• Best Medical Field Jobs Without a Medical Degree

    The health care sector offers much of the top jobs in terms of career growth and pay. While many of such jobs require a medical degree, the medical field also offers many good jobs for those without a medical degree. Read on to find out the best medical field jobs without a medical degree.

    1. Physician Assistant

    Physician assistants work under physicians and surgeons to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services.

    Their specific duties include:

    taking medical histories examining and treating patients ordering and interpreting laboratory tests and x-rays making diagnoses treating minor injuries recording progress notes instructing and counseling patients and prescribing medications. ordering medical supplies or equipment

    Physician assistants earn on an average $40.78 an hour and $84,830 annually, making it one of the best medical field jobs without a medical degree. The profession is also much in demand, with an expected growth rate of 39 percent in the decade

    Most physician assistants have college degree and health-related work experience. Most states require licensing.

    2. Nurses

    Nurses constitute 15 percent, the single largest component, of the medical workforce. Two-point-five million nurses work in America.

    Nurses support physicians and surgeons in treating patients by

    administering treatment and medications recording the patient’s medical history and symptoms performing diagnostic tests and analyzing results. operating hospital machinery following up with patients for rehabilitation.

    Nurses enjoy a median hourly wage of $31.99 and average annual wages of $66,530 in 2009. The profession has an expected growth rate of 22 percent in the decade.

    Entry-level qualifications for nurses include licensing from the state, and any one of a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing, an associate degree in nursing, or a diploma.

    Image Credit: flickr.com/Toho Scape

    3. Diagnostic Medical Sonographers

    Diagnostic medical sonographers operate diagnostic imaging machinery using sonography or ultrasonography to direct high-frequency sound waves into areas of a patient’s body. They videotape, transmit, or photograph the resultant image for interpretation and diagnosis by a physician. Their job profile also extends to explaining the procedure to the patient, recording medical history relevant to the condition, and making preliminary findings for the physicians.

    Of the various niches, obstetric and gynecologic sonographers specialize in the imaging of the female reproductive system; abdominal sonographers inspect a patient’s abdominal cavity; neurosonographers focus on the nervous system, including the brain; and breast sonographers study diseases of the breasts.

    Diagnostic medical sonographers rank amongst the best medical field job without medical degree. The average hourly wage is $30.60 and the average annual wage, $63,640 as of May 2009. Demand for the job will rise by 18 percent in the decade.

    Most medical sonographers are high school graduates with relevant training. Colleges and universities offer two-year and four-year programs, resulting in either an associate or a bachelor’s degree, and one-year programs resulting in a vocational certificate. While licensing is not required, most employers require certification by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

    Continue to Page 2 for more of the Best Medical Field Jobs – Without Medical Degree

    Top 10 Best Medical Field Jobs Without a Medical Degree: Part 2 of 3Radiographers, clinical technicians, dental assistants, and paramedics rank amongst the best medical field jobs without medical degree. Radiographers work with x-rays, clinical technicians work in the lab, dental assistants assist the dentist, and paramedics provide emergency medical care.

    4. Radiologic Technicians

    Radiologic technicians or radiographers prepare patients for diagnostic imaging examinations such as x-ray and they also produce the x-ray. They earn an average of $26.05 an hour, or $54,180 a year. Demand for radiographers will rise by 17 percent in the decade.

    While most formal training programs in radiography lead to an associate degree, some programs provide a certificate accredited by the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology, which remains the basic entry-level qualification.

    Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

    5. Clinical Laboratory Technicians

    Clinical laboratory technicians work under the supervision of technologists to prepare specimens, operate automated analyzers, and perform manual tests. Two popular niches include phlebotomists who collect blood samples and histotechnicians who cut and stain tissue specimens for microscopic examination by pathologists.

    Clinical laboratory technicians enjoy mean hourly wages of $18.20, or average annual wages of $37,860. The profession has an expected growth rate of 14 percent in the decade.

    Entry-level jobs as clinical laboratory technicians require either an associate degree from a junior college or a certificate from a hospital.

    6. Dental Assistants

    Dental assistants perform a variety of patient care, office, and laboratory duties such as:

    sterilizing and disinfecting instruments and equipment, and preparing and laying out the instruments and materials required to treat each patient obtaining and updating patients’ dental records preparing patients for treatment including applying anesthetics, removing sutures, and the like providing assistance to the dentist during the actual work instructing patients on postoperative and general oral healthcare scheduling and confirming appointments and handling payments

    Dental assistants are much in demand, with a decadal growth rate of 36 percent. They earn $16.35 hourly or $34,000 annually, on an average.

