Medical Careers that Don’t Require Math or Chemistry
If you’ve ever thought about a career in medicine, it’s the right time to take it seriously. The healthcare industry is projected to experience continued growth over the next ten years. With such growth, new jobs have opened up. But, if you’re not exceptionally strong in areas like math or chemistry, it’s easy to think that a healthcare career might be out of your reach.
That’s not true. Due to things like advancements in technology, and the variety of different jobs needed to make the healthcare system work, there are many jobs where math skills aren’t necessarily required.
Associating things like mathematics and chemistry with medicine is easy. And, yes, many medical careers do focus on a lot of math at the very center of everything. But, if you’re not strong in that area, it doesn’t mean a medical career is out of your reach, and some hospital jobs don’t require a medical degree.
This article will focus on several different healthcare careers that are expected to see continued growth. We’ll explain what you can expect from each of these jobs, and the type of schooling required. However, they all have one thing in common: None of them require math or chemistry.
Table of Contents:
- 1 Benefits of Working in Healthcare
- 1.1 Medical Transcriptionist
- 1.2 Therapists & Counselors
- 1.3 Medical Sonographer
- 1.4 Dental Assistant
- 1.5 Radiologic Technologists
- 1.6 Medical Lab Technician
- 1.7 Medical Assistant
- 1.8 Medical Secretary
- 1.9 Certified Phlebotomist
- 1.10 Medical Social Worker
- 1.11 Healthcare Recruiter
Benefits of Working in Healthcare
Before we get into the jobs of this thriving industry, it’s important to know the benefits of working in healthcare in the first place. Aside from the fact that because of the consistent growth, it should be easy to find a job that fits your needs, there are multiple positives to working in medicine.
Before you let the idea of math or chemistry put you off, consider these benefits:
- The potential for a high salary: Not only is the medical field growing in size, but it’s an industry where individual jobs can also experience a lot of growth. Obviously, the more skills and training you have will help to increase your salary. But, those training skills don’t necessarily have to do with mathematics. Some high-paying jobs in medicine require very little schooling at all.
- Competitive benefits: Even if your salary is somewhere in the median range, the employee benefits often make up for it. The healthcare industry is highly competitive because of its growth rate. So, no matter where you might look for a job, you can expect the benefits package to reflect that competitive nature.
- Helping others: This might seem obvious, but one of the biggest reasons to get into medicine is to care for other people. You’ll be making a difference on a daily basis, no matter what your job is. If you enjoy helping others, don’t let schooling or something as simple as math and chemistry stop you from this lucrative career.
Medical transcriptionists work with physicians and other healthcare workers to convert oral reports into written ones. They can also edit medical documents. While they won’t work directly with patients, it’s important for a transcriptionist to have a full understanding of medical terminology. They should be able to pick up on the type of language a healthcare worker is using in their report.
The written reports created by medical transcriptionists help to prepare patient histories, discharge summaries, and more.
In many cases, medical transcription offers a lot of flexibility. Most transcriptionists work directly in hospitals or clinics. However, because of the popularity of the job, it’s becoming a more common freelance position that allows you to work from home.
It is not required for a medical transcriptionist to have any post-secondary education. However, again, because the job is in such high demand, you may be more likely to get hired if you do. It’s also important that you have a full understanding of medical terminology, as well as subjects like anatomy and physiology. Aside from the medical aspect of things, a documentation specialist should also have strong grammar skills, a strong grasp of the English language, and the ability to use a word processing program effectively.
As of 2016, the average yearly pay for a medical transcriptionist was $35,720. If you’re quick to pick up on different terminology and have a solid grasp on grammar and typing, it’s a great way to be an involved and imperative member of a medical team.
Therapists & Counselors
There is very little math present in many counseling positions within the medical field. However, therapists and counselors are essential for both physical and mental health support. With such a wide variety of different counseling positions to choose from, it’s important to determine what might interest you the most.
The healthcare industry needs qualified counselors in many different positions. It’s easy to think that the medical field only includes things like surgical doctors and physical exams. However, without therapists in many different specializations, the world of medicine could be far more chaotic.
Consider some of these leading therapy and counseling jobs:
- Substance abuse counselor: They work with people at all stages of addiction recovery. From drinking to drug use, no addiction is too weak or too great to see a specialist. Not only do they help their patients learn coping mechanisms to get away from addiction, but they teach them healthy, proactive life behaviors. A bachelor’s degree and certification exam are required to become a substance abuse counselor. Some states may even require a master’s degree, so be sure to check your local requirements. The average salary is close to $40,000 per year.
