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Top 6 Hospital Jobs That Only Require an Associate’s Degree

Top 6 Hospital Jobs That Only Require an Associate’s Degree

While degrees from four-year universities seem to be the norm these days, they are not necessarily for everyone. Four years of full-time schooling is a long time, and with college tuition steadily increasing, getting a bachelor’s degree is quite a commitment.

Fortunately, there are plenty of career options for people with two-year degrees -- and if you are dreaming of a healthcare career, but don’t have the desire or resources to go to school for four years, you’re in luck.

There are dozens of solid, well-paying, and fast-growing hospital jobs that only require an associate’s degree. And here’s some more great news -- many of these programs can be completed online. Here are 6 hospital careers that require an associate’s degree or less:

1. Anesthesia Technician

Anesthesia Technologist

Anesthesia is a crucial component of modern healthcare, and anesthesiologists are the type of doctors specially trained in administering it. However, anesthesiologists rely on anesthesia technicians to support them.

Anesthesia technicians are involved in all aspects of a patient’s anesthetic care, and help to ensure the current functioning of anesthesia equipment before, during, and after surgical procedures.

According to, the median annual salary for anesthesia technicians is $38,852. The minimum education level necessary to become an anesthesia technician is a high school diploma, but many hospitals prefer one to complete a degree program (the majority of which are online).

Certification is achieved through passing the American Society of Anesthesia Technologists and Technicians (ASATT) national certification exam, which covers topics like infection control techniques, operating room duties, and different types of anesthesia.

To view current job openings for anesthesia technicians, visit our hospital jobs page.

2. Cancer Registrar

Cancer Registrar

According to the National Cancer Registrars Association, cancer registrars ensure that timely, accurate, and complete data are maintained on all types of cancer diagnosed and/or treated within a healthcare institution or within a defined population.

They are responsible for the management of cancer registries, or information systems designed to collect and analyze data on patients with cancer.

Cancer registrars are essentially data management experts who work closely with physicians, administrators, researchers, and other medical personnel to serve as a resource for cancer information.

Traditionally, cancer registrars were trained on the job; however, formal education in the form of an associate’s degree or certificate program is preferred. A full list of higher education institutions offering programs in cancer registry can be found here.

Regarding annual salary, cancer registrars make an average of $50,599 according to the NCRA. To search for current hospital job openings for cancer registrars, take a look at this page.

3. Cardiovascular Technologist

Cardiovascular Technologist

Cardiovascular technologists currently rank #8 in hospital support jobs by U.S. News & World Report. They typically work in cardiac cath labs, assisting physicians in diagnosing and treating cardiac (heart) and peripheral vascular (blood vessel) ailments.

Cardiovascular technologists also perform complex cardiac procedures such as stent implants, cardiac pacemakers, and defibrillators.

The average salary for cardiovascular technologists is $56,100. To become a cardiovascular technologist, an associate’s degree is required. Usually, programs involve one year of core courses followed by a year of specialized instruction in invasive cardiology, noninvasive cardiology, noninvasive echo cardiology, or noninvasive vascular cardiology.

Upon completion of the program, cardiovascular technologists can become credentialed in their specialty. Visit our job search page to view hospital job openings in this field.

4. Medical Assistant

Medical Assistant

Medical assistants support the work of physicians and other healthcare professionals by performing administrative and clinical tasks.

Administrative duties include answering phones, greeting patients, maintaining medical records, and scheduling appointments, while clinical duties can include preparing patients for examinations, performing basic laboratory tests, administering medications, and drawing blood.

Medical assisting is a career path that is expected to grow much faster than average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They make a median annual salary of $30,590.

A high school diploma is required to become one, but most medical assistants have postsecondary education such as an associate’s degree or certificate. If you are interested in working as a medical assistant, visit our hospital careers page to view current openings.

5. Psychiatric Technician

Psychiatric Technologist

Psychiatric technicians are mental health professionals who assist psychiatrists by providing hands-on care to people with mental illnesses or developmental disabilities.

They can work in psychiatric hospitals, residential mental health facilities, and related healthcare settings, and duties include monitoring patients’ conditions and providing therapeutic care.

The median wage for psychiatric technicians is $28,320 annually and $13.61 hourly. There are four certifications for psychiatric technicians. Three out of the four require some level of postsecondary education.

Regardless of level, all potential psychiatric technicians must pass the Level 1 certification examination. Check out current psychiatric technician job openings on our hospital jobs page.

6. Veterinary Technician

Veterinary Technician

If working with animals is your specialty, a career as a veterinary technician may be right for you. Veterinary technicians assist licensed veterinarians by performing medical tests to assist in diagnosing the injuries and illnesses of animals.

Veterinary technologists and technicians can work in private clinics, laboratories, and animal hospitals.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics classifies this healthcare career as a “Bright Outlook Occupation.” with a projected growth of 19%, which is much faster than average. Veterinary technicians can expect a median salary of $31,800 per year.

To become a veterinary technician, one must complete a two-year program and pass a credentialing exam. To view current job openings for veterinary technicians, you can visit our jobs page.

Hospital careers are rewarding, exciting, and typically pay well -- and many only require you to have an associate’s degree or less. In addition to these six jobs, there are dozens more to choose from.

To read about more hospital jobs that only need a two-year degree, check out our blog post about allied health careers.


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