If you’re looking for a new career that does not require a university diploma, you might be surprised to find out that there are actually a lot of options out there for you. 20 years ago, people believed that earning a good salary and providing for your family was practically impossible without a 4-year college education.
Post-secondary and graduate degrees are of course required if you are looking to make a six-figure salary. In today’s economy, however, many people are beginning to question the worth of expensive advanced degrees that don’t seem to pay off in the long run. In the past many believed that the cost of your degree would end up mirroring your annual pay, but these days those with less education loans and more years of actual on-the-job experience are catching up and finding jobs in which a degree is not required.
- In 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 31 percent of Americans hold a high school diploma, in comparison with only 19 percent with a bachelor’s degree.
- in 2008, research studies conducted by College Board found that average education debts for those earning bachelor’s degrees were more than 3 times higher than for those who completed 2-year degree programs.
- In 2011, CNN cited both Air Traffic Controller and Elevator Mechanic among their list of the top 10 high-salary, non-degreed jobs.
With more dangerous professions, some employers will pay workers a larger salary solely because of the risk factors associated with the job. On the other hand, certain jobs are so specialized or difficult that a higher pay level becomes unavoidable, simply because not many people can do it. Experience is also important, as many employers value work more than how many years a potential employee spent in a classroom.
The End Result
A surprising number of careers can be had with little more than a high school diploma or GED. While some are entry-level, others require only basic training programs that you can complete much more quickly and cost-effectively than a typical 4-year college degree. A select few are listed below:
- Air Traffic Controller
- Elevator Mechanic (or Elevator Installer)
- Dental Hygienist
- Security Guard
- Construction Laborer
- Nail Technician
- Maintenance Worker
If you are certain that you want to pursue a four-year degree, we are not here to dissuade you. However, if going back to college is just not a realistic option for you right now, be sure to consider these non-degreed occupations.
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