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Highest Paying Medical Jobs with the Least Schooling

highest paying medical jobs with the least schoolingDo you want to enter the medical field but don't also want to spend 4 years in school before entering the job market? We’ve put together a list of medical 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 $44,710 in 2022. The top 10 percent earned an average of $59,200.

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 2022 was $84,860. The top 10 precent earned around $107,640.

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 $59,130 in 2022. The top 10 percent earned $84,670.

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 2022 was $40,260, with the top 10 percent making an average of $50,640.


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 made an average annual salary of $40,580 in 2022. The top 10 percent made closer to $51,610.

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 2022 was $64,510. The top 10 percent earned $85,230.

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 $70,240 in 2022. The top 10 percent earned nearly $97,940.

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 average pay in 2022 was $57,500, and the highest 10 percent earned close to $78,560.

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 2022 the average salary for a vet assistant was $34,490. The top 10 percent earned $44,920. 

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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