    Dental assistance jobs do not require any formal education or training, and a certificate from any of the Dental Accreditation (CODA) approved training programs usually suffices. Some states require licensing, and most states regulate the duties of dental assistants.

    7. Emergency Medical Technicians and Paramedics

    Emergency Medical Technicians or Paramedics work with police and firefighters to rush to accident and firefighting sites. They attend to critical medical situations such as unexpected childbirth or heart attacks. They assess the nature of the patient’s condition, determine whether the patient has any pre-existing medical conditions, provide the required emergency care, and transport the patient to a medical facility.

    Paramedics earn $15.88 an hour or $33,020 a year on an average. The job prospects have a projected growth rate of 9 percent in the decade.

    The entry-level requirement for paramedic jobs is a high school diploma, undergoing the formal training and certification process, and securing a license from the state.

    Continue to Page 3 for more of the Best Medical Field Jobs – Without Medical Degree

    Top 10 Best Medical Field Jobs Without a Medical Degree: Part 3 of 3Medical transcription, medical assistants and home health aides rank among the best medical field jobs without medical degree. Medical transcription jobs remain the best work-from-home medical field jobs, and medical assistant jobs remain the most popular medical job without a medical degree. Home health aide jobs, though comparatively low paying, are much in demand.

    8. Medical Transcription

    Medical transcriptionists transcribe dictations made by physicians and other healthcare professionals and convert them to medical reports or correspondence. This ranks amongst the best work-from-home medical field jobs.

    Medical transcriptionists earn mean hourly wages of $16.03 or average annual wages of $33,350. The profession has a projected decadal growth rate of 11 percent.

    Most medical transcriptionists have completed a two-year associate degree or one-year certificate program offered by vocational schools, community colleges, or distance-learning programs.

    Image Credit: flickr.com/Steve Jurvetson

    9. Medical Assistants

    Medical assistants who perform administrative and clinical tasks for physicians and other health practitioners rank amongst the best medical field jobs without medical degree. The specific duties vary from office to office. Some of the most common duties include:

    updating and filling patients’ medical records filling out insurance forms arranging for hospital admissions and laboratory services answering telephones, scheduling appointments, and handling billing explaining treatment procedures to patients preparing patients for examinations assisting physicians during examinations collecting and preparing laboratory specimens

    Medical assisting is a high-growth profession, expected to grow by 34 percent in the decade. The average hourly wage is $14.16 or an average annual wage of $29,450 as of May 2009.

    Medical assistant jobs require no formal qualifications, with a high school diploma and a one- or two-year certificate program sufficing to secure a job. Associations such as the American Association of Medical Assistants (AAMA) and Association of Medical Technologists (AMT) award certification credentials to medical assistants, but certification is not essential.

    10. Home Health Aide

    Home health aides and personal and home care aides tend to chronically ill, disabled, or cognitively impaired people in their homes or in hospitals. They undertake a wide gamut of activities such as feeding the patients, providing light housekeeping and homemaking tasks, helping the patient move and bathe, and the like.

    With a mean hourly wage of $10.39 or an average annual wage of $21,620, the home health aide job does not pay much in comparison to other jobs, but it still finds a place in the top 10 medical field jobs without medical degree, for it ranks amongst the fastest growing professions, with demand expected to grow by 50 percent between 2008 and 2018.

    Entry-level qualifications include formal training and passing a competency test, and a high school diploma is not an essential requirement.


  • Divorce Tips – How Do We Divide the Family Business?

    Whenever one of the marital assets in a divorce is a business, there are challenges in dividing this asset. A business can be anything from dentistry, medicine or law, to real estate, or a home-based business. It can be a sole proprietorship, a partnership, or a corporation.

    Value the Business

    Becky and James were getting a divorce after 35 years of marriage. James owned a heavy construction business. He agreed to split the assets 50/50 and said that the CPA at work valued the business at $300,000. Becky told her attorney, “I used to keep the books in the business for James, and we took in more than a million dollars each year. Do you think it would only be worth $300,000?”

