work closely with physicians and can be found in a range of healthcare facilities. Stay away from this career if you can’t stand blood and cannot work past your limit.

From RN, you can take professional programs to become a nurse practitioner or nurse anesthetist and earn between $120,00 to $205,000 per year. The average salary of a registered nurse is $89,000. There are also other 2-year nursing programs offered by community colleges that will qualify you to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a licensed vocational nurse (LVN), they earn about $55,000 per year.

13.  Surgical Technologist

If you want to get the thrill of being a surgeon but don’t want to go through the 10-year education it requires to become a surgeon then a career as a surgical technologist may be a good fit for you. Surgical technologists are among the teams that carry out surgical operations. That is, if you get into this field, you will work side by side with surgeons and nurses during an operation.

Their presence in the operating room is very important as they prepare sterile operating rooms for surgeries, sterilize surgical equipment, pass the sterile instruments and supplies to surgeons and first assistants, hold internal organs in place during the procedure, handle specimens taken for lab analysis, hold retractions, and set up robotic surgical equipment if need be.

According to Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, to become a surgical technologist, a certificate program that includes specialized education and training is required. Surgical technologist training programs can be as short as 12 months for a certificate or two years for a combined associate degree plus specialized training.

Surgical technologist salary ranges from $46,690 to over $93,000 per year.

14.  Phlebotomy Technician

A phlebotomy technician draws blood from patients and prepares the samples for testing. They are found working in hospitals, clinics, and blood banks. To break into this role, you will need to complete a phlebotomy training program whether through a certificate, diploma, or an associate degree. Any of these paths takes between 4 months to 2 years and you can become certified.

The average salary of a phlebotomy technician is $43, 431 per year. With little schooling and high pay, this is one of the highest paying medical jobs with little schooling.

15.  Home Health Aide

Last but not least is home health aide, it is one of the highest paying medical jobs with little schooling. With just an associate’s degree take a home health aide training program to acquire the necessary skills. These professionals earn up to $31,000 per year and it is such a flexible job.

This job is ideal for those who want to help others but do not feel comfortable in a clinic, hospital, or medical facility. As a home health aide you will be providing healthcare services in patients’ residencies and your duties will include helping patients with personal hygiene, shopping and running errands, light housekeeping duties, ensuring patients take their medication, preparing and serving meals and snacks, and calling their physician or taking them to the hospital if there is an emergency

As a home health aide, you will mostly be working with disabled people and the elderly. If this is where passion lies in helping people, then enroll in the training program ASAP!

Conclusion

As promised, these are other alternatives in the medical field to pursue your career without spending so much money on tuition ending up in debt, and spending so much time on a single degree. All of the highest paying medical jobs with little schooling curated here are all aligned in the medical field. Therefore, following any of them will still fulfill your passion for working in a medical career.

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