Best Pre-Med Gap Year Jobs for Pre-Med Students


Becoming a medical student can be challenging, but preparing for medical school can make the process easier. Besides countless nights of studying, aspiring students sometimes overlook a vital part of cohesive preparation: working a job in the field!

Taking a break from academics and working in healthcare before applying to medical school is an opportunity to gain relevant experience, enrich your application, and impress the evaluating committee by showing your passion and commitment to medicine. 

In this blog post, we’re looking at the best pre-med gap year jobs, exploring the educational requirements, job outlook, and average salaries. Read on to learn more and see which job aligns with your future aspirations!

12 Pre-Med Gap Year Jobs

There are plenty of job opportunities that can prepare you for your future career. Here are 12 great pre-med gap year jobs that offer experience and insight into the healthcare world.

Emergency medical technician

An emergency medical technician (EMT) is a professional who works in the field of emergency medical services. They are responsible for responding to emergency calls and providing immediate medical care to patients in critical moments. To become an EMT, one must complete a state-approved education program and pass the required exam. 

The demand for emergency services is increasing, which is reflected in the projected growth of this field. Salaries for EMTs vary based on location and experience, with a median annual wage of around $55,000.

Medical assistant

Medical assistants play a vital role in clinics and hospitals, performing administrative and clinical duties. They are crucial in ensuring efficient healthcare services and patient care. To become a medical assistant, you typically need a certificate or an associate degree, which takes around 1-2 years to complete. Although certification is not always mandatory, it can enhance your job prospects. 

The demand for this profession is rapidly increasing due to growing healthcare needs, and it offers a positive job outlook. The average salary for medical assistants is around $44,000, but it can vary depending on the location and experience.

Certified nursing assistant

Another job you can pursue is becoming a certified nursing assistant (CNA). CNAs are healthcare professionals who assist patients with daily activities, such as bathing and eating. To become a CNA, you must complete a short training program, often available at community colleges or technical schools, and then pass a certification exam. Their salary can vary, but the average is around $41,000 a year.

Medical scribe

Medical scribes are responsible for documenting patient visits and treatment plans in medical records. This job requires specific training, often provided through a short course or on-the-job training, but doesn’t necessarily require formal certification. It plays a crucial role in enhancing efficiency and patient care documentation. Salaries can vary significantly based on location and experience, but the average annual salary is around $49,000.


This particular job requires a great deal of caution and sensitivity. This is because, as a phlebotomist, you are in direct contact with patients’ blood, drawing blood for tests, transfusions, or donations. To become a phlebotomist, you must complete a short training program that can last from a few months to a year and obtain certification. Based on BSL data, the job market for phlebotomists is expanding, and their demand is increasing. On average, they earn around $44,000 per year.

Home health aide

If you want to work in a home environment, consider becoming a home health aide. These professionals help elderly, disabled, or ill individuals with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and light housekeeping in their homes. To begin this career, you will need a high school diploma and training from a vocational school or in-home health agency, followed by a competency exam in some states. 

The demand for home health aides is rapidly increasing, providing strong employment opportunities with an average annual salary of about $35,000.

Research assistant

A research assistant supports scientific studies by collecting data, conducting experiments, and analyzing results. This role often requires at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as biology or psychology, though specific requirements can vary by research field. Some positions might also require or prefer a master’s degree. 

Salaries for research assistants generally start at around $50,000 per year. However, the actual salary can vary based on factors like the field, location, and level of education.

Hospital volunteer

Volunteers are highly valued individuals in every organization, especially in a hospital. Hospital volunteers offer their time to assist with various tasks, from administrative duties to patient care support. This role does not require formal education or training; however, hospitals usually provide specific orientation and training to volunteers based on their assigned roles. 

Although it is an unpaid position, volunteering in a hospital can provide valuable experience in the healthcare environment, which is helpful for those considering a career in medicine or nursing.

