The average student loan borrower is in debt to the tune of nearly $40,000. That amount of money could represent the down payment on a house. Instead, it’s a financial albatross weighing down the aspirations of millions of college graduates.
If you’re reading the headlines about the nation’s growing student loan debt and wondering if you’ll be in the same boat, we have good news.
Not only can you avoid burdening yourself — even your family — with so much debt, but you can also get an education that places you in one of today’s strongest fields: healthcare.
Here are the five highest paying medical careers that don’t require a Bachelor’s degree.
1. Ultrasound Technician | $65,620 per year
The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists this one as “Diagnostic Medical Sonographers and Cardiovascular Technologists and Technicians, Including Vascular Technologists.” That might be the longest job title in the world!
For brevity’s sake, we’ll call it “Ultrasound Technician.” You might want to call it a real opportunity since this job carries a 17% growth rate projection through 2026. The average such projection is just 7%.
2. Surgical Technologist | $46,310 per year
These surgical operation assistants can also be called “operating room technicians.” They get operating rooms and equipment ready for surgical procedures and help doctors during the surgeries. The projected growth rate for this role is 12%.
3. Medical Records and Health Information Technicians | $39,180 per year
Also known as health information technicians and health coders, these professionals help ensure that health information data is organized and well managed. If you’ve ever had a healthcare professional share a code number with — typically to check if your insurance provider covers a particular procedure — those are the numbers in which health coders traffic. The projected growth rate for this specialty is 13%.
4. Medical transcriptionist: $35,250 per year
Medical transcriptionists, or healthcare documentation specialists, transcribe voice recordings from doctors and other healthcare workers. This is the only role on this list with negative projected growth, with a reduction in such jobs decreasing by 3%.
5. Phlebotomist | $33,670 per year
Phlebotomists are professional healthcare workers carefully trained to draw blood. The blood they draw may be used for medical tests, blood transfusions, or research.
Jobs in this field are projected to be plentiful, with a whopping 25% projected growth rate, one of the highest available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
More Than Money Matters
Four of these five roles provide students a real opportunity for a long-term career in healthcare. And they do so without the often exorbitant student loans so many others take on.
Phlebotomy appears to offer the most solid foundation if you prioritize job security. That’s based on its outstanding 25% growth rate. Whatever path you choose, though, many pundits consider healthcare a growth industry.
Salary information provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.