CHARTS: It's Nearly Impossible To Make A Livable Wage Without A College Education

Photo: ajagendorf25

Jobs for people with only a high school diploma still exist, but they’re disappearing fast.The centre on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University studied the likelihood that workers without a college degree will still be able to find employment in the future.

The report studied data about job opportunities and skill requirements through 2018 for 16 career fields. 

It used $35,000 as a livable wage baseline and compared unskilled workers, those with no college education, to middle skills workers, those with at least some college education.

Among the report’s findings: Women will need to have a college degree just to make as much as men with high school diplomas and job growth for people without college degrees has fallen 72 per cent since 1973.

High school graduates are 10% less likely than people with some college education to earn more than $35,000

People with a Master's degree or higher earn the most in every profession

A bachelor's degree or better will prove more essential as 2018 draws near

Looking ahead, careers that require at least mid-level skills or higher will grow faster than those that don't require much education

People with a bachelor's degree stand the best chance for employment in 9 of the career clusters

In some construction jobs, people with only a high school diploma can still earn a decent wage

The same holds true for transportation jobs, where workers with a high school diploma can earn more than $35,000 as automotive technicians

But, for those hoping to work in food service, high school diplomas will only help them earn around $34,000 (below the livable wage baseline)

The best opportunities to earn a livable wage with only a high school diploma are concentrated in male-dominated fields

That means women have to work even harder. For women, the best paying jobs that require some education still pay less than jobs for men that only require a high school diploma

For example, women need an Associate's degree to earn less than $37,000 in real estate

For manufacturing jobs, an Associate's degree will enable office machine repairers to earn more than $43,000

In business fields, those with an Associate's degree earn about $1,000 more on average than workers with no degree

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