For some people, the idea of a four-year college degree is an intimidating prospect. The cost of tuition and room and the board can amount to tens of thousands of dollars – and that’s not even including books, supplies, and other incidentals.
For those who want to pursue a lucrative career without spending years in school, there are plenty of options available.
There are awesome jobs that do not require a four-year degree.
Below you can find jobs that can be rewarding both financially and intellectually, without the need for a college degree.
Most rewarding jobs you can do without a college degree
1. Registered Nurse
Registered nurses enjoy one of the most rewarding careers in the medical field. They are responsible for caring for patients, providing emotional support, and educating patients and their families about their health conditions. Nurses also play a vital role in research and healthcare policy development.
The average salary for registered nurses is $68,450. With experience, nurses can earn upwards of $100,000 per year.
2. Air Traffic Controller
Air traffic controllers play a critical role in ensuring the safety of airline passengers. They work in airports around the country to guide planes to their destinations and keep them safe during takeoff and landing.
The average salary for air traffic controllers is $122,000. With experience, controllers can earn upwards of $150,000 per year.
Pharmacists are responsible for dispensing medication to patients and providing them with information about the medications they are taking. They also work with physicians and other healthcare professionals to develop treatment plans for patients.
The average salary for pharmacists is $122,000. With experience, pharmacists can earn upwards of $150,000 per year.
Electricians work in a variety of settings to install and maintain electrical systems. They can perform maintenance tasks, corrective tasks, testing jobs, and installation jobs.
The average salary for electricians is $52,000. With experience, electricians can earn upwards of $74,000 per year.
5. Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technician
HVAC technicians install and repair air conditioning units and heating systems in homes and businesses throughout the country. Their responsibilities may also include installing ventilation systems in newly constructed buildings or industrial sites.
The average salary for HVAC technicians is $43,000. With experience, technicians can earn upwards of $60, 000 per year.
6. Construction Supervisor
Construction supervisors oversee construction projects from beginning to end. They are responsible for project planning, hiring subcontractors, maintaining safety standards on the site, and meeting project deadlines.
The average salary for construction supervisors is $68,000. With experience, supervisors can earn upwards of $100,000 per year.
7. Web Developer
Web developers design websites for clients in a variety of industries including healthcare, education, publishing, architecture, manufacturing, finance, law, media, and entertainment. They work with their clients to identify objectives for the various sites they are developing and then create them using front-end technologies like HTML5 or CSS3.
The average salary for web developers is $71,500. With experience, developers can earn upwards of $96,000 per year.
Mechanics work in a variety of settings to repair and maintain machinery and tools. They can perform routine tasks such as oil changes, brake jobs, and tire rotations, as well as diagnose and repair more complex problems that affect the performance of equipment or machinery.
The average salary for mechanics is $38,000. With experience, mechanics can earn upwards of $50,000 per year.
Welders use torches to cut and join pieces of metal together to create various types of objects like cars parts, cranes, ships, and railings – basically, anything made from metal you see around you was likely made using a welder’s torch.
The average salary for welders is $37,000. With experience, welders can earn upwards of $50,000 per year.
Bartenders are responsible for mixing drinks and serving them to customers in bars, restaurants, and other establishments. They must be familiar with a wide variety of liquor brands and cocktail recipes in order to make recommendations to their customers.
The average salary for bartenders is $21,000. With experience, bartenders can earn upwards of $30,000 per year.
11. Radiologic and MRI Technologists
Radiologic technologists perform diagnostic imaging examinations such as x-rays, computed tomography (CT) scans, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). They help physicians diagnose and treat illnesses and injuries by creating images to reveal the location of diseases, injuries, or irregularities inside a patient’s body.
The average salary for radiologic technologists is $55,000. With experience, radiologic technologists can earn upwards of $70,000 per year.
MRI technologists work under the supervision of radiologists. The national annual median salary for MRI technologists is $65,940 ($32.75/hour), with a range usually between $57,661 ($28/hour) and $77,092 ($37/hour).
12. Truck Driver
Truck drivers transport anything from food and clothing to building supplies and agricultural products throughout the country on a variety of schedules.
The average salary for a truck driver is $38,000. With experience, truck drivers can earn upwards of $50,000 per year.
