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Highest Paying Medical Jobs with the Least Schooling

highest paying medical jobs with the least schooling

You want to get into the medical field but you don’t want to spend 4 years in school before entering the job market. We’ve put together a list of jobs that you can train for in 2 years or less. These programs can be found at local colleges, medical trade schools, and online universities too.

The salary information we use is from the BLS official government website. The time each program takes to complete is taken directly from our partner schools program information.

Dental Assistant

Time: Certificate programs take 9 months, diploma programs take about a year, and associate degree programs take 2 years to complete. Find a dental assisting program near you now.

Pay: The average pay for dental assistants was $42,510 in 2021. Entry-level dental assistants made closer to $29,500, and the top 10 percent earned an average of $59,540.

Dental Hygienist

Time: An associate’s degree program in dental hygiene takes 2 years for a full time student to complete. Read about dental hygienist job description and training.

Pay: The average full time salary in 2021 was $81,360. The bottom 10% earned about $60.000 and the top 10% earned over $100k.

Lab Technologist

Time: Diploma programs in lab technology take close to 1 year to finish and associate’s degree programs take closer to 2 years. See lab technologist job description for more.

Pay: The average salary for clinical laboratory technicians was $56,910 in 2021. The lowest 10% made just over $30,000, and the top 10% earned $79,340.

Pharmacy Technician

Time: Pharmacy technology programs normally take about 1 year to complete, but you could go on to earn an associate’s degree in 2 years. If you want to learn about the job description check out What does a pharmacy technician do?

Pay: The average pharmacy technician salary in 2021 was $37,970, with the top 10 percent making an average of $47,580.


Time: Your phlebotomy program will normally take less than a year to complete if you go to school full time. Training will include both classroom and hands-on experience. Read the phlebotomy programs and career guide for more information.

Pay: Phlebotomists make an average annual salary of $38,450. The top 10 percent make closer to $48,490.

Physical Therapy Assistant

Time: A diploma in physical therapy assisting takes 2 years to complete for full time students. Learn more about physical therapy assistants.

Pay: The average annual salary for physical therapy assistants in 2021 was $60,740. The lowest paid 10% earned $37,280 and the top 10% earned $80,170.

Radiologic Technologist

Time: Associate’s degree programs in radiologic technology take 2 years to finish. To find out more go to radiologic tech job description and education.

Pay: The average annual pay for radiologic technologists was $66,490 in 2021. The bottom 10% earned close to $46,850, and the top 10% earned nearly $95,000.

Surgical Technologist

Time: An associates degree in surgical technology takes 2 years to complete. To learn more about the job read What does a surgical technologist do?

Pay: The lowest 10 percent of surgical tech’s earned about $37,000, the median pay was $48,530, and the highest 10 percent earned close to $76,000.

Veterinary Assistant

Time: Vet assisting diploma programs take close to 1 year, and associate degree programs take 2 years to complete. Read veterinary assistant job description and training for more.

Pay: In 2021 the average salary for a vet assistant was $31,780. The bottom 10% earned $22,920 and the top 10% earned $38,860. Ok, ok, it’s not the ‘top’ paying job but we love dogs so we added it anyway.

Of course there are other medical careers to consider, and careers in healthcare administration generally pay well too. We hope you found this information useful, and if you did please share it!


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