5 Healthcare Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

You're ready to join the workforce. That is, you're ready to join the workforce right now. Healthcare jobs offer opportunities galore and many times without a college degree. Which medical careers can you get a jump start in – minus four or more years in college?


There are a few different routes to becoming a registered nurse. Some RN's do have a four-year degree. And, some advanced practices nurses have graduate degrees. That said, there are shorter programs that also lead to a career in nursing. Hospital and technical schools offer diploma programs and community colleges may offer associate's degrees. These types of programs combine classroom learning with practical hands-on experience. While specific times vary, the majority of diploma and associate's degrees take two years or less (of full-time study) to earn.

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists work in hospitals, medical offices, and other healthcare settings. These professionals diagnose and help to treat lung and breathing disorders, work with physicians to help patients breathe easier, and educate patients/families on breathing treatments. Like nursing, some respiratory therapy programs include both four-year bachelor's degrees as well as shorter, two-year associate's options.


The phlebotomist helps patients by drawing blood for lab tests or donations. Learning the techniques that you'll need for this healthcare job requires some post-high school training. Phlebotomy programs are typically non-degree or certificate courses of study that take under one year. In these programs you'll learn basic anatomy and physiology, venipuncture, centrifuging and processing, and CPR/First Aid.

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational Therapy (OT) assistants help patients to recover from injury (or surgery), work with people who have disabilities or assist senior citizens with activities of daily life. OT assistants provide direct therapy to patients, working in hospitals, nursing care facilities, and medical offices. In most states OT assistants must have a license to practice, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A career in OT assisting requires a minimum of a two-year associate's degree. If you're looking to get into the field in even less time, OT aides may find work with only a high school diploma.


Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) ride on ambulances and provide life-saving medical assistance to patients in need. The requirements to become an EMT (including what type of education and license you need) varies by state. Typically, an EMT must have at least a high school diploma and take a state-approved course. While the program lengths vary (depending on where you take the course and your state's rules/regulations), it's likely that you'll only be in school for one full-time semester. If you eventually choose to move up the career ladder and become a paramedic, you'll have to go back to school and get an undergraduate degree.

Healthcare jobs don't have to equal four years or more in college. If you're ready to start work as soon as possible, careers in nursing, respiratory therapy, phlebotomy, OT assisting, and EMT all offer quick-start entries, with less than four years of training time. Visit a site like http://soshcs.com/ to learn more about healthcare jobs.