Many times, there is a misconception that you can only land a high-paying, exciting career if you have a college degree. That is not the case! A lot of times, having the right skills and expertise are more important to hiring managers than having a higher education degree. Below we look at different career options that don’t require a four-year degree, offer competitive salaries and are in high demand. See which one is right for you!
Computer support specialists provide help and advice to users and organizations to ensure technology systems are operating flawlessly. They provide device maintenance, set up new systems, upgrade software, and troubleshoot problems. The job outlook is good, as companies continually upgrade their technology systems to run their businesses.
The median salary for a computer network support specialist is $63,000.
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There are many paths to becoming a computer network support specialist. Skills and experience in computer hardware and software are a must, of course; but to become an in-demand network specialist, you’ll be most successful with such soft skills as active listening, patience, problem-solving, and oral communication to convey technical information to non-technical users. Most network support workers invest time getting certification in particular operating systems. This can be done through an associate degree but can be done through independent study.
Construction supervisors oversee contractors and staff while maintaining a safe work environment. They work as a project manager to ensure the work is progressing on time and they manage the budget.
The median salary for a construction supervisor is $95,000.
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Several years of experience and on-the-job training leads to this level of responsibility.
Correctional officers oversee those who have been arrested and are awaiting trial or who have been sentenced to serve time in jail or prison. They enforce rules and regulations, maintain security by preventing disturbances, and inspect facilities. They may have to restrain inmates in handcuffs and leg irons and escort them safely to and from cells, courtrooms, medical facilities, and other destinations.
Job growth is mixed; it depends on state and municipal budgets and policies around incarceration.
The median salary for a correctional officer is $45,500.
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The position requires a high school diploma or GED, and you should be between 18 and 21 years of age (Each state and agency has its own requirements as well.) Most correctional officers attend a training academy, which includes courses in self-defense, institutional policies, regulations, operations, and security procedures.
Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems. Electricians read blueprints, which include technical diagrams of electrical systems that show the location of circuits, outlets, and other equipment.
Job growth is good and is expected to increase by more than 8% over the next 10 years.
The median salary for an electrician is $60,000.
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Most electricians learn through a 4-to 5-year apprenticeship program, which includes on-the-job paid training. Unions and contractor associations sponsor apprenticeship programs. Most states require electricians to be licensed.
Elevator installers install, maintain, and fix elevators and other lifts. Most elevators and similar mechanisms have computerized control systems, requiring maintenance and repair workers to do complex troubleshooting.
The job outlook is good and is expected to increase an estimated 7% over the next 10 years.
The median salary for an elevator installer is $85,000.
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A career in elevator installation and repair typically begins with a 4-year apprenticeship program sponsored by a union, industry association, or employer. For each year of a typical program, apprentices must complete a predetermined number of hours of technical instruction and paid on-the-job training. During training, apprentices learn about safety, blueprint reading, mathematics, applied physics, elevator and escalator parts, electrical and digital theory, and electronics.
A distribution manager oversees the resources needed to move materials from one place to another. A critical link in the supply chain, the distribution manager manages the planning, inventory control, warehousing, transportation, and staffing to efficiently deliver goods in a timely manner.
The median salary for a distribution manager is $95,000.
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Distribution managers usually need several years of work-related experience on-the-job training.
Power plant operators control power plants and the flow of electricity from plants to substations, which distribute electricity to businesses, homes, and factories. Electricity is generated from such sources as coal, gas, hydroelectric, wind, and solar. Power plant operators regulate electricity flows to meet fluctuating consumer demand throughout the day.
The median salary for a power plant operator is $86,000.
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Power plant operators typically need a high school diploma or equivalent, combined with extensive on-the-job training. Several years of onsite experience are needed to become fully qualified. Operators must take regular training courses to keep skills up to date.
A transportation inspector examines equipment or goods in connection with the safe transport of cargo or people. This includes trucking freight, shipping, and rail inspectors.
The median salary for a transportation inspector is $75,000.
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These employees inspect shipments to ensure freight is secure and that crews comply with procedures for safe handling.
Transportation inspectors require a high school diploma or equivalent, as well as moderate-term on-the-job training.
A USPS postmaster manages the daily operations of a local post office. They hire, train, and supervise postal employees, oversee customer service, and manage mail distribution.
The median salary for a USPS postmaster is $76,000.
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Postmasters require a high school diploma or GED and pass a written exam. Those who want the position of postmaster will need many years of previous post office experience. USPS recommends aspiring postmasters take an optional in-house advanced career development program, which is a 3- to 9-month curriculum.
A warehouse manager makes sure there are systems and people in place for the smooth transfer of goods. They supervise workers to make sure they follow procedures in receiving, storing, and shipping; they plan, develop, and implement safety protocols; they oversee vehicle fleets; and they collaborate with other corporate departments to integrate logistics with business systems (e.g., customer sales, order management, accounting, shipping).
The median salary for a warehouse manager is $94,000.**
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Warehouse managers require a high school diploma or equivalent as well as on-the-job training, along with several years of previous warehouse experience.
Safety inspectors ensure that construction meets building codes and ordinances, zoning regulations, and contract specifications.
There are several specialized safety inspectors:
The median salary for a safety inspector ranges from $60,000 - $75,000.
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Training requirements vary by state, locality, and type of inspector. In general, safety inspectors receive much of their training on the job, although they must learn building codes and standards on their own. Working with an experienced inspector, they learn about inspection techniques; codes, ordinances, and regulations; contract specifications; and record-keeping and reporting duties. Training also may include supervised onsite inspections. Most states require inspectors to have a license or certification.
High paying jobs are all around us, and many don’t require a college degree. Review the jobs on this list and consider how you can get on a solid career path. For more information, check out our #careerdiscovery topic here on Jobcase!