Medical careers you don’t need to go to med school for

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Building a career in healthcare can be a long, arduous process. The highest-paying professions require years of extra schooling and, for aspiring doctors, expensive medical school tuition. Graduates from public medical schools in 2014 who took out loans averaged over $167,000 in debt, according to U.S. News and World Report. Even with the promise of making that money back in future salary, that’s a steep price to pay that many people simply can’t afford.

Luckily, there are plenty of other healthcare jobs requiring only a bachelor’s degree. Using the most recent data from the Foreign Labor Certification Data Center, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and O*NET, CareerTrends found the 20 highest-paying careers in medicine that don’t require med school. For this list, we only considered jobs with at least 10,000 total employees.

Data on required education is gathered through a survey in which respondents are asked what level of education a prospective employee would require to perform a specific job. Answer choices include: high school education, some college or associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and doctoral or post-doctoral degree.

Salary data comes from the FLCDC and was last updated in June 2015. Employment data from the BLS is from May 2014. Education data from O*NET was released in Oct. 2015. Jobs are ranked according to their average annual salary.

#20. Licensed Vocational Nurses

Average annual salary: $39,998
Total employment: 695,610

#19. Surgical Technologists

Average annual salary: $40,386
Total employment: 98,450

#18. Radiologic Technicians

Average annual salary: $40,820
Total employment: 90,000

#17. Recreational Therapists

Average annual salary: $41,197
Total employment: 17,950

#16. Respiratory Therapy Technicians

Average annual salary: $44,530
Total employment: 10,610

#15. Occupational Health Technicians

Average annual salary: $45,998
Total employment: 13,990

#14. Midwives

Average annual salary: $47,152
Total employment: 40,840

#13. Cardiovascular Technicians

Average annual salary: $49,413
Total employment: 51,080

#12. Nutritionists

Average annual salary: $50,818
Total employment: 59,490

#11. Radiologic Technologists

Average annual salary: $51,259
Total employment: 193,400

#10. Respiratory Therapists

Average annual salary: $52,968
Total employment: 119,410

#9. Histotechnologists

Average annual salary: $54,678
Total employment: 161,710

#8. Registered Nurses

Average annual salary: $59,804
Total employment: 2,687,310

#7. Occupational Health Specialists

Average annual salary: $60,967
Total employment: 65,130

#6. MRI Technologists

Average annual salary: $61,295
Total employment: 33,130

#5. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

Average annual salary: $62,452
Total employment: 59,760

#4. Dental Hygienists

Average annual salary: $63,954
Total employment: 196,520

#3. Nuclear Medicine Technologists

Average annual salary: $67,684
Total employment: 20,320

#2. Orthoptists

Average annual salary: $68,063
Total employment: 35,310

#1. Radiation Therapists

Average annual salary: $74,803
Total employment: 16,380

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