4 Growing Healthcare Careers That Don’t Need a Degree

The healthcare field is growing fast. And you don’t need a university degree to become part of it.

With short, streamlined training at the college level, you can qualify for several healthcare careers with promising outlooks across Ontario.

For instance, you could become a community services worker, medical office assistant, personal support worker, or pharmacy assistant.

All of those careers are generating new opportunities—and require only a college diploma to get started.

Read on to learn more about each role and see which one may be a good choice for you.


Community services workers help people who are struggling with addiction, homelessness, abuse, poor mental health, unemployment, and other issues.

They assess each person’s needs and connect them with the resources and supports they need to overcome their challenges.

The goal is to help vulnerable people move toward a safer, healthier, and more independent life.


☑️ Career outlook: Job postings for CSWs in Ottawa were up 126% in the third quarter of 2021 compared to a year earlier, according to the Labour Market Information Council.

And the Ontario government estimates that there could be as many as 15,000 openings for CSWs throughout the province between 2019 and 2025.


☑️ Training requirements: A CSW diploma at a healthcare college takes about a year to complete.

Courses typically cover:

  • The social programs and resources that are available locally
  • The fundamentals of psychology, sociology, and criminology
  • Common mental health issues and treatments
  • Interviewing and counselling
  • Supporting individuals and families in crisis

Herzing CSW instructor Sabrina Bellefeuille says students learn a range of important skills.

“The CSW program covers a lot of really good practical knowledge: counselling ethics, communication skills, networking skills, community referrals, etc.

You are given exactly what you need to start a career in the field.”

Learn More About Community Services Worker Training at Herzing College



Medical office assistants are the people behind the counter who greet patients arriving at a healthcare facility.

They handle a wide range of administrative tasks that help doctors and nurses deliver effective patient care.

That includes answering phones, booking appointments, updating patient charts, ordering supplies, processing billing, and stocking exam rooms.


☑️ Career outlook: The provincial government says jobs for medical receptionists are expected to grow by 13% over the period from 2019 to 2025.

And as pandemic restrictions ease, Ontario health officials are encouraging doctors to see more patients in person. That could mean more opportunities for MOAs.


☑️ Training requirements: College-level training in medical office administration can be completed in well under a year. The MOA program at Herzing runs for 7 months.

You can expect to learn how to:

  • Understand medical terminology
  • Use standard medical office software
  • Prepare patient charts and reports
  • Manage a reception desk
  • Process billing and insurance

Herzing graduate Priscilla Grant says the training matched her goals perfectly.

“I chose the Medical Office Administrator program because I love helping people, but I am scared of needles and not fond of bodily fluids. So becoming a nurse or doctor wasn’t right for me.

I had a very good experience in the MOA program. We did a lot of hands-on, practical assignments. It really helped me get a better understanding of the material.”


Explore the Medical Office Administrator Program



Personal support workers assist with essential tasks like moving around, bathing, eating, using the toilet, and taking medications.

They also help with housekeeping, running errands, and getting to appointments.

PSWs typically work with seniors, but their clients can include people of any age who struggle due to illness, injury, or disability.


☑️ Career outlook: There’s a huge need for personal support workers all across Ontario.

Demand is so high that the province is spending more than $120 million to train and hire thousands of new PSWs.


☑️ Training requirements: You can be fully trained in a matter of months. Herzing’s PSW program is just 8 months long.

Your courses will show you how to:

  • Understand anatomy and physiology
  • Lift and transfer patients safely
  • Help patients with grooming and personal hygiene
  • Recognize and document changes in a client’s health
  • Support patients who are dying

Graduate Pauline Hughes-Derome says Herzing’s program included valuable hands-on training.

“We had mannequins and hospital beds, so we could practice our techniques. We learned how to move people who are paralyzed, how to make beds, bathe clients, and the importance of hygiene.

We even went to a place that sells patient lifts, so we could practice on the real equipment they use in hospitals and care homes.”

Explore the Personal Support Worker program



Pharmacy assistants carry out a variety of tasks that keep a pharmacy running smoothly.

They compound drugs, prepare prescriptions, update patient records, and handle billing and insurance claims.

Herzing instructor Bob Orser says an assistant’s specific duties depend on the type of pharmacy they work in.

“In a community pharmacy, they focus on preparing prescriptions and compounding creams and ointments.

In a hospital pharmacy, they do those same tasks, plus sterile work such as preparing IV therapy.”


☑️Career outlook: The Government of Canada Job Bank says pharmacy aides have a strong outlook in Ottawa and most regions of Ontario.

And the provincial government projects up to 3,000 openings in this field through 2025.


☑️ Training requirements: Pharmacy assistant training can be done in under a year. The program at Herzing is 10 months long.

Your courses will cover topics like:

  • Pharmacy procedures
  • Common diseases and treatments
  • Drug classifications
  • Compounding and blending ingredients for powders, creams, capsules, etc.
  • Avoiding medication errors

Explore the Pharmacy Assistant Program



At Herzing College Ottawa, we offer a range of diploma programs that can help you qualify for growing healthcare careers.

All of our healthcare programs are led by experienced instructors and include internships in local clinics, hospitals, care homes, community organizations, or pharmacies.

Click below to learn more about our programs and chat live with an Admissions Advisor. We’re here to help!

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