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Top 20 Jobs With No College Degree Required

CareerCast.com reports dental hygienists, online sales managers and web developers top list of best jobs available without a four-year degree.

Looking for a great job with a good salary that does not require a college education? Those jobs are out there if you know where to look.

CareerCast.com recently identified 20 careers that provide a good living with just a high school education. The listed careers may require some training, but not a four-year degree.

“Even with a college degree, finding a good job in today’s economy is hard and can be very time consuming. Although those with degrees often earn more money, you can still earn a very good living without one,” stated Tony Lee, publisher of CareerCast.com, in a press release.

Though college-educated workers tend to earn more on average -- $1 million more during his or her career -- college is not practical for everyone. With a four-year degree from a public university or college costing an average of over $50,000, many may choose to pursue other training.

“Most of the top-20 non-degreed jobs do require some sort of formal training, but at a much smaller investment level than a college degree,” explained Lee. “If you want to earn a lot of money without a college degree, take a look at the amount of training you’ll need, then focus on a job that can still provide a satisfying, comfortable career.”

CareerCast.com’s 20 Great Jobs Without a College Degree: 

  1. Dental Hygienist - Average Starting Salary: $45,000
  2. Online Sales Manager - Average Starting Salary: $40,000
  3. Web Developer - Average Starting Salary: $43,000
  4. Medical Secretary - Average Starting Salary: $21,000
  5. Paralegal Assistant - Average Starting Salary: $29,000
  6. Stenographer/Court Reporter - Average Starting Salary: $26,000
  7. Heating/Refrigeration Mechanic - Average Starting Salary: $26,000
  8. Surveyor - Average Starting Salary: $31,000
  9. Executive Assistant - Average Starting Salary: $29,000
  10. Insurance Agent - Average Starting Salary: $26,000
  11. Industrial Machine Repairer - Average Starting Salary: $30,000 
  12. Cosmetologist - Average Starting Salary: $16,000
  13. Hair Stylist - Average Starting Salary: $16,000
  14. Tax Examiner/Collector - Average Starting Salary: $30,000
  15. Sales Representative (Wholesale) - Average Starting Salary: $27,000
  16. Construction Machinery Operator - Average Starting Salary: $26,000
  17. Electrical Technician - Average Starting Salary: $34,000
  18. Architectural Drafter - Average Starting Salary: $30,000
  19. Teacher's Aide - Average Starting Salary: $17,000
  20. Sewage Plant Operator - Average Starting Salary: $25,000

For more information, read CareerCast.com’s full report, 20 Great Jobs Without a College Degree. 

To view local job openings, visit the Lilburn-Mountain Park Jobs Page.

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Gail May 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
A dental hygienist most certainly does have to have a college degree, and the insinuation of this article that there is a little training is an insult to my profession! I have a very hard earned Associate In Science degree, and put in almost enough college hours to have a bachelors degree. Besides the didactic, there are hours upon hours of clinical practice to get this degree. I took a National Board exam as well as a state board exam and I am a licensed professional. I have to take continuing education to maintain my license, and am certified in CPR. Your dental hygienist knows about your health, medications, and overall well being. Becoming a dental hygienist is no "small investment" that this article implies! And it is a career that I am dedicated to quality patient care every single day!!!
Gail Lane May 18, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Gail, I found it interesting that many of these jobs required at least the Associates degree in that field as well as vigorous board exams to be certified in that field. I believe this is pointing out a possible trend towards Technical Colleges and work ready programs than full four-year degrees to get a jump on a fulfilling career.
Gail May 18, 2012 at 11:48 PM
There is not one dental hygienist that I know that will tell you that a Registered Dental Hygienist degree is any "less investment" than a four year degree. I purchased my own instruments, supplies and uniforms which were very expensive even then. I had to have all of the prerequisites for an associate degree, and then the dental hygiene program itself is a full two year program. I have a four year associates degree. I do not discount the training involved for the other jobs on this list, but a dental hygienist is a trained, licensed health care professional, and should not be included in a list of jobs in an article that starts out with "looking for a great job that does not require a college education?". That is a total misrepresentation of the career of dental hygiene.

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