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10 High-Paying Hospital Jobs That Require Little Schooling

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Nia is a cardiac sonographer, growing artist, and writer who enjoys traveling and gaining experiences through living life to the fullest.

Taking blood pressure is a common task for an ECG technician.

Taking blood pressure is a common task for an ECG technician.

Hospital Tech and Assistant Jobs

It’s quite easy for a patient in a hospital to classify all the employees that come through the door as a nurse. They’re probably ill and really don’t care who’s in there as long as they get the medical attention they need. They most likely don’t know any better. All they figured was that they received extensive schooling for their career choice. However, there are many healthcare professions out there that only require a certification that can be obtained in a year or two. There are a number of medical careers that one can go into and make pretty decent money doing so. Here is a list of medical professions that pay well without the need for medical school. They typically only require a two-year associate's degree and certification. The salaries provided are the national average.

Ten High-Paying Medical Jobs That Don't Need Medical School

  1. EKG/ECG Technician
  2. Cardiac Sonographer
  3. Occupational Therapy Assistant
  4. Physical Therapy Assistant
  5. Vascular Technician
  6. Cath Lab Technician
  7. Respiratory Therapist
  8. Radiologic Technician
  9. Emergency Medical Technician & Paramedic
  10. Pharmacy Technician

1. EKG/ECG Technician

An electrocardiograph (EKG/ECG) technician can often be found in the cardiology department. They collect patient data pertaining to heart rates and impulses. They will work closely with a physician on matters regarding the function of the heart of a patient. They collect patient data pertaining to heart rates and impulses.

Main Duties

  • Assist physicians with stress tests
  • Take a patient's blood pressure
  • Administer Holter monitor tests
  • Perform EKG tests to read a heart’s rhythm to check for any problems

Job Requirements

  • High school diploma
  • Complete an EKG technician program (Usually ranges from four to six weeks)
  • Possess a certificate in EKG technology (Must complete a program and pass an exam)


The average is around $39,000.

2. Cardiac Sonographer

These technicians are also known as echocardiographers or echo techs. They use ultrasound technology to help diagnose and treat heart problems.

Main Duties

  • Perform echocardiograms to evaluate the heart
  • Familiarize with patient's heart condition to recognize any abnormalities
  • Perform various tests such as TEEs, stress echos, and vascular testing
  • Work with physicians to assist in diagnostic procedures
  • Maintaining ultrasound equipment

Job Requirements

  • Associate degree in cardiovascular technology and diagnostic medical sonography
  • Registered Diagnostic Cardiac Sonographer (RDCS) certification


The average is around $65,000.

An occupational therapy assistant helps patients  get back some normalcy in their lives after experiencing traumatic events.

An occupational therapy assistant helps patients get back some normalcy in their lives after experiencing traumatic events.

3. Occupational Therapy Assistant

Occupational therapy involves the rehabilitation of patients that have physical, mental, and/or emotional issues. Occupational therapy assistants work with therapists to help patients develop and recover activities of daily life.

Main Duties

  • Generally assist patients by performing exercises with them that the doctor prescribes
  • Help patients get dressed, help them eat, and learn to write again

Job Requirements

  • Associate degree through an occupational therapy assistant program
  • Most states will require you to pass a licensing exam


The average is around $57,000.

Physical therapy assistants help patients who have suffered injuries regain mobility.

Physical therapy assistants help patients who have suffered injuries regain mobility.

4. Physical Therapy Assistant

Physical therapy assistants (PTAs) work with physical therapists to help patients recover from injuries, improve mobility, and manage pain.

Main Duties

  • Help patients through exercises
  • Monitor and document patient progress

Job Requirements

  • Associate degree from a physical therapy program
  • Most states require certification, which is received through an exam


The average is around $45,000.

5. Vascular Technician

A vascular technician uses ultrasound to measure the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body.

Main Duties

  • Checks the patient’s blood vessels for any blockages or clots
  • Maintain diagnostic equipment
  • Recognize and record any abnormalities to help doctors diagnose any issues

Job Requirements

  • Associate degree in cardiovascular technology
  • Becoming certified requires passing an exam


The average range is around $70,000.

6. Cath Lab Technician

Cath lab techs help cardiologists perform heart procedures, such as cardiac catheterizations.

Main Duties

  • Monitor EKG readouts during procedures and alert doctors of anything abnormal
  • Prepare patients for procedures
  • Assist with the insertion of pacemakers and stents

Job Requirements

  • Associate degree in cardiovascular technology
  • Passing an exam from Cardiovascular Credentialing International (CCI) to be credentialed


The average is around $91,000.

