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10 Best Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

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A bachelor's degree is often thought to be the key to financial success. After all, a typical college graduate earns 68% more than a worker with just a high school diploma. "Going to college has long been, since the end of World War II, the preferable path to the middle class," says Anthony Carnevale, director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. "Now it's not just preferable; it is very rapidly becoming the dominant pathway because the entry-level skill requirement for a lot of jobs has gone up." No wonder many young people feel compelled to dig themselves deep into debt for a shot at a brighter future. Among the 60% of 2013 college grads who borrowed money to pay for school, the average amount owed in federal and private student loans was $27,300.

Making an expensive investment in your education isn't the only way to get ahead professionally. After analyzing data for 784 occupations, we pinpointed 10 high-paying jobs in expanding fields that don't require a college degree. All of these jobs call for some additional training, certification or work experience to get started—and in truth having a college degree could boost your competitive advantage and earnings potential—but none requires a bachelor's to ensure career success.

Unless otherwise noted, all employment data was provided by Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI), a labor market research firm owned by CareerBuilder. EMSI collects data from more than 90 federal, state and private sources, including the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The total number of jobs listed is for 2014. Ten-year job growth figures, both historical and projected, represent the percentage change in the total number of jobs in an occupation between the start of the period and the end of the period. Annual earnings were calculated by multiplying median hourly earnings by 2,080, the standard number of hours worked in a year by a full-time employee.

10 Best Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree

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