Those seeking a job in today’s labor market might think a four-year degree is necessary for obtaining a well-paying job. It’s a common resume attribute after all.
However, there are several strong opportunities for those with a high-school diploma or associates degree, especially those who obtain on-the-job training, or specialty certificates in certain fields.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are nearly 20 job titles which pay $75,000 or more and don’t require a bachelor’s degree.
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Some of these positions, however, do require extensive training or apprenticeship programs. For example, commercial pilots don’t need to have a four-year degree, but they must learn a substantial amount before performing the job on their own.
Others don’t necessitate a lot of training but aren’t the most sought-after jobs. Funeral service managers, for example, are among the positions that don’t require any training and still earn roughly $75,000 or more, but it may be too morbid for some job applicants. That may be why the projected job growth rate is keeping up with the average.
While these great-paying jobs exist for high school graduates, statistics show that earning a four-year degree or higher is still the best-paying route.
“By educational attainment, full-time workers age 25 and over without a high school diploma had median weekly earnings of $578, compared with $739 for high school graduates (no college) and $1,350 for those holding at least a bachelor’s degree,” the BLS’ first quarter data shows. “Among college graduates with advanced degrees (master’s, professional, and doctoral degrees), the highest earning 10 percent of male workers made $4,350 or more per week, compared with $2,882 or more for their female counterparts.”
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