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20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

20 High-Paying Jobs That Don’t Require A College Degree

It’s becoming increasingly clear to many that in this day and age, having a four-year college degree doesn’t always guarantee you a job. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the rate of unemployed college graduates in the U.S. as of May this year rose to a sizable 8.5 percent, which is a significant increase from 2007’s record of 5.5. The labor market also reported seven million worth of job shortfall around the first half of 2014.

On the other hand, the job deficit doesn’t mean that the chances of getting hired are always slim. In fact, there are plenty of professions that will still allow you to earn big bucks sans a university diploma. And if you’re looking for a career change without a college degree, there are also opportunities. Listed below are twenty high-paying jobs from varying fields that are what high school graduates can train for and which can serve as the first step to a thriving career.

1. Small Business Owner

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    Median Annual Wage: $51,470

    Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

    Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 61,600

    Not everyone is cut out to be an employee; more often than not, high school graduates looking to go into business would prefer to be their own boss and manage their own enterprise. In this case, setting up your own business can be your ticket to hitting the goldmine. Wholesaling, for instance, after having recorded a decent median annual wage is considered one of the most booming ventures entrepreneurs can take upon. In addition, the US Census Bureau stated in their 2014 statistics that the wholesale trade made a total of $454.4 billion, making this kind of business opportunity more attractive to entrepreneurs. Learning the ropes of wholesaling is a long-term affair, but you only need to have a high diploma or equivalent education to get started.

    2. Network Specialist

    woman it engineer in network server room

      Median Annual Wage (2012): $59,090

      Education Level Required: Associate’s Degree

      Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 39,600

      The interest in computers and how they work, topped with good interpersonal skills, are perfect starters for snagging a network specialist job. The work involves dealing with wide area network (WAN) and local area network (LAN), and the associated analysis, testing, troubleshooting, and network evaluation.

       3. Loan Officer

      loan officer

        Median Annual Wage (2012): $ 59,820

        Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

        Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 59,380

        Loan officers are known to approve applications for monetary assistance but apart from that, they are also expected to advise people who are seeking financial help, and evaluate their credit status. Loan officers can work at mortgage companies, banks, credit unions, and car dealerships. It does involve a lot of paperwork and logistics management, but these can be accomplished if one has good organizational and interpersonal skills.

        4. Artists and Related Workers

        artists

          Median Annual Wage (2012): $59,840

          Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

          Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 2,700

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          Nearly every company requires a design department, and this is only among the many opportunities artists can delve into. As long as you can draw, paint, or sketch on a solid surface what your creative juices are telling you, you may be able to get a decent job doing what you love.

          5. Aerospace Engineering and Operations Technician

          aerospace technician

            Median Annual Wage (2012): $61,530

            Education Level Required: Associate’s Degree

            Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 2,100

            Being a technician for aerospace and engineering operations involves the development, testing, and production of new aircraft and spacecraft. Technicians in the industry are also expected to maintain the equipment used in these processes.

            6. Subway and Streetcar Operator

            train operator

              Median Annual Wage (2012): $62,730

              Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

              Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 3,300

              The operators of one of the busiest transport systems in the country are one of the highest paid in the country. Interested applicants require no experience to apply and can learn everything they have to know the job, which is mostly about the operations of the trusty subway cars.

              7. Web Developer

              EOTM Will Rees

                Median Annual Wage (2012): $62, 500

                Education Level Required: Associate’s Degree

                Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 50,700

                Anyone who uses the Internet to work knows that it’s important to have a reliable website and a stable connection. As our dependence on this technology increases by the day, it also generates a lot of job opportunities not just for the younger generation but also to those who are willing to learn it. As such, the demand for web developers, whose job entails everything about websites such as designing, creating, and modifying them, is seen to have steady growth.

                8. Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

                electric repairer

                  Median Annual Wage (2012): $63,250

                  Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                  Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 49,900

                  Just think that as long as we rely on electricity, we will always need people who can repair electrical power systems. Electrical repairers are also responsible for fixing and managing telecommunication cables.

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                  9. Makeup Artist

                  maker up artist

                    Median Annual Wage (2012): $64,450

                    Education Level Required: Postsecondary non-degree award

                    Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 300

                    The people whose job is to make sure theatrical and performance artists look perfect for the role also bring home big slabs of bacon. As long as the makeup artists are skilled in applying makeup so that performers become the character their script requires, they have a shot at the job.

                    10. Gaming Manager

                    gaming manager

                      Median Annual Wage (2012): $65,220

                      Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                      Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 1,400

                      The gaming industry may be a regulated one, but it enjoys a steady yet slow growth in terms of revenue, which then translates to bigger incomes for gaming managers. The scope of their job is to undertake the planning, directing, and coordinating operations in a casino or similar establishments.

