Healthcare Jobs That Don’t Require a Doctorate


Healthcare workers – particularly physicians, surgeons, and technicians – are some of the most highly qualified individuals in our society. This fact, as well as the absolutely essential service which they provide, is one of the reasons doctors are among the most respected people in society. They certainly deserve this reputation, having worked long and hard throughout med school and the recruitment process only to end up in a job which is among the most emotionally and physically taxing of all professions. Physicians certainly earn their salary and the respect that they are most certainly due.

However, when we talk about healthcare more broadly, we must consider all the less qualified jobs without which no healthcare institution could function. This includes everybody from hospital porters to reception staff and nurses to physician assistants. Among these professions, the qualification level can still be high, but the diversity of healthcare roles well reflects how many different skills and expertise are necessary if a society is going to properly look after its sick. Health Jobs Nation wide, a healthcare jobs recruitment service offering nurse practitioner jobs among others, say that the diversity of the vacancies on their site is not just a diversity of disciplines, but a diversity of qualification requirements too.

And this leads us to an interesting point – you do not need a doctorate to work in healthcare.

The Modern Healthcare Job Market

In the U.S., the healthcare jobs market is currently classed as a job seekers market. This means that there are more vacancies than there are qualified candidates to fill them. Generally speaking, this is bad news for healthcare as a whole as it leads to a significant amount of talent churn and sometimes even the lowering of application standards as recruiters try to scoop up talent. However, part and parcel of this phenomenon has been a true explosion in the types of jobs available, and that means more jobs that don’t require a doctorate.

The reason for this has been the extra requirements that have been put on the healthcare system by an aging population of baby boomers. More people reaching the age where hospital care becomes more frequent is a phenomenon seen across the West. It has meant that recruiters are looking for more candidates to fill a greater diversity of roles.

Top Roles That Don’t Require a Doctorate

With that in mind then, here follows a handful of the best healthcare jobs for which you will not require a doctorate. Keep in mind though that this doesn’t make them easy to attain – there might well still be hefty training requirements and there is no guarantee the job will be a breeze once you get into it.

Physician Assistant

Physician assistants (PAs) are there to assist physicians. The role is often considered to be similar to nurses, but the difference lies in the fact that that the duties are based upon a doctor’s duties while nurses typically follow a distinct discipline. You’ll need a master’s degree and a specific certificate to become a PA.

Nurse Anesthetist

A nurse anesthetist will administer anesthetic treatments to patients in a diversity of ways. They are experts in this small field. For this job, you need to become a registered nurse (RN) and have completed a few years practical experience.

An Occupational Therapist

An occupational therapist (OP) works with evidence-based therapy interventions to treat patients who are injured, ill, or disabled. To become an OP, you need to hold a master’s degree in occupational therapy.

These three jobs well-illustrate the diversity on offer and the healthcare job opportunities that are open to many more people than you would initially expect.

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