- Behavioral disorders counselor: They help their patients to discover behavioral patterns that can be detrimental to their health or well-being. Then, they offer solutions as to how to break those patterns and habits and replace them with healthier ones. It requires patience and compassion but can be a very rewarding job for someone who likes working directly with people. A bachelor’s degree is required to become a behavioral therapist, and in many cases, it may require a master’s degree. You also must become fully licensed before working in a hospital or private practice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary is about $40,000 each year.
- Rehabilitation counselor: They work with people who have experienced some type of disability (physical or mental). It’s their job to prepare them to experience independent living. They can work with anyone from the mentally ill, to war veterans, or even those who have experienced a severe illness that has taken them away from the ‘real world’ for an extended period of time. A master’s degree is required for this position, as is a great deal of compassion. The median average salary for a rehabilitation counselor is about $32,000.
A diagnostic medical sonographer is someone who relies on advanced equipment to emit sound waves into the bodies of patients. These sound waves then create images of the patient’s tissues. Sonography is commonly used on the abdomen, breasts, and heart. The sonographer will give their findings to the patient’s physician for a final diagnosis.
The educational requirements include an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, as well as certification. No additional experience is needed outside of the basic educational training. But, it is important for a sonographer to have certain skills, such as technical skills, hand-eye coordination, and a willingness to work directly with people.
If you know that you’re savvy with technology and pick up on specialized equipment fairly easily, this is a great job that puts you in direct contact with patients, with almost no math work involved.
The average yearly salary for a diagnostic medical sonographer is almost $70,000.
If working in dentistry interests you, becoming a dental assistant is a great way to spend quite a bit of time with people, without having to crunch any numbers. Dental assistants do everything from prepping patients to processing X-rays.
They’ll work directly with dentists to make sure a patient is comfortable throughout whatever procedure they may be having. Many of their additional responsibilities will be based on the dentist they work for, and the specific tasks they are given.
To become a dental assistant, the American Dental Association requires you to complete some type of formal training through a community college, university or specialized training program. It can take less than a year to become a dental assistant with accelerated programs.
Dental hygienists also don’t regularly deal with math. The main difference between these two positions is the amount of time spent directly with a patient. Dental hygienists will spend more one-on-one time with a patient with less supervision. Both are viable options if you’re interested in working in the dental industry.
Dental assistants make an average of $35,000 per year.
Have you ever had an MRI before? Then, you’ve worked with a radiologic technologist. It is their job to perform MRIs and X-rays, using specialized equipment. They work directly with patients in order to obtain the right images and scans needed by physicians to accurately diagnose a condition or illness.
It only takes an associate’s degree to enter into this field, along with state licensing. Each state’s requirements may be slightly different, so if this type of work interests you, it’s a good idea to look into what your state requires for licensing before getting started. During your studies, you’ll work with imaging equipment, and become educated in vital medical subjects such as anatomy and patient care.
With technology that continues to advance and become more sophisticated, this job is ideal for someone who prefers working with specialized machinery. If you have a willingness to constantly learn about new technology and equipment, this can be an exciting job that allows you to discover possible patient ailments early on. In turn, that can get them a faster diagnosis, allowing them to get treatment sooner.
As of 2014, the average salary for a radiologic technologist was $57,370. In 2014, the job outlook was expected to grow at least 9% over the next ten years.
Medical Lab Technician
A medical lab technician performs a variety of different laboratory tests to determine different conditions and illnesses. They can then provide their findings to physicians to make an official diagnosis. While it may sound like a job that requires at least a little chemistry knowledge, it is mostly science-based. Lab techs work mostly with blood specimens and other bodily fluids.
It does require a bachelor’s degree to become a medical lab tech, and throughout your studies you can expect to focus on everything from clinical lab training to common statistics. It’s an innovative career that puts you at the center of helping patients. Through their work, medical lab technicians can help to identify conditions through blood or other fluids much faster than other tests. It’s a job that truly helps to save lives.
This particular career is becoming one of the most popular in the healthcare industry, with a 16% job growth expected between 2014 and 2024. The average yearly salary for a medical lab technician is over $49,000.
The main duties of a medical assistant focus mostly on administrative skills, so there is very little math involved. Medical assistants, much like dental assistants, take care of everything from preparing a patient (this includes things like taking blood pressure and basic interviewing) to cleaning a patient’s room after their exam is over. More requirements may be necessary depending on the doctor you work for.
There is very little post secondary education required to become a medical assistant. In fact, in most cases it only requires a high school diploma. On the job training is typical for this type of work, especially if you find yourself in a smaller practice where you’ll be expected to perform certain tasks each day. However, some states do require medical assistants to complete some type of training program. Check your state’s requirements before you begin applying for jobs in this particular field.