                      11. Power Plant Operator

                      powerplant operator

                        Median Annual Wage (2012): $66,130

                        Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                        Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 12,900

                        Just like electrical repairers, there is stability in the demand for power plant operators. These workers’ main responsibility is the management and control of the systems distributing electric power, and they can learn and master this on the job.

                        12. Nuclear Technician

                        nuclear technician

                          Median Annual Wage (2012): $69,069

                          Education Level Required: Associate’s Degree

                          Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 4,100

                          Not every job in a nuclear plant requires a college diploma—some of them can be snagged with an Associate’s degree such as a nuclear technician post. These people spend their workdays providing assistance to engineers and physicists.

                          13. Farmers, Ranchers, and Other Agricultural Managers

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                          TOPSHOTS Indian farmers sow a paddy in

                            Median Annual Wage (2012): $69,300

                            Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                            Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 150,200

                            This kind of job may not exactly be the kind that always requires employees to wear a suit and tie, but it is one of the best-paid jobs a high school graduate can get. Working on the farm would mean managing the establishments that produce goods such as livestock, dairy, and crops.

                            14. Dental Hygienist

                            dentalhygienist

                              Median Annual Wage (2012): $70, 210

                              Education Level Required: Associate’s degree

                              Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 113,500

                              The people who are responsible for keeping our teeth clean also get a fat annual paycheck. Apart from teeth-cleaning, dental hygienists also examine patients to check for possible teeth and gum diseases and recommend respective preventive care.

                              15. Commercial Pilot

                              pilots

                                Median Annual Wage (2012): $73,280

                                Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 14,400

                                You read it right—you have a shot at flying with a high school diploma under your belt! However, being a commercial pilot will require on-the-job training where you will learn everything about flying and navigating planes and helicopters, as well as rescue operations and firefighting.

                                16. Elevator Repairer and Installer

                                elevator repair

                                  Median Annual Wage (2012): $76,650

                                  Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                  Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 8,000

                                  The skills required to become an elevator repairer and installer include mounting, fixing, and maintaining lifts such as elevators and escalators, all of which one can learn through the apprenticeship.

                                  17. Detectives and Criminal Investigators

                                  detectivess

                                    Median Annual Wage (2012): $74,300

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                                    Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                    Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 27,700

                                    This particular job may not require a college degree but it surely necessitates above average analytical skills. Detectives and criminal investigators are responsible for investigating suspected infringements of the laws provided by the country, state, or local government.

                                    18. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator

                                    power plant man

                                      Median Annual Wage (2012): $74,990

                                      Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                      Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 2,300

                                      Besides nuclear technicians, operators of nuclear power reactors can also earn a sizable annual income sans a college degree. These fellows are in charge of moving control rods, adjusting controls, starting and stopping the equipment according to a schedule, and recording respective data.

                                      19. Transportation, Storage, and Distribution Managers

                                      distro manager

                                        Median Annual Wage (2012): $81,830

                                        Education Level Required: High school diploma or equivalent

                                        Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 29,100

                                        Those who have a knack for administration and management jobs can try their hand at being a transport manager. This job entails keeping on tabs on transport policies implemented by the government, as well as planning, directing, and coordinating transportation policies.

                                        20. Air Traffic Controller

                                        traffic control

                                          Median Annual Wage (2012): $122,530

                                          Education Level Required: Associate’s degree

                                          Projected Available Jobs (through 2022): 11,400

                                          Apart from having a spectacular view of the skies, air traffic controllers are also paid generously for their services. These people have the power to keep aircrafts safe by making sure that there is a safe distance between them.

                                          The above-listed jobs prove that there are plenty of opportunities not just for college graduates, but also for those who have high school graduates and associate degrees. However, you have to keep in mind that like most jobs, these high-paying occupations will necessitate respective skills training. Talent is also important but this you have to work out through the right professional attitude. If you already have your high school diploma, you can start researching these jobs. On the other hand, the professions that require associate degrees would require enrolling and completing the necessary courses at a community college or associate’s college.

                                          Featured photo credit: small business owner via blog.michiganadvantage.org

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                                          Published on June 5, 2018

                                          Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

                                          Is It Time for a Career Change? Find Your Answer Here with These Steps

                                          Are you challenged at work? Do you regret career decisions? Are you happy? If the answer to the questions leads to a negative feeling, it is time to determine next steps.

