Do You Need a Degree to Work in Healthcare?

Do You Need a Degree to Work in Healthcare?


When most people think of healthcare jobs, they automatically think of physician jobs or registered nurse jobs that require many years of studying in college to earn a qualification such as a doctorate, a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. But do you need a degree to work in healthcare? This is a question that many interested people ask. The answer is that not everyone in the healthcare industry has been educated to degree level. Indeed, some positions only require a high school diploma.

Healthcare Jobs That Do Not Require a Degree

There are many positions in healthcare of jobs that do not require you to have a degree. The following are but a few examples:

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant works closely with a dentist, providing care to the patient as well as maintaining patient records, scheduling appointments, and taking x-rays. The dental assistant will support the dentist by providing the tools required for various procedures such as extractions, fillings, and crowns. Other duties include preparing the examination room as well as cleaning up after each patient and sterilizing equipment. A postsecondary non-degree award is required upon entry to this position and the average salary is around $40,000.

Home Health Aide

A home health aide is someone who provides care and assistance to people within their own homes. Those who require assistance with daily living tasks due to illness or disability may engage the help of a home health aide. Duties of a home health aide include assisting patients with dressing and bathing, taking care of light housework, transporting patients to and from medical appointments, collecting prescription medication, and administering this medication. The entry level requirement for a home health aide is a high school diploma, and the starting salary is approximately $27,000.

Medical Tran scriptionists

A medical tran scriptionist is responsible for accurately transcribing a doctor’s verbal notes into a written report. Healthcare professionals such as doctors and nurse practitioners dictate notes about patients and pass these to the medical tran scriptionist. They will edit and format the notes based on a specific template. Medical transcriptionists must have in-depth knowledge of medical terminology to ensure accurate reports. A possecondary non degree award is required for this position. Those working as medical tran scriptionists can command a salary of around $35,000.


Opticians work with optometrists and ophthalmologists. They do not test the vision of patients or write prescriptions, but they do use the prescriptions provided by the healthcare professionals to fit devices used to correct eyesight such as eyeglass frames and lenses and contact lenses. To work as an optician, you will need a high school diploma. Average yearly salary is around $38,000.


The role of a phlebotomist is to draw blood from patients as per instructions from a doctor. The phlebotomist must make sure the vials of blood are correctly labeled with the patient information and that they are sent to the lab for the correct testing. A post secondary non degree award is required for entry to a phlebotomist role and the average salary is approximately $36,000.

Working in Healthcare

If you have always liked the idea of working within healthcare but do not want to study for years and years, you will be pleased to know that you do not have to have a degree. For some positions you can get started as soon as you leave high school, whereas others will require a non degree award with as little as one to two years of study.

Once you are ready to look for your dream job, websites such as Health can help. These large health jobs boards are the perfect place to start your search.