Aside from the education required for this job, medical assistants should have strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to pay attention to detail. If you are looking for a medical position that allows you to work directly with patients and with physicians, this is a great opportunity.
The average yearly salary for a full-time medical assistant is about $30,000.
If clerical skills are more your speed, but you still want a career in healthcare, a medical secretary position could be perfect for you. Medical secretaries typically work in the front office or entrance area of a private practice, clinic, or hospital. They are responsible for scheduling patient visits and surgical procedures, answering phones, and keeping track of patient records. This position works as a communicator between patients and doctors and is often the first face a patient will see when they walk in the door.
An individual in this position must possess great attention to detail and be well-organized. You must also be able to learn medical terminology. While medical secretaries do work with insurance companies and billing, there is very little math involved – most of the billing process has to do with understanding certain codes and being able to file things properly.
The educational requirements for a medical secretary include either an associate’s degree or certification from an accredited program/school. If you choose to take a certification course, they can typically be completed in less than a year, making this one of the quickest ways to jump into the medical field.
The average yearly salary for a medical secretary is about $33,000.
Phlebotomy has become one of the best entry-level careers in healthcare. Not only does it require no math, it also requires very little training, too. In fact, most phlebotomy programs can be completed in less than a year. Many phlebotomist trainees can become fully certified (a requirement for many states), and can still complete their training in just several months.
Schooling for a phlebotomist consists of two different parts: A classroom setting, and hands-on practice. In the classroom, you’ll learn about anatomy and physiology, as well as patient care, lab procedures, and safety. Each accredited training program requires their students to perform a certain number of venipunctures (blood draws) before they are able to graduate.
As a phlebotomist, it is your responsibility to draw blood from patients and transport the organized vials to a medical lab for testing. Phlebotomists work directly with patients and different medical staff on a daily basis. Jobs for qualified phlebotomists can be found in hospitals, clinics, private practices, and even organizations like the American Red Cross.
Phlebotomy does deal with blood regularly, so it’s not for the squeamish. But, you may be looking for a rewarding career in blood work. It’s also important to be someone who can work well with a wide variety of different people and personalities.
On average, phlebotomists make about $28,000 per year.
Medical Social Worker
Unfortunately, there can be many traumatic experiences in the world of medicine. Things don’t always go according to plan, which is where medical social workers step in. They work directly with patients and families, to help them discover different coping mechanisms to deal with grief and traumatic experiences.
They can counsel on everything from death, to a tragic accident or news of a fatal illness, etc. This type of work requires an extremely empathetic and compassionate person, as you’re regularly dealing with families and/or patients who are going through something very difficult.
Becoming a medical social worker requires a master’s degree in social work from a well-recognized institution. On average, the salary for a medical social worker ranges anywhere from $26,000-70,000 each year. This is dependent on where you work, and the amount of post secondary education you have from an accredited institution.
Not everyone wants to be a physician or nurse, or even work directly with patients. That doesn’t mean you can’t still be an incredibly important part of a healthcare team. Healthcare recruiters are there to fill positions with qualified individuals, helping to build the best medical teams possible for hospitals and clinics.
Healthcare recruiters are often known as human resource specialists. If you love working with people and have a knack for placing people in the right jobs, this is a great way to advance the healthcare industry with the next generation of incredible workers. Healthcare recruiters do everything from post job ads to conduct interviews and review resumes. It’s their job to hire different positions for medical facilities, based on specific hiring and interviewing processes.
A bachelor’s degree in human resources or a similar field is typically preferred, but not necessarily required for this position. A willingness to work with a wide variety of people is highly important, as is organization and great communication skills. You should be able to work independently most of the time, but also know how to be productive as part of a team.
The average yearly salary for a healthcare recruiter is about $45,500.
How to Choose the Right Healthcare Career for the Future
As you can see, there are multiple careers in medicine that don’t deal with math or chemistry. The variety listed here offers everything from hands-on patient work, to freelance opportunities, and even clerical work that will never require you to deal directly with hands-on medical procedures. There is something for everyone in the healthcare industry.
Because this industry is projected to continue growing for the next ten years, it’s easier than ever to find a job suitable to your needs and preferences. There are so many benefits to working in medicine, and so many options to choose from. Plus, the salaries for most of these jobs (even though many of them are considered entry-level positions) are fairly lucrative for the amount of training required.
Whether you’re looking for your first job, you’re ready to make a career change, or you want to try something different later in life, there is likely a medical job that’s a perfect fit for you. You can even train for some careers in less than 12 months. Even if certain subjects like math or chemistry aren’t your strong suite, don’t be discouraged. A career in medicine may fit your needs better than you ever expected.