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10 Best Jobs That Don't Require a College Degree


A college education is often thought to be the key to financial success. After all, a typical full-time worker with a bachelor's degree earns about two-thirds more than a worker with just a high school diploma. No wonder many young people feel compelled to dig themselves deep into student-loan debt for a shot at a brighter future. Among the 69% of 2014 college grads who borrowed money to pay for school, the average amount owed was $28,950.

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 professions 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 for each occupation is for 2015. 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. Jobs are listed in order of median annual salary, starting with the highest.

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