5 Medical Careers and How Much Education You Need for Each

5 Medical Careers and How Much Education You Need for Each

For decades—as long as anyone can remember really—parents wanted their children to go into the medical industry. It is obvious why. The field is full of stable and lucrative positions, but it takes a lot of education to qualify for most medical jobs. Medical school is also expensive and difficult to finish. So, if you’re thinking about going to school for something in the medical field or if your child is thinking about it, below is how much school you need for a variety of medical careers.

Physical Therapist

Physical therapists work with patients to heal their injuries and help them develop function in their limbs, bones, joints, ligaments, and nervous system. With the knowledge of the human body, it takes to be a successful physical therapist, it is no surprise it takes a decent amount of schooling to pursue this profession. In addition to the four-year undergraduate degree, it requires three years in one of the physical therapy graduate programs at a university or medical school. Physical therapists are highly educated medical professionals like the rest of them.


A pediatrician is a general doctor for children. This type of doctor takes care of all the child’s medical needs. They do general check-ups, see sick children, and administer vaccines for diseases. Pediatricians are one of the most important doctors when it comes to their impact in the world.

Of course, with such responsibility comes a lot of discipline. Pediatricians are typically going through at least nine years of school. In addition to four years of undergraduate, medical school takes another four years. Beyond this, to become a pediatrician you need to have a pediatric residency of about three years. It is as long as most medical students.


Going to school to be a pediatrician is not a short amount of schooling but going to medical graduate school to be a surgeon is even longer. To become a surgeon, you’ll need to spend at least 13 years studying. There are four years of undergraduate university, four years for a medical degree, and five years for a residency. Surgeons are taking people’s lives into their hands every time they perform a surgery. Even if the surgery is routine, there are risks involved. That’s why surgeons must go through 13 years of college after high school. Surgeons must go to more medical schooling than most professionals in the field. It is tough to become a surgeon for a reason. It pays off in the end.


An anesthesiologist administers the drug anesthesia. Anesthesia is a very specific drug that numbs the patient to pain and, in some cases, puts them to sleep. You can inject anesthesia into a part of the body, or you could administer it through other means. The person who administers the drug needs to be trained. Believe it or not, it takes 12-14 years of education to become an anesthesiologist. 

In addition to the four years of undergraduate and four years of medical school, a prospective anesthesiologist needs to fulfill a four-year residency that is followed by either one year in a fellowship program or two years in a private practice. An anesthesiologist needs to be highly educated to basically do the same thing repeatedly. It’s a powerful drug that must be administered by a professional.


Dentists are medical professionals, but they focus on a very specific part of the body—the mouth. It takes a dentist four years of undergraduate and four years of medical school. Eight years isn’t that much for someone in the field, but dentists are still quite important. The health of the mouth matters. It can even impact the health of pregnant women. Still, for a medical student eight years isn’t that long.

When you want to go for a medical vocation, you are looking at a minimum of eight years for schooling after high school. At least, you need an undergraduate degree and a four-year medical degree. If you are putting your health in the hands of someone, you want them to be the best trained people out there. We want our medical professionals to be educated and experienced. It is evident in how long it takes to go to medical school for any one of these professions.

Dr. Anastasia Halldin holds a Ph.D in holistic nutrition. She is a homeschooling mother of four boys and a girl. Dr. Anastasia starred on a yoga TV show. She also produced and appeared in thirteen yoga DVDs. Dr. Anastasia speaks four languages and loves doing crafts with her children. She adores sharing her easy healthy family recipes with other mothers.