15 Careers That Don’t Require a College Degree

By Wesley
15 Careers That Don’t Require a College Degree

There are many ways in which people strive to generate income. There are some people who feel that going into business will give them the required income. Others go the usual way by getting a job in one of the many industries that are available. There are some jobs which demand that you should possess a specific qualification before being employed. There is still some hope for those who lack proper qualifications because some companies offer you in-house training programs.

The training programs are work-based learning programs that are directly related to your field of work. Skills development is now being considered as a significant component in ensuring the performance of workers. It provides companies with opportunities to empower the company with relevant skills base over a long term. The distinctive advantage is that they are work-based and are delivered specifically within the context of the organization.

The companies that are effective, the emphasis is mostly put on the drivers more than outcomes. Outcomes take years to be achieved and can’t be a proper way of determining the effectiveness of performance. The drivers such as employees contribution based on the value they are bringing to the company are now being recognized.

To be effective, incentive schemes are now multifaceted. Both outcomes and drivers are playing a role in the design of the schemes. Setting remuneration levels are never going to be an easy exercise. It doesn’t even work when it’s matched between actions and results. Here are the 15 jobs from various industries that pay well.

15. Radiation Therapist

The health industry is one of the most stable industries. If you are looking for a long-term career, it is worth to join this sector. The jobs can be well-paying for those who have the passion for caring others. One of the careers worth pursuing is the radiation therapist.

The therapists operate medical machines that help the oncology staff diagnose and treat cancer. The machines use radiation technology. It involves working in the hospitals or cancer treatment centers. The duty requires working within the normal working hour. This is different with the other health cares who have to work at various working hours.

The professionals working in this field do not need to complete a four-year degree. They go through a two-year education program in the radiation therapy or radiography. The courses include physics, algebra, writing, public speaking, computer science, and method human anatomy and physiology. The courses are designed in such a way that you should have all-around skills that will be required in your occupation.

The institution offering these training programs are accredited by the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists. This means that your qualification will be recognized by all the health institutions. After finishing the course, you can choose to work in the public or private health sector

Although the professionals don’t go through a rigorous college education, they receive good enumerations. The normal pay starts from $77,000 but most of them receive about $104,000. There are some in this industry who are getting as much as $116,000 a year.   

14. Plumber

No one ever really thinks of one day becoming a plumber. However, this is one of the careers where you can earn yourself good money. Plumbers are always in high demand, this helps them to be well-paid. Most of the plumbers don’t need to have a college education to be successful in this field.  Therefore, it will easy for you to be a plumber without worrying about the college costs.

There will always be the running water whether, in our homes or business premises, this creates the need to use their services. They can work for large companies or as sole entrepreneurs. Their works require that they should spend most of their time installing and repairing water. The other duties include waste disposal duties, drainage, and gas systems.

There are many ways you can become a plumber. Many plumbers learn and develop their skills through technical schools or apprenticeships to another plumber. You can become a master plumber, pipe-fitter and steam-fitters through training in the jointly administered apprenticeships. Another way is for you to go to a technical school and community colleges. You may need to be licensed to practice in your career. The licensing requirements differ but most places need you to have a minimum of two years of working experience. It may also be required that you should pass an examination on the trade and local plumbing.

Plumbers earn as high as $103,000 a year. The lowest which is the entry point can provide you with as much as $60, 000 a year.

13. Fire Chief

The career as a fire chief is a rewarding one but has its own disadvantages. It is a risky job and will take a lot of your time away from your family. If you are an adrenaline packed individual, then this is a job for you.

There are many things which the fire chief does including responding to the emergency response calls. The calls can come anytime and they are supposed to dress in the appropriate gear and/or equipment. This is regardless of what you may be doing at the time when the call comes. These calls cover many things such as brush fires, structure fires, automobile accidents and false alarms. In some cases, it may involve life-threatening medical emergencies and non-threatening medical calls.

On an emergency scene, you are supposed to evaluate each scene situation upon arrival. They are responsible for gathering information from witnesses. It is important for the fire chiefs to coordinate all the activities and work as a team. Firefighting is not a piece of cake and can be dangerous. They must enter the burning buildings and rescue victims.

Most of the fire chiefs have a high school diploma. They rise through the ranks after working for some period. The salaries range from $42,000 to $119,000. The major benefit is that the extra hours allows you to kick-up your pay. For instance, one firefighter in Los Angeles Fire Department was able to earn a total pay of $404,308 in 2016. There are various reason for such hefty pays including lack of seasoned firefighters after the retirement of some staff.

12.  Executive Chef

To be a chief, you imagine about all the sweat things that come with cooking. It can involve working in exotic places. For instance, executive pastry chefs work at fabulous resorts, on cruise ships and luxury hotels.

You can also get some of the chefs in some restaurants, homes of the famous people including the celebrities in Hollywood. They are always in demand anyplace where they are required to create a high standard and delicious meals. There will be no shortage of job opportunities in this sector.

Executive chefs work long hours and spend a lot of time away from their homes. If you want to pursue this career be prepared to handle a lot of stress. It’s an involving work that will sometimes overwhelm you. However, if you have a passion for cooking food, this is a rewarding career you can enjoy doing.

