Entry-Level Healthcare Jobs: Easy Medical Roles to Get Started In

If you are interested in a career in healthcare, an entry-level healthcare job may be a great fit for you. Compared to other healthcare positions, these types of jobs are more easily accessible, meaning that they do not require extensive education or training. Depending on your current level of education, you can start working as soon as you get a job.

Entry-level healthcare jobs have many benefits. Some of them include making a positive impact on people's lives, decent pay, good benefits, and great job security. In addition, they provide you with valuable experience that can be helpful if you are looking to pursue a more advanced healthcare career in the future. 

This guide will go over the best entry-level healthcare jobs, their education requirements, average salaries, job outlooks, and more to help you find your fit.

21 Entry-Level Healthcare Jobs

An entry-level healthcare job is a position that has relatively few educational and training requirements. They are a great fit for those who want to enter healthcare in a quick and easy way but have little-to-no experience in the field, such as those looking for a job for pre-med or during a med school gap year. They are also a good fit for those who are making a career switch from a different industry. 

Despite being classified as “entry-level,” these jobs are essential to keeping the healthcare system running smoothly. Every healthcare facility depends on their entry-level employees to help them provide patients with excellent service and care.

This section goes over some of the best entry-level healthcare jobs. Each job description references data collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) regarding average salary in 2021, number of jobs in the US, and job outlook.

Medical Assistant 

A medical assistant is someone who works alongside a physician to give care to patients. They usually work in a clinic or a doctors office and do things like measuring vital signs and scheduling appointments. Medical assistants can also work in specialty clinics like dermatologypediatrics, or obstetrics and gynecology

Average salary: $37,190

Number of jobs in US: 743,500

Job outlook: 16% increase from 2021-2031

Education required: High School Diploma or GED required, medical assistant certification preferred

Certified Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants usually work in hospitals and long-term care centers. They help nurses to care for sick or injured patients. Certified nursing assistants spend a lot of their time helping patients with their activities of daily living. This includes personal hygiene tasks, moving from a bed to a chair, and emptying their bowel and bladder. 

Average salary: $30,290

Number of jobs in US: 1,389,900

Job outlook: 5% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED required, certification preferred

Pharmacy Technician

A pharmacy technician helps to refill prescriptions at a pharmacy, counting pills and ensuring that everything stays organized. In a hospital, they make sure the medication cabinets are well-stocked and that emergency medications are always available. You can become a pharmacy technician in as little as 4 months and programs typically cost between $500 to $2,000.

Average salary: $36,740 

Number of jobs in US: 447,300

Job outlook: 5% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED + certification

Licensed Practical Nurse

A licensed practical nurse (or licensed vocational nurse) assists registered nurses and other healthcare staff with basic aspects of patient care. Some job duties include taking vitals, helping patients with basic grooming, and monitoring the condition of patients. They work in nursing homes, hospitals, and domestic settings. 

Average salary: $48,070 

Number of jobs in the US: 657,200

Job outlook: 6% increase in jobs from 2021-2031

Education required: Completion of an approved program (usually takes around 1 year to finish) and license 

Phlebotomist

A phlebotomist is responsible for drawing blood samples from a patient and getting them safely sent to a lab. The blood samples they take can test for electrolyte imbalances, blood infections, hormonal problems, and cancers. It is important that they know how to use needles safely, including being sterile and disposing of them properly. Phlebotomy is one of the the easiest healthcare jobs to get started in as training programs typically only take a month or so.

Average salary: $37,380

Number of jobs in US: 135,500

Job outlook: 10% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED required, certification preferred

Medical Secretary/Medical Administrative Assistant

Medical secretaries and medical administrative assistants perform front desk tasks such as scheduling patient appointments, answering phone calls, and working with patient billing. They work in settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, and physician private practices. 

Average salary: $37,450

Number of jobs in the US: 672,300

Job outlook: 8% increase in jobs from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED

Home Health Aide

A home health aide helps elderly and disabled patients with activities of daily living. For example, they may help their patients get dressed, groom themselves, and move around. They usually work in domestic settings and nursing homes. 

Average salary: $29,430

Number of jobs in the US: 3,636,900

Job outlook: 25% increase in jobs from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED 

Medical Laboratory Technician

A medical laboratory technician (or clinical laboratory technician) analyzes lab samples using complex instruments. They can work in a variety of settings such as hospitals, medical laboratories, and industry.

They play an important role in the diagnostic process by providing other healthcare professionals with valuable data. Some tests they perform include assays, white blood cell counts, and urinalysis. 