                                          Many people settle for a career that no longer brings satisfaction. Most will respond by stating, “I am surviving” if a colleague asks them “How’s work?”

                                          Settling for a job to pay bills and maintain a lifestyle is stagnation. You can re-direct the journey of a career with confidence by taking control of future decisions. After all, you deserve to be live a happy life that will offer a work-life balance . Let’s look at the reasons why you need a career change and how to make it happen for a more fulfilling life.

                                          Signs that you need a career change

                                          The challenges of dissatisfaction in a career can have a negative impact on our mental health. As a result, our mental health can lead to the obvious appearance of stress, aging, weight gain and internal health issues.

                                          You deserve a career that will fulfill the inner desire of true happiness. Here are common factors that it is time for you to change your career.

                                          Physical signs

                                          Are you aging since you started your job? Do you have anxiety? What about work-related injuries?

                                          It feels amazing to receive a pay cheque, but you deserve to work in an environment that brings out the best of you. If the work environment is hazardous, speak to your boss about alternative options.

                                          In the case that colleagues or your boss take advantage of your kindness, feeling the anxiety of fear of losing your job because of a high-stress environment may not be right for you.

                                          Mental signs

                                          One out of five Americans has mental health issues, according to Mental Health America.[1] In most cases, it is related to stress.

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                                          I remember working at a job in a work environment where harassment was acceptable. I had to walk on eggshells to avoid crossing the line with colleagues. My friends started to notice the difference in that I seemed out of character. It was then that I knew that changing a career to freelancing was the right decision.

                                          Here is a list of mental signs of workplace unhappiness:

                                          • The tension in your neck
                                          • Difficulties with sleeping
                                          • Unable to concentrate
                                          • High anxiety
                                          • Depression

                                          If you start to feel your self-esteem is diminishing, it is time to consider if working in a high-stress industry is for you. The truth is, this negative energy will be transferred to people in your life like friends and family.

                                          Why a career change is good for you

                                          I have a friend that works in the medical industry. She was once a nurse working directly with patients in one of the top hospitals in her area. After five years, she started to internalize the issues with her patients to the point where she felt depressed after work hours. It impacted her relationship with her family and she almost lost herself.

                                          One day, she decided to wake up and take control of her destiny. She started applying for new medical jobs in the office. It meant working on medical documentation of patients which is not an ideal career based on what society expects a medical professional to perform. But she started to feel happier.

                                          It is a classic example of a person that was negatively impacted by issues at work, stayed in the same industry but changed careers.

                                          A career change can fulfill a lifelong dream, increase one’s self-esteem or revive the excitement for one’s work.

                                          You know a career change can be the right decision to make if you experience one or all of these:

                                          • Working in a negative workplace: Don’t be discouraged. A negative workplace can be changed by working at a new organization.
                                          • Working with a difficult boss: The challenges of working with a difficult boss can be stressful. All it takes is communication. You can address the issue directly with a manager professionally and respectfully.
                                          • Feeling lost about what you do: Most people stay at their jobs and settle for mediocrity because of the fear of failure or the unknown. The rise to success often comes with working a tedious role or stepping outside of one’s comfort zone. If you fear the idea of being involved in activities that are new, remember that life is short. Mediocrity will only continue to make you feel as if life is passing you by.

                                          Common mistakes of people making a career change

                                          Most people that feel they need a career are frustrated with their situation at work. What is your situation?

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                                          • Desire for an increase of salary: The desire for a higher income can persuade some to believe they are in the wrong career. The issue with this is more money requires more time in the office or taking on several positions at a time. At times, pursuing a high-income role can be the complete opposite of what one is expected. It is what happens when a colleague leaves a company to a new one and returns several years later.
                                          • Overnight decision: Let’s face it. We make overnight decisions when stressed out or disappointed with situations at work. The problem with a quick decision is the negative and positive points is overlooked.
                                          • Rejected for a promotion: I have heard stories of managers that applied ten times for a position throughout a 5-year period. Yes, it sounds to be a lengthy process, but at times, a promotion requires time. Avoid changing a career if you do not see the results of a promotion currently.
                                          • Bored at work: Think deeply about this point. If you work a job that is repetitive, it is normal to feel bored. You can spice it up by changing the appearance of your desk, socializing with new employees in a different department, joining a leadership committee at work or coming to work with enthusiasm. Sometimes, all it takes is you to change jobs into a fun situation.

                                          A career change can take time, networking, education and the job search process can be a journey. Here is a list of things to consider before making a final decision:

                                          • How long have you worked in your career?
                                          • What is the problem at work? Do you work well with the team?
                                          • Do you receive recognition?
                                          • Can you consider working in a new department?

