Scared of accumulating too much student debt? Afraid that years in college may not really prepare you for the job you desire? Here are 3 career alternatives that you can embark upon right after high school graduation to start earning and doing, rather than waiting years to create your future career.
With student loan debt being around nearly $40,000 per person, it’s understandable why so many people are opting out of college. However, that doesn’t mean that they can live without some form of work. Fortunately for them, there are plenty of careers that pay well, offer a nice income, and don’t require a college degree. Here’s a look at three of the most promising ones.
Real Estate Agent
In general, those who are good at sales stand to make quite a bit of money. Since most sales jobs pay based on commission, the amount of income you can make is potentially higher than many other jobs. You’re paid based on your performance. Being a real estate agent is one such sales career. A real estate agent makes pretty decent money. You make money based on commission. Commission is a percentage of each home sold, typically 6-7%. Nationwide, real estate agents make between $62,000 and $90,000 a year. Most real estate professionals bypass college and go to real estate school instead, where they learn about real estate law, contracts, and other important information pertaining to selling houses or commercial property.
Firefighters bring a widerange of skills to the job, including, of course, firefighting skills as well as people and animal rescue techniques and medical training. In order to do their jobs effectively and to maintain a degree of safety, firefighters must also have a high level of physical fitness. Each city has its own requirements for becoming a firefighter. Usually, would-be firefighters can receive job-specific training by the fire service. However, there are often community classes that will also prepare future firefighters for the job, at least to a certain degree. This job doesn’t usually require a degree, however. Income is dependent on the state where you fight fires. The highest-paid firefighters make more than $75,000 a year.
With the existence of online training companies like Udemy and LinkedIn Learning, it’s entirely possible to learn how to do web design or web development for a fraction of the cost of a bachelor’s degree. While many hiring bosses still look for candidates who have a BA or a BS, many will now consider hiring people based on their portfolios. Designers need some basic skills, like the ability to draw, the ability to use design programs, and the ability to work well with clients.Many designers without a degree will post their work to their social media accounts so that it can be seen by people in their industry. They’ll also attend trade shows and other industry events so that they can meet people in the industry who might help them to get a job down the road. Graphic designers make up to $71,000 a year. Getting a well-paying job these days doesn’t always require a degree, and with the average debt of most college students being in the mid-double digits, it’s easy to understand why more and more people are opting out of a university degree. The key to making a nice living is to find a job that pays well without a degree. These jobs usually require some sort of on-the-job training or a certification course. However, many people working today teach themselves the skills they need to do the job they want, allowing them to save money on a degree and dive right into their chosen field.
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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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