7. Respiratory Therapist

Respiratory therapists offer care to patients who have difficulties breathing. Patients can range from premature infants with underdeveloped lungs to elderly patients with diseased lungs.

Main Duties

  • Diagnose breathing disorders and recommend treatment
  • Manage life support for people in intensive care
  • Stabilize patients during transports
  • Conduct tests to measure lung function
  • Maintain equipment such as home ventilators
  • Assist patients with breathing treatments

Job Requirements

  • Associate degree in respiratory therapy
  • Pass exam for Certified Respiratory Therapist credential
  • Pass exam for Registered Respiratory Therapist credential


The average is around $66,000.

Radiologic technicians are responsible for taking X-rays.

Radiologic technicians are responsible for taking X-rays.

8. Radiologic Technician

Radiologic technicians perform diagnostic imaging procedures. This can include MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays. Some technicians can specialize in particular techniques, such as mammography or sonography.

Main Duties

  • Properly position patients to ensure that accurate scans are produced
  • Operate machines to examine a patient’s bones, soft tissues, or organs
  • Work with radiologists to diagnose any disease or injury from scans
  • Maintain patient records as well as equipment

Job Requirements

  • Associate degree in radiography
  • Pass a certification exam from the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT)


The average is $54,000.

9. Emergency Medical Technician & Paramedic

Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) respond to emergencies, such as car accidents or medical emergencies. They offer immediate care to patients before they are transported to a medical facility for further treatment. Paramedics can be seen as more advanced EMTs since they require further training and education. They perform more invasive and pharmacological interventions.

Main Duties

  • Provide immediate medical attention in emergency situations, including CPR or treating external wounds
  • Transport patients to medical facilities
  • Paramedics can offer some early life-support measures, such as administering a breathing tube or IV fluids

Job Requirements

  • Must complete EMT basic training. This can take between six months to two years
  • Must pass a licensing exam administered by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT)
  • Paramedics will need an associate degree in emergency medical technology


The average for an EMT is around $35,000. The average for a paramedic is around $42,000.

10. Pharmacy Technician

Pharmacy technicians help pharmacists distribute medication and work as a liaison between a pharmacist and their patients.

Main Duties

  • Maintain inventory of medication
  • Relay any questions regarding prescriptions to the pharmacist
  • Assist in preparation and distribution of prescriptions
  • Maintain sterility of work environment where prescriptions are prepared

Job Requirements

Education requirements may vary depending on the location. A retail pharmacy technician will likely only need a high school diploma. Working at a hospital pharmacy will likely require an associate degree in pharmacy technology. You may be able to go through a certificate program. These usually take around a year to complete. You may also need to pass an exam from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB).


The average is around $34,000.

It Can All Vary

A hospital career can be very fulfilling and can provide you with a great living. This list is intended to give you ideas of what direction you can head in. Many of these jobs can be great career choices. Keep in mind that the positions listed above may vary in salaries depending on your location and experience. If you have a desire to work in the medical field, it never hurts to call a human resources department to ask for a listing of the positions they normally carry within their hospital. You may find a role that can suit you. Good luck!

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.


Pharm tech on May 17, 2019:

Pharm techs get paid nothing.

Vishnu Baghel on January 29, 2018:

I need online emergency medical technician course

Michelle on June 16, 2017:

Yo be a music therapist one needs s bachelors degree in music therapy and have completed clinical training hours. This must be done before taking the CBMT exam. In NY a masters in music therapy is the requirement. then one must complete 1500 supervised hours under a qualified supervisor to get a License in Creative Arts Therapy. This makes LCATs qualified psychotherapists.

Dr. Jatin Valia on May 18, 2017:

Need certification and ti study for free on line physical therapist assistant. Please advice. I am from Mumbai, INDIA

Amaya Goyal on May 02, 2017:

What are the job prospects for an intl student after pursuing a 1 year PG certificate program in health promotions in USA?

jayson on December 18, 2016:

hi Kimberly, what is the name of the school you went to? I am very interested. are you in calfornia bay area. need some information. thanks

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on November 04, 2016:

Hi Kimberly. Not that I know of. You may want to research. My program took a year and a half. Most of them will probably will or maybe even more.

sharon on October 28, 2016:

Hi I am 60 and in good shape young looking and thinking and thinking of a quick certificate program to get a job that pays more then min. wage. Any ideas for a flexible job I love the outdoors and like to keep active. Thanks!

Kimberly on October 24, 2016:

These are great. Thank you for info., however do any of these only take 3 months?

Amy on September 29, 2016:

Which of these jobs do you believe are in demand the most?

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on September 25, 2016:

Thanks so much Max. I never noticed it.

Max on September 25, 2016:

I would like to request that you change "musical therapist" to "music therapist" There is no "-al" in the title.

pyar on September 24, 2016:

I am intrested in this. Let me know details.

john on September 03, 2016:

which of these course having the more chance for getting a job in hospital.i ask this because in every hospital needes a very limited techicians than any other staffs

Kevin on September 02, 2016:

Hello, i am looking for a new career. I am 25 and have worked in offices and retail management for years now. I was taking interest in becoming a medical sonographer. How is te job outlook for a male entering the field and what education is needed. Thanks :)

SYED on August 28, 2016:

I am 50 years old, has recently come to USA, do not have any specialization in any field, would like to do any worth certification training to obtain decent job with good salary, I appreciate if you guide me through right path.


muggs on August 07, 2016:

Just FYI monet of these are no longer certificate only Xray is an associates degree, I am a registered RT and most of the others listed here are the same

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on June 29, 2016:

Hi Bob. That will probably depend on the course you're taking. You would have to research different programs and see what requirements they need from you. I got lucky. When I went into my program for Echo I did not need an associates but I have seen programs that now need you to have it. As time goes on things change so you may want to do your researching now before rules of needing an associate degree change.

Bob on June 28, 2016:

Do you need to have an associates degree or can you just have a certificate to work as a radiation therapist?

Gave on June 20, 2016:

Hi woud you have some information regarding Orthotists and Prosthetist certification.

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on May 19, 2016:

Absolutely not gmom. We had a lady in our class that was in her mid 50's. She was worried as well but she passed and found a career in Echocardiography with no problem. If you have the mental capacity, I say go for it!

gmom on May 19, 2016:

what do you think about being hired in your 50's. I have been laid off for a year and would like to change my line of work. Is it crazy to think I could compete with younger graduates.

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on May 11, 2016:

Good luck to you Illesha! I became a cardiac sonographer and really enjoy it. There are some good jobs on this list that shouldn't be too long of a ride for you. Just research each and find out the best for you. Check on how many hours a day you will work, pay, and if it's physically adequate for you and you will make the right choice.

Illesha on May 10, 2016:

Thanks for the helpful article! I am changing careers and would like to try out something that is not a long school commitment

Tee on May 03, 2016:

Annaamon are you in school or study on your own....i worked in a mail order pharmacy and study for the test on my own and passed....since you have worked as a medication aid you will for sure pass the test

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on November 18, 2015:

Good luck to you! I hope you find it very rewarding!

annasmom on November 17, 2015:

I have been working as a medication aid at a hospice for a number of years. I am now studying to become a pharmacy tech. I tried to go to nursing school a couple of times, but could never make it happen while working and raising children.

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on June 11, 2014:

Thanks so much Lisa. You know what's funny? That you mention Cardiac Sonographer. That's my field of work. I've been in the field for 5 years. I've taken a year off work but hope to be back at it soon. It's really a good field especially if you work for a good employer. Thanks for your comment Lisa!

Lisa on June 11, 2014:

You have a good list of healthcare jobs in hospital. Thanks for including Cardiac Sonographer in the list. It is true that this career is demanding with a relatively high salary. If anyone wants to become a Cardiac Sonographer, it is very important to take an accredited program. Here is the school list with detailed information

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on July 14, 2013:

Thanks Man of Strength! I worked in the hospital for 5 years and it does take a special type of person to work there. Not necessarily with a passion to serve people but one that can handle certain aspects of it. Thanks for stopping by. Have an awesome day!

Man of Strength from Orlando, Fl on July 14, 2013:

Hi Nia,

This is an interesting and great hub. My cousin wants to be a musical therapist. She loves singing, but loves people even more. While these careers can pay a decent salary, having the passion to serve the people is key. Dealing with sickness and death is not for everyone. All careers in the medical field are admirable. Great work and voted up!

NiaG (author) from Louisville, KY on July 13, 2013:

Thanks Crystal! I think there are lots of job opportunities that don't require years upon years of training that most people don't know exist. Thanks for dropping in a comment. Have an awesome day!

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on July 13, 2013:

Great idea for a hub and well done! Voting up for sure.