And if you want to become a doctor, you’ll have to go to university to get a medical degree. But there are plenty of other medical and healthcare jobs out there than don’t require paying to go to university for a degree.
Check out this list of jobs in the medical field without a degree required. For many of them, you won’t even need A-levels!
'Not keen on uni but want a career in health? Take a look at these medical jobs that don't require a degree'
Phlebotomists take blood samples from patients to help diagnose illness. They use a hypodermic needle and draw blood into a tube, and then apply a bandage to the patient. Phlebotomists then carefully label and store samples, and deliver them to the lab, and record any relevant data. And it’s one of the few hospital jobs without a degree needed.
There are no specific entry requirements to become a phlebotomist, but you’ll usually need:
- Two or more GCSEs in subjects like English, maths and science.
- Work experience in a hospital or healthcare role.
Learn more: How to become a phlebotomist.
Paramedics provide urgent care for patients who are sick or who have been injured. They give people
life-saving medical help, usually while they’re being transported to hospital. You don’t need to pay for university to become a paramedic, there are a couple of other options open to you.
Firstly you can apply directly to the ambulance service as a trainee paramedic (known as Student Paramedic), and study while you work. You will usually need at least five GCSEs at grade 4 or above, including English, maths and science. You will also need two years’ driving experience and a good level of physical fitness.
Ambulance services set their own entry requirements and it’s very competitive.
Secondly you could do an apprenticeship. These are programmes where you work and study at the same time, gaining skills, a salary and qualifications. Learn all about apprenticeships here. The paramedic apprenticeship lets you study towards a degree while working on the job.
Learn more: Interview with an emergency medical technician (that’s like a junior paramedic).
3. Pharmacy technician
Pharmacy technicians have lots of tasks. They choose the correct medicines which make up a prescription, weigh liquids and count out tablets according to the GP’s instructions and measuring out ingredients and putting together medicines.
You can pursue this career by doing an apprenticeship. You’ll gain experience and learn from more experienced colleagues, working directly with the pharmacist. You’ll also complete vocational qualifications such as NVQs or diplomas at level 3, learning the theory behind your work. You’ll also be assessed on workplace skills such as customer service and teamwork.
Afterwards you could go on to specialise in a particular area of medicine, for example medicines for children.
One of the main hospital jobs without a degree required is nurse. You can now become a nurse by doing an apprenticeship instead of paying to go to university. During your apprenticeship you’ll be given the abilities and knowledge required to become a fully qualified nurse.
You will actually study towards a degree during the programme, but you’ll be paid to study and work, rather than paying tuition fees.
Here are the facts on the brand new nursing apprenticeships:
- You will study at a university, while working at a hospital or clinic.
- You will train to become a registered nurse. After the apprenticeship you’ll be able to apply for registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Council.
- They are degree apprenticeships– meaning you actually gain a full nursing degree.
- They take 3-4 years.
- They’re free! In fact, you’ll get paid to do a nursing apprenticeship. Exactly how much will be up to your employer – but here’s an idea of apprenticeship wages.
Discover more: How to become a nurse without the tuition fees.
5. Rehab worker
Another one of the jobs in the medical field without a degree you could do is rehab worker. Rehab workers help people live more independently after they’ve been ill or had an accident. Rehab workers support people from a wide range of backgrounds – it could be adults with learning disabilities, people with sight or hearing loss, mental health problems or drug misuse issues.
Rehab workers need excellent communication skills and a sensitive and compassionate attitude. They are also good at working under pressure. You don’t necessarily need any qualifications to become a rehabilitation worker, though it would help to have a Level 2 or 3 Diploma in Health and Social Care.
Learn more: 7 jobs in health and social care you could do.