Physical therapy assistant

A physical therapy assistant (PTA) is a professional who works under the guidance of a physical therapist to help patients recover from injuries or illnesses. The primary objective of PTAs is to assist patients in managing and overcoming pain. To become a PTA, you must obtain an associate degree from an accredited physical therapy assistant program, which usually takes approximately two years to complete. Furthermore, PTAs must pass a national licensure exam. 

Although this job requires hard work, it offers a decent salary, with a median annual pay of around $87,000.

Hospice aide

Another option is becoming a hospice aide. The job involves providing care and support to patients who are terminally ill and their families. This means you can work in patients’ homes or hospice facilities. To become a hospice aide, you must complete a training program approved by the state, including classroom instruction and practical experience. 

The demand for hospice aides is on the rise due to the aging population and the increasing need for end-of-life care. The average salary for these professionals is around $41,000 annually.

Pharmacy technician

A pharmacy technician helps pharmacists give medicines to people. To become a pharmacy technician, one must complete high school and pursue a specialized course or gain on-the-job training. Some employers may also require certification obtained by passing a test. 

As a pharmacy technician, you can expect to earn an average salary of around $43,000 per year. This profession plays a crucial role in ensuring that patients receive the right medication and are knowledgeable about its usage.

Medical secretary

Last but not least, a medical secretary. Medical secretaries are professionals who work in healthcare settings to manage various office tasks such as scheduling appointments, handling patient records, and billing. To become one, you need to have a high school diploma. Additionally, having experience or training in medical terminology or a related field can be helpful. Some positions might also require specific certification. 

These professionals play an essential role in keeping medical offices running smoothly. On average, medical secretaries earn around $45,000 annually.

4 Tips on How to Get a Job During Pre-Med Gap Year


During your pre-med gap year, keep these four tips in mind to help you land a job:

  • Customize your resume and cover letter: Adjust your resume and cover letter for each job application. Highlight the experiences and skills that are most relevant to the job you’re applying for.
  • Network with healthcare professionals: Connect with people in the healthcare field. They can offer valuable advice and inform you about available job opportunities.
  • Utilize online job boards and career websites: Make the most of job listings on online platforms to find job openings that fit your interests and skills.
  • Volunteer or intern: Gaining experience through volunteering or interning can not only enhance your resume but also help you make important connections in the healthcare industry.

Benefits of Working During Your Pre-Med Gap Year

Working before starting medical school can be a strategic move that offers excellent benefits. Taking up a medical job during your gap year offers both personal and professional growth. It shows your commitment to the medical field and willingness to learn even before your formal education begins.  

Healthcare jobs during gap year provide a hands-on way to develop critical skills that are essential for medical school and a career in medicine. You’ll acquire effective communication skills with patients, learn to collaborate with a healthcare team, and become skilled at managing challenging situations. Moreover, you will get a closer look at how healthcare systems operate and the industry’s best practices. Working alongside professionals also gives you a chance to build a network and find mentors who can guide you. 

This experience enriches your resume and prepares you for the demands and realities of working in healthcare. It boosts your med school application and gives you a solid foundation for your future.

The Bottom Line

Choosing the right pre-med gap year job is crucial. It is a golden opportunity to gain firsthand experience in healthcare, enhance your practical skills, and understand medical practices. This experience strengthens your medical school application and prepares you for future challenges in medicine. 

So, take the leap—seek out a position that aligns with your goals and enter the healthcare field. This simple step could shape your medical career.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do medical schools look down on taking a gap year?

No, medical schools do not look down on taking a gap year; many view it as an opportunity for growth and gaining experience.

What is the best job to have before attending medical school?

Medical assistants, EMTs, research assistants, home health aides, medical scribes, and CNAs are among the best pre-med jobs. However, the best fit may vary on personal future goals.

Do I need to have a job in a medically related field to get into medical school?

No, you do not need to have a job in a medically related field to get into medical school, but relevant experience can strengthen your application.

Does it matter whether my pre-med job is paid or unpaid?

In terms of strengthening your application, it does not normally matter whether your pre-med job is paid or unpaid; what’s important is the experience and skills you gain.

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