It’s a common myth that having a thriving career requires a college education. Though a quality education is one component of success, that doesn’t always mean earning a four-year degree. In fact, some of the most fulfilling careers are ones that involve alternative instruction–technical and vocational schools or on-the-job training. Here are seven of the most lucrative careers that don’t require earning a bachelor’s degree.
These knowledgeable men and women do way more than scrape the plaque off teeth. They help diagnose oral diseases and offer preventative services and education to keep their patients’ mouths healthy and beautiful. They are high-earners in high demand, too. The average hygienist makes about $70,000, and demand is expected to increase by about 20 percent by 2026.1
Crave a high-paced environment? Obsessed with rules? Love watching repeats of Law and Order? Then being a paralegal may be the perfect fit for you. Paralegals assist lawyers in preparing reports and managing and data documents for cases. Paralegals earn about $50,000 a year, and the job requires an Associate’s degree.1
Executive chef/Pastry chef
Seriously, who doesn’t love to eat? If you’re a passionate foodie who loves to make people happy, you may want to consider a career in the culinary arts.
“A culinary arts degree will teach you how to master the latest gourmet cooking techniques and trends in global cuisine,” says Chef LeNôtre for the Culinary Institute LeNôtre. “Most culinary programs are also flexible so you can earn your degree in your own time.”
Medical imaging specialist
Many medical diagnoses require imaging services, which is one reason this occupation is so profitable and rewarding. Imaging specialists make anywhere from $57,000 to $80,000 a year.1 You’ll need an Associate’s degree and likely some on-site training to make medical imaging your career.
Arguably there’s no hotter or in-demand skill right now than web coding. By learning the technical language to build attractive websites, you’ll find a job in no time. It will take an Associate’s degree to develop these desirable skills.
“Hospitality is one of the fastest growing industries, with plenty of opportunities to begin a career in restaurant management,” says Chef LeNôtre for the Culinary Institute LeNôtre. Most programs are fast-paced and hands-on, so you can earn your degree and be able to start a new profitable career in no time.
Computer support specialists
Who hasn’t forgotten their laptop’s password or needed help with their computer at least once? Computer support specialists are the backbone of most of corporate America. Without our beloved IT department, it would be near impossible to get any job done. You’ll need an Associate’s degree.