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45 Ways You Can Find Success Without a Degree

College degrees are expensive these days. Many college graduates wind up with five-figure debts and still no job prospects once they graduate. To avoid that, many people are now looking for jobs that don’t require a degree. While some may assume that these are low-paying jobs, many are not. If you’re looking for a job that doesn’t require a degree, you might want to consider “Trade School” or other possibilities. They pay well and best of all, they don’t require a 4 year degree.

1. Fixing Pipes

If your sink’s clogged and the person fixing doesn’t have a degree, would you care? The answer is “probably not” if that person is a licensed plumber. Plumbers can start their careers by working a four-to five-year apprenticeship. They’re able to start this right out of high school, and it’s a paid gig.

Granted, the average plumber’s apprentice makes 30% to 50% of what a fully trained plumber makes (but at least they are being paid while learning rather than paying to learn). Plus, job growth for this job is over 16%, and the average plumber can expect to earn over $51,000 a year.

2. Computer Support Jobs

These days, it’s difficult to imagine living without a computer. A computer is great when it works and a pain when it doesn’t. For the days when they don’t, there are computer support specialists. These professionals make about $48,000, even without a degree. Many can get certifications in various computer-related topics. Job growth for this career is at 19%.

3. Careers in Real Estate

The real estate market is wide open. Most who work in the industry don’t have a degree. Rather, they take training and get their real estate license. This teaches them about contracts, real estate law, and other pertinent information. Most real estate professionals make between $50,000 and $70,000 a year. The disadvantage is that the Real Estate market has its ups and downs.

Additionally, many of these professionals go on to do real estate investing or house flipping. For this, they can learn on their own or get training from programs like Flip or Flop Seminars, which teach students what they need to know about flipping houses to make money.

4. A Pilot’s Life

Most airline pilots need to have a bachelor’s degree before they can become a pilot. However, those pilots who opt for careers involving aerial photography, charter flights, firefighting, and other types of flying only need to have a high school diploma, according to Kiplinger.

That isn’t to say that these flying professionals don’t get training. They do and plenty of it. They fly up to 40 hours with an instructor. They then follow that up with another 250 hours of flying before they’re awarded a pilot’s license. These professionals earn up to $75,000 a year.

5. Sales Representative

For those who know how to sell, the sky is the limit. The people who work in service sales jobs often work in the fields of telecommunications, technical consulting, or skin care. (This list isn’t exhaustive by any means.) On average, sales reps make over $51,000 a year, although those who earn commissions can earn considerably more than that. Industry growth is projected at 15%. Many start these jobs after finishing high school.

40 Other Trade School Possibilities

Trade schools often require a year or less to get your certification and cost significantly less than a 4 year degree. Be sure to check the school’s job placement rates and compare costs before enrolling. It is also a good idea to check the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook for job growth statistics and average salaries.

  1. Accounting
  2. Anesthesia Technology
  3. Automotive Technology
  4. Aviation Maintenance
  5. Baking & Pastry
  6. Cloud Technologies
  7. Commercial Diving
  8. Cosmetology
  9. Crime Scene Technology
  10. Criminal Justice
  11. Culinary Arts
  12. Dental Assistant
  13. Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  14. Diesel & Industrial Technology
  15. Dietetics and Nutrition
  16. Digital Filmmaking & Video Production
  17. Diving Equipment Repair
  18. Electrical Trades
  19. Emergency Medical Technician
  20. Fashion Design
  21. Fashion Merchandising
  22. Game Art & Design
  23. HVAC Technician
  24. Hyperbaric Chamber Technician
  25. Interior Design
  26. Medical Assistant
  27. Medical Billing and Coding
  28. Medical Office Administration
  29. Network Engineering
  30. Network Technician
  31. Nursing
  32. Paralegal
  33. Patient Care Technician
  34. Pharmacy Technology
  35. Project Management
  36. Radiologic Technology
  37. Respiratory Therapy
  38. Surgical Technology
  39. Underwater Digital Photography
  40. Veterinary Technician

The amount of debt that people graduate with can make them feel like an indentured servant for many years. Because of this, more and more people are looking for jobs that don’t require a degree. These jobs pay at minimum in the high $40Ks, though many pay even more. They’re in demand, and people who want a career in one of these jobs can start straight out of high school.

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About Tim McMahon

Work by editor and author, Tim McMahon, has been featured in Bloomberg, CBS News, Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Forbes, Washington Post, Drudge Report, The Atlantic, Business Insider, American Thinker, Lew Rockwell, Huffington Post, Rolling Stone, Oakland Press, Free Republic, Education World, Realty Trac, Reason, Coin News, and Council for Economic Education. Connect with Tim on Google+