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4 High-Paying Medical Jobs You Don't Need an MD for

For those who want to work in the medical field, but cannot commit more than eight years to receive highly intensive medical training, there are other medical career options to pursue.

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Doctors are the rock stars of the medical world. They complete life-saving procedures, diagnose complicated illnesses, and in their free time, enjoy a lavish lifestyle from their six-figure salary. Doctors make a lot of money, so it's not surprising that "doctor" is commonly listed as one of the top dream jobs of children in the United States (see more childhood dream jobs on WiseBread.com).

See Also: The 10 Hottest Careers for the Next 10 Years

By the time children reach adulthood, most realize that the high salary often correlates with a huge time commitment. Doctors typically spend eight years as a medical students and then can spend another three to eight years completing a residency before they become a fully independent doctor. For those who want to work in the medical field, but cannot commit more than eight years to receive highly intensive medical training, there are other medical career options to pursue. Here are some other lucrative job options.

Nurse Practitioner

Nurse practitioners are RNs that have completed a Master of Science in Nursing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, NPs typically make an annual salary around $100,000.

The salary might be significantly less than a doctor's salary, but it only takes anywhere from 15 months to 24 months to complete an MSN degree (depending on education level). If a nursing student took four years to complete a BSN, it will only take around another year or so to become a certified NP.

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What's so special about NPs? Right now in 16 states and Washington D.C., nurse practitioners can work without the oversight of a doctor. This means that NPs can open their own health clinics in some states.

Health Informatics Specialists

Health informatics specialists are responsible for monitoring and helping health establishments as they utilize various pieces of technology. Job duties often include training staff how to use technology, creating written and visual guidelines on how to properly utilize technology, and helping hospital staff as they have problems with the technology in the hospital.

According to Payscale.com, health informatics specialists typically make on average around $61,050 per year. Lower end health informatics jobs don't always require a college degree. These have an annual salary in the $35,000 range. Not bad if you consider that you won't be paying off student loans.

For slightly higher paying jobs, individuals can either pursue a four-year bachelor of computer science or a bachelor of science in nursing. The RN trajectory tends to be slightly more competitive and offers a slightly broader range of potential jobs (including informatics nurse and clinical informatics specialist).

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Biomedical Engineer

Biomedical engineers are responsible for creating, designing, installing and maintaining the equipment, computer systems, and software utilized in different health care settings. They're not working directly with patients, but the tools they create and maintain are vital to an efficient and safe medical setting.

The amount that biomedical engineers are paid is dependent on where they work (see CollegeGrad.com for more information). Hospital biomedical engineers make an average annual salary of $72,060 per year. Biomedical engineers that work for companies designing equipment can make around $91,000 per year.

There are a few paths individuals can take to become a biomedical engineer. They can complete a bachelor's program in biomedical engineering or bioengineering. Or they can complete a bachelor's degree in engineering and either take biological science electives or complete a biomedical master's program.

Health Care Entrepreneur

If you have dreams of starting your own business, you might want to consider becoming a small business owner of a health care franchise. The franchise business model (most commonly known for the fast food business model) has become a fairly lucrative business model for senior care and home care.

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According to Forbes, start-up costs for health care franchises are lower ($150,000 or less) than they typically are to open a fast food franchise ($500,000 or more). Revenue for home health care businesses are currently high and as more baby boomers begin to need the services, those numbers will continue to skyrocket.

Becoming a franchise owner doesn't have any educational requirements. The only requirements tend to be the ability to meet a certain cash investment without the help of small business loans. Franchise owners must also commit to uphold set franchise rules and standards.

Like all business ventures, opening a health care franchise is a risky venture. There is a chance that you will fail to create a lucrative business, so have a solid game plan before you commit.

This article is from Samantha Stauf of Wise Bread, an award-winning personal finance and credit card comparison website.

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This article is from Wise Bread, not the Kiplinger editorial staff.