healthcare job

When you think about a career in health care, doctor or dentist might immediately come to mind. Though the amount (and cost) of schooling for those careers may seem out of reach, the fact is that there are many jobs in the healthcare field that are much more obtainable.

It’s possible to make a great salary and have a stable career in medicine with an associate’s degree or equivalent. Read on to learn more about four health related jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree or more.

Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

These professionals are tasked with using ultrasound imaging equipment for diagnosis and treatment, both for pregnant women receiving prenatal care and for others in need of certain types of exams. In most states, an associate’s degree is required to become a diagnostic medical sonographer, along with certification that requires a state board examination.

Once licensed to practice, sonographers make an average annual salary of about $60,000 per year. This job is also projected to grow much faster than average by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with 42,700 new jobs projected by 2022. Reference this guide to learn how to become a respiratory therapist.

Respiratory Therapists

Respiratory therapists are responsible for patient care for those who have trouble breathing–for example, premature infants or those who have a lung disease like asthma or emphysema. These professionals are required to have an associate’s degree and, in most cases, must be certified and licensed by their state of practice.

Respiratory therapists earn an average annual salary of more than $55,000 per year. As the healthcare field becomes increasingly important, more than 22,000 new jobs are projected to be created for this role by 2022.

Dental Assisting

Dental assistants are responsible for helping dental offices run smoothly, completing tasks that range from patient care to administrative duties. These may include taking X-rays, assisting during procedures, making appointments, and instructing patients on follow up care and other pertinent information.

Duties may vary widely by type of office as well as by state of practice. To become a dental assistant, in most states you must complete either a community college certification program or opt for a trade school, like the Academy of Dental Careers.

Choose a school that’s recognized by the Commission on Dental Accreditation. Dental assistants make an average annual salary of about $35,000. This career is growing much faster than average, with more than 74,000 new jobs projected by 2022.

Physical Therapy Assistants

Physical therapists help patients who have been ill or injured recover and regain mobility using exercise and other tactics. Physical therapy assistants help these professionals with tasks such as assisting with exercises, educating patients and families, and setting up and cleaning examination and treatment areas.

Physical therapy assistants can earn an average annual salary of more than $39,000 per year. This is a very fast growing profession, with 42 percent growth (almost 50,000 new jobs) projected by 2022. To enter this career, you must earn an associate’s degree in physical therapy assisting from an accredited program.

If you’re interested in a career in the health care field but want to avoid going into debt for years of college or university, consider one of these four obtainable medical careers. In most cases, programs are available at your local community college or medical center and typically cost just a fraction of bachelor’s degree programs.

To learn more about these jobs, consider shadowing someone who is in one of these roles to find out more about what their day to day duties are like. With some research, you’ll be able to find the health care career that fits your talents and skills.