Two-thirds of working Americans have a career without a college degree. This college opportunity eludes many Americans. It begs the questions: “Which jobs are attainable without a college education?” And “What is their projected growth in the near future?”
With the societal pressure we experience to attend college and earn a degree, we continue to tell ourselves and our children that college is the only starting point. A Formal Education is a huge asset and gives a person preference in hiring. However, it should not be the only option we discuss with our young people.
For a variety of reasons, many professionals will not earn a traditional degree.
What can we tell these people? What opportunities exist for those without a college education?
Here are 6 great jobs that don’t require a traditional 4-year degree:
1. Web Development
2. Diagnostic Medical Sonographer
While some employers will require a Bachelors Degree for this career, there are also employers who will happily hire Certified Diagnostic Medical Sonographers. In this case, a 2-year certification program would be required. These programs are a fraction of the cost of a traditional 4-year degree program. Additionally, they offer an appealing income. Glassdoor estimates the average base-salary for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers to be $66,802 for December 2017. The outlook for this career is promising as well. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 46% growth-rate for this position between 2012 and 2022.
3. Aeorspace Engineering and Operations Technicians
This position will “Operate, install, calibrate, and maintain integrated computer/communications systems, consoles [and] simulators… for space vehicles” (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The mean annual wage for this position is $71,070. While this position often requires an Associates Degree in Engineering Technology, completion of a technical or vocational program in computer programming is also widely accepted. In addtion, the projected growth for this position between 2016 and 2026 is 7%.
4. Power Distributors and Dispatchers
Power Distributors and Dispatcher positions only require a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED. Extensive On-The-Job training is the established method for proficiency. This position manages the systems that distribute electrical power to communities. The mean annual wage estimated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is is $78,370. However, their is little growth predicted for this job in the next 10 years.
5. Detectives and Criminal Investigators
People in this position enjoy a mean annual salary of $81,490. Only requiring a high school diploma or equivalent, it is attainable for many interested in the field. An associates degree in criminal justice can offer an advantage for job-seekers. However, it is not a prerequisite.
6. Securities, Commodities and Financial Service Agents
These agents offer financial services to both individuals and businesses. They also may provide securities counseling to their clients. The average salary for this career varies among the organizations reporting the data. USA Jobs Salaries Guide estimates the mean annual wage to be $102,860. The projected growth rate is 6%. The position doesn’t require an education but will require an extensive amount of On-The-Job training. Additionally, a recognized apprenticeship program may be an option for some candidates.
While this list is not exhaustive, it may give some insight on what kind of careers are possible. When we are talking to our young people, we should discuss the fact that ‘not having a degree’ does not doom them to poverty or mediocrity.
Just as having a degree does not automatically guarantee success, the lack of one does not guarantee failure.
For more information on different career paths, education requirements and salaries, visit HERE.
Did we miss something? What would you have liked to see on this list?
Check out our ‘Jobs Without a Degree’ Job Dashboard exclusively for non-degree holding professionals!