10 Healthcare Jobs for High School Grads

10 Healthcare Careers for the College-shyNot everyone interested in healthcare wants to be chief nurse or a surgeon or physician assistant. Heck, you may not even want to go to college.

Choosing or changing a profession is hardly easy. Your personality, social skills, goals, lifestyle, family needs, cost of living, location, willingness to relocate and educational level are all factors to consider. And those can and will change as your life changes.

The newly released Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Department of Labor offers some perspective for those of you who are undecided about where to take your career.

No college needed

There are plenty of healthcare jobs for high school grads. But you may have a lot of competition for them, depending on where you live.

Consider bumping up your educational level to at least an associate’s degree, depending on the field. That’s generally two years in a specialty program. And it can make a big difference in pay. For example, physical therapy aides need only be high school grads. Their median salary in 2010 was $23,680. But with an associate’s degree to become physical therapy assistants, the salary rose to $49,690.

Keep in mind that states vary in their education and training requirements. Some want certifications from training programs — but those aren’t college degrees. Home health aides, for example, must have formal training and pass an exam if they work in certified home health or hospice agencies. But they may not even need a high school diploma to get the job.

Here’s a list of 10 healthcare jobs listed alphabetically that don’t require a college education – although most require some training and certification – and the expected job growth during this decade.

Position: Dental assistants
Pay: $33,470
Jobs expected: 91,600
Education required: Varies but no degree

Position: EMTs/Paramedics
Pay: $30,360
Jobs expected: 75,400
Education required: Varies but no degree

Position: Home health aides   
Pay: $20,560
Jobs expected: 706,300
Education required: No degree

Position: Medical assistants
Pay: $28,860
Jobs expected: 162,900
Education required: High school diploma

Position: Nursing aides/orderlies
Pay: $24,010
Jobs expected: 302,000
Education required: Varies but no degree

Position: Occupational therapy aides
Pay: $27,430
Jobs expected: 14,800
Education required: High school diploma

Position: Opticians (dispensing)
Pay: $32,940
Jobs expected: 18,100
Education required: High school diploma

Position: Pharmacy technicians
Pay: $28,400
Jobs expected: 108,300
Education required: High school diploma

Position: Physical therapy aides
Pay: $23,680
Jobs expected: 51,100
Education required: High school diploma

Position: Psychiatric aides
Pay: $24,950
Jobs expected: 21,800
Education required: High school diploma

About Terry Sheridan

Terry Sheridan is a New England-based freelance writer who has covered business issues for 20 years.

Comments

  1. BY Amitha K Baiju says:

    Hi,

    This is Amitha. I am a high school graduate. I would like to work in a hospital.

    • BY Thuy Diana Van says:

      Hi,
      my name is thuy van
      and I'm a graduate wanting to work at a hospital.