                                          The reason it is important to think about the work situation is some people decide to change career for factors that are insignificant. Factors that can potentially change if the person works in a different department or new organization. Here is a list of unimportant factors to think about before you decide to make the transition:

                                          Now that you had a chance to review your work situation and none of these recommendations can help, it is time to take the next step.

                                          How to make the change for a successful career (Step-by-step)

                                          The ultimate key to success is to go through a career transition step by step to avoid making the wrong decision.

                                          1. Write a career plan

                                          A career plan has a dead line for action steps that includes taking new courses, learning a new language, networking or improving issues at work.[2] A career plan should be kept in your wallet because it will motivate you to keep pursuing the role.

                                          You can learn how to set your career plan here.

                                          2. Weigh your options

                                          If you have a degree in Accounting, write down five positions in this industry of interest. The good news is diplomas and degrees can be used to a variety of roles to choose.

                                          You don’t have to stick to what society holds a top job, in the end, choosing the right role that will make you happy is priceless.

                                          3. Be real about the pros and cons

                                          It is time to be honest about strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that are impacting the current situation.

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                                          A SWOT Analysis of a career can include:

                                          • Economic factors
                                          • Direct competition: Is this role in high demand?
                                          • Location: Do you need to move? If the goal is to work in tech and living in Cincinnati is not realistic, consider moving to San Francisco.
                                          • Achievements: To stand out from the competition achievements like awards, committee involvement, freelance work or volunteering is a recipe for success.
                                          • Education: Do you need to go back to school? Education can be expensive. However, online courses, webinars or self-study is an option.

                                          A career blueprint is the first step to creating realistic goals. A person without goals will be disappointed without a clear direction of what to do next.

                                          4. Find a mentor

                                          A mentor that works in the desired position can share the pros and cons of working in the role. Here is a list of questions to ask a mentor:

                                          • What is required to be successful in the role?
                                          • What certification or educational development is needed?
                                          • What are the challenges of the role?
                                          • Is there potential for career advancement?

                                          A chat at a coffee shop with a mentor can change your mind about the desire for a career change.

                                          Find out how to pick a good mentor for yourself in this article: A Good Mentor Is Hard to Find: What to Look for in a Mentor

                                          5. Research salary

                                          Some people decide to change careers for a role that pays less or perks like benefits to make up for the difference in previous to potential salary.

                                          It can reveal the cities throughout the country that offer a higher salary for those that have an interest in relocating for work.

                                          6. Be realistic

                                          If your goal is to move up into an executive position, it is time to be honest about where you are in your career.

                                          For example, if boardroom meetings, high-level discussions about financials or attending weekly networking events are boring, an executive role may not be right for you. If you are an introvert and working with people every day is nerve wrecking, you need to reconsider a job in sales.

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                                          Ask yourself if you can work in this role for the next five years of your life. If other benefits that come with the role are enticing, other roles are fit that will make you happy.

                                          7. Volunteer first

                                          A person that wants to become a manager should take on volunteer opportunities to experience the reality of the position.

                                          Becoming a committee member to pursue a presidential opportunity can provide a perspective on leadership, maintaining a budget and public speaking.

                                          Volunteer in a role until you are certain that it is the right opportunity.

                                          8. Prepare your career tools

                                          I recommend asking a boss, colleague or mentor for career tools. If you prefer professional assistance, you can seek out resume writing assistance. Here is a list of things to consider when preparing career tools:

                                          • Online search: Search your name online to see what shows up. I recommend searching images that are on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat or other sites on a personal account. The last thing you want to realize is the job search is unsuccessful because there is unprofessional content you posted online.
                                          • Be LinkedIn ready: Recruiters conduct a LinkedIn search to see if the work experience is the same on a resume. Remember to change the wording on LinkedIn from the resume, or it will appear there was no effort put into creating the profile.
                                          • Portfolio: A portfolio of work is recommended for people that work in the arts, writing, graphic design and other fields. I recommend a portfolio online and one that is available in hand when attending job interviews or networking meetups.

                                          Final thoughts

                                          It takes time to move towards a new career. Pay attention to the physical and mental signs to maintain your health. You deserve to work in happiness and come home stress-free. If you avoid the common mistakes people make, you will discover the role that is the best fit with your skillsets.

                                          Master these action steps and changing careers will be on your terms to make the best decision for your future.

                                          Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                          Reference

                                          [1]Mental Health America: The State of Mental Health in America
                                          [2]MIT Global Education & Career Development: Make a Career Plan

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