While TV makes it seem as though everyone goes straight from high school into college and only enter the working world after getting a degree, most people actually enter the workforce around the completion of high school, taking whatever early work they can receive with no formal education or training. From there, people work up (if possible), or wind up only making lateral changes as they change jobs (leaving a cashier job at a clothing store for a cashier job at a pet store). Fortunately, there are careers that you can break into without a four-year degree that pay livable wages.
For those interested in criminal justice, there are many paths that can offer a satisfactory living with no degree and are not only police officers or related jobs. Positions such as police dispatch are often given the same city employment titles and benefits as the officers, but with a much safer environment with a more set schedule. Police stations and courts also need clerks and a variety of administrative roles filled.
Though there are highs and lows in the market, real estate prices only go up over the long-term. Because of this, there is a long term need for people familiar with this industry. In addition to general sales, house flipping shows have brought to many people’s attention that there is great money in buying and renovating properties. While the market has changed, house flipping can still be profitable. Neither sales, nor flipping, require a college degree; both can be learned through apprenticeship. Apartment complexes are often seeking roles in managing a large rental environment. You don’t have to own property to work in this field.
Beauty and Wellness
People love to pamper themselves and spend small fortunes to make themselves look better. While many jobs in this industry may require a diploma or certification, those are fairly quick to obtain rather than a BS degree. In addition to selling cosmetics (a system that is already established and often comes with a customer base), careers can include hair, nail and makeup artists, massage therapists, and dietitians. With enough knowledge of the industry, you could even go on to own your own salon or spa.
Completely changing the field, you work in may seem like starting from the beginning, but soft skills (such as customer service) are transferable. Starting new doesn’t mean starting at the bottom.
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While there are many benefits to earning a degree, not all jobs require that you have gone to college. There are several high-paying careers that offer entry-level opportunities to people without college degrees. Here are four of the best fields to consider when you're looking to earn a solid salary even if you do not have a college degree.
Surprisingly, there are a variety of jobs in the healthcare field that do not require a degree. While most need some type of training or certification to perform, you don't need a college degree to get started. One of the most high-paying job titles is ultrasound technician. Diagnostic medical sonographers earn an average salary of about $70,000 annually. This field also boasts an abundance of opportunity for upward mobility within the field.
Being a truck driver is a fantastic way to see the country while being paid to do so. Many truck driving jobs will require you to have a CDL, which does require certification. A career in truck driving also offers a flexible schedule, which is ideal for when you have other obligations. You can choose the routes that you want to take based on your availability. There is currently a shortage of truck drivers in the U.S., providing job seekers with plenty of opportunity.
Real Estate Agent
As a real estate agent, your primary function is to help clients buy and sell commercial or residential property. Ultimately, this job requires people skills, the ability to research properties, and strong negotiating skills so that you can secure favorable real estate deals for your clients. In addition to getting your real estate license, you will need to complete a training course that meets your state's minimum hours. This job allows you to be your own boss, which means that you can set your own schedule and determine how much work you want to take on.
Computer Support Specialist
In today's increasingly wired world, the demand for computer support specialists is high. This industry encompasses titles such as tech support specialist, help desk technician, IT specialist, and IT consultant. This career pays a median salary of about $50,000 annually. Good candidates for this job include people who enjoy communicating with other people and do not mind spending most of the day on the phone helping to troubleshoot computer issues.
There are myriad career options that do not require you to have a college degree. With the right research and commitment to gaining the skills that you need, you can be well on your way to a high-paying job in a variety of fields.
Read this other article for some more great career ideas!
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