Alternative Healthcare Jobs Without An M.D.

There is no doubt that a healthcare degree is the first step aspiring nurses, doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, surgeons, or other healthcare professionals have to take to work in the healthcare field.

However, you don’t have to enroll in medical school, complete a residency, or earn a doctoral degree to rack up thousands of dollars in salary. For example, while surgeons and primary care physicians are among the highest-paid professionals globally, numerous job titles don’t require an M.D to earn a salary as high as 167,000 dollars annually.

Nowadays, most employees prefer a job that provides them with security and stability. With that in mind, you can rest assured that you will find high-paying work in the healthcare field, whatever happens.

However, students who are willing to dive headfirst into the medical field should know that pursuing an M.D is not always the best course of action to take, depending on their area of interest.

With that in mind, let us look at a few alternative healthcare jobs that don’t require students to go through five years of residency and acquire an M.D.

Emergency Medical Technician(EMT).

An EMT or an emergency medical technician is a healthcare professional that works a the forefront of emergency medical care, serving millions of people every year. They work in various settings and have to be the first ones on the scene of an emergency. Therefore, they are also known as ‘first responders.’

Compared to being an M.D, you don’t need to acquire a bachelor’s or associate’s degree to work as an EMT. in most situations, a GED or a high school diploma will do just fine.

That said, whether you’re a medical student or an EMT continuing education for added skills and qualifications, you might have to pass the cognitive exam taken by the National Registry of Emergency Technicians.

The median salary of a paramedic or EMT is around $36,650 per year.

Nurse Anesthetist.

Nurse anesthetists administer anesthesia and related care to patients during diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical procedures. In fact, before surgery or any other medical procedure takes place, these professionals review patients’ medication plans along with illnesses and allergies they may experience during anesthesia administration.

What’s more, they will remain at patients’ bedside during, before, and after the procedure and provide anesthesia as necessary.

To work as one, aspiring candidates must obtain at least a master’s degree in nursing from a well-reputed, accredited university.

Moreover, they will also have to obtain a registered nursing license to practice. Plus, they also have to undergo a comprehensive nurse anesthetist training program from an accredited institute. The average median salary of a nurse anesthetist is approximately 167,950 per year; no M.D required!

Nurse Practitioner. 

Nurse practitioners or NPS are responsible for providing primary and specialty care to a broad patient population. Moreover, they can work in a healthcare setting as well as run their private clinic.

Their role involves identifying ways to manage and treat various health issues. Furthermore, many NPs typically specialize in nursing subfields to cater to varying healthcare needs such as mental and psychiatric health, pediatric health, or geriatric health.

To work as one, candidates must acquire a master of nursing degree from an accredited university program. Moreover, they also have to obtain a registered nurse’s license before practicing in a specialized role inside a hospital or clinical setting.

The average median salary of a nurse practitioner is around $107,030 per year.

Radiation therapist. 

These healthcare professionals are a vital part of any healthcare team that works with cancer patients by operating machines and equipment to deliver radiation for treatment.

Moreover, it is also their job to counsel patients and explain treatment plans, the severity of the tumor, the part of the body receiving radiation treatment, and much more.

Typically, healthcare facilities and cancer treatment clinics consider hiring individuals with a minimum of associate’s degree in radiation therapy. However, some employers also hire candidates with a radiation therapy certification.

That said, education, certification, and experience requirement vary from state to state. The average median salary of a radiation therapist is around $82,330 per year.

Dental hygienist. 

A dental hygienist is a healthcare professional that works solely on people’s teeth. They remove plaque, stain, and tartar, bringing back the shine their patients lose. They also conduct teeth X-rays, check for oral disease, apply fluorides and sealants, and constantly remind you to brush your teeth thrice every day.

To work as a dental hygienist, you will have to obtain an associate’s degree in dental hygiene at least, along with a practicing license. Typically, university or college-based dental hygiene programs last three years.

Moreover, you need to pass the clinical examination to obtain practicing licensure. The average median salary of a dental hygienist is around $74,820 per year.


In the end, an expensive M.D is not necessary to work in the healthcare field. In fact, numerous job opportunities are waiting to be occupied by aspiring candidates if they have the proper education and experience.

With that in mind, the alternative healthcare job mentioned above will provide you with a starting point in the healthcare field and hopefully turn this opportunity into a fruitful, long career.

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