As the average age of the population in the U.S. continues to increase, so do their healthcare needs. If you are intrigued by the world of medicine but hesitant about committing to years of extensive education, several rewarding medical careers can be pursued with just two years or less of training.

7 Quick-Track Medical Careers: Training in Two Years or Less

The options here offer seven pathways to fulfilling careers in healthcare that not only make a meaningful impact on people’s lives but strike a balance between low stress and high pay without spending years in the classroom.

1. Dietitian or Nutritionist

Nutrition plays a significant role in overall well-being.

Dietitians and nutritionists guide individuals toward healthier eating habits, manage dietary restrictions, and promote optimal health.

At the 7% projected growth, this equates to 5,200 openings over the next 10 years.

  • Projected Growth: 7% (Faster than average)
  • Median Pay (2022): $66,450

2. Physical Therapists Assistants

PT Assistants help patients regain movement and manage pain after illnesses or surgery. They work under the supervision of a Physical Therapist mainly in private medical offices, hospitals, and rehab centers.

The projected outlook for this field is one of the highest in this list of medical jobs. At this growth rate, the openings should be around 27,600 out through 2032.

  • Projected Growth: 19% (Much faster than average)
  • Median Pay (2022): $57,240

3. Radiologic Technologists

These medical specialists are the ones that perform diagnostic imaging on patients.

Most work full-time; more than half in this field work in hospitals. The rest are employed in other types of healthcare facilities, including clinics, doctor offices, and specialty labs.

At this projected growth rate, there will be about 15,400 openings in the next decade.

  • Projected Growth: 6% (Faster than average)
  • Median Pay (2022): $67,180

4. Occupational Therapy Assistants

This work is similar to PT Assistants with the difference being their work is more focused on regaining skills after surgery or injuries needed for daily living and working again.

At this much faster-than-average projected growth, it should equate to around 11,000 jobs out through 2032.

  • Projected Growth: 23% (Much faster than average)
  • Median Pay (2022): $63,450

5. Respiratory Therapists

These healthcare specialists work with patients who have trouble breathing, usually from damage done to their lungs and respiratory system.

Patients may have COPD, asthma or a variety of other illnesses or injuries that affect their breathing.

The job openings in this specialty are projected to be around 16,700.

  • Projected Growth: 13% (Much faster than average)
  • Median Pay (2022): $70,540

6. Ultrasound Technician:

Ultrasound technicians operate imaging equipment to visualize internal organs, monitor pregnancies, and detect abnormalities.

Their role is crucial in diagnosing and monitoring various medical conditions. At the projected growth rate, it is estimated there will be 14,200 openings in the next 10 years.

  • Projected Growth: 10% (faster than average)
  • Median Pay (2022): $78,210

7. Dental Hygienist:

Dental hygiene is essential for overall oral health.

As a dental hygienist, you’ll work closely with patients, providing preventive care, cleaning teeth, and educating them on oral health practices.

This is also the highest-paying career on this list; at the projected growth rate, it is estimated there will be 16,300 openings in the next 10 years.

  • Projected Growth: 7% (Faster than average)
  • Median Pay (2022): $81,400

These careers not only offer financial stability but also allow you to directly impact people’s lives. Whether you’re drawn to technology, patient interaction, or preventive care, consider these two-year medical pathways as your gateway to a fulfilling profession.


Note: Data provided courtesy of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

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Kness retired in November 2007 as a Senior Noncommissioned Officer after serving 36 years of service with the Minnesota Army National Guard of which 32 of those years were in a full-time status along with being a traditional guardsman. Kness takes pride in being able to still help veterans, military members, and families as they struggle through veteran and dependent education issues.