Healthcare Jobs That Require a High School Diploma

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Obtaining a degree or postsecondary degree is not the only avenue for you to score a job. There are many types of jobs that require a high school diploma only. In this article, we will explore the best jobs that require a high school diploma in the healthcare industry. 

According to a report, 70% of Americans don’t have college degrees. One reason is that college enrollment declined by 1.3 percent, or 18 million, in 2019. There are several factors for the decline, and one of those is the cost of a college education. In school year 2017-2018, the average cost for college was $20,770 for public schools (in-state) and $46,950 for nonprofit private schools. As the college enrollment fee rises, more Americans opt to work instead of continuing a college degree. 

There are careers available in various industries, including healthcare, and you can still get a decent job with a high school diploma. Candidates with a high school diploma usually start in an entry-level position and learn the skills required for the job. With hard work and determination to learn and specialize your skills, you will have opportunities to advance in your career and get a high-paying job. 

What are the top healthcare jobs that require a high school diploma?

The healthcare industry is one of the largest employers in the United States, and demands in the medical field careers continue to increase. In fact, healthcare employment is projected to grow 15% from 2019 to 2029, adding about 24 million jobs. But not all healthcare careers involve becoming a doctor or a nurse. There are jobs that only require a high school diploma or completing a short certification program. 

Home Health Aide

A high school diploma is a basic credential to enter the field; however, it is not a strict requirement for some employers. But having at least a high school diploma will amp up your chances of finding a career opportunity. Plus, the pursuit of a postsecondary non-degree program that relates to providing health care will amplify your credentials as an aspiring home health aide, as well. This kind of program is usually offered at community colleges near you or at the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC).

Home health aides provide assistance to clients with disabilities, illness, or cognitive dysfunctions in terms of medical and non-medical daily tasks at home. They work under the direction of a nurse or healthcare practitioner. Their tasks include, but are not limited to: 

  • Performing household chores and other errands
  • Keeping track of the condition of the patient
  • Ensuring the patient’s medications are taken on time
  • Teaching patients and their families some self-care knowledge
  • Helping the patient do some exercises and other meditational activities of the patient 
  • Checking patient’s vital signs

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, home health aides made a median salary of $25,280 in 2019. The best-paid 10 percent made $34,180 that year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent made $19,430.

Personal Care Aide

Personal care aides and home health aides had the same median salary in 2019. If you seek to become a personal care aide, you have a great opportunity waiting for you on this pursuit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the job employment of personal care aides is expected to grow up to 4,599,200 jobs by 2029.

Most commonly found in nursing homes and hospitals, they serve as trained caretakers to the elderly. The primary difference between a personal care aide and a home health aide is that home health aides’ training is more specialized. Home health aides attend to their patient’s diet regimes and even check their vital signs.

The job of personal care aides is to provide assistance, care, and companionship to patients with cognitive and physical impairments who can’t operate on their own. The typical duties may include:

  • Housekeeping tasks including laundry, dishwashing, and cleaning
  • Helping clients perform daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and more
  • Providing companionship by talking to, going for walks with, or playing games with their clients
  • Teaching family members how to provide proper personal care for the client 

Medical Assistant

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment rate for medical assistants is expected to grow 19% from 2019 to 2029. Because of its increasing demand, the U.S. News raked it in the 61st spot of the best 100 jobs, 10th in the best healthcare support jobs, and 7th in the best jobs without a college degree.

A medical assistant only requires you to have a high school diploma or GED. But if you want to step up in this career, you should complete an accredited medical assistant certification program.

Medical assistants support doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to provide high-quality patient care and to perform a wide range of clinical and administrative tasks, including:

  • Medical billing and coding
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Handling correspondence
  • Answering phone calls
  • Taking medical histories
  • Recording vital signs
  • Drawing blood using best practices in phlebotomy
  • Collecting and preparing laboratory specimen
  • Laboratory testing
  • Preparing patients for physical examination

The median salary of a medical assistant in 2019 was $34,800. The best-paid 10 percent earned $48,720 that year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned $25,820.

Ultrasound Technician

Pursuing a career as an ultrasound technician requires you to obtain a high school diploma and get at least an Associate of Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography by attending a formal education at an accredited school. The program lasts between 18 to 24 months. If you already have experience in the health profession, you can complete the certification program in one year. 

An ultrasound technician provides support to doctors, physicians, and health professionals to diagnose patients’ ailments using special types of equipment with high-frequency sound waves to record images of internal organs.

The median salary of an ultrasound technician in 2020 was $59,100. The best-paid 10 percent earned $96,790 that year, while the lowest-paid 10 percent earned $30,140.

Final thoughts

Your high school diploma and job-specific skill sets can take you far in the healthcare field. Once you have found the ideal career for you and obtained the skills or experience, you will need to prepare your resume and prepare for an interview. Learn the secrets of writing an effective resume and answering tricky interview questions in these online courses.

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