Average salary: $57,800

Number of jobs in the US: 329,200

Job outlook: 7% increase in jobs from 2021-2031

Education required: Associate degree or certificate

Patient Service Representative

A patient service representative performs clerical tasks such as answering phone calls, responding to questions, and helping patients complete paperwork. They generally work at the front desk in settings such as hospitals, outpatient clinics, and physician private practices. Becoming a patient services representative is one of the easiest healthcare jobs since it only requires a high school diploma/GED and no experience.

Average salary: $29,950

Number of jobs in the US: 1,037,100

Job outlook: No increase or decrease from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED

Health Information Technician

A health information technician is an entry-level medical job that manages patient health information using electronic health record software. They differ from health information technologists in that they usually do not have a bachelor’s degree. Some settings they work in include hospitals, private practices, and industry.

They help design and manage extensive databases of patient health information. In addition, they help ensure that the software is safe and complies with laws and regulations regarding patient privacy. 

Average salary: $55,560

Number of jobs in the US: 39,900

Job outlook: 17% increase in jobs from 2021-2031

Education required: Associate degree; may need a bachelor’s degree in some cases

Emergency Medical Technician

Emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are usually found working in an ambulance or public event. They provide basic first aid to people in need and help to care for patients with everything from sprained ankles to cardiac arrest. They may also be responsible for taking ECG recordings and driving an ambulance to and from the hospital. Being an EMT is a common job for people hoping to attend PA school or another advanced degree as it allows them to gain valuable clinical experience.

Average salary: $35,470

Number of jobs in US: 261,000

Job outlook: 7% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED plus certification

Emergency Dispatch

An emergency dispatch worker is a person who answers the phone when you call 911. They must be able to stay calm in an emergency and know what types of questions to ask the caller. They are often responsible for walking people through performing CPR or delivering a baby safely. Emergency dispatch workers are quick thinkers and make sure the right people are notified of scary situations. While this is a high-stress job, it's one of the easiest medical jobs to start since it doesn't require experience.

Average salary: $46,670

Number of jobs in US: 99,500

Job outlook: 4% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED plus certification

Dialysis Technician

When people are in severe kidney failure, they sometimes need dialysis. A dialysis machine cleans the blood and returns it to the patient, removing toxins and electrolytes that the kidneys would normally take care of. A dialysis technician is responsible for monitoring this machine as well as the patient receiving dialysis. 

Average salary: $40,851

Number of jobs in US: 9,510

Job outlook: 11% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High School Diploma or GED and certification

Dental Assistant

A dental assistant works alongside the dentist while they perform different procedures. Dental assistants will hold suction to help the dentist see, and hand the dentist their tools as they ask for them. They also have administrative duties like scheduling appointments and answering phone calls in the office. 

Average salary: $38,660 

Number of jobs in US: 358,600

Job outlook: 8% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High School Diploma or GED and certification

Surgical Technologist

A surgical technologist stands near the surgeon during surgery, assisting them by handing them tools, retracting skin for a better view, and suctioning blood out of the way. Surgical techs are also responsible for making sure that the environment around the surgery stays completely sterile. They have to know the correct tools for each surgery and how to position the patient so the surgeon can do their job well. 

Average salary: $56,350 

Number of jobs in US: 128,700

Job outlook: 6% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED plus certification

Medical Records Specialists

People who love to work with data, are good with computers, and are detail-oriented make great medical records specialists. Medical records specialists go through patient medical records to audit for billing, look for errors, and ensure that everything has been charted accurately. 

Average salary: $46,600 

Number of jobs in US: 186,400

Job outlook: 7% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High School Diploma or GED plus certificate

Housekeeping

Housekeeping staff are an underrecognized part of the healthcare team. They work in all kinds of healthcare facilities, keeping everything from hospital rooms to surgical suites clean and organized. 

Average salary: $29,760 

Number of jobs in US: 2,298,400

Job outlook: 4% from 2021-2031

Education required: On-the-job training

EKG Technician

EKG technicians work in hospitals, cardiac offices, and instacares. Their job is to attach special monitoring to patients and take a reading of the electrical activity of the heart. They must know how to correctly place all 12 monitoring cords on the patient in order to get an accurate picture of the heart. EKGs can diagnose heart attacks, abnormal heart rhythms, and some heart failure. 

Average salary: $55,760 

Number of jobs in US: 55,760

Job outlook: 2% from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED required, certification preferred

Massage Therapist

Massage therapists work in spas and wellness centers. They help people feel better by massaging their sore or tight muscles. Massage therapists spend most of the day on their feet and rely heavily on tips from their customers. They can help people with everything from relaxing spa days to alleviating pain from injuries. Becoming a massage therapist is one of the lowest-stress healthcare jobs available.