The chefs don’t require to go through a college education. Training for chefs is done at a community college, technical college or culinary school. If you have a little education, there is still a chance to advance through the ranks into a leadership position.

There are some chefs who participate in the training or certification programs. These programs are normally sponsored by an independent cooking school and organization. In some cases, there are big hotels and restaurants which have their own training programs.

The chefs whose services are in high demand can easily make above $100,000 a year.  The entry salary is $45100 and most of those who have experience earn $102,000.

11. Funeral Service Manager

There is nothing which can be worse than losing a loved one. In such times you need someone to encourage and be on your side. The funeral service manager helps grieving families to mourn their loved ones in a dignified way. This is a job that is necessary and important in all the communities to honor the families.

The funeral service manager requires you to have good people’s skills. It needs you to mix with families and individuals who are going through a tough time. Empathy is essential to be a successful manager.

The benefit of this work is that the demand is always going to be available. If you are looking for a career in this industry, you will not require searching too hard. There are many places seeking people to work in this field. The downside part of it is you are going to work with the dead.

Apart from handling the grieving families, the job involves many other things including managing the staff, budget, and marketing.  To get into this job, you need to go through a two-year mortuary training program. In some places, they may request you to undergo a one-year paid apprenticeship. However, if you want to be embalming, you will require getting an additional license for that.

The job is a rewarding one and you can get up to $147,000 a year.  You will get a minimum of $52,000 a year when you’re entering the field. 

10. Digital Marketing Manager

The digital marketplace is growing faster than anything else on the planet. It’s not just a new market. It’s a force of nature and an epochal event on the historical timeline of humanity. Most full-time online marketers are good enough at what they do, and what they do is so valuable for businesses, that they can command an amazing salary.

In fact, most online marketers could work for themselves as independent contractors if they wanted to and manage one or two big projects at a time working from home, so in order to keep a good one, a company has to keep them paid well. Increasingly the market has moved toward not caring at all what level of education someone has for this position, but what results they are capable of producing. Digital marketing is so new that most colleges don’t offer a degree in it anyways.

This field is in the middle of explosive growth. Right now the median salary for a digit marketing manager (that is the salary you are most likely to turn up if you picked a digital marketing manager at random and checked their salary) is in the mid $60,000s before bonuses and commissions. The top 10 percent of performers in this field take home that $100,000 every year.

9. Longshoreman

“Johnny used to work on the docks! Union’s been on strike…” so go the lines of the famous 1980s Bon Jovi radio hit, but actually if you decide to go work on the docks and shipyards loading and unloading cargo from the ships using cranes and other really cool heavy machinery, you probably won’t end up living on a prayer.

Your starting pay can be as good as $20/hour for something you need no former experience in, and as you gain experience and seniority, you can start up to $55 hourly. Do the math and with 40 hour work weeks and two vacation weeks a year you’re pulling in $110,000 annually at that hourly rate. Not too shabby!

One reason, you get paid so well as a longshoreman is there are some specialized skills required in terms of the safe and efficient operation of heavy machinery and equipment. The job is physically demanding. You will have to be in reasonably good shape to do it, and doing it for a while will make you into a mass of muscle. Longshoreman also works in all kinds of weather conditions including sweltering summer heat and freezing winter rain.

Longshoreman can often increase their salaries with many opportunities to work overtime on top of their regular hours and get paid an overtime rate above and beyond an already pretty solid hourly wage. As you gain experience in this trade you might not be working full time at first. As you become well known for your great work ethic, good sense, the ability to work well with others, and over all other good qualities that employers want in their workers, you will become a trusted longshoreman and begin to gain access to more work and more lucrative pay.

8. IT Manager

IT managers are necessary for making sure all the information technology in a company’s computer network is running smoothly and not having or causing any problems. If the network gets gummed up, the company loses big profits, so employers pay a lot for good IT people to keep their systems running smoothly. There is also a shortage of people with the willingness to learn this in-demand technical skill. In this field, it’s more about what you can prove that you can get done than it is about your formal education credentials.

For that reason it’s more important that you learn to code, either by yourself at home with a lot of daily practice and the discipline that requires, using any number of free resources online to learn, or you can learn how to code and debug software at a trade school or coding boot camp. Salaries for IT managers start at around the mid-50s and go as high as $125K depending on where you’re living, your experience, and the company.

One of the most important aspects of a good IT manager is the ability to communicate well. As IT takes on more and more importance in big corporations, the history of this big change has been that traditional business people and IT people in these companies don’t get along well all the time and have difficulty understanding each other.

IT people speak computer language and are not always great at explaining it in a way that business people can under stand. They’re also not always good at listening and understanding what their employers want. If you are a good enough computer person, but a really great communicator, people person, and listener, you can be a stellar IT manager, move up high within a big company, and make a very nice salary.

7. Pilot

Live the dream. Be a pilot. Why not if you’re lost for something to do and would like a job that pays well? You could actually fly a plane for a living. What a rush that would be to learn! Wouldn’t it? And the job would always be interesting, even after it became routine and you were used to just sitting there controlling a craft that flies through the sky and looking out a glass cockpit window into the clouds. You’d still be doing better off than a 9 to 5 shackled in a cubicle, right?

