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6 Healthcare Careers That Don’t Require Postgraduate Training

It’s a well-known fact that physicians must invest heavily in their educations – but it’s possible to enjoy a rewarding career in the healthcare industry without spending 5+ years in medical school.

There are many options for healthcare careers that only require a bachelor’s degree, associate’s degree, certificate, diploma or successful completion of relevant health courses. As an alternative, some of these careers could possibly be launched through negotiating a relevant traineeship or apprenticeship position.
Perhaps you want to work in healthcare, but you aren’t in a position to spend a decade working towards becoming a doctor. If that’s your situation, consider getting started with any of these 6 healthcare careers that don’t require post-graduate training:

1. Adult Nurse

About the job: as an adult nurse, you’d spend your days caring for patients, monitoring their progress and working to assure their recovery from disease, injury or illness.

Typical duties might include taking pulse rates, administering injections, dispensing medications, dressing wounds, advising patients about various aspects of recovery, and doing stacks upon stacks of paperwork

Academic requirements: you’ll typically need to complete a 3-year nursing degree to become an adult nurse in the UK.

For some hospital employees, it is also possible to obtain a nursing degree apprenticeship consisting of on-the-job training plus academic study. This type of apprenticeship is likely to take about 4 years to complete.

Typical Salary Range: £24,214 - £37,267

2. Pharmacy Technician

About the job: in this role, you would be working to help customers fill their prescriptions. Your workday might consist of counting tablets, weighing ingredients, measuring liquids and creating instructional labels to help patients understand the proper dosage of medication they must take.

You’d also be likely to spend portions of your day speaking with patients about their options for prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.

Academic requirements: to become a pharmacy technician, it’s ideal to obtain a level 3 diploma in a closely related field of study such as pharmacy service skills or pharmaceutical science.

It is also possible for pharmacy technicians to either complete an apprenticeship or obtain a trainee position that allows for on-the-job training. In some cases, such training can result in the acquisition of a level 3 diploma upon successful completion.

Typical Salary Range: £19,500 - £30,000

3. Physiotherapy Assistant

About the job: as a physiotherapy assistant, your daily task list would be likely to include things like demonstrating various exercises to patients, monitoring patients’ progress, and completing paperwork.

Academic requirements: you’re likely to need at least a level 2 Certificate in Work Preparation for Health and Social Care. In some cases, it may also be possible to obtain work through an apprenticeship or by other means.

Typical Salary Range: £17,652 - £23,761

4. Emergency Medical Dispatcher

About the job: your job as an emergency medical dispatcher would be to connect ill and injured people with the emergency ambulance or helicopter service they need.

You might be called on to give first aid advice, communicate essential information to the ambulance crew, and maintain records of the calls you’ve handled.

Academic requirements: this varies. Employers typically determine whether or not they want to set academic requirements for this type of role. 

Typical Salary Range: £17,652 - £20,795 

5. Dental Hygienist 

About the job: in this role, you’d typically work at a dentist’s office.

Your day-to-day responsibilities would consist of tasks like removing plaque from patients’ teeth, helping patients learn how to properly brush and floss, and applying various tooth treatments to protect teeth and help prevent future dental problems.

Academic requirements: you’ll typically invest 2-3 years obtaining a diploma or degree in a relevant specialisation such as oral health science or dental therapy and dental hygiene.

Typical Salary Range: £24,214 - £37,267

6. Nursing Home Assistant 

About the job: in this role, you would support elderly or disabled patients who are no longer able to live unassisted. Your daily task list would be likely to consist of things like helping nursing home residents to bathe and dress.

You might also be responsible for tasks such as cleaning their rooms and helping to dispense medications.

Academic requirements: some care workers’ jobs do not have any specific academic requirements. Others may require a level 2 or 3 national vocational qualification in health and social care. First aid training will also be highly beneficial if you plan to seek out this kind of work.

Typical Salary Range: £12,500 - £25,000


These 6 career paths are all viable choices for people who aren’t inclined or able to spend years of their lives completing postgraduate training.

These are also excellent career options for people who truly want to acquire post-graduate training, but are not in the ideal situation for doing so. It would be possible to work at jobs like these for a few years, save money and then later work towards obtaining a more advanced degree.

Either way, these are career options that will allow you to get started in a healthcare career as soon as possible, without making an onerous investment in education