Average salary: $46,910 

Number of jobs in US: 149,900

Job outlook: 20% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED plus certification

Dispensing Optician

Dispensing opticians work in optometry offices and help people get fitted for new glasses. They use measurements taken by the doctor to help make sure that lenses and frames are the correct size and prescription. 

Average salary: $37,570 

Number of jobs in US: 74,800

Job outlook: 4% growth from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED required

Medical Transcriptionist

A medical transcriptionist listens to physician dictations and transcribes them to an electronic health record. Medical transcriptionists must be great with computers and have a good knowledge of medical terminology. Medical transcription is one of the only jobs with an expected decline in outlook. 

Average salary: $30,100 

Number of jobs in US: 59,600 

Job outlook: 7% decline from 2021-2031

Education required: High school diploma or GED required, certification preferred

Which Entry-Level Healthcare Jobs Pay the Most?

  1. Medical Laboratory Technician: $57,800
  2. EKG Technician: $55,760 
  3. Health Information Technician: $55,560
  4. Surgical Technician: $48,510
  5. Massage Therapist: $46,910 
  6. Licensed Practical Nurse: $48,070
  7. Emergency Dispatch: $46,670
  8. Medical Records Specialist: $46,600 
  9. Dialysis Technician: $40,851
  10. Dental Assistant: $38,660 
  11. Dispensing Optician: $37,570 
  12. Medical Secretary/Medical Administrative Assistant: $37,450
  13. Phlebotomist: $37,380
  14. Medical Assistant: $37,190
  15. Pharmacy Technician: $36,740 
  16. Emergency Medical Technician: $35,470
  17. Certified Nursing Assistant: $30,290
  18. Medical Transcriptionist: $30,100 
  19. Patient Service Representative: $29,950
  20. Housekeeping: $29,760 
  21. Home Health Aide: $29,430

Deciding Which Entry-Level Medical Job is Best for You?

If you are interested in entering the healthcare field, you may be wondering which job fits you best. Because there are so many different types of healthcare positions, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to find the right match. Breaking down your options using a few key factors can make this process a whole lot easier.

First, you should think about what you are interested in. These are personal preferences, so you will need to ask yourself some questions. Here are a few examples: Does patient care appeal to you more than front desk work? Do you like working with laboratory instruments? Do you enjoy fast-paced work environments where you will need to multitask? 

Next, you should consider your current level of education and whether you will need to pursue additional education. Some positions, such as licensed practical nurse or medical laboratory technician, require you to complete a program. Others like home health aide or medical administrative assistant require a high school diploma or GED, at a minimum.

If you are not interested in completing additional schooling or are looking to work as soon as possible, then jobs like medical administrative assistant may be a good fit for you. If you are thinking of pursuing a more advanced healthcare career in the future, you may want to choose a job that involves more education and training. 

For example, many aspiring med students work as a medical assistant to help them get clinical experience and hours for medical school.

Finally, you should consider the kind of work setting you are interested in. Do you want to work in a hospital? Do you want to work with patients in the exam room or help them at the front desk? Are you interested in working for companies in an industrial setting? 

What is the Easiest Job to Get in Healthcare?

In general, the easiest jobs to get in healthcare have the fewest requirements. For example, they usually require minimal education such as a high school diploma or GED. As a result, these jobs are a great fit for anyone looking to get started in the healthcare field with minimal to no experience. 

Three of the easiest jobs to get are home health aide, patient service representative, and medical secretary. All require a high school diploma or equivalent at minimum. They provide excellent opportunities to get involved in healthcare.

In addition, many employers offer on-the-job training for these positions, allowing you to quickly become familiar with your responsibilities and get up to speed with how their workplace operates.

How an Entry-Level Healthcare Job Can Be Beneficial If You Decide to Pursue a Degree or More Advanced Profession

All advanced healthcare careers require extensive education such as a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, or professional degree. Some examples of more advanced healthcare positions are registered nurse, nurse practitioner, and physician assistant. 

The experience you gain from an entry-level healthcare job can be beneficial should you choose to pursue a more advanced degree or profession. This first-hand familiarity with how a healthcare facility operates is valuable and simply cannot be replicated in traditional classroom settings.

Getting accepted into these programs can be hard as they tend to be competitive. One thing that can improve your resume is real-world experience from an entry-level position. 

For example, you may decide to go from a medical assistant to a registered nurse or medical assistant to physician assistant

Keep in mind that some healthcare career programs (like those for physician assistants) require training hours. Overall, this experience can help you develop useful skills such as customer service, organization, and time management. 

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