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5 Healthcare Jobs That Don't Require a 4-Year Degree

Over half of the occupations expected to grow by 30 percent or more over the next decade are healthcare professions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Occupational Outlook Handbook. Even more significantly for folks without a lot of time or money to devote to retraining, some of them don't require a bachelor's degree for entry. A few are available to folks who only have a high school diploma.

vet tech 

(Photo Credit: Jeffrey Beall/Flickr)

Of course, entry-level jobs that don't require additional education also don't pay very much. Home health aides, for example, aren't required to have high school diplomas -- but their pay also averages about $9.84 an hour.

"The biggest point here is the fact that with some education beyond high school, you can find yourself in a position where you really like what you're doing," David Twitchell, an expert panelist with the Society for Human Resource Management and medical HR professional, tells Time.

Here a few jobs that require an associate's degree -- or sometimes, just on-the-job training:

1. Physical Therapy Aide: $11/hour, median.

PT aides help physical therapists by setting up equipment and cleaning up after sessions. They need a high school diploma and short on-the-job training to get started. They also have a high level of job satisfaction.

2. Occupational Therapy Assistant: $23/hour, median.

After short on-the-job training, occupational therapy assistants can help therapists implement home programs and document patients' progress. This is another occupation with high job satisfaction and a strong occupational outlook.

3. Veterinary Technician: $13/hour, median.

Animals need healthcare, too, and vet techs provide that by collecting samples, performing laboratory tests, and administering first aid and vaccines.

4. Dental Hygienist: $31/hour, median.

A rare, high-paying job that requires only an associate's degree, dental hygienists work with dentists to clean teeth, take X-rays, and teach patients how to care for their teeth.

5. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer: $27/hour, median.

This occupation has a projected 39 percent growth rate over the next 10 years, and requires only an associate's degree -- and the ability to maintain a calm, professional demeanor while administering, but not revealing the results of medical tests.

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