Working in the healthcare field can be as rewarding in terms of personal satisfaction as it is in terms of salary and benefits. Most medical positions will offer benefits, and the starting salary for many medical positions is high enough to afford a decent living. These five jobs don’t require all of the schooling though, and—in most cases—can be acquired by attending a 1-2 two-year program. How does finding a new rewarding career in less than two years sound?
There are hundreds of medical jobs that don’t require the traditional 4-12 years of training (depending on the job, of course), and we’re going to take a closer look at five of the most popular. Here’s our list.
1. Medical Billing/Coding
You’ll find that most of the healthcare jobs that don’t require a four-year degree have “assistant” in their titles, but medical billers and coders are an exception. As a coder and/or biller, you’ll be responsible for one of the most important components of the healthcare industry. Medical billing and coding training online or through a university can grant you a fast-track into a growing industry, with the advantage of being able to pursue further specialized certifications.
Medical coders are responsible for turning doctor’s notes, orders, and other medical documents and procedures into standardized codes. These codes are crucial to the billing process, because they’re used to bill insurance companies and file claims. Not everyone uses the same language to describe procedures, medications, etc., so these codes exist to standardize the language across the entire field.
A biller is sometimes a separate person, but more often than not, they’re the same person. You’ll code the medical information, create an invoice, and file a claim. Medical billing and coding is often grouped together simply because the two are halves of a whole, and it’s easier to just hire one person to do both jobs. Medical billers and coders can enter the field in as little as ten months, and command an average salary of about $43,000.
2. Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are responsible for helping the dentist with a variety of tasks, including cleaning and sanitizing instruments, rooms, and attending to patients. They’ll also clean teeth, set up procedures, and assist with more complex tasks.
Becoming a dental assistant can take under a year in some cases, but this depends largely on the state you’re in and the programs that are available to you. Either way, you won’t need a four-year degree to start working in the dental field. Dental assistants usually start out at between $35,000 and $40,000 per year, and with more experience, you can usually command a higher salary.
Dental assistants are in high demand as well, with a positive job outlook for the next five to ten years.
3. Healthcare Info Tech Specialist
If you’re an organized and responsible person, you might want to look into healthcare information tech positions as a viable option. This job’s duties include managing important and private patient information, building, implementing, or supporting electronic health records (EHRs) and other systems that store patient-related data, and more. They’re responsible for understanding, storing, and protecting patient data.
This is a highly necessary component of the healthcare industry, as patient data is protected by several laws, including HIPAA. Without responsibility to build, implement, and support electronic systems to manage this data, we’d still be stuck using paper records.
The average salary is around $44,000 per year, and the field is expected to grow by about 18% in the coming decade, which is above average.
4. Medical Assistant
Medical assistants have a wide range of duties, which can include administrative duties like answering phones, welcoming patients, and filling out forms, and clinical duties like taking medical histories, drawing blood, and more. For a full list of duties and more information on this career option, visit this site.
The average wage for a medical assistant is around $34,000 per year, but this will largely depend on experience, the facility you work in, and the state you’re working in. If you want to work alongside doctors and other medical professionals, but don’t want to seek out a four-year degree yourself, this could be the perfect option for you!
5. Nursing Assistant
The nursing assistant is a crucial team member in a medical facility. Assisting the nurse with everything from cleaning up to administering medication, the CNA has a variety of duties assigned to him/her. This demanding but rewarding career path only requires a few months to one years’ worth of education, and you can get directly to work with a positive job outlook.
Depending on your state, you can start out at anywhere from $25,000-$30,000 per year, and there’s always the option of pursuing a nursing degree down the road once you’ve gained some experience.