When people hear the words medical school, the first thing that comes to mind are images of doctors and nurses. There is a certain prestige that comes with being a doctor, but the sacrifices to become one are great. Even when it comes to nursing, the path to becoming a nurse can require several years of hard work.

Thankfully, there are so many other opportunities in healthcare with relation to jobs that are short or average on school time but pay decently.  If you’re interested in the medical field, but don’t know where to begin to look, this list should prove useful to you!

  1. Physician Assistant

Pay: 65-98k, varies

What They Do: As the title suggests, physician assistants help perform routine tasks that were previously done by physicians, with their supervision. They may apply casts, observe and treat cuts and bruises, and other tasks.

How to Become One: There are a variety of programs available to become a physician assistant. An individual can take a certificate program, or obtain an associates or bachelor degree. Most programs last two years.

  1. Blood Bank Technologists and Specialists

Pay: 45-65K, varies

What They Do: As the title suggests, blood bank technologists and specialists deal with blood on an everyday basis. They are drawing, it, storing it, and processing it. Specialists, however, may be called upon to be researchers, administrators, teachers, etc. as well.

How to Become One: Please check your varying state requirements for specifics. Many individuals in this industry already have a 4-year degree and a medical background in a related field.  There are several one-year accredited training programs throughout the US for those interested in entering the field.

  1. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer

Pay: 45-75K, varies

What They Do: A Diagnostic Medical Sonographer uses ultrasound waves to investigate various organs within the body. It is especially useful in observing pregnancy stages and monitoring for complications. They maintain equipment, file results, and walk patients through various procedures.

How to Become One: On-the-job training is available for this position for individuals already working in the medical field. One year diploma programs are available for those new to the field. There is also the option of obtaining an associate or bachelor’s degree in the field. In order to become certified, there is a required licensing exam.

  1. Medical Scribe

Pay: 18-38K, varies

What They Do: Medical scribes offer transcription services such as medical billing, inputting patient information, preparing charts, collecting data, and performing other clerical tasks in a medical setting.

How to Become One: It is useful to have taken courses in anatomy and chemistry. Candidates with a 4-year degree are preferred, though having a medical related degree isn’t always necessary.

  1. Physical Therapist

Pay: 60-90K, varies

What They Do: Physical Therapists rely on a variety of treatments to alleviate bodily pain in patients and to heal individuals. They supervise assistants, and develop treatment plans on a case-by-case basis.

How to Become One: After completing high school, those seeking to enter this field must obtain a four year degree in Exercise and Health Sciences or Physical Therapy. If having an unrelated 4-year degree, individuals wanting to get into the field may take a master’s degree program, which typically take two years to complete.

  1. Physical Therapy Assistant

Pay: 30-60K, varies

What They Do: The job of a Physical Therapy Assistant involves giving treatments, conducting tests, assisting patients with daily activities, and other tasks.

How to Become One: A high school diploma or equivalent is a necessary pre-requisite. Assistants must complete a two-year program for an associate degree. There may also be licensing requirements depending on the state.

  1. Respiratory Therapist

Pay: 40-65K, varies

What They Do: Respiratory therapists treat individuals with a variety of breathing problems. They work under a physician’s supervision, and they monitor the progression of patients.

How to Become One: There are two-year and four-year degree programs available in the field.  There is also an exam that must be taken and passed in order to work in the field.

  1. Dental Hygienist

Pay: 50-80k, varies

What They Do: Hygienists mostly clean teeth, and provide fluorides and other items to them to prevent the formation of tooth decay.  They also assist dentists with X-Rays and other duties.

How to Become One: Laws regarding what hygienists can and cannot do vary by state as do requirements to become one. A high school diploma or equivalent is required in order to enter a hygienist program. An individual may become a hygienist by either taking a certificate course, or by obtaining an associate, bachelor, or master-level degree. After completing an accredited program, graduates must take a licensing exam in order to work in the field.

  1. Biomedical Writer

Pay: 45-80K, varies

What They Do: Biomedical writers develop health materials such as pamphlets, scripts for commercials, and writing about medical happenings. They may prepare sales documents, write articles, and other tasks.

How to Become One: It helps to have a degree in Journalism or English, but any degree will do so long as writing ability is up to par. Having a background in the medical field or in medical studies is helpful.

  1. Radiological Technologist

Pay: 40-65K, varies

What They Do: Technologists prepare patients for X-Ray procedures by walking them through the process. They ensure the proper doses of radiation are administered. They also maintain the radiation equipment used.

How to Become One: Someone looking to enter this industry can do so by completing a one or two year hospital training certificate program, or by obtaining an associate or bachelor’s degree.