If you think you need a bachelor’s degree to have a lucrative career, think again.
Yes, it’s true that those with a bachelor’s typically earn more than those without one — but it’s certainly not always the case.
A new report by the career guidance website CareerCast found that there are plenty of high-paying jobs — including commercial pilot and registered nurse — that don’t require four years of college. They do, however, require specialised training.
“There’s no question that college graduates with four-year degrees are very likely to earn almost one million more in compensation through the course of their career. However, for the many people who are unable to earn that degree due to cost, financial obligations, or other reasons, it’s still possible to have a very rewarding, challenging, fulfilling career that pays well. These jobs offer great opportunities for those job seekers,” says Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast. “To land one of these jobs, you’ll need to compensate with good, old fashioned hard work and some post-high school training,”
CareerCast evaluated 200 professions across a wide variety of industries and skill levels to determine the highest-paying jobs that don’t require a four-year degree. It gathered data from the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, the Census Bureau, trade association studies and other sources.
Annual Median Salary: $54,530
Education Required: Postsecondary non-degree award
Many trade schools and junior colleges offer vocational programs specifically designed to teach the skills necessary to become a communications equipment mechanic. The BLS reports that completion of one of these programs typically comes with either official certification or an associate's degree.
Annual Median Salary: $62,500
Education Required: Associate's degree
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