5 Jobs That Pay Well Without a College Degree
The common line of thinking goes that if you want to make good money as an adult, you need to get a college degree. And sure, plenty of lucrative fields of employment require a college degree, and sometimes multiple. But college isn’t for everyone. Those going straight into the workforce after high school will be heartened to know that there are jobs they are qualified for that can yield a promising career with high pay.
Not only do these jobs pay well, but their job outlook is positive, meaning there will be more positions opening up in the near future. That can give many prospective workers comfort in knowing that when they are ready to enter the workforce, their targeted jobs and fields will continue to be in demand.
With that in mind, here are the top five jobs – according to both pay and job outlook – for workers seeking a high-paying job that doesn’t require a college degree:
Administrative Services Managers
The precise duties of an administrative services manager can vary from one company to the next, but what is consistent is the relatively high pay these workers receive. An administrative services manager is often tasked with overseeing the supportive services of an organization – namely, the clerical and administrative operations. This can include records management, mail distribution, facilities maintenance, and all the other smaller components that keep and office or business operating efficiently.
The median pay for this position is quite high: nearly $78,000 per year in 2010. With the number of positions in the United States expected to grow by 15 percent between 2010 and 2020, it’s the closest career-seekers will find to a sure thing.
Working as a loan officer is a great way for someone without higher education to get involved in finance. Loan officers are employed by a variety of financial institutions and work with consumers applying for loans. A loan officer evaluates and recommends the approval of persons or businesses seeking a loan from a financial institution.
This job often takes officers out of the office and sometimes the hours can be long. But the median salary is more than $56,000 a year and the job growth is expected to be close to the national average at 14 percent, giving the field great prospects for job-seekers.
Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers
Power plant employees are integral in the various processes that keep a power plant running safely and smoothly. These job responsibilities can come in many different forms depending on the department to which you are hired; you could work internally or externally at the plant and could be assisting engineers or other college-educated professionals with any number of tasks.
However, this job market is expected to see little to no change over the next 10 years, and the biggest disadvantage is the long or rotating work shifts that can be draining at times – particularly if power outages or other problems arise. But with a median income of more than $65,000 annually, many of these workers will refrain from complaining.
Subway and Streetcar Operators
Subway and streetcar operator positions are limited to urban areas where public transportation systems have been installed, but if you live in one of these areas there are opportunities for gainful employment. Operating these public transit vehicles requires minimal on-the-job training, and pays well – more than $56,000 annually.
Although the job market is relatively small, job growth is expected to increase 10 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Line Installers and Repairers
Line work is needed in several industries, including by cable, telecommunication, and electrical companies. These line installers and repairers are responsible for running line to new construction, replacing old line, and making repairs when there is a line outage reported.
You can’t have a fear of heights, as a good amount of this work is done in the air at the tops of line-carrying poles, but if you can conquer that there’s a good bit of change to be made: the median salary among these workers was more than $54,000 in 2010. Job growth is also promising, with the number of positions expected to increase 13 percent between 2010 and 2020.