Fast-Growing Jobs That Don't Require A 4-Year Degree

By Jason Lovelace, president of CareerBuilder Healthcare

Many industries were hit hard by the recession and are still struggling to rebound. Yet the health care sector not only made it through the economic downturn relatively unscathed, it experienced growth. This growth has no sign of slowing down -- the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the U.S. will add 5.6 million health care jobs from 2010 to 2020, the largest projected increase of any industry.

Why the industry is booming: Americans are living longer than ever before, and as the population ages, the demand for medical care will only continue to increase. Also, since at its core health care is about patient care, most jobs need to be performed in person and can't be automated or replaced by technology.

Employers need workers at all levels: Yet even though health care workers are in demand, employers often struggle to find the right people to fill open positions. This may be in part due to a misconception that all health care jobs require decades of education and training, potentially discouraging job seekers from entering the field. The fact is that employers are in need of workers across all levels and functions.

The following 11 heath care jobs don't require a four-year college degree to enter the profession and have experienced the most growth in the field since 2010*. For some of the jobs listed, two-year degrees or other certifications may be necessary, while others call for various levels of on-the-job training (such as short term or moderate term).

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1. Home health aide: Home health and personal care aides help people who are disabled, chronically ill or cognitively impaired, and they also assist older adults. Aides help with activities such as bathing and dressing and can provide services such as light housekeeping**.
Percent growth since 2010: 16.
Education level: Short-term on-the-job training.
Median hourly pay: $9.96.

2. Veterinary technologist and technician: Veterinary technologists and technicians perform medical tests under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian to treat or help veterinarians diagnose the illnesses and injuries of animals.
Percent growth since 2010: 12.
Education level: Associate degree.
Median hourly pay: $14.67.

3. Diagnostic medical sonographer: Diagnostic medical sonographers use special imaging equipment that directs sound waves into a patient's body -- in a procedure commonly known as an ultrasound, sonogram or echocardiogram -- to assess and diagnose various medical conditions.
Percent growth since 2010: 12.
Education level: Associate degree.
Median hourly pay: $31.83.

4. Physical therapist assistant: These assistants help physical therapists provide care to patients. They give therapy through exercise, massage, gait and balance training and other therapeutic methods.
Percent growth since 2010: 11.
Education level: Associate degree.
Median hourly pay: $24.53.

5. Occupational therapy assistant: Occupational therapy assistants treat patients with injuries, illnesses or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Collaborating with occupational therapists, they develop and carry out treatment plans, ranging from teaching the proper way to move from a bed into a wheelchair to the best way to stretch one's muscles.
Percent growth since 2010: 10.
Education level: Associate degree.
Median hourly pay: $25.13.

6. Massage therapist: Massage therapists treat clients by using touch to manipulate the soft-tissue muscles of the body. With their hands-on treatment, therapists relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, reduce stress, increase relaxation and aid in the general wellness of clients.
Percent growth since 2010: 10.
Education level: Postsecondary non-degree award.
Median hourly pay: $15.21.

7. Physical therapist aide: These aides help make therapy sessions productive, under the direct supervision of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. They often are responsible for keeping the treatment area clean and organized and making preparations for patient therapy sessions.
Percent growth since 2010: 10.
Education level: Moderate-term on-the-job training.
Median hourly pay: $11.48.

8. Cardiovascular technologist and technician: Cardiovascular technologists and technicians use imaging technology to help physicians diagnose cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments in patients.
Percent growth since 2010: 8.
Education level: Associate degree.
Median hourly pay: $24.51.

9. Occupational therapy aide: Occupational therapy aides, supervised by occupational therapists, treat patients with injuries, illnesses or disabilities through the therapeutic use of everyday activities. Aides typically prepare materials and assemble equipment used during treatment and are also responsible for various clerical tasks.
Percent growth since 2010: 7.
Education level: Short-term on-the-job training.
Median hourly pay: $13.70.

10. Medical assistant: Medical assistants complete administrative and clinical tasks in the offices of physicians, podiatrists, chiropractors and other health practitioners. Their duties vary with the location, specialty and size of the practice.
Percent growth since 2010: 7.
Education level: Moderate-term on-the-job training.
Median hourly pay: $14.17.

11. Radiologic technologist and technician: Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations, such as X-rays, on patients.
Percent growth since 2010: 7.
Education level: Associate degree.
Median hourly pay: $27.11.


*Percent growth, education level and median hourly pay from Economic Modeling Specialists Intl.
**Job descriptions from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Five Highest-Paying Jobs That Don't Require College Degrees


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CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. CareerBuilder.com’s team of career advisers, editors and writers are experts in job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues. Get daily job advice on www.TheWorkBuzz.com, follow CareerBuilder on Twitter at www.twitter.com/careerbuilder and become a fan of CareerBuilder on FaceBook.

