3 High Paying Jobs – No Bachelor’s Degree Required

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With the job market the way it is, and unemployment so high, many people have returned to school for further education to come out more employable in the end. It is a good use of time while unemployed, and can lead to a more profitable job, but it may not be for everyone. On top of that, the cost of education has been on the rise and so it may be out of the reach of many people.


There are, however, some decent high-paying jobs that do not require a four-year degree and can be stepped into with simply an associate degree. An associate degree is a two-year degree and can be acquired at a local community college at about a third of the cost of the in-state tuition fees of a four-year college.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported that there are about eighty occupations out there that do not require a bachelor’s degree to acquire, and that have an average annual salary of $50K, with some much higher. Here are just three example of the types of jobs that fall into this category:


Nuclear Technicians: I can imagine many people immediately cringe at the thought of working with something nuclear, and have concerns with the safety of it all. Even so, nuclear power is still one of the leading sources of electricity in the US, and with the nation’s one hundred and four power plants needing a steady flow of manpower, and a projected increase in job openings of over three thousand in this decade alone, it is a position worth considering. This career includes keeping the systems running at the plant, as well as field work testing radiation levels using specialized equipment.  An associate degree in nuclear science or a similar field is all that is needed to step into a position, receive the on-the-job training needed to work in a field with an average salary of $68K.  


Air-Traffic Controllers: Surely we’ve all heard of the buzz in the news over the years, of the controversy and incidents in this field with workers who have been distracted at one point or another. This position requires close and constant observation and concentration, and because of that, can be quite stressful. Because of the high demand of concentration, this position can be quite tiring, which can cause some people without the needed stamina, to step aside and quit the position. If you feel you have what it takes to handle the pressures of this position, can acquire an air traffic management degree and step into a position with an average annual salary of $108K.


Funeral Services: It sounds kind of morbid to some when they think of a job in the funeral services business. This career has positions like service managers, directors, morticians and undertakers. Those who work in this field say their satisfaction comes from helping those who are mourning to smoothly get through the initial steps of losing a loved one. It is a demanding field, at times requiring long hours, late hours, weekend, and being on call most of the time. If you have embalming skills and the ability to relocate, the job prospects are even better. All it takes for this field is a degree in mortuary science and state certification, and you can step into an average annual salary of $54K.


These are just a few of those careers that can be joined without a four-year degree that are worth looking into, and be sure to check out the BLS’ latest edition of Occupational Outlook Quarterly for up-to-date additional jobs and information in this area.


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    I can only say that if all the people that are without a job right now including me could just have the opportunity in this fields,we will surely be a tremendous sucsees at any  of this companies because we  have what it takes, we just need an opportunity  and a push to do it. people who have needs to share with those who don't we need to care more about each other and if we start doing this our world will be much better.
  • sandra j
    sandra j
    Each of these jobs require either an associates degree or specific training and certification.  Who pays the bills while the former breadwinner now unemployed is going to school?
    Its something I would definitely take in consideration
  •  Paul Scheele
    Paul Scheele
    Great article. Like to see others like it. I heard that for those over 60 some tech schools offer free classes if there is room. You have to pay for books but classes are free.
  • cindy a
    cindy a
    while this is an interesting article and I  was mesmerized with the idea of becoming a funeral director......where exactly are these jobs located?  This seems to be very important when people are trying to find the dollars for one's career choices.  I have been working since I was 12 and in the area of the country that I have lived and worked, these choices are not readily available in our colleges.  The funeral director job would be just right for me as I am getting closer to that than I want to be at 62.  Presently, I am newly retired and filing for disability because the last job I worked said I was terminated due to illness.   Thanks!  How about an article for those who really need employment now in their area.  We have gone back 25 years with the employers now doing whatever they please in order to fire and re-hire without paying the fines they should be receiving.  The workplace has become a war zone where stress is so high that heart attacks are just a thing you will expect.  Job security is a thing of the past and there is no honor from employers, but is expected from the employees.  Let's tell it like it is.  I am amazed at what some employers can get away with.
  • Belay B
    Belay B
    Thank you the information is money!!
  • james smith jr
    james smith jr
    straight up fickle! The very start of this article is "3 high paying jobs-no bachelor's degree required" and at the end of the air traffic controller paragraph is says" can acquire an air traffic management degree"! Where is that college located that offers that kind of non-bachelored management degree. What a bunch of schmucks and "talkers." Suggestion: Write about what you know and not what you think. The word "schmucks" is in the plural because some editor had to approve the publishing of this squat>
  • Kyle Sandsbury
    Kyle Sandsbury
    Both air traffic controller and nuclear techicians have very strict guidelines for employment, some would consider them ridiculious. It would help to mention that instead of falsy inflating somebodies hopes
  • valentyna sprinkle
    valentyna sprinkle
    I would like to have communication to get job that services you provide for people.I have accounting and medical degree. I completly respect and accept information you provide in internet where I would like to represent myself to work for your business.Thank you
  • Marcella
    Ill be interest in funeral services if I can get more information about it
  • Antasha Marbley
    Antasha Marbley
    Very interesting...
  • Angel  R M
    Angel  R M
    Thank you for this great info. my question to you is, whatmaximunm age you have to be in order to qualified to be an air traffic controller.Thank you.
  • Catharine S.
    Catharine S.
    I found this column to be very interesting. I would be willing to go back to school so that I could apply to any of these jobs.
  • Dawn B.
    Dawn B.
    My husband has been a funeral director for over 26 years now and doesn't make anywhere near that annual salary.  He just started getting three weeks paid vacation this year.  He has no insurance.  I would love to know what part of the country is paying that kind of salary.  We would be willing to relocate.
  • frank williams
    frank williams
    I'm very much interested in the funeral job service
  • ishmael holguin
    ishmael holguin
    I have three Associate degrees but not in nuclear science can I still inter this field.
  • AnneMarie Davis
    AnneMarie Davis
    I'm a recruiter with over 15 yrs of exp. I would love to make a career change but it's been very hard for me. Any idea what I can do with this exp and make a change.
  • Kristy Bergeson
    Kristy Bergeson
    I need a job and air traffic controller is a cool thing.....or funeral services I will send you my resume
  • Dana Bufalo
    Dana Bufalo
    Very informative, have my BS degree and can't find a job. Would be interested in Air-Traffic or Funeral Services. Any additional information would be valuable.
  • Linda Hamilton
    Linda Hamilton
    enlightening. Thanks.
  • kevin hale
    kevin hale
    enjoyed and learned something new
  • Lisa H
    Lisa H
    Thank you for the information. While I am not interested in any of these job opportunities, it is very encouraging. Education is very expensive, and in these tough economical times it's difficult to pay for the required education needed for most employment opportunities, especially when you are unemployed.
    I think i am capable of doing the job.am good to go.
  • Natosha Lawrence
    Natosha Lawrence
    Thank u for that info
  • Robert Riebe
    Robert Riebe
    There are srtict age guidelines for Air-Traffic Controllers that you should mention in your article.

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