Chefs create appetizing meals for their customers using fresh ingredients that they purchase daily from local markets. They also must ensure that all equipment is working properly and adhere to strict sanitary requirements by keeping their work area clean at all times as well as following proper handwashing techniques before preparing food – just imagine everything you’ve seen in movies about restaurant scenes! The national annual median salary for chefs is $43,000 ($20/hour), with a range usually between $32,000 ($16/hour) and $54,000 ($26/hour).
14. Forensic Science Technician
Forensic science technicians collect evidence at crime scenes, analyze it for use in criminal cases against suspects, and testify about the findings in court. They must be able to identify and document evidence, as well as preserve it in a way that will be admissible in court.
The average salary for forensic science technicians is $53,000. With experience, forensic science technicians can earn upwards of $70,000 per year.
15. Physical Therapist
Physical therapists help people with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities regain movement and manage pain by developing individualized treatment plans and instructing patients on how to exercise and stretch safely. They also work with equipment like treadmills and weight machines to help their patients improve their overall fitness levels.
The average salary for physical therapists is $75,000. With experience, physical therapists can earn upwards of $90,000 per year.
Opticians help their customers pick out the eyeglasses that best fit their needs by measuring and examining their eyes as well as their facial structure, then making recommendations based on those examinations. They also work with insurance providers to ensure that patients have coverage for new glasses or contacts before they select a pair from the available inventory.
The average salary for opticians is $44,000. With experience, opticians can earn upwards of $60,000 per year.
17. Network Administrator
Network administrators work to maintain computer networks – whether it’s a company’s internal server network or an internet service provider’s customer accounts – in order to make sure that all of the computers are communicating with each other effectively and securely.
The average salary for network administrators is $62,000. With experience, network administrators can earn upwards of $75,000 per year.
18. Geoscience Technician
Geoscience technicians assist scientists in gathering geologic data that they use to explore, discover new information about natural resources, and monitor changes in climate patterns worldwide. They also may conduct seismic surveys using a variety of equipment including seismographs and cable-connected transducers. The national annual median salary for geoscience technicians is $50,340 ($24/hour), with a range usually between $42,422 ($20/hour) and $59,454 ($29/hour).
Audiologists help people with hearing impairments by diagnosing the problem, prescribing and fitting hearing aids, and providing counseling and support. They also work to prevent hearing loss by educating people about how to protect their hearing from loud noises and other potential dangers.
The average salary for audiologists is $73,000. With experience, audiologists can earn upwards of $85,000 per year.
Statisticians use mathematical models and statistical analysis techniques to collect data, interpret it, and draw conclusions about a variety of topics including business trends, public health issues, and election outcomes. They then present their findings in a way that is easy for others to understand.
The average salary for statisticians is $80,000. With experience, statisticians can earn upwards of $100,000 per year.
21. Billing Specialist
Billing specialists handle the billing operations for their organization – from processing invoices to corresponding with customers and following up on unpaid bills – all while making sure that a business stays compliant with local, state, and federal regulations around billing practices. The national average yearly salary for billing specialists is $54,812 ($26/hour).
22. Geothermal Technician
Geothermal technicians install and monitor equipment used in geothermal energy production as well as heating and cooling systems that rely on the consistent temperatures found underground to help lower utility bills for homeowners or businesses. They also answer any questions or concerns about the geothermal energy systems that their customers may have. The national average annual salary for geothermal technicians is $50,530 ($24/hour).
23. Home Health Aide
Home health aides help to improve the quality of life of their patients by providing basic necessities such as personal hygiene and laundry services to those who are unable to perform those tasks on their own due to illness, injury, or advanced age. They also assist those with chronic conditions with things like meal preparation and medication reminders.
The national average annual salary for home health aides is $20,910 ($10/hour), however, this figure can vary based on a given state’s minimum wage requirements.
An auctioneer is responsible for presiding over auctions and managing the bidding process. They must be able to read people and gauge the interest of potential buyers in order to get the best prices for the items being auctioned. The national annual median salary for auctioneers is $41,060 ($19/hour).
25. Veterinary Technician
Veterinary technicians assist veterinarians in providing medical care to animals. This includes everything from administering medication and vaccines to taking blood samples and performing surgery. They often play a key role in the diagnosis and treatment of animal diseases.
The national average annual salary for veterinary technicians is $33,700 ($16/hour), with some earning as little as $22,920 ($11/hour) or as much as $45,040 ($21/hour).
26. Electrical Technician
Electrical technicians install, maintain, and repair electrical equipment used in a variety of industries including construction, manufacturing, aerospace, telecommunications, and more. They may also be tasked with designing electrical systems or devising ways to increase a company’s energy efficiency through the use of various power sources. The national average yearly salary for electricians is $52,260 ($25/hour).
27. Court Reporter
Court reporters provide verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings that lawyers and judges can use as evidence in court cases. They record everything that is said by witnesses during trials using special machines and shorthand notation before presenting their transcripts to courts on paper or via computer software. The national average salary for court reporters is $49,140 ($23.50/hour).
A plumber is responsible for installing and repairing fixtures related to the supply of water as well as sewage and drainage systems. Common tasks performed by plumbers include unclogging bathtubs and toilets, fixing leaky pipes, replacing corroded pipes, and more. The national average hourly wage for a plumber is $34.84 ($17/hour).
29. Food Scientist
Food scientists develop new food products and find ways to improve the safety and nutritional value of existing ones – all while ensuring that they remain affordable for consumers on any budget. They also help ensure that government regulations regarding food production are obeyed. The national median salary for food scientists is $59,170 ($29/hour).
30. Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
Occupational health and safety specialists develop policies and procedures that help employers maintain a safe and healthy workplace environment. They also investigate accidents and injuries to determine how they can be prevented in the future or whether they were caused by negligence on behalf of an employer or employee. The national average yearly salary for occupational health and safety specialists is $60,910 ($30/hour).
31. Police Officer
Police officers are responsible for enforcing the law, maintaining public order, and investigating crimes. They work both in uniform and plainclothes and may be assigned to a specific area such as a patrol district or special investigative unit. The national average annual salary for police officers is $61,380 ($30/hour).
32. Public Relations Manager
Public relations managers are responsible for developing and executing communication strategies that promote their company’s image and products to the public. They also manage relationships with the media by responding to inquiries and providing journalists with information about their company. The median annual salary for public relations managers is $107,130 ($52/hour).
33. Fashion Designer
Fashion designers create original clothing, accessories, and footwear designs for consumers of all ages. They often work with a team of other designers, patternmakers, and sewers to bring their ideas to life. The national average salary for fashion designers is $74,170 ($36/hour).
Detectives are responsible for investigating crimes, gathering evidence, and interviewing witnesses. They may work for a law enforcement agency or in the private sector as part of a security team. The national average salary for detectives is $79,680 ($39/hour).
35. Nuclear Technician
Nuclear technicians operate and monitor equipment used to maintain nuclear power plants. They may also be required to investigate problems and perform minor repairs as needed. The national average salary for nuclear technicians is $75,920 ($37/hour).
Pilots fly airplanes and helicopters on a variety of missions including transporting passengers and goods, conducting search-and-rescue operations, protecting wildlife, and taking photographs from the air. Most pilots work for commercial airlines or the armed forces; however, some are self-employed as private charter operators or flight instructors. The median yearly salary for airline pilots is $111,270 ($54/hour).
37. Nuclear Power Reactor Operator
A nuclear power reactor operator is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of a nuclear power plant. They monitor reactor controls, adjust equipment as needed, and respond to emergencies. The national median salary for nuclear power reactor operators is $75,920 ($37/hour).
38. Elevator Installer and Repairer
Elevator installers and repairers work on any type of elevator, escalator, or moving walkway. They assemble and install these mechanisms in a variety of settings including commercial buildings, airports, mines, transit systems, etc. The national median salary for elevator installers and repairers is $80,260 ($40/hour).
39. Architectural Drafter
Architectural drafters prepare detailed drawings based on their clients’ needs. These technical drawings are used by architects who provide the final blueprints before construction begins. The national average yearly salary for architectural drafters is $46,640 ($22/hour).
40. Geographic Information Systems Analyst
Geographic information systems (GIS) analysts use specialized software to collect, manage, and analyze geographic data. They develop custom applications for their clients who range from meteorologists to real estate agencies. The national average salary for GIS analysts is $65,970 ($32/hour).
There are a variety of high-paying jobs available for those who have the necessary skills and experience. The salaries listed above are just a few examples of what some professionals in various fields can earn. So, if you are looking for a career change and are unsure of what you want to do, consider one of the jobs listed above. With the right training and experience, you could be on your way to earning a high salary and having a rewarding career.
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