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mcgill2724

Why the industry is booming. Because, while less likely to die of scurvy or the pox, and therefore live longer, people are most likely to eat themselves to a slow, fat, carcinogen loaded, stroked out, heart attack, diabetes death. Just long and drawn out enough to thoroughly milk the healthcare system. And more sick people doesn't translate to more nurses really. It translates to more patients per nurse. Which doesn't translate to a raise. But instead translates to a more high stress environment with people getting less quality care. Which doesn't translate to cheaper health care for you. So while big pharma and mcdonalds bank, your bank gets broken. But hey!!! The healthcare field is BOOMING!!!!

May 01 2013 at 12:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lyricwrite

Let me translate these jobs into their actual titles for the record! 1. Bed pan and urine collectors 2. Pooper Scooper operators and litter changers. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9, easy insurance and medicare money for services you can do on your own at home. 10, Spends more time with you than the doctor does.

April 29 2013 at 12:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dich123

Is there a web site that lists all the types of jobs that have a lot of openings? It would be good to check such a site before going to school for something - see if there'll be a job when you graduate. Or decide what to go to school for. Or get a job if you can't find one in your present field.

April 29 2013 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xtrahnds

One does need certification and licensure to become a massage therapist. There are full time and part time education choices but to become a therapist, one needs to complete the hours of education (minimum of 500 hours of hands on training) and pass all of the certification and licensing exams. What is a "post-secondary non-degree?"

April 29 2013 at 12:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ususanblugai

This article is so false, and I laughed and agree with Debbie Schneider. In fact way back a bit in time, I thought to apply to a clinic for administration employment oh yah! I was even instructed by the employee to mention her name in my application. I was flatly denied right a way in my e-mail two hours after sending it. It's only who they know. The best part in this discovery I came to find out, they hired an elderly woman whom did not know she needed to put incoming call on hold when asking other staff the callers question out right. She even was yelled at by the boss.

April 28 2013 at 9:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Greg Brooks ME

I was never good at blowing sunshine up the (you know what) of the interviewer. I have made progress in recent years.

April 28 2013 at 8:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Greg Brooks ME

just hire them

April 28 2013 at 8:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Debbie Schneider

I took out a student loan of $14,500 for a Medical Biller & Coding Diploma. The school told me that I would get a job right out of school. NOT TRUE! All of the businesses want at least 3 years of experience. How do they expect you to get experience if they don't hire you and give you a chance? Waste of my money that I have to pay back plus interest. Thanks for nothing Ultimate Medical Academy.

April 28 2013 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Debbie Schneider's comment
OH ! HAPPY DAY

Me too, I was going to do Radiology tech. but the school where I live said get all your prerequisites done locally then apply at a community college 2 hours away to finish...so this article is wrong on the degree needed for radiology techs and 2nd there are so many people in the sacramento and surrounding several counties trying to get in to this program that they stopped taking applications until they get everyone on their waiting list from 2001/2012 and they changed the requirements so you practically have to have a nursing degree when you are done.. so really it takes around 4 years in CA 2 community college going full time and 2 years in the radiology program full time. with a long waiting list. you must have anatomy and physiology along with chemistry. who ever wrote this article did not do their homework!!!!

April 28 2013 at 7:58 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Jo

That line is used in times of economic downturn, along with "you're over-qualified". Get used to hearing it; you'll hear it every time you look for a new job that you don't get.

It's interviewer-ese for "We don't want to hire YOU."

You're not over-qualified; there is no such thing. You don't fit in with what they need.

And, had you been astute while you were earning this diploma (which is, essentially worthless to you, but made money for the "school" you attended, you would NEVER have borrowed on your future. You SHOULD have looked at the track record of their "graduates" and spoken DIRECTLY to them, not listened to the school's hype.

You ALSO should have been working as a volunteer in your field, which would have led to an internship and then a job, since the company would have been familiar with you and your work ethic.

April 28 2013 at 8:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Doyel

I hate to point this out but most of the employment above does require a degree of some type most 4 year some 2 year and at least 1 I know 18 months at Vo-Tech.

April 28 2013 at 7:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Doyel's comment
OH ! HAPPY DAY

yes, The radiology is for sure a 4 year degree, same as nursing. wish the person who wrote this would not go around giving false info out there along with false hopes.

April 28 2013 at 8:01 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Aidan's Mom!

A Veterinary Technologist is a 4 year degree. A Veterinary technician is a 2 year degree.

April 28 2013 at 4:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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