    Fortunately, Becky’s attorney insisted that she have the business appraised. The appraisal cost Becky $4,300, which made her very nervous to spend so much money. But the appraisal valued the company at $850,000 so her investment of $4,300 netted her $275,000 more than she would have received with the $300,000 valuation!

    In a divorce situation, it is almost mandatory to have the business appraised. Becky was right to question the value of the business when it was figured by the CPA at her husband’s business. There are Certified Business Appraisers (CBAs) who value businesses. To earn this designation, appraisers must pass a rigorous written exam and submit appraisals for review by a committee of experienced peers.

    Dividing the Business There are three options when deciding how to divide the business. Either one spouse keeps the business, both spouses keep the business, or they sell the business outright.

    1. One Spouse Keeps the Business.

    In Becky and James’ case, it was pretty clear that the business was run by James and he would keep the business and buy out Becky’s interest or give her other assets of equal value. If there are no assets large enough to give her, they could write up a property settlement note and he would pay her over time. If Becky owned shares of the company, the company could buy back her shares over time.

    However, care needs to be taken when buying out shares of stock. If there has been an increase in the value of the stock, Becky could be liable for capital gains tax. If James bought her shares directly, it would be considered a transfer of property “incident to divorce,” which is not a taxable issue. The basis would go with the stocks and would not be recognized until the stocks were sold by Becky later on.

    2. Both Continue to Work in the Business.

    On the other hand, it is much more difficult to divide a family owned business where the husband and wife have worked next to each other every day for years. They both have emotional ties with the business. In addition, if they try to divide the business, it may kill the business. Some couples are better business partners than marriage partners, and are able to continue to work together in a business after the divorce is final. However, this won’t work for everyone!

    3. Sell the Business.

    Another option is to sell the business and divide the profits. This way, both parties are free to look elsewhere for another business or even to retire. The problem here may be in finding a buyer. It sometimes takes years to sell a business. In the meantime, until the business is sold, decisions need to be made as to whose business it is and who runs it.

    Stella and Dan owned a national franchise fast-food business. They also owned the land and the building the business was in. They had worked hard on this business together to make it a success. When they divorced, it was a difficult decision but they finally agreed that Dan would take the business and Stella would take the land and building. This decision made Stella the landlord which allowed her to control the rent that the business paid her and also how repairs and maintenance on the building should be handled. They soon realized they had made a bad decision. It cost them more money with their attorneys to hammer out a new buy-out agreement which allowed Dan to keep the business and the property, and gave Stella enough cash to move out of the area and start over in a new location.

    Value of a Degree Some states even place a value on degrees such as the medical degree, the dental degree, or the law degree. In a 1980 case, two premed students got married. The couple agreed that the husband would finish his education first while the wife supported him. When he finished, she would then complete her education.

    After his first year of residency, the couple separated. The court held that the husband’s medical school degree and license to practice medicine were both obtained during the marriage, and therefore were “property” and to be considered assets to be divided. It established the value of the husband’s medical education as the difference in earning capacity between a man with a four-year college degree and a specialist in internal medicine. With the help of a financial analyst, the court valued the education at $306,000. The wife was awarded, in addition to alimony, 20 percent of this amount over a five-year period.

    A 1982 case in Wisconsin called on an economist to establish the value of the wife’s investment in her husband’s medical degree after short marriage. The economist valued the degree in two different ways. The first method looked at what the wife actually paid for his tuition, books, etc., and came up with $25,000. The second method compared the husband’s earning potential in that area of the country as a white male over a 25-year period, both with and without his medical degree. The difference was $624,000, which was brought back to present value using two different discount rates.

    In this case, surprisingly, the wife asked for the $25,000 which she thought represented the value of her support. The court granted it, saying, “Both parties sacrificed so that he could become a doctor. In a sense, his medical degree is the most significant asset of the marriage. It is only fair that she be compensated for her costs and foregone opportunities resulting from her support of her husband while he was in school”

    About Carol Ann Wilson

    Carol Ann Wilson is one of the nation’s foremost experts on money and divorce. She is an author of 7 books on divorce and has over 20 years of experience helping divorcing clients save money and secure their future. Visit http://www.CarolAnnWilson.com to receive the FREE Report: 10 Most Common Money Mistakes in Divorce and see how the Divorce Survival Kit can save you thousands of dollars!