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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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                                          Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                                          11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

                                          11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

                                          Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

                                          Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

                                          “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

                                          While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

                                          The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

                                          What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

                                          The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

                                          1. Cloud Computing

                                          “Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

                                          There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

                                          This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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                                          2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

                                          Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

                                          Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

                                          his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

                                          3. Data Management

                                          All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

                                          We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

                                          However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

                                          4. Scheduling

                                          Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

                                          An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

                                          5. Financial Skills

                                          These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

                                          While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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                                          6. Research Skills

                                          These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

                                          Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

                                          So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

                                          If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

                                          If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

                                          7. Marketing Skills

                                          While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

                                          Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

                                          While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

                                          8. Network Security Specialist

                                          Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

                                          So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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                                          9. Communication Skills

                                          At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

                                          Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

                                          10. Computer Programming

                                          I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

                                          11. Graphic Design

                                          As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

                                          Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

                                          That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

                                          Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

                                          You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

                                          Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

                                          Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

                                          Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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                                          This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

                                          You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

                                          But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

                                          Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

                                          In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

                                          Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

                                          And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

                                          We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

                                          We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

                                          As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

                                          More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

                                          Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

                                          [1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
                                          [2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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