You don’t need a college degree for this but you absolutely will have to go to pilot training school and get licensed, logging at least 1,500 hours of flight training before you’re eligible to get paid to do this for an airline. Of course, you don’t have to work for a commercial or cargo airline. You could be a private pilot for a wealthy individual. Or fly a private company’s plane. Or take people on tourist flights (through the Grand Canyon, for example). Or become an instructor and train others to fly.

On average pilots make a little over $100,000 a year. If you’re a very experienced pilot with a lot of seniorities though, you’re taking home a lot more than that. I had a friend who was a pilot before he quit to open up a chain of restaurants and he told me that seniority’s a big deal in a lot of commercial airlines, so if you can wait it out, you can make some big money. While you’re waiting, you’re flying a plane. And seeing the world.

6. Air Traffic Controller

If you just don’t feel like you’re cut out to be a pilot for whatever reason, like say you’re a bit claustrophobic and being in a tin can fly through the air for the rest of your life isn’t going to work for you, you can still make a great living working in the airline industry as an air traffic controller. Now it’s not going to be easy. You may not be flying the plane, but your guidance is still crucial in keeping it in the sky, helping it land, and keeping all those souls on board safe.

You don’t need to go to college for this, but you will need specialized training for it in a trade school for air traffic controllers. Because this job is so critically important and somewhat stressful, air traffic controllers are very well compensated. The average salary for one is north of $150,000 a year. You have to do well in high-stress situations and have a great attention to detail for this job.

5. Court Stenographer

There is a lot of demand out there for court stenographers, and really a shortage of them for how much of this needs to get done. Keeping a transcript is very important for legal processes and there just aren’t enough people who have sat down for the required amount of time a day it takes to practice typing and become a master of the stenograph, a strange and marvelous, like 12-key machine that allows these stenographers to type at an amazing rate of 225 words per minute, faster than most people can speak.

As a court stenographer, your main job would be to listen to multiple people speak and transcribe everything everybody says into written form. You can take this in-demand skill and work in a courtroom, or you can do this for depositions outside the court room, or you can do transcription work for closed captioning, or for the hearing impaired. You could even do this freelance from home and prospect online. If you’re fast and accurate, you can get plenty of work fairly easily and make a big paycheck. The best stenographers make over $100,000 a year.

4. Construction Manager

Construction will take a lot out of you, so don’t even think about it if you can’t handle daily manual labor, heavy lifting, and dangerous working conditions that require you to be alert, safety-minded, and conscientious. You’ll also be out in the weather as well. But for all these reasons, construction does pay well, especially as you gain experience.

Once you make it up to a managerial level, you won’t have to do as much hard work on actually building the things yourself. Instead, you’ll plan, supervise, manage, and coordinate construction work from beginning to end. Construction managers start off making around $80,000 a year and the average salary for a construction manager is $94,000. The very top 1% of best construction managers out there make a sweet $150,000 a year.

The level of job availability and how lucrative the pay is will be cyclical and have to do with the ups and downs of the market for real estate. So it’s good to save up during the fat years, because there will be skinnier years, and they will take you down if you spend all that money and live beyond your means.

3. Real estate agent

You will need a license to be a real estate agent and there are some classes you’ll need to take after you become one to stay up to date on your industry, but all you need to get started in terms of formal education is a high school diploma. Your hours will be irregular, and you’ll have to work for a long time for any given client before the payoff comes, so you have to be patient in this field of work.

You also have to be very personable and very knowledgeable to help your clients in the process of the biggest transaction that most of them are going to make in their entire life. Emotions run high during this process and it can be very stressful. You’ll have to show people houses after their typical working hours so you’re more likely to work in the evenings and on weekends. This can be the lowest paying job ever and you have to quit because you make literally no money, or it can pay you deep into the six figures for some of the top real estate agents.

2. Electrician

Not every electrician makes a hundred grand a year, but the top ones do. The top 10 percent earn into the $80,000s for their base salary, and by working over time end up taking home that $100K salary each year. Best places to make that big salary are in big metropolitan areas with lots of demand for electrical work, though of course your costs of living are going to be higher there as well.

In San Francisco for instance, a journey-level unionized electrical worker will pull in a sizeable $150,000 a year, and electrician apprentices make around $45,000 – $75,000 yearly in that city depending on their level of experience.

1. Nuclear Reactor Operator

Homer Simpson’s job. It seemed like the Simpsons family had a few struggles with money on the show, but the truth is if you are working at a nuclear power plant as a nuclear reactor operator, you’re going to take home some pretty good money, and you’re not going to be there in the first place if you’re someone who shouldn’t be trusted to operate a nuclear reactor and could potentially wreak havoc.

To get to that operator level, you’re going to have to work at the power plant for at least three years first as an equipment operator. When you get promoted to reactor operator, you’ll likely start in the high $70,000s, but the top 10 percent of salary earners in this field pull six figures. The reason for their high rate of pay being, you guessed it, experience, good quality work, and seniority. Like many of the jobs on this list, over time can be a big factor in making that $100K.