Finding a Job

15 growth jobs that don't need a 4-year degree

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only 18.7 percent of Americans hold a bachelor's degree, while 29.5 percent didn't continue their education beyond high school. The average starting salary for new college graduates last year was $44,928, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. The average student loan debt is about $26,000.

The good news is that you can earn comparable pay in some jobs - Here are 15  jobs that don't require a four-year degree and pay a nice salary or wage, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Note: Some of these jobs require lengthy on-the-job training and apprenticeships. Search the BLS Occupational Outlook Handbook for details.

1. Dental hygienist

Median income: $70,210 annually ($33.75 hourly).

Income range (lowest to highest 10 percent): about $46,540 to about $96,280.

Job growth outlook through 2022: 33 percent.

Required level of education: associate degree.

 

2. Registered nurse

Median income: $65,470 annually ($31.48 hourly).

Income range: $45,040 to $94,720.

Job growth outlook: 19 percent.

Required level of education: associate degree.

 

3. Web developer

Median income: $62,500 annually ($30.05 hourly).

Income range: $33,550 to $105,200.

Job growth outlook: 20 percent.

Required level of education: associate degree.

 

4. Heating, air conditioning and refrigeration mechanics and installers

Median income: $43,640 annually ($20.98 hourly).

Income range: $27,330 to $68,990.

Job growth outlook: 21 percent.

Required level of education: postsecondary non-degree award.

 

5. Industrial machinery mechanic

Median income: $45,840 annually ($22.04 hourly).

Income range: $29,020 to $69,990.

Job growth outlook: 17 percent.

Required level of education: high school diploma or equivalent.

 

6. Electrician

Median income: $49,840 ($23.96 hourly).

Income range: $30,420 to $82,930.

Job growth outlook: 20 percent.

Required level of education: high school diploma or equivalent.

 

7. Air traffic controller

Median income: $122,530 annually ($58.91 hourly).

Income range: $64,930 to $171,340.

Job growth outlook: 1 percent.

Required level of education: associate degree.

 

8. Telecommunications equipment installer

Median income: $54,530 annually ($26.22 hourly).

Income range: $30,840 to $75,040.

Job growth outlook: 4 percent.

Required level of education: postsecondary non-degree award.

 

9. Paralegal and legal assistant

Median income: $46,990 annually ($22.59 hourly).

Income range: $29,420 to $75,410.

Job growth outlook: 17 percent.

Required level of education: associate degree.

 

10. Real estate brokers and sales agents

Median income: $41,990 annually ($20.19 hourly).

Income range: $12.32 to $85.07 hourly.

Job growth outlook: 11 percent.

Required level of education: high school diploma or equivalent.

 

11. Firefighter

Median income: $45,250 annually ($21.75 hourly).

Income range: $22,030 to $79,150.

Job growth outlook: 7 percent.

Required level of education: postsecondary non-degree award.

 

12. Chef

Median income: $42,840 annually ($20.42 hourly).

Income range: $24,530 to $74,120.

Job growth outlook: 5 percent.

Required level of education: high school diploma or equivalent.

 

13. Radiation therapist

Median income: $77,560 annually ($37.29 hourly).

Income range: $51,720 to $113,810.

Job growth outlook: 24 percent.

Required level of education: associate degree.

 

14. Mortician

Median income: $51,600 annually ($24.81 hourly).

Income range: $28,100 to $94,860.

Job growth outlook: 12 percent.

Required level of education: associate degree.

 

15. Construction manager

Median income: $82,790 annually ($39.80 hourly).

Income range: $49,680 to $144,520.

Job growth outlook: 16 percent.

Required level of education: high school diploma or higher.

 

Do you have